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Friday, May 27, 2022

Who Are These Friends of The President Running The Brenthurst Foundation?

Feature Politics Who Are These Friends of The President Running The Brenthurst Foundation?

By Fred M’membe

The Brenthurst Foundation is a Johannesburg-based organisation established by the Oppenheimer family, the founders of Anglo American Plc, in 2004. Anglo-American was a central pillar of apartheid. The company grew rich buying the holdings of foreign multinationals that were reducing their exposure in apartheid South Africa.

According to Anglo’s chairman, Gavin W. H. Relly, the company was playing a “stabilizing” role in the wake of multinational corporate disinvestment. Anglo-American’s character is a reflection of the designs of South Africa’s Oppenheimer family. Sir Ernest Oppenheimer took over the mining enterprise from late 19th century English mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes. He built a diversified company out of initial investments in diamonds and other gems, which he passed on to his son, Harry Frederick Oppenheimer. When Anglo-American was set up in 1917, half of the initial capital supplied came from United States investors, with the condition that Oppenheimer’s first choice for the company’s moniker, “African-American,” be changed to Anglo-American, because “African-American would suggest on this side our dark-skinned fellow countrymen and possibly result in ridicule,” a cable from the U.S. investors stated. The company in 1929 bought De Beers from successors of Cecil Rhodes.

Through Anglo, the Oppenheimers came to own shares in most of South Africa’s mining houses. In fact, the houses had cross-holdings with each other, making the block of capital quite formidable. But the extent of Oppenheimer wealth and power did not stop there. They were owners of the nation’s largest steel works, travel agency, brick factory, discount house, auto dealership and computer software firm. The Oppenheimers were not afraid to employ their power to get what they wanted. On the issue of apartheid they had ostensibly taken a reformist position and had crafted an image for themselves as defenders of the rights of black workers by supporting abolition of the pass laws and the Group Areas Act, the cornerstones of the apartheid political structure.

President Hakainde Hichilema at the Book Launch in South Africa being welcomed by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo

But on questions of economic justice, such as the price of black labour, sharp contradictions emerged. Anglo-American had an anti-labour history that involved the use of the repressive services of the apartheid security apparatus, as well as its own security personnel, to control and exploit workers. Being the world’s largest private employer of black labour and the world’s largest producer of gold and diamonds meant Anglo was also one of the world’s biggest exploiters of cheap black mine labour.

Nonetheless, the company clearly had a very big financial stake in the economic realities of apartheid.

As one U.S. magazine noted, Anglo’s “entire structure rests on cheap labour and apartheid’s migrant labour system. Like the other South African mining concerns, it paid wages that were among the world’s lowest and its black employees earned a quarter of what whites were paid. And while white miners were given heavily subsidised modern homes, utilities and schools, blacks were crowded into stark compounds that resembled prison camps.”

Anglo-American was viewed as the “flip side of the same coin,” one of the many wheels that greased the apartheid machinery through tax payments and growing productive industrial, mining and financial power. “The firm’s long record of backing apartheid laws that suited its purposes but remaining silent about those that did not and repeatedly bludgeoning unionists into submission” as one news account put it, made Anglo-American’s reformist posture seem ever more specious.

While Anglo had not always rubbed apartheid officialdom the right way, both the company and the white-minority regime were aware that they were on common ground in preventing a change of state power to a black majority committed to reducing the gap between the few wealthy, and always white, property owners and the majority of workers who have nothing.

Briefly, these are the friends, sponsors of our rulers.

Greg Mills launching his book titled EXPENSIVE POVERTY, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Greg Mills launching his book titled EXPENSIVE POVERTY, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

48 COMMENTS

  1. I said it!!!!!!!!! HH sold our mines during Chiluba’s time and now you trusted him with the whole country. I hope you know what you did as Zambians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You gave him the power to sale the whole country now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cry Zambia my believed country!!!! Cry!!!!!

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  2. We installed our first president in 1964. He faced a lot of challenges because colonialism didn’t want to leave us alone. After many tries colonialism finally succeeded in 1991 and has since been reclaiming ” their” mines. The colonials love DRC because there it’s free for all. They don’t like Zambia because of restrictions on their movements… but slowly they will get what ” belongs” to them.

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  3. Deja Vu The colonialists love the entire West Africa. France still charges its ex-colonies money to compensate for loss of colonies. Haiti was also fined for becoming independent. And someone says whites came to civilise us! Really??

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  4. He went for a book launch.
    Really!
    Maybe he went for business negotiations with very renowned business mogul of Oppenheimer standards.
    Every which way, HH is our president for five years. We better get used to him, the sooner the better: in speech, deeds and behaviour.

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  5. The UPND administration lacks statesmanship.

    Why Political parties like to tie GRZ hands?

    UPND Administration needs to work hand and hand with GRZ, One copy of any dealings goes to GRZ For accountability And safekeeping.

  6. Zambians can be foolish, they forgot that Mmembe and Nchito bought (stole) Zambian Airways during privatization.
    Mmembe, Imagine for a second, The Post Newspaper sold to HH and Oppenheimer ? Imagine how big your company could have grown.

