A little-known ANC member and part-time lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal put Facebook users into a tailspin on Sunday evening when she took to the platform to declare that she had knowledge that the new finance minister, Malusi Gigaba, has already signed off on a new nuclear deal.
Sibusisiwe Mngadi, who lists as among her occupations being a part-time lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg and an area manager at the Msunduzi Municipality, wrote: “The Nuclear Deal deadline was last night. Guess whose signature is on the paper? The new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.” She alleges the deal will benefit President Jacob Zuma’s controversial nephew Khulubuse Zuma to the tune of R50 billion by his company being given the contract to build nuclear plants.
“Mission Nuclear done and dusted. Guess whose company is in charge of building the nuclear plants?
“Khulubuse Zuma is the SA holding company for the Nuclear plants. The next 20 yrs Khulubuse Zuma will be making more than 50billion. Congratulations, mission accomplished.”
She did not reveal what her source for this allegation was and many of her followers questioned whether she was properly informed or telling the truth.
Many pointed out that it was highly unlikely the new finance minister would have been able to sign off on such an important deal (the most expensive in South African history) after being in the job for just one day. Update: Treasury in an official statement later said that the new finance minister had signed no such documents and there were no documents ready to sign. Gigaba is yet to even occupy his office at Treasury.
Mngadi explained that she had not joined the struggle against apartheid and been jailed only for this to happen to her “beloved ANC”.
It is understood that President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family have been pushing hard for government to sign off on a trillion-rand deal with Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom.
The former finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his predecessor, Nhlanhla Nene, were in no hurry to sign off on any nuclear agreements with Russia, or anyone else. Many analysts have concluded that both were axed due primarily to their opposition to any hasty conclusion of such a deal with Russia.
When Nene was axed in favour of Des van Rooyen in 2015, there were similar allegations that Van Rooyen had hurriedly signed off on the nuclear deal (he was in office for just four days), but these rumours turned out to be baseless.
Former ANC MP and party whistleblower Vytjie Mentor repeated the allegation about the deal being signed, though it’s not clear if she sourced her allegations from Mngadi or verified them independently.
She wrote: “Gigaba signed the nuclear deal last night. It will be R6 trillion with over-runs. All South Africans are now officially slaves of the Russians, and thus will be the case for the next 100 years.”
Mngadi’s post has already been shared nearly 700 times, with it also going viral on WhatsApp and Twitter.
Mentor has thrown her weight behind a group of South Africans calling for the observance of #BlackMonday by wearing black tomorrow in support of the call for Zuma to step down.