'I'm absolutely convinced there's a quid pro quo deal with the Russians'

Mark Swilling talks to John Maytham about possible strong-arm tactics of Zuma by the Russian's over funds paid for local elections.

Swilling, Professor of Sustainable Development at the School of Public Leadership of Stellenbosch University, says it is plausible that money has already changed hands, possibly recorded in ways that could compromise Zuma.

Writing in The Daily Maverick, he suggests Zuma may have been threatened in some way and may fear for the safety of his family.

If this is true, Swilling asks what will be offered to the Russians to appease them? He agrees that Ramaphosa has been clear that South Africa cannot currently afford nuclear energy but wonders what will be offered instead.

What is the substitute? What will be offered to the Russians if Cyril sticks to his guns? Will it be a big stake in gas and fracking of the Karoo for example?

Mark Swilling, Professor of Sustainable Development at the School of Public Leadership of Stellenbosch University

Swilling is absolutely convinced that there is some kind of quid pro quo and the Russians are expecting something in return for something paid.

And a lot of people in the know, know that there is a lot of direct influence of Russian Intelligence, within the Presidency, and that there is a lot of confidence, up until recently, amongst Russian officials, that some kind of deal is going to go through and they are in pole position.

Mark Swilling, Professor of Sustainable Development at the School of Public Leadership of Stellenbosch University

Swilling says there is a great deal of evidence to suggest there is a deal in place.

He refers to a key meeting that took place on the side of the Mining Indaba last week between the Russian minister for natural resources and environment, and former State Security Minister David Mahlobo who Zuma appointed as Minister of Energy in October.

Take a listen:


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