Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

It probably won’t surprise too many to learn that the President was exonerated by the acting public protector (PP) –she who needs the approval of the President to appoint her permanently–on allegations of benefitting from the Phala Phala farm scandal.

Her reasoning was far from convincing according to Paul Hoffman SC and several other legal experts and her ruling in terms of the parliamentary ethics rules leaves him a long way off being acquitted by a court of law. So there is still, in fact, a  possibility that she may decide to prosecute. There is indeed a far stronger possibility of a private prosecution and several political parties have indicated their displeasure with the ruling while indicating that the matter will not rest here.

So, watch this space. This is Brandan’s view of this story from Tuesday’s Business Day

Much has been written in the last few days about the weakness of the President. Paul Hoffman writes that unless Ramaphosa takes decisive action to terminate cadre deployment and all that is attached to the ANC’s policy known as the National Democratic Revolution (NDR)–which so enboldened corruption — he will go down as the weakest President in the history of SA since 1910.

AGOA, the US agreement that allows certain African States to benefit from being able to export tax-free into America, is coming up for revue. It is not at all certain that SA, with its pro-Russian stance will again qualify for these substantial benefits. This could quite easily be a final nail in the coffin of the Ramaposha presidency.  And if so what  then……..Mashatile? Oh, dear.

The ANCYL (Youth League) held its first Congress in 8 years in Cape Town. It got far too much publicity. Why the press still spends so much time and space on what has been up to now an almost dead organisation irritates me. One of the reasons could be that they are being financially rewarded and there is speculation that some of the young who “want to be cadres” were paid to vote for certain delegates. 

That wouldn’t surprise me; after all it was an ANC event.

One of the most interesting results of the Youth Congress was how the Zuma-rites were rejected. Even the proposal of Zuma’s daughter (youngest daughter of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma) as treasurer-general failed miserably and an attempt by some supporters to disrupt proceedings by singing “Wenezi uZuma” was rejected. 

The new committee warned that youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb that must be addressed and stressed that young people must begin to feature in national politics. Our present Parliament really does remind one of an old-age home.

The Mail & Guardian points out that neither the DA youth nor the DA  student’s alliance command the support that they once did. Apathy among young voters is endemic is this publication’s sad opinion.

I was also fascinated by the new leader of the Youth League attacking Julius Malema and saying he was turfed out of the organisation for starting his own cult.


Then Tom Eaton in his column in Business Day tells us that most of the Youth league are in their 40s and 50s, while he scoff’s the new leader’s slogan “ Economic Freedom or Death”. Mind you he was not the only journalist to mock that   war cry.

Justice Malala writing in the Financial Mail makes the point that we can no longer think of SA’s problems as isolated from each other. The Eskom problem, the water problem,(Johannesburg will be without water for 44 hours next week) the education problem, the logistics problem, the policing problem, the municipal degeneration problem, the basic services problem, the Transnet problem and harbours problem (in 5 years there has been a 97.5% drop in rail usage) and the corruption problem —are all part of the disastrous ANC legacy while they have been at the helm of our country’s administration. And the well-intentioned Cyril Ramaphosa has been simply far too weak to make any difference. Malala says it is going to take years and years to halt the rot–but that it can be done.

John Steenhuisen, leader of the DA is putting together a “Moonshot” of opposition political parties in his endeavour to unseat the ANC at next year’s election. Already he has gathered 6 parties to meet and work with the DA on a scheme where they can work together without losing their particular individuality. The first Moonshot meeting is scheduled for August.

I must agree that I don’t believe any single Party could manage a majority vote in next year’s election.

With our splintered opposition and the poorly functioning ANC Carlos from News24 was on point with the score of this telling cartoon of the political game currently being played in our country.

Freedom of the press got a wonderful fillip on Monday when Judge Roland Sutherland slated the Moti Group for their secret ex parte (one sided) court application to keep the journalist group amaBungane from publishing any of their findings about Moti. No notice was given to the publishing investigators of the court application. The judgement was clear, concise and scathing and I look forward to the next chapter in this ongoing saga.

And yesterday Zuma got another “klap” when judgement was handed down in the matter where he tried to privately prosecute Cyril for allegedly being an accessory to a crime. 

He was told that he was wasting the courts’ time and made to pay Cyril’s costs. Lekker!

