Gerald Potash

Hello again,

What would you have to do to get a third party to pay your expensive legal fees in a high-profile corruption case? Jacob Zuma, charged with corruption, money-laundering, and fraud in the ‘arms deal’ got a top advocate to represent him and all his fees were paid with money stolen from us by the Guptas. All this came out this week in evidence at the Zondo Commission where it was shown how the Guptas stole our tax money (R57billion, not million) and syphoned it off to Hong Kong and China to be laundered into a myriad of accounts. They paid Snr Counsel, Kemp J Kemp to represent Accused No 1. They actually paid hundreds of thousands of Rands in total for the legal fees for Accused No 1.

The longer the Commission goes on, the deeper the mire for Accused No 1 and it is no wonder he refuses to appear before it to give his side of the story. His story is simply greed and neither the Commission nor SA will like that even one little bit.

Again I ask, what has happened to the judgement of the Constitutional Court that months ago should have been delivered as to his arrest or not— for JZ’s deliberate refusal to appear before Judge Zondo when ordered to do so? 

(Another disturbing revelation at the Commission this week was that the Guptas were also funding terrorist organisations, like Al Quaeda,- -with our money!)

Later today Ace Magashule takes the ANC to court in a legal battle that could split the ruling party wide open. Magashule is challenging his step-aside ruling from the Party and he has the EFF big-shot, Adv Dali Mpofu as his legal counsel. Magashule also wants his ruling that Ramaphosa be suspended his position, confirmed.

When the ANC some years ago got rid of their then head of the Youth League, Julius Malema,    he started his own party and look at what has happened since then. This case could be equally disastrous for the ANC and they are very aware of that.

Will the Party split? These next two days in court will be interesting.

Should any of us attend an ANC party meeting? If you do you had better wear a bullet-proof vest. This week shots were fired and two party members were seriously injured (16 were not so seriously injured) at an ANC party branch meeting to elect a municipal representative in Lephalale (Waterberg, to you) where chaos erupted. I never realised being a town councillor was such an important post, but in the ANC it obviously is.

Factionalism in the ANC was not only admitted but seriously discussed at a different Party meeting in Limpopo Province by the Head of the Party, Cyril Ramaphosa this weekend. Ramaphosa admitted factionalism is hurting the party and argued that competence rather than popularity should be the criterion for electing candidates to positions in the party.

Hey, we have heard this all before.

I wonder if Cyril reads the ‘papers? I know his predecessor, Accused No 1 never did. The arrogance of the ruling party was starkly illustrated in the weekend edition of The Daily Maverick. Dr Zweli Mkize, before our vaccination roll-out shambles and the corruption scandals that accompanied it, was/is (?) our Health Minister. I had had the impression that he was quite a good guy in the context of our politics, after all he was on Cyril’s side in the ANC’s faction fighting. Well, not only has he been made to step aside because of those corruption charges levelled at his good buddies, who took R150 million of our vaccination fund to enrich themselves (and the good Dr’s family), but he is known to be self-promoting in the extreme. This weekend’s exposé in the newspaper is, however, damning…..

The situation at many of our State hospitals is dire. To read about that is totally depressing and the Dept of Health does very little to rectify a situation that is causing unnecessary deaths. The fact that babies are dying unnecessarily, the fact that certain hospitals only have 4 Drs working there, the fact that Mkize was warned that the Health Dept would run out of funds in four months’ time, the fact that 288 junior medical doctors are waiting for positions,……. Mkize did not deem any of that to be important enough to warrant any response. 

The Daily Maverick tells that they contacted the Health Minister on 89 occasions and not once did he or anyone in his dept have the courtesy to respond. That children have died in the Eastern Cape because of  the desperately poor administration is one of the matters that this newspaper wanted to discuss with him. But poor people at State hospitals obviously don’t count much to a man who would rather be on TV than answer criticism about the hospitals under his administration.

I am pretty sure that many Government departments are being run equally badly and it is interesting to have seen an article urging Ramaphosa to radically reduce the size of his cabinet.

The cabinet, including Deputy Ministers is 62 in number and Marianne Merten believes that it should be reduced to 9. In a discussion, on air, she conceded that 10 Ministers may be needed but no more than that.

Everyone agrees that a cabinet reshuffle is urgently needed.

Even before Marianne’s talk Zapiro had penned this cartoon, where he alluded to the bankrupt state we find ourselves in.  Not only do we need to save money, Mr Ramaphosa, but we need competence to run this country.