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  7. The UPND administration be in need of statesmanship.

    Why Political parties like to tie GRZ hands?

    UPND Administration needs to work hand and hand with GRZ, One copy of any dealings goes to GRZ For accountability And safekeeping.

  8. Why Political parties like to tie GRZ hands?

    UPND Administration needs to work hand and hand with GRZ, One copy of any dealings goes to GRZ For accountability And safekeeping.

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  9. Thank you Dr. M’membe for exposing the blue-eyed boy of the Oppenheimer family who is hell-bent on mortgaging Zambia’s mineral wealth to Anglo. Simply put, Bally is a lap-dog of imperialists white South Africans who exploit cheap African labour. Even if Anglo-America comes back to Zambia the jobs they will create for our many youthful Bally worshippers will be ones that only enable them to reproduce the class of poor workers who will be alienated from the fruits of their own labour. The jobs will not be ones that enable them to eventually become the owners of the means of production. It would probably require a Marxist proletarian revolution where they cast aside their chains and become the new owners or where a new regime alternatively assumes control over the means of production. We…

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  10. … are in a fix with Bally at the helm. He does not mean well for this country. His trip looks to be one about cutting deals with the Oppenheimer family and Anglo over control of Zambia’s mineral wealth whilst ensuring for himself that kick-backs are safely deposited in his off-shore accounts. How he enriched himself from the Zambian privatization process and ensured that he covered-his tracks by investing much of his loot in off-shore accounts is there for all and sundry to behold. The more reason why his corruption fight is nothing but a political fight to weaken any threat the immediate former government may present to his further hold on power in order to ensure that Anglo returns to Zambia and controls our economy without any resistance from within.

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  11. And this is pure theft and corruption….HH should be impeached…people should now mobilize and start protests in the streets…they. I told you HH is a demagogue…this man is using government resources for his own personal business..
    He should be removed from office ASAP

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  12. This is abuse of office and Zambians should start protests….this is unacceptable. Kaunda warned Zambians…HH is just doing business using government resources period..so all his foreign trips are just personal…

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  13. Hakainde is a pathological liar!! The earlier we get rid of him the better! Cry mother Zambia. And Laura Miti will Defend Hakainde on this trip. Very useless, as useless as Hakainde!!!

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  14. IF THE PRESIDENT WAS TRYING TO HIDE HIS TALK AT THE BOOK LAUNCH HE WOULD’VE MADE SURE THAT THE EVENT WAS NOT MADE PUBLIC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! USE YOUR BRAINS FOR ONCE PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!

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  15. Mmembe as usual with his half-baked leftist analysis. Stop making up stuff.. The company is called Anglo-American because initial capital was source from British and American institutions. It is the same Anglo-American that built your Copperbelt province complete with mine townships for African workers. In South Africa they could not build the townships because Apartheid laws stopped them from doing so instead all workers were treated as guest workers who could only be accommodated in hostels. You nationalized AAC copper mines in Zambia in 1969. From there it was a downward slope. Copper production plummeted from 750 000 tonnes to 220 000 tonnes in 1990. The cleverer Batswana just opted for 50/50 and they have been smiling ever since. Mmembe’s complaint has no direction, it’s just…

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  16. I like Fred Mmembe,he just doesn’t talk but comes up with facts.please UPND praise singers times have changed your Bally won’t hide for a long time

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  17. @Garlic 11 you are right BMW cares more about his businesses than the country. by the end of his 5 year term he will be swimming in unprecedented wealth. the reason he hasn’t declared his net worth so that we don’t question him on the exit net worth. Anglo-America is knocking on our door for acquiring one of the copper mines since copper is now trending as the most sought after mineral for use in electric cars. NIPANO TULI!!!!

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  18. Every man on earth answers to someone. I happen to only answer to the most high, God. Whilst it is clear hh answers to the whlte man.

    Our late father Robert mugabe must be turning in his grave. I would rather have julius malema as Zambian president that have a sellout like hh

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  19. Fred can say whatever he wants the reality is when Anglo America owned the copper mines through the many companies Zambia was much better, clean towns schools hospitals. So the claim that we were just explored is a false narrative. Zambians took over and the reality is we F…ked up everything
    Look at Zimbabwe today.
    Give credit we’re it’s due

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  20. Let the views on the left (critic mourners) bring solid facts than waffling around without any iota of truth. Zambians voted for new leadership, new style of governance in a new world order. The world is ever changing so those who do not change with the new order of state affairs will be left behind. To come up with claims of reparations from slavery that affected part of Zambia is a lost cause of non starter. Lets move on, the president is doing a great job making Zambia relevant in the region and the world at large.

