Gerald Potash

Hello again,

On Friday the ANC security-cluster MP’s called the three Ministers, those of State Security, Defence and Police—  Dlodlo, Mapisa-Nqakula & Cele—to account for their unpreparedness of the riots and looting that was so well planned and executed in KZ-N and Gauteng. 

The security cluster MPs gave the ministers a hard time and the matter is on-going. What came out of the meeting is that Cele, Min of Police, is unhappy with the Chief of Police and refused to sign off on a security budget, which left the police intelligence service penniless and totally ineffective.

With all this going on it would be so much better for this country were Ramaphosa to fire all three right now. They are clowns that are  bad for the country and they are Zuma acolytes, not qualified and not good for Ramaphosa’s position as head of the ANC either.

There is a full NEC meeting scheduled to take place any day now to take this whole matter further. Wouldn’t it be nice if Ramaphosa showed some backbone, acted like a leader and simply got rid of them, together with the suspended Health Minister who is still on full pay?

Anyway we have the largest cabinet in the world and some serious weeding is necessary.

Surely Cyril reads the newspapers. The entire local press is all calling for him to get rid of these underperforming embarrassments so as to set up an efficient cabinet, something he should have done a very long time ago.

In Die Burger this week, Jan-Jan Joubert makes some very positive suggestions of whom to put into which portfolios and he has more suggestions than just the three who really must go. Does the President, or anyone in his office, read Afrikaans?

The Financial Mail points out that the country’s reaction to the violence gives Ramaphosa the opportunity to make the necessary bold moves. The FM then warns that he may not get another chance.

There is a letter to Ramaphosa doing the rounds demanding that he acts and sees to it that there are arrests for the violence and anarchy that took place. We all know who the leaders are. We have seen their emails, their messages and even video clips of their stirring the rabble to insurrection. They are everyone from Zuma’s children who urged “responsible looting” to Carl Niehaus and others named like the members of the RET- faction in the party. Again, the letter warns Cyril that this may indeed be his last chance to act.

After threatening national strikes our public service workers trade unions, after negotiations, got a handsome pay hike. RW Johnson is horrified at this and here I quote:

“How do the poor unfortunate people feel when they heard that the government had just offered the public service workers—the best paid workers in the country—an extra R18 billion?”

What is certain is that the ANC has been a huge failure and SA is rapidly running out of money and is speedily on the way to becoming a failed State.

The Communist-element just goes on demanding and the weak government just keeps on making poor decisions. 

When you consider that the ANC has increased poverty and desperation for over a decade you must wonder why people still vote for them?

Jean Craven wrote that BEE (black economic empowerment) should only ever be for a limited period and meritocracy should be the way forward. That point was taken further on Tuesday in The Daily Friend by John Endres who wrote that BEE must be scrapped because it isn’t working.  

You can read his story here, by clicking on this link, if you wish:

This link I got from Sara Gon’s wonderful (Monday to Thursday) Daily Friend updates.

Putting perspective into our current political situation, this week on a Webinar was Michael Bagraim, the top labour lawyer and MP for the DA. He spoke off the cuff and as expected handled the questions after his talk well. Some of his points (he spoke in his personal capacity) were just so very interesting:  

The unemployment problem, which he considers our biggest problem of all, is not being tackled.

The ANC is arguing amongst itself to such an extent that he would not be surprised if it breaks into several groupings. 

(That would be good for the DA ………would they “marry” one of those groups.…. .very likely)

Tribal loyalty is important; as we could see during the rioting. 

Ramaphosa’s “family chat” on Sunday night on TV while moving the lockdown from stage 4 to stage 3 was nothing more than moving the chairs on the Titanic.

John Steenhuizen, leader of the DA, gets three times more airtime on CNN than he does on S Africa TV stations. ENCA is owned by ANC connections and I don’t have to tell you about SABC TV.

Michael told us that for the last 10 days Steenhuizen and his shadow cabinet have been on the ground in KZN talking to the people and giving them hope. Have you seen the ANC cabinet or any of its members doing anything similar in the devastated areas?  Don’t be silly.

What a stimulating session that far overran the scheduled 1 hour!

The question I should have put to Michael and was raised yesterday by Max du Preez in his Vrye Weekblad article…. would a splintering of the ANC not push the RET-faction (radical economic transformation) into bed with the EFF? And wouldn’t that be even worse for SA than the current ANC?