Ethical leadership? Not in our municipalities. A report handed to parliament this week shows again that only 25 of 257 municipalities have clean audits. Those “ clean” municipalities are almost all run by the DA. Billions of Rands are unaccounted for and what that shows is that there is grand theft, grand corruption and grand mismanagement in our towns where the ANC govern. But what makes this story even more depressing is that we have heard it all before…….every year at this time in Parliament we hear the same story.

The proposed Land Expropriation Bill now being debated in Parliament is also still, understandably, making big news here. The ANC is conceding to the EFF and is suggesting that a clause in the Constitution be changed to read that state custodianship be applicable to “certain land” within the context of expropriation. The EFF wants all land in SA to belong to the State. In other words they want full nationalisation, which the ANC at this stage is still not agreeing with.

To change the Constitution the three biggest parties in Parliament need to agree and at this stage it doesn’t look likely to happen.

Our Minister of Home Affairs has not admitted that a fugitive from justice, Pastor Bushiri, who slipped out of jail and out of the country, has thrice been back into SA while awaiting extradition from Malawi to South Africa. This story has made news all week, and unlike IOL news, where there’s smoke there’s fire.

The 10 ‘not babies’ (decuplets) made lots of news again this week  and unsurprisingly the Sunday Times chose Dr Iqbal Survé as the Mampara of the week. Survé went so far as to publicly offer the couple R1 million, falling for the lies his very own journalist, Piet Rampedi, had dug up.  Zapiro, showing how Survé’s newspapers obtain their “news” stories got this one right in his cartoon in Daily Maverick, too.

The SAA deal is not done and dusted just yet. This according to Cyril who clearly does read the newspapers. There has been lots of criticism about the proposed deal and not least of it has been the lack of openness about the deal. 

Smuts Hall residence on the main campus of UCT has been renamed Upper Campus Residence, temporarily, until all parties can agree on a suitable name. It is all part of the policy towards decolonisation. 

Some good news is that SA has been selected to host the first COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub in the world. We have ticked all the boxes and with France will be leading research into new and effective vaccines.

Some more good news; Malema lost an appeal in a defamation case that he brought to court and lost. One of his ex-colleagues said he was corrupt because he used stolen VBS bank money, knowing it wasn’t his. He sued, saying he was defamed, and lost. Then appealed and lost again.  He gets too much publicity, so enough said.

Paul, a colleague, was in Somerset West earlier this week and called me for coffee. That is something I cannot resist and we talked about touring and direct flights into Cape Town (United Airlines from the USA) and the fact that things after such a dismal year are at last beginning to look up. Tourism does seem to be recovering. I have received several bookings (from Americans). What a pleasure. 

On the couch to watch the sport this weekend were the coach, as usual and Kareen, a keen sports fan and the world champion’s sister, who was with us for the weekend. The rugby was horrible. The Bulls representing the South in the North/South Rainbow competition were humiliated in Italy in the final by Benetton. The fact that Els, Duvenhage (their captain) and Herbst were on the field (for Benetton) certainly added to the entertainment but the final score of 35-8 was a fair reflection of the one-sided game. The scribes have been critical not only of the loss but of the arrogance of the SA fans who overstate the quality of our rugby. Yes, one or two star players who were in SA with the Springbok squad getting ready for the tests against Georgia and the British and Irish Lions, were missed, but it is debatable whether they would have made enough difference. 

(A cartoon in Die Burger early this week was of two fellows chatting at a bar, the one asks the other: What do you call a Bulls supporter holding f. a bottle of Champagne?  ………answer…….the waiter.)

Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for those concerned. 

The football that we watched, by contrast, was magnificent. Hungary held France to a 1-1 draw in a high quality game in the European Championships.

And in between that we kept switching to the golf at Torrey Pines in California. Louis Oosthuizen came second again. This is the 6th time Mr Runner-up has come second in a Major. As the world No 10-ranked golfer he has won one, the British Open about 10 years ago.

What a weekend! 

But the highlight of the sporting week, though, was the test hat trick, the first in 61 years for SA, taken by Keshav Maharaj in our victory over the West Indies on Monday. 

The series was won 2-0.

As always, love to all,


One thought on “The Week That Was”
  1. Decolonisation at the UCT, changing the name of Smuts Hall????? Ha ha🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 havn’t the incompetent, corrupt, racist, commie cANCer realised that they are colonists from Cameroon!!!!!! Time to send them packing so they can destroy Cameroon and not South Africa………

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