Cyril Ramaphosa, the next President of South Africa, was the man
behind the entry of international fast food behemoth McDonalds into
the country, earning him the sobriquet “The Big Mac”.
Zimbabwe’s new President Mnangagwa bears the nickname “The Crocodile”
from his days as head of Robert Mugabe’s secret police for, like his
namesake, coming out of nowhere to suddenly snatch his victims, never
to be seen again.
“The Big Mac” Ramaphosa’s career is quite extraordinary, even by South
African standards, rising from one of the founders of the miners union
and Capo in the ANC to one of the richest men in the country in a
little more than a decade, marking him as a master of the under the
table payoff in a country infamous for its levels of corruption.
To prove his loyalty to his international bankster masters, ”The Big
Mac” Ramaphosa urged the police to do their best to wipe out the
rebels in the Marakana platinum mine strike, at the very least making
a none to subtle “recommendation” to kill the bastards if need be
without fear of retribution. What better way to show the banksters
behind the scenes that he deserves the Presidents job, especially
after he was the favorite and found himself thwarted when Thabo Mbeki
was the “Banksters Choice” back in 1999.
In Zimbabwe, the “The Crocodile”s “civilian” career started with the
onset of the negotiated settlement that brought his party headed by
Robert Mugabe to power in Zimbabwe in 1980. When the Ndabele ethnic
minority represented by the anti-colonial armed forces of the Zimbabwe
African Peoples Union and its commander Joshua N’Komo rose up against
the new Shona majority ethnic based Zimbabwe African National Union
government that Mugabe headed and with western support to the tune of
over $20 billion IMF$’s, went on to was suppress the rebellion in a
mass murder spree of some twenty thousand or more. The Crocodile,
alongside some of the top generals in todays Zimbabwe’s military, cold
bloodily inflicted murder and mayhem against his one time “comrades in
arms” versus the racist colonial settler apartheid regime of Rhodesia.
And in the process laying waste to swaths of Matabeleland leaving mass
graves scattered hither and yon.
Once “the Ndabele problem” was dealt with “The Crocodile” turned to
anyone unwise enough to cross him or threaten his boss, Mugabe. This
most deadly of reptiles spread terror across the countryside as his
masked murderers snatched their victims, sometimes in the broad light
of day, never to be seen or heard from again.
Noted for his personal loyalty to Mugabe, or at least his willingness
to do his dirty work, “The Crocodile”, like his namesake, turned
against his erstwhile master and via a military coup followed by his
internationally blessed coronation a few days later, is now sitting in
the drivers seat in Zimbabwe, no longer in the back row but front and
Upon his succession to power “The Crocodile” quickly floated the idea
of compensation for the former white landowners of the apartheid
regime once known as Rhodesia for the stolen lands they exploited for
a century or more. Pay for lands stolen in the first place?
Of course the IMF and World Bank have long advocated such, and hoping
for some sort of financial lifeline in a desperately cash short
Zimbabwe the new El Supremo maybe be licking western boots for a quick
fix to his problems, even if just temporarily.
Zimbabwe is in dire straights economically and without the major
investments and aid packages from China the Mugabe regime may well
have come to crisis years ago. China sees the rich lands and minerals
that Zimbabwe offers smack in the middle of Africa and knows money it
to be made and friends earned in the worlds richest continent,
birthplace to our species, the northwest asian oligarchs of which seem
bent on continued rape and pillage in Africa to maintain the lives of
excess and waste their peoples have grown accustomed to in Europe
alongside their cousins in North America.
With “The Crocodile” as President don’t expect much real change in the
lives of ordinary Zimbabweans, maybe some serious moves towards a neo
liberal western agenda, but with the economy being so strapped for
cash, cuts to subsidies could bring the people into the streets,
something the new regime realizes could destabilize Zimbabwe very
In the case of South Africa’s soon to be anointed President Cyril
Ramaphosa, elected head of the ANC and not needing to actually stand
directly for national elected office ( something quite strange in the
ANC instituted constitution of the country), his opening statements to
the international media are a mix of desperation and pleadings for
support. With the exhaustion to South Africa’s gold reserves and the
declining production of its platinum mines the country needs another
fix, a temporary refuge from fiscal bankruptcy and with the inevitable
kneeling to the IMF et al, the banksters will have their day and blood
could flow in the streets if the people explode against the
impoverishment and suffering inflicted on their lives by their
erstwhile liberators lead by Cyril “The Big Mac” Ramaphosa.
>From union leader to bloodsucking capitalist lackey, South Africa’s
new President has little choice in what he must do to maintain his new
regime, especially since his ANC victory was so narrow. Without the
support of international capital South Africa’s economy will quickly
wither and die on the vine, and whats left of a tribally fragmented
country could easily go up in flames.
Cold, sick, hungry and illiterate, the South African people are living
in what should be called a “Failed State” with a majority of the
people living such a precarious life that they have little left to
lose. As rebel musician Robert Nesta Marley sang, “A hungry man is an
angry man, a hungry mob is an angry mob…” a mantra all to familiar to
the inhabitants of the South African ghettos, some of the meanest and
most violent places on the planet.
How long before “The Big Mac” President has to tighten the screws even
further on his former comrades deep in the bowels of the earth
blasting out platinum in money losing mines is a good question. Don’t
expect any mercy for rebellious miners under “The BIg Mac” Ramamphosa
if his support for the Marakana Massacre is any guide towards what is
(*) Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist in Eritrea, living and
reporting from here since 2006. See thomascmountan at Facebook or best
reach him at thomascmountain at g mail dot com