Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

The attitude of our government and the militant anti-Israel (and anti-Semitic) marches this week-end in Sea Point are extremely disconcerting. On Sunday police had to be called to keep the peace when radical Muslim supporters refused to allow a pro-Israel prayer meeting (largely made up of Christian church goers in support of Israel) to take place on the promenade. Four protesters were arrested after violence broke out and the police had to use stun grenades and water sprays to separate the crowd. Their chanting “one Zionist, one bullet” is nothing other than hate speech. Even Skye News carried the fracas in detail as it was taking place. Palestinian supporters had marched, in huge numbers, brandishing Palestinian flags on the preceding days and also during the previous weekend on the Sea Point promenade without interference.  

Our Cape Town mayor has called for calm but with the Gaza war on-going calm is doubtful. The local support for the evil, cruel terrorist group is displeasing.

Fikile Mbalula, Sec Gen of the ANC added to the passion by calling for the Israeli embassy in SA to be closed. 

Zapiro, again in Daily Maverick posts a thoughtful cartoon about the war:

Corruption is killing this country.

Ramaphosa himself last week admitted that corruption in our country is out of hand. This comes after Chief Justice Zondo expressed real concern that not more is being done to obviate the blatant corruption particularly in government procurement and he warned that drastic measures must immediately be taken to protect whistle-blowers. He went further suggesting that to encourage whistle-blowers they should be rewarded for their evidence with a percentage of any recovered funds. 

Then Mondli Makanya (he was once the Sunday Times editor) in Sunday’s City Press  had a full  ‘go’ at Ramaphosa. He writes that whereas Cyril has called Zuma’s 9 years at the helm “the wasted years” his own 6 years have been spent pussyfooting around trying to please everyone and getting nothing done. Makanya writes that on governance, investment, corruption, security and almost everything that has got involved with Ramaphosa has been an out-and-out failure. He says Cyril is a smooth con man.

I call Cyril a wus. 

David Bullard in his piece in Politicsweb also quotes Makanya’s article and takes it further by calling Cyril’s cabinet overpaid clowns who continue to make fools of themselves on the international stage.

In addition the DA wants the Public Protector to investigate the wastage and proliferation of food on the President’s airplane. Fortunes are being wasted each time Ramaphosa flies and the air staff are getting fat on the food (like chocolate cakes) left behind. The really sad comparison one can make about this story is that in one year, it was reported in Rapport on Sunday, 1722 children were treated for malnutrition in the Eastern Cape of whom 101 died.

Much has been made in the press this week of our Transport Minister having been high-jacked late one night on a toll-road near Johannesburg and her guards being robbed of their guns by bandits using an old ploy of laying spikes on the road to puncture tyres. Gangs now roam certain areas with blue lights on their vehicles and some even dress as police. The situation has got seriously  dangerous and the R3.5 billion we spend on security for our elite politicians is wasted money—- as this incident shows.

What this story also shows is how crime has taken over almost every part of this country. Our police are pathetic (and here I am being polite) with a total lack of leadership and understanding what their real jobs are.

Brandan got it just right with his cartoon in the Sunday Times this weekend, didn’t he?

Die  Burger on its front page on Tuesday reports that criminal cartels cost this country R155 billion a year! And then government depts waste another R1.5 billion.

We all know about what’s going on, it gets reported regularly, but the police are simply too useless to do anything about it.

Two weekend papers highlighted that the government very quietly gazetted two bills that will affect white farmers very negatively. Particularly wine exporters. Farms with turnover of more than R10 million per annum will have to be in black hands. That’s B-BBEEE–black based economic empowerment. This could negatively affect wine exports (amongst other fruit products like jams and fruit juices) and the DA has called it “economic genocide on a grand scale”. 

But yesterday this story was rather debunked by the Dept  when they pointed out these rules have been in place for years and exports can go on just as they always have since they do not block white farmers from exporting. Paul Hoffman suggested that the papers were wrong to splash that story all over their front pages.

Peter Bruce, writing in the Sunday Times reports that only two of our 35 fighter Grippen fighter aircraft are still flying. In all, just 30 of our military aircraft of the 195 military aircraft we acquired in the late 1990’s arms deal are still serviceable. There is no money and no skills to get more ‘planes into the air. Bruce reports that he is quoting the only journalist airforce expert left, Erika Gibson and he then goes on to bemoan the fact that there are so few journalistic experts in any fields left in our country. It really looks as if the ANC has got rid of all the experts in whatever field you consider. SA has gone backwards in so many domains that the disappearance of our expert journalists (poor pay is one reason) has led to sharp drops in readership circulation and discerning readers are now relying on on-line overseas quality.

Then you also probably know that none of our submarines are operational. One of them can easily be seen since it is permanently in the dry dock at Simonstown.

I wonder if Peter Bruce, while writing his op-Ed, was thinking of Iqbal Survé reducing his staff at IOL Media by another 30% last month. Survé will tell you its all about the banks unfairly closing his accounts. But the standard in his newspapers (from the likes of The Cape Times, Argus, Mercury & Star & other publications in his Media group) has collapsed so badly since he fired all the experienced journalists, whom he inherited when he took over the Group. Circulation of his newspapers has suffered dramatically. The Daily Maverick calls Survé an arrogant despicable racist  who belongs in jail for wasting R800 million government money (obtained through a shady deal from the PIC). Many people have lost their pension funds because of him. The Star in 2011 had a weekday circulation of 145,000 it now has 12,000. 

Our electricity problems continue. Last quarter saw almost 200 cases of electricity vandalism in the Cape Town area. Cable theft worsened the power cuts in our area. No sooner is the cable replaced than it is again stolen. 

Oh, for a decent police force.

My coffee catch-up of note this week was with Ivan. I had thought he was back home in Israel already but they had been waiting for a direct El Al flight to start again from Cape Town. Hopefully he is now reading this from home.

I rushed off to a meeting as the coffee cooled but left him and his friend Hilton to explore our wonderful Waterstone Shopping Centre after giving them the run-down of the marvellous ‘flag-ship’ stores to be visited.

The usual suspects also got together for brunch this week. We missed Robin but Dennis, that character of note, Kenny, Henry, Paul and I were all present. There was no agenda but its always nice to just sit and chat.

The coach was on the couch with me on Saturday to watch the Premiership football. We scored an early goal but Spurs lost 2-1 and Wolves scored both of their goals at the very end of the game in injury time. Unfortunately I have to admit that Wolves deserved the win. Oh, but you know, it’s hard being a Tottenham fan.

As always,                                                                               


Email:     Phone: +27 82 557 5775
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3 thoughts on “The Week That Was”
  1. Good to have you back Gerald. Frankly, every succeeding ANC “leader” (not sure you can really call them that as they are anything but) is considerably worse than the other. If we follow this trend, heaven help us when they decide on wus Ramaphosa’s successor because it ain’t going to get any better. Ramaphosa, like the rest of the crowd in the ANC, is absolutely compromised in my view and I believe too scared to act on anything for fear of what may be revealed about his past if he upsets anyone too much.

  2. Ramaphosa admitted that corruption is out of hand,
    And still does not realise what it does to the Rand,
    He’s in control of the mess,
    And simply does acquiesce,
    Because the whole ANC is guilty of a backhand.

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