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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


How Zuma’s allies found SA’s junk status ‘funny’

Evidence in the form of WhatsApp messages show how President Jacob Zuma's allies laughed and found the economic downgrades faced by the country hilarious.


Messages sent in an exclusive WhatsApp group which includes two of Zuma’s children – Thuthukile and Edward, SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni and Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane display how these influential people, considered Zuma’s allies, reacted in a nonchalant manner to the country’s economic downgrades, with several of them ‘laughing’ it off.

According to the Sunday Times, a WhatsApp group called the ‘Black Economic Empowerment Foundation’ sent back and forth messages about the downgrade, with Black Business Council president Danisa Baloyi ignorantly telling the group that many South Africans don’t have ‘billions on the stock exchange’ and that most black people were born in junk status and wouldn’t be bothered.

Last week two ratings agencies, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch, downgraded the rate at which the government borrows debt, effectively ensuring that this would be done at a higher cost, which has a ripple effect on the rand-dollar exchange rate, investments and bank shares.

I concur cdes. Let the rand fall and rise and emerge with the masses – Dudu Myeni

Another Zuma ally, Mokonyane, told the chat group it was an opportunity to bring investors back on their own terms.

“It’s actually better Western investors will pull back and we have the opportunity to bring them back on our own terms, after we have consolidated our relations with Africa and Brics. We must rearrange our foreign debt payments,” said Mokonyane.

Mokonyane later told the weekly she was horrified by the downgrade but even when there was a funeral people laugh anyway.

Edward made several comments, one being that he would celebrate the grading decision made by the ratings agencies.

“Am going to celebrating [sic] this grading decision tonight long overdue hence mama action [Mokonyane’s nickname] they must go these people really now.”

He appeared to change his tune, however, once the rating announcement was confirmed and announced.

“Brics is the only way out of this hell on Earth, they did us a favour,” he said.

Sunday Times further reports that the WhatsApp group, administered by Edward, includes former CEO of the South African Chamber of Business Kevin Wakeford, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, former SABC chair Ellen Tshabalala, and KZN MECs Mthandeni Dlungwane and Bongi Sithole-Mlaba.

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