Mcebisi Jonas: The man who said ‘No’ to the Gupta family

By Nicholas Norbrook
Posted on Monday, 7 October 2019 17:28

It has been quite a journey for Jonas.

From front-line organizer in the Umkhonto we Sizwe (spear of the nation) liberation force to the chairmanship of Africa’s biggest telecoms company, Mcebisi Jonas has played a leading role in the changing South Africa.

In 2015 Mcebisi Jonas shocked the nation, claiming he had been offered the post of Finance Minister in return for doing the bidding of the Gupta brothers.

  • The  role of the Gupta family in ‘state capture’ is currently being dissected by the Zondo Commission.

Now Jonas is calling for a radical new economic direction, with the restructuring of the Eskom power company at the centre: the private sector must play a role as co-investor in this critical utility and the money saved from the state treasury must go towards high quality public education and health services.

Jonas’s new book “After Dawn” has been lauded, not least by President Cyril Ramaphosa who said it was a guide to making “the difficult trade-offs to reach our dream…. We have a long history in South Africa of making tough choices in precarious moments.”

When Ramaphosa sets out his new economic strategy later this month, South Africans will find out whether he has taken Jonas’s advice to heart.


Understand Africa's tomorrow... today

We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.

View subscription options