Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

Jeremy Gordin (70) experienced editor, author and poet, recently retired but as the wonderful journalist he was was still extremely active with regular weekly columns for Politicsweb. He was brutally murdered in his home in Parkview Johannesburg in the early hours of Saturday morning. His wife was visiting with their family in Capetown. Gordin was beaten and left dead on the floor of his home. His house had been vandalised and a TV and motor car were stolen and the police are offering a reward for anyone who can lead them to the killers. Obviously they have no clue on where to start looking for the culprits.

The tributes to this well-loved man have been heart-rending and fellow journalists like David Bullard, Anne Taylor and Jacques Myburgh have been glowing and referred to him as “a writer’s writer, a journalist’s journalist and an all-round mensch”.

This past weekend the DA held their elective Conference and I’m pleased to report that at last the press gave them lots of publicity. John Steenhuisen was re-elected as Party leader but this time he had to fight off the ex-Mayor of Jo’burg, Dr Mpho Phalatse in his fight to remain Party leader.

In his acceptance speech at the close of Congress on Sunday Steenhuisen made it clear that the DA want to bring the ANC to below 50% in next year’s General Election. He believes that his Party can grow and become a valuable partner in governing the Country, probably in coalition. What he made very clear is that the DA would not talk to the EFF, whom he called Public Enemy No. One, to help form a coalition government.

He also told the gathered delegates that the ANC is a broken Party because of the weak leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa puts the ANC’s interests above the Nation’s needs–he admitted that to the Zondo Commission– and because of cadre deployment to which he is so married the country is infested with corruption and maladministration. This all because of an absence of consequence for poor and/or illegal activity. Steenhuisen told his audience he fully expects the ANC to implode before the elections in 2024.  This is Brandan’s take on the DA route:

The ANC is definitely losing support. It is in even further distress because of a scathing open letter (17 pages long) that Thabi Mbeki wrote to the Party. The tirade against Ramaphosa is unprecedented from so eminent a member of the ruling party.

The ANC leadership is to meet former president Thabo Mbeki to discuss his attack against the party and the President.

In the letter dated 29 March, addressed to deputy president Paul Mashatile, Mbeki was also scathing in his criticism of the ANC’s moves in regard to Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm scandal and Eskom.                                                             Mbeki said it was wrong for the governing party to use its majority in parliament to reject the establishment of a parliamentary multiparty ad hoc committee to probe the farm scandal and corruption at Eskom.

The ex-President said he had written to Mashatile because Ramaphosa had previously excused himself from discussing the Phala Phala matter in ANC meetings. Mbeki compared the ANC’s actions to it voting against several motions of no confidence against former president Jacob Zuma at the height of Nkandla scandal.

According to Mbeki, the ANC voted against investigations into Phala Phala because they suspected Ramaphosa did indeed do something wrong and they wanted to protect Ramaphosa “at all costs”.

The ANC leadership is to meet the former president to “discuss” all his attacks.

Oscar Pretorius, the paraplegic ace athlete now jailbird was in the news this week. He tried unsuccessfully to get parole after he was sentenced to a lengthy jail period for the murder of his then girlfriend, Riva Steenkamp.

Steenkamp’s parents objected to the application and the Judges agreed that he had not yet served the prescribed jail-time for to be released. So he will have to wait until August, 2024 before he can re-apply for parole.

Julius Malema lost his defamation appeal against a disaffected former MP who accused him of knowingly accepting stolen money from the now bust VBS bank.

Business Day pointed out that his decision not to challenge similar media reports was telling!

Many in this country are waiting for his day to come.

The story of Thabo Bester gets more and more interesting as the days go by. Not only did he apparently plant a dead body, which he then set alight in his cell creating the impression that he had burnt himself to death, but it now appears that he was running a highly successful business from inside his jail cell and paid the warders of the jail R5 million to help him to walk out of jail almost a year ago and keep dead quiet it.

The police have located a home where he hid-out for some months: it is in Hyde Park, within walking distance of Ramaphosa’s home in Johannesburg.

Nobody knows where he is now, although a month ago he was photographed shopping in Woolworths in a Johannesburg Mall. There are leads that show that he is currently in Zimbabwe. There is nobody like Zapiro who can join the dots. Have a good read of his cartoon in Daily Maverick from early this week to help you understand this matter:

In a lead article in Financial Mail, Justice Malala writes about the clean, friendly, on-time airline FlySafair, which he has used so very often these past weeks. The point of his article is that notwithstanding the direct instruction from Judge Zondo at the State Capture inquiry, not one of the fingered cadres who so plundered SAA’s assets have been arrested or even brought in by the police for questioning. Where is the NPA? What does one still have to do to get them to act?

Some good news. Four people have been arrested and charged with fraud and corruption at Mapumalaga power stations. It is alleged they they syphoned off almost R5 million illegally. They were given stiff bail conditions in the Witbank court on Friday.

Then a member of the Mapumalanga Provincial legislature (MPL) and one of his colleagues were arrested on charges of fraud amounting to more than R34 million last week.

Despite what I said above, at last the NPA is showing some teeth.

I wish I could put that thought into every single newsletter that I write.

On Saturday afternoon police opened fire on five drug dealers in Morningside, Durban and all 5 were killed. I’m not sure whether this is good news or not. But what is really bad news is that mass-shootings here have almost doubled in the last three years. Policing is so erratic that it is hardly surprising. 

On April 1 another top SA delegation visited Russia and the next day SA banned any arms sales to Poland.  SA is afraid that these weapons may be used against Russia in the Ukraine war. So again SA has come out on the side of Putin’s Russia and anti-West. It just goes on and on “ because Russia supported the ANC cadres to help bring down Apartheid”. That was 30 years ago and long before Putin.

This attitude of the Government is simply stupid because we do 50 times more trade with the West than with Russia and how long are they, the West going to be quiet about our on-going flirtation with the Russians?

Our Finance Minister has come in for flack because this week he passed a bill to protect Eskom from reports about fruitless and irregular expenditure.  Experts believe this has a lot to do with the pressure put on the Fiscus caused by the on-going load-shedding, but there are some strong moves in opposition to his action, no matter how good a reason is given. Then suddenly yesterday the pressure mounted to such an extent that the Minister withdrew his idea. Good.

But bad is the warning issued last night that Eskom’s load-shedding is likely to get worse than it is now and there doesn’t seem to be any hope of improvement until next year this time.

Oh, dear!

Our interest rates went up another 50 basis points this week when only a hike of 25 points was expected. The economy is slowing down and even before that interest rate hike new motor sales were down for last quarter. The economy is struggling. Are we on the way to complete State failure?

The 3 Ms are here with us from London for two weeks and the little guy, like his father, is mad about football. So to watch the big Premiership games this weekend I had Michael and Max on the couch. They make a good substitute for the coach who is with his family in Sydney. Watford lost, Man U lost and Spurs drew.

The cricket was good and the rugby was better. The Proteas beat The Netherlands and now qualify for the World Cup in the ODI format to be contested later this year. The Stormers played brilliantly to win against the highly rated Harlequins. As always,                                                                                    


Because the 3Ms are with us and because we are off to do a safari with them next week, there will be no newsletter next Thursday.


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3 thoughts on “The Week That Was”
  1. Putin was photographed in a terrorist camp in 1974 tanzania with the chrocodile( current president of zimbabwe), so his association with Zanu PF and ANC goes back many years

    1. Quite a lot of doubt about that photo? Not sure what to believe?

      1. What we do know is that the ‘gangsters’ seem to be getting greedier by the day. When will it end?

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