No regrets about ANC T-shirt burning

Shamin ‘Chippy’ Shaik. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Shamin ‘Chippy’ Shaik. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Published Jun 24, 2024


Durban — Not even his mother or brother could have talked Shamin “Chippy” Shaik out of burning his ANC T-shirt, which effectively ended his 40-year relationship with the party.

For him, it was a decision embedded deeply in his religious convictions.

A TikTok video titled “A promise is a promise”, which has gone viral, was Shaik’s public display of discontent with the ANC making the DA bedfellows in the government of national unity (GNU) that came about after last month’s elections.

Shaik’s brother Moe, also a long-standing member of the ANC, released a public statement disassociating himself from his younger sibling’s stance and pledged his allegiance to the party and saluted its post-elections position.

“Long live the ANC! Forward with the GNU! Forward!” said Moe, South Africa’s former intelligence boss and high commissioner to Canada.

Shaik said: “Are we still brothers, yes, but is he (Moe) before God? No.

“I'm more worried about what God will think about my actions than what my own mother and brother think or the ANC’s policy.

“My Muslim religious beliefs teach me not to support the killing of innocent people, and to stand up when someone tries to suppress me from upholding your religious practices.”

Shaik was referring to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict over Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which has left many dead.

He said Israel was an apartheid state with laws worse than the old South Africa.

“The DA has gone public, repeatedly stating that it supports Israel.”

He found it incredulous that the ANC, having previously fought against apartheid, had teamed up with the DA.

He said the massacres in Gaza were an international issue and it was not about being pro or anti-Jews, it was an issue of humanity.

Shaik, a former chief of acquisition with the South African National Defence Force during the time of the infamous 1999 arms deal, previously testified at the Arms Procurement Commission and said he had done nothing wrong.

His other brother Schabir, former president Jacob Zuma’s financial adviser, was convicted of fraud and corruption in 2005 over his dealings with Thales, a French arms company.

The Shaik brothers, Chippy, Schabir, Yunus and Moe, en route to a previous appearance at the Durban High Court. Picture: Shayne Robinson/SAPA

Shaik said he was not opposed to the GNU as that would be undemocratic.

“That no political party was given a majority after the elections was a good thing and the GNU is a wonderful opportunity.”

However, Shaik used the analogy of a car and its driver to suggest that a pot-holed and perilous path lay ahead for the GNU arrangement.

“All the parties get to drive the car and nobody is the outright owner. That is good and we all must learn how to drive the car.”

Shaik is at odds with the selection of the people who get to drive the car, the DA in particular and its standpoint on a range of ideological issues, which was contrary to the ANC’s view.

“I’m not against the NGU, it’s a good thing. It’s just that here you literally have two sets of people with fundamentally different ideological positions driving the same car.”

Shaik said after hundreds of years of colonisation the French handed back North Africa to its people with strings attached, Britain did the same here in the 1960s and so to the apartheid government in the early 1990s with the agreed “sunset clause”.

“What are the strings attached here?” asked Shaik.

He believed it would have been better if the ANC had called a conference with its hundreds of members and discussed this important decision, instead of discussing such a giant step with a small group of people outside the party.

“The voters did not say they want the DA. In fact, it was other black political parties that captured votes from the ANC.

“We must give some credence to the voters. They know what they want. Why did the ANC not go to the left, more towards those pro-nationalisation and expropriation?”

Chippy Shaik arriving at the ANC NGC held previously at the Durban Exhibition Centre. Picture: Jacques Naude Independent Newspapers

He accused the ANC of abandoning the voters.

“The ANC voters are not rich white or black corporate executives, they are poor masses living in shanty towns.”

When responding to the media, ANC spokesperson in KZN, Mafika Mndebele, labelled Shaik an “anarchist” and that the ANC would not worry when people of his ilk left the party.

Shaik's response was that Mndebele didn’t understand the rhetoric he uttered.

“An anarchist is someone who is anti-establishment, wanting to violently overthrow a government.

“I was an anarchist as an ANC member in the Struggle. That's why I went to jail. Now I am a law-abiding citizen.

“It's healthy to hold different views in a democracy. I’m not saying what the DA says is incorrect. The issue is whether I share those views.”

Sunday Tribune