The moving of the lockdown down a notch means that liquor sales can at last resume, if only from Mondays to Thursdays. Restaurants can stay open an hour longer and coffee can be enjoyed sitting down, not in a take-away cardboard cups. This cartoon from Rico, from Business Live,  sums up our situation very well indeed.

The ANC is looking for money. It pays its staff nearly R18 million a month and is short of cash. Would you consider a contribution?

Accused No 1 attended his brother’s funeral last Thursday. By all reports, except the report from his official spokesman who claimed he is taking jail badly, he is in high spirits, is in good health and taking jail time very well.

The taxi-war continues in the greater Cape Town area. The national Defence Force has now been called in to monitor the various taxi ranks where competitors have simply been eliminating competitors in broad daylight. A lot of the trouble has to do with rival groups fighting for the lucrative Belleville-to-Paarl route. The SANDF are there to quell any potential flare-ups but they will also be watching other hot-spots in our city.

A  depressing result of this is that taxi extortionists are now targeting motorists carrying passengers.

Golden Arrow have brought an extra 1000 buses to help alleviate the transport crisis and let’s hope that the army does their important job. 

Some good news is that we (Aspen Pharmacare) have started to produce under license J&J vaccines to fight the pandemic here and the roll-out is now gathering pace rapidly. 1.4 million doses have been dispatched to rural areas where distances make a two shot vaccination program more difficult.

Yesterday the USA sent us 5.7 million Pfizer shots to distribute here and into Africa. 

Some very good news this week is that two SA writers have been nominated amongst the 13 named finalists this year for the Booker Prize. Damon Galgut (a previous nominee for ‘The Good Doctor’) is nominated for his book ‘The Promise’ and Karen Jennings for her book ‘An Island’.

Cricket has been on the front pages of our newspapers this week and it has nothing to do with our the very recent tours to the West Indies and Ireland. It has to do with racism. Currently there is an inquiry into racism in the upper (and lower?) echelons of the game and what we have heard from some of the non-white players is not nice. Mark Boucher, our current premier coach, just returned this week from touring with the Proteas has been singled out as a main culprit and his good buddy, the current Director of Cricket SA, Graeme Smith, seems also to be in trouble.

Mandy Weiner writes that compared to the unity and nation-building agenda of Rassie Erasmus with the rugby squad, cricket has done poorly. Siya Kolisi, the Springbok captain, believes that Rassie addressed the team culture from the outset and set out to transform the team and the nation. Kolisi said all the players felt that they are valued. This is clearly not the case with our national cricket squad.

The Olympic Games has given us sport fans plenty to watch. Our teams haven’t done too well, but our swimmer Tatjana Schoemaker broke the Olympic 100m breast stroke record on Sunday night in the heats and then on Monday she won our first medal, a silver,  in the final. Our surf-boarder, Bianca Buitedag, ranked 17th out of the 20 qualifiers, also won a silver medal.

Then yesterday Schoemaker broke another Olympic record in the 200m and was only 0.7 seconds short of the world record. We will watch the final on the weekend.

A Stellenbosch girl actually won a Gold medal for the triathlon, but in the colours of Bermuda. I was with Arno at his coffee shop yesterday and he told me that Flora Duffy is married to Dan Hugo and they live in my old home town. How interesting. 

The Proteas completed their Irish tour on a high note winning the T20 series 2-0 after drawing the ODI’s 1-1. 

Without a doubt the highlight of the weekend, though, was Saturday evening when most of the country forgot about politics and settled down to watch the Springboks play the British & Irish Lions on home soil for the first time in 12 years. 

The game was played in Cape Town, as all three tests will be played here because of the Covid situation so, of course,  there were no spectators in the magnificent stadium on a equally magnificent, if cold, evening.  I took this photo with my phone of the stadium in the foreground as the TV camera was panning-in just as the test was about to begin. What an advert for Cape Town!

The hype before the game was everything you would expect before a clash of this importance and the Springboks were being tested for the first time since winning the World Cup 21 months ago.

The coach was with me on the couch to watch as the Springboks, in a hard-fought, tense battle where the Boks took a satisfactory 12-3 lead at half time. But then, oh dear, the Lions came back and eventually won 22-17.

It was a bruising encounter and all of the closely referred decisions went against the Boks, including the two tries we scored, which would have made all of the difference in the end. Now we all can’t wait for this coming weekend when they play the 2nd test.

Spurs played another pre-season mid-week friendly and most of the squad got a run. In front of a full house at Milton Keynes they won 3-1.

As always, love to all,