President Cyril Ramaphosa, centre, receiving a courtesy call from Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund. Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago, his deputy, Daniel Mminele, and Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane.  GCIS African News Agency
International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde was in South Africa this week to meet Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Yet the people of this country and their so-called leftist organisations, like the newly formed Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP) led by Irvin Jim, see nothing wrong with the visit.

In countries where there are true socialist political parties, there would be massive demonstrations against Lagarde’s visit.

There are no socialist parties in South Africa. They are all quacks and impostors. That is why this country is in big trouble.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga thinks Jim’s SRWP is socialist. That’s a pipe dream. It is because of analysts such as Mathekga, their shallow analyses of our situation and the wrong and misleading information they present to the public that South Africa is in big trouble. The less said about the media the better. It’s worse.

The media shapes culture. There is little wonder therefore that most South Africans are ignorant and naive.

If you listen to radio and watch TV, you'll notice that there won’t be any critical commentary of the IMF chief’s visit because your presenters are themselves ignorant of the shameful role the IMF and World Bank played, not only on the continent but throughout the developing world.

It was not for nothing that a former Tanzanian president referred to the IMF as the International Ministry of Finance. It and the World Bank meddle in the economic and political affairs of many countries and dictate which development models they should adopt.

If your country receives visitors from the IMF and World Bank, then you must know you are in big trouble. They are robbers and pick our pockets.

Lagarde was in town because the ANC government killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. Is it not interesting that the ANC government is a hanger-on and riding on the coat-tails of the IMF and World Bank when Muammar Gaddafi had done away with that dependency?

The assassinated former Libyan leader funded many African countries and reduced their dependence on the West and their financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, which have a bad reputation in the developing world through their loans with strings attached. The ANC government is firmly in the grip of the notorious Bretton Woods institutions.

If you are a democratic country, then you must demand transparency and accountability from Kganyago and Ramaphosa. How do you achieve that? Representatives from opposition political parties, progressive social movements and civil society organisations should have been represented in meetings between Lagarde and Kganyago, and between Lagarde and Ramaphosa. Affairs of the state cannot be run in secrecy.

No borrowing of money from the IMF or World Bank. No privatisation of state-owned enterprises. No agreement on trade liberalisation. No agreement by the Reserve Bank to devalue the rand. In fact, no agreement on anything.

If the IMF and World Bank enter into secret agreements with the government and offer loans, they must know that they are not binding on governments that will take over from the ANC government. Why would a country, such as South Africa which is endowed with mineral and other natural resources, go with a begging bowl to rapacious financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank?

The ANC under Nelson Mandela agreed in secret to pay an odious apartheid government debt which placed a heavy burden on poor Africans to this day. Such shady deals must not be allowed anymore. The ANC government must be enjoined to play open cards.

We must insist on our right to self-determination. Entangling the country in an inextricable debt trap is not the way to go.