This week Rapport front-paged that the Rector of

Stellenbosch University has been cleared of nepotism. That story was carried again by Die Burger on their front page on Monday. Whereas Prof. Wim De Villiers has been cleared of the charges brought against him, he received a severe spank over the knuckles and will suffer financially from the fracas of admitting two of his wife’s relatives, not quite fully qualified to study medicine using his discretionary privilege.

One of the biggest news stories of the week is of the disgusting assault by 6 security guards (from the VIP Presidential Security Unit in the employ of the Deputy President) who attacked three unarmed men driving in a Volkswagen Polo on the N1 near Johannesburg. Fortunately someone filmed the assault and that clip has now gone viral. 

The men from the Polo were kicked repeatedly even while lying on the ground unable to defend themselves and the arrogance of the heavily armed, very well-paid Security police in their flashy unmarked BMWs is visible for the world to see and judge.

We are all appalled by the callous bullying behaviour of our protected police and an example must be made of these men.

As yet they have just been suspended.

Some very good news is that BMW is investing R4.2 billion to make electric cars in SA. Their factory in Tswane (Pretoria to you) will be the only plant in the world to manufacture a hybrid version of the next-generation X3 model.

Some bad news is that consumer confidence has slumped to an all time low. With our power outages and continuing job losses where half the population do not work, that is hardly surprising.

Yesterday the usual suspects met at the Cape Town Press Club at the behest of Dennis, that character of note. Dennis gets us all together regularly and it is always a stimulating pleasure to be in the company of Paul, Robin, Henry, Kenny —and Dennis, of course!

Paul brought Alex with him and they both put questions to the speaker after her talk.

We listened to Adv Glynnis Bruitenbach, once a State prosecutor now a DA MP and the DA shadow Minister of Justice. She gave us the low-down on the NPA and and the Judicial system and identified why it is operating so very poorly. No funding. ~Limited and poor staff appointments.

She referred to Paul’s (Accountability Now) proposal of an independent Chapter 9 organisation to combat corruption that is fully staffed and properly resourced.

There are movements in the right direction and they are working towards seeing that this becomes a reality.

Bring it on…… and the sooner the better.

Team SA excelled at the Special World Summer Games held in Berlin last week. The team brought home an incredible 49 medals. Well done!

The lack of “our” sport on Saturday meant the the world champion and I attended a social event at the club house to watch (and bet) on the Durban July, SA’s premier horse racing event. We were with other residents of our retirement village and it was fun. There were prizes for the smartest and cleverest costumes and some went to much trouble and were rewarded with some top wines as prizes. I’m not sure us old folks equalled the stunning fashions on TV but it all added up to wonderful entertainment. The world champ and I didn’t make any money on the race, watched on the large communal TV but it was lovely just being at a fancy tea party with many of our neighbours.

As always,                                                                                    


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One thought on “The Week That Was”
  1. Full transcript….not my spelling!!!!

    Copied; Message from a Zimbabwean living in South Africa…

    My fellow South Africans, do not be fooled, do not be used. We were once fooled in Zimbabwe and were made to loot farms, distroy our infrastructures, burn down industries and made our country ungovernable, all in the name of some selfish politicians and individuals who have nothing but their own interest at heart.
    Yes we looted groceries that lasted us just a week or a month, and look at us now, we are now a basket case, while their children are dinning and whining abroad.
    We burnt our factories and industries were our fathers and brothers worked and took us to school, now we are nothing but garderners, waiters and vendors.
    We looted productive farms and burnt down machinery that provided enough food not just for us but the entire region, now we crossing boarders just to get basic foods.
    We were made to run around singing and chanting their names day and night, while they were busy planning for their future,
    We burnt each others houses and homes, while they build high walls around their mansions, now we are renting shacks and back rooms in foreign countries.
    We killed each other for no reason, we destroyed our own country our future, for old people who had achieved and lived their lives.
    Most of them are dead now, given, yet we remain with no future, we are now a laughing stock. We are now labelled refugees, asylum seekers and many other painful names. We are scarted all over the world, seperated from our families and loved ones, the so called heros who used us are nowhere to help us.
    My fellow South Africans, learn from us.
    I wish i could be given a platform to warn you how all this will end.
    Don’t be fooled, don’t be used, tomorrow you’ll be left in the cold.
    I am a telling you from experience, this will not end well.

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