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  21. WHAT A BUNCH OF SHORT SIGHTED IGNORANT BLOGGERS ON HERE
    BLAH BLAHING WITH NO FOUNDATION AT ALL
    57 YEARS YEARS AND STILL CANT GET COHESION AMONGST OURSELVES
    ALL WITH ANSWERS AND NO SOLUTIONS

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  22. You had your friends when you were running the post and even tried to buy some weak Presidents, us Zambians are least concerned with who the friends of the President are, just as we are not concerned of who Fred Mmembes friends are. As long as UPND is doing the job we are asking them to do, we are okay, and so far UPND is on course

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  23. Was it the Oppenheimers who destroyed the Zambian economy through corruption, nepotism, mismanagement and racketeering?. It is not possible to positively change things through scape goating. Zambians need to take resposnibility and to do everything possible to create employment for the millions of jobless youths and to ensure that people lead a decent life.

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  24. HH, please go again next week, these opposition chaps who performed very dismally in the last elections are just cry babies. Hamdudu who performed well and even produced an MP is busy organizing his party and has made sure he is not part of these cry babies, but these bad loosers who did not even produce a councilor and were even defeated by rejected ballots are always mumbling over something all the time. we are interested in bread and butter issues and not where the President has gone, who he has gone to meet, yes he is using tax payers money but we know how responsible this President is compared to the fallen hero, so stop destracting him with petty issues

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  25. Fred has always disliked HH. What type of friends did Lungu have and why didn’t Fred ever talk? As long as there is no corrupt deals going on you can have whichever friends you wish. There is no law that restricts one. When you compare to Lungu you will notice that these friends did take advantage of public resources. What’s the issue here? Can Fred provide a list of those that bankrolled PF. At the end of the day, HH means we’ll for Zambia which ever way you at it. Suggest Fred focuses on suing Lungu for the Post Newspaper.

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  26. @Achimota
    No wonder we are one of the poorest countries in the world despite having all the natural resources/wealth etc….with people like you…very unpatriotic….you just hated Lungu for no apparent reason and you ready to defend your small god demagogue President HH even if you know he’s stealing and being corrupt….you’re all useless…thank God I don’t pay taxes in Zambia

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  27. I honestly don’t know why you choose to moderate posts that, to a reasonable person, do not need moderating. You seem to come hard on posts that poke holes in the contributors’ articles. You seem uncomfortable with analytical minds. I have seen posts from certain contributors that are full of insults and cadre name calling but they are never moderated. Do the needful and inform people that you’re a private club and do not entertain contributions from non-members. Bye. Never coming back here. It is not worth it.

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  28. @Kaizar Zulu, you are a looter & thief who stole money belonging to the people of Zambia under PF, so stop invoking God.

    HH is not a commoner like Fred Mmembe. He worked for his wealth in an honest way, that’s why ka Eddie Lungu, that pathetic criminal failed to nail him on anything.

    HH belongs to the few aristocracy class, he has clean wealth & he doesn’t need to explain himself to do what he wants to do & who he wants to associate himself with.

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  29. What really is common between our President and Old Obasanjo? Is this not the same old man who recently married young girl? Just asking!

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  30. @Engineer. Thou has two eyes but chooses to use only one. You see Anglo American in Zambia but not who brought them. When Anglo American was in Zambia we were not in power. It was Britain in charge. So you are actually saying it was better to be ruled by Britain than by freedom fighters.

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  31. Freedom fighters ?? WHAT ??
    everything has been handed to us on a plate
    the only fight known is how to loot from the innocent and hard working

  32. What the ‘educated’ Fred Mmembe has left out is that Anglo-American built the cities of Kitwe and Chingola as they have never been since. The Oppeinheimer family with Beit funded the Chirundu, Kafue, Luangwa (the one the Portuguese blew up) bridges and a football field called Beit ‘Stadium’ in Chipata. The forerunner of the University of Zambia was founded and funded by these families. As for Rhodes, love him or hate him, his money has continued to help Africa’s in general and Zambia’s in particular, brightest children to study at Oxford and Cambridge through the Rhodes scholarship. Anglo-American scholarships enabled hundreds of Zambians to study both at home (UNZA, ZIT, Nortech) and abroad in UK for jobs in the mining industry.

    Now, tell me which rich munthu has done this?

  33. @ The Saint you are so superficial. Go and read the original Rhodes scholarship and see who it was meant for. Certainly not black natives.. What is education? Certainly not what you have got because it has just brainwashed you like most of us Africans. Checko out Floyd Tshibambu a South African politician on this.
    Anglo American did not build any city for black people. They built settlemnets for white people Blacks were brought in to help the whiteman make a comfortable living. Do you know you had to have a pass to be in town? .. The bridges you have cited were neccessities in the white man’s quest for our resources. They were not built so that the Tonga could move and visit the Ngoni or the Bemba man can go and shake hands with a Luvale man. Blacks united by the infra-structure did…

  34. CONT’D
    …. They were not built so that the Tonga could move and visit the Ngoni or the Bemba man can go and shake hands with a Luvale man. Blacks united by the infra-structure did so by accident not because it was designed. Rhodes’ money was stolen from Africans. He stole these resources paying no taxes or royalties. Many rich muntus have doe even better. Check out Oprah Winfrey, Isaac Hayes even Dangote.

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