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Hassen Lorgat

Maimane was not happy at being the servant in the Democratic Alliance (DA) as he  wanted to be his own Bozza. Unfortunately, I fear that he is failing to cross the threshold of being his own boss, because his recent pronouncements will keep him a slave to imperialism.

His most recent article in the Daily Maverick confirms that he does not seek independence nor non-alignment in the spirit of the Bandung Conference but prefers subservience to the masters of globalised capitalism.

The BOSA (Build One South Africa) leader cries about our loss through AGOA if we argue or differ with the USA.

Interestingly in a response to him by a Daily Maverick reader, Greeff Kotzé  wrote  that AGOA is a bilateral arrangement and involves a give and take. “One of the reasons for its existence is as a sweetener to other deals that give lower/no tariffs to US producers and exporters in the SA market (for example, the >70 tonne frozen bone-in chicken ‘dumping’ quota that the US holds), and to secure our strategic minerals for US import”.

The reader also pointed out if South Africa lost AGOA it would lead to “a GDP decline of just 0.06%. This unexpectedly small effect is a result of two factors—the nominally higher tariffs on South Africa’s exports to the U.S. and the composition of South Africa’s export basket”.

Maimane should have saved us his long diatribe that argues for submission to USA power and dominance. His ideological bosses, the Brenthurst argued in February 2024 more forthrightly thus:

“We are dependent on the world in ways that few other countries are. Advanced economies in “the West” consume our manufacturing exports such as cars and agricultural produce while we are exporters of resources to China and others. Our ledger is somewhat skewed by our outsized imports from China, which is worrisome”.

These arguments by Brenthurst/ Maimane ignore the centuries-old colonial and apartheid patterns of export to Britain and  Western powers but on its merits the argument is racist and Sinophobic. Let me be bold to say, we must not become slaves to anyone, China, the US, EU or whichever power block.

Talking of raw materials exports, the World Bank’s 2019 analysis of South Africa Raw materials Exports by country and region in US$ Thousand 2019 does indeed confirm that it goes to the then most populous nation in the world, followed by Europe and other Asian countries. The differences are not that great

Europe and central Asia (second) and South Asia (third). If second and third ranking countries are added together it totals more than exports to China. But this argument of exporting raw materials is all wrong. It appears to be a new complaint by this block manufactured against China as they were silent when this form of extractivism was exported to the former colonial master Britain or the USA.

The Brenthurst Foundations founding fathers or funders, the Oppenheimers traded in our diamonds skirting the world’s greatest nasties, as any cursory research will show.  (

What the BOSA leader and his ideological mentors in the  Brenthurst Foundation do not discuss is whether we should be selling enormous amounts of our  raw materials including the so-called Critical Raw Materials to the USA, Europe, China etc in the first place.

In addition, they do not even begin to consider whether the country should explore another developmental path away from colonial and apartheid paradigms which will ensure that we develop our country.  Some developmental economists and activists have argued that we need to develop industries here at home and YES, even countries like Iran that have undergone trade sanctions and other economic pressures can teach us how to build local industries under difficult situations.

It seems BOSA/Brenthurst Foundation only argue for a foreign policy that is pro-South African and committed to human rights and democracy – in the polity but  not in the economy.

Have you ever heard them talk of  participatory democratic economies where trade unions and worker rights are affirmed?  Where is the ubuntu in the economy?

We cannot be slaves to neoliberal capitalism – whether by BRICS or the neoliberalism of the USA and its allies. Having said that, we must assert that South Africa has the right to work or ally with whom-so-ever it wants on the basis of the needs of the country, our subregion, and the African continent.

BOSA’s manifesto talks about dignity and ubuntu thus: We recognise the dignity of every citizen and strive to maintain and restore the dignity of every South African with every action we take, with every programme and policy we establish”. 

Unfortunately for Maimane Ubuntu is a ready-made gift and not something that we fought for and later  Ubuntu entered our law through a process of struggle. In the 1993 Interim Constitution called on us to  ¨transcend the divisions and strife of the past, which generated gross violations of human rights, the transgression of humanitarian principles in violent conflicts and a legacy of hatred, fear, guilt and revenge¨.

Furthermore, that constitution reminded us that we have the power not for vengeance nor retaliation but for reparations, which must include all those who profited from apartheid’s racial capitalism.  A slavish commitment to Britain and the US will result in a more or less efficient subservience.

Unless Maimane believes like his former boss, Helen Zille that colonialism had many benefits and development for South Africa.

Hassen Lorgat




Hassen Lorgat