Gerald Potash

Hello again,

The weekend news was dominated by the political parties delivering their election manifestos ahead of the Municipal Elections in five weeks time and…… some very depressing sports results. 

The DA did their manifesto launch on Saturday. It was calm and collected and Party leader, John Steenhuizen stressed that their run municipalities had become beacons of light in a storm of turbulence compared to those where the ANC were in charge of towns and cities.

Sunday saw Julius Malema trumpeting to his illegal (more than 500 people at a gathering is illegal in terms of the current lockdown regulations) crowd. He had previously announced that his party would dare our hopelessly ineffectual police to do something about it and of course they didn’t. The EFF’s party policy was delivered at Gaddafi Square to the crowds who gathered in central-Johannesburg. Malema attacked the ANC and promised his supporters the world. Vote for us and you will get the white land, cheaper electricity, better service delivery and jobs. What did you expect him to say? He is as dangerous as Hitler was at stoking up the crowd who came to listen to him (and yes, they all were given red T-shirts) and he spewed his populist rhetoric for two hours. 

A key to his policy is that the rich must subsidise the poor. I wonder how many of the poor he will personally support. Anyone who wears a R200,000-00 wrist-watch can’t be poor.

Typically, the EFF left a mess after their meeting. They didn’t remove their tents and rubbish and workers on Monday had trouble accessing their buses for work from Eloff St at Gaddafi Square. 

The ANC’s manifesto was delivered on Monday and the main feature is that Cyril apologised for the poor service delivery that has taken place and he admitted mistakes. He told his audience (also far more than 500–but then we are used to the double standards of the ruling party) that they had learned from their mistakes and then he announced that there will be fresh blood and that they, the “new” ANC will do better. More than a quarter of their 10,000 candidates are youngsters, under 30, for the 4000 wards in 278 municipalities.

Paul Mashatile, the Treasurer of the ANC and one of the ‘Top Six’ in the party was filmed on Sunday night shamelessly handing out cash notes to congregants at a Party campaign in a church hall. There is likely to be ramifications to this clip, but the Party has rubbished the idea that he was buying votes. Their view is that he was making a church donation. Do you make donations to several people in a church hall or are you “buying” votes?

I know what I think.

And while on the ANC making “donations” where does this money come from? For three successive months they have not paid their staff salaries. They claim to be broke. 

Patricia de Lille, once the DA mayor of Cape Town and now a cabinet minister in Ramaphosa’s government is also the leader of the Good Party. This week she aggressively bashed her former colleagues in the DA for their lack of providing affordable housing in our city. The electioneering is getting quite rough and personal.

This was Rico’s take on where we our right now from Business Maverick:

Electioneering has brought a spate of murders with it. This week a councillor was shot dead while driving his car in Pretoria. Last week three women were murdered, also shot, at a political gathering in KZ-N and nominees are going into hiding for fear of being murdered. 

On Monday evening at about 8 o’clock three young ladies were shot to death in Kayelitsha. They were 17, 20 & 21. But this may have nothing to do with electioneering. Life is cheap in the Townships. Last week Ramaphosa spoke at the United Nations 20th anniversary of the Durban Conference that was nothing more than an international Anti-Semitic tirade.   He spoke to an almost empty auditorium, since about three dozen countries including USA, UK, Germany, Canada and Australia boycotted. He reiterated his call for an independent Palestine and South Sudan. Here is a cartoon from the Daily Friend:

When I read this headline on Friday, I had no idea what was being referred to:

We can’t have an organisation that doesn’t have new blood. In 2020, we were supposed to train about 7,000 new members. We trained zero. This year, we are training zero, the minister revealed. 

Talking was Bheki Cele, Minister of Police.

Our police are pathetic, and it is criminal that nothing is being done to improve the standard. What makes Cele’s statement even more appalling is that there are so many young, unemployed people who would love a job—even in the police.

Many of you watched Rob Hersov on the clip that I included last week. He was again interviewed by Alec Hogg of Biz News this week and made more telling points. He believes that ALL SOEs should be privatised because the State can’t run anything properly. One of our local journalists then pointed out that if they can’t fix potholes how can you expect the ANC to run a SOE.

Hersov also believes that the ANC is going to take a hammering in the up-coming elections.

I’m not sure if it’s even news anymore but the SIU (Special Investigating Unit) is ready to pounce on the suspects in a Water Board tender process where criminality and theft pushed the original tender price of R500 million to just over R3 billion. (The Giyani water project)

So what’s new? And will the perpetrators go to jail, and when?

What’s even more important, will those in government who allowed this to happen be disciplined? Unlikely.

Then in an unrelated report we learn from the minister concerned that 177 108 public service employees from national and provincial government departments have skimmed a combined R200 787 648. 

The government is now on a mission to recover the funds. 

Then Cyril in his weekly letter tells us about all about the dishonest State employees who have been milking the State for social grants illegally and advises that this will soon stop because, even though it may take a lot of time, the Party is doing something about it. Really?

The cadres have been milking the State for years and years and in fact corruption is said to be worse under Ramaphosa’s time in office than it ever was under Zuma. Cyril this week tells us how surprised he is at the situation and that we must give him time to rectify the situation.


Getting money back?—-don’t hold your breath.

The story of the Free State town looking for a builder who disappeared having built half a stadium now looted and useless…..

And so it goes and goes and goes…..

Scandal after scandal is exposed week-in and week-out and then……nothing. Well very little. Sometimes our SIU (Special Investigating Unit) wins. If not the fight, then at least some rounds. On Tuesday evening a “middle man” who allegedly illegally enriched the Guptas and himself was apprehended at OR Tambo airport making his way to Dubai and, no doubt, the good life there. Well, yesterday he appeared in court and is now out on bail awaiting his trial. I hope that the police will be watching him closely.

The first dictionary in Afrikaaps has just been published. On Heritage Day (last Friday) Cyril paid tribute to those indigenous tribes whose language has all but been lost. Afrikaaps is very Cape. It is a mixture of Khoi and San but also has Dutch, Portuguese, English, Afrikaans and Arabic all mixed in.

As a schoolboy I worked in District 6, during some holidays and I love the musical sound of that language, so similar to Afrikaans but more relaxed.

Our Minister of Education, Blade Nzimande, hates Afrikaans. This is the view of the DA who have attacked him for claiming that Afrikaans is a foreign language. This whole palaver erupted when Afriforum, the local civil rights group, won their case to have Afrikaans reinstated as a medium of teaching & learning at UNISA, the largest corespondence university in Africa. It was scrapped as a language medium in 2016 at the university.

The highlight of my week came yesterday at lunchtime. I had never been to Monkey Valley before, but Paul had invited the usual suspects and there we were enjoying not only the magnificent view of Noordhoek beach but especially the banter and the jokes. Oh everybody had a story, and we laughed a lot. What a wonderful way to just relax and enjoy. This sort of thing is a tonic that should be compulsory at least once a month.

Paul mentioned briefly a short sharp article he had written for Daily Maverick and for those of you interested in how we are going to have to attack the blight of corruption that is so endemic to this government; just click on this link: if you are tired of reading you can even listen to to the article:

In this harsh time of Covid, two Cape Town restaurants have made it onto the list of 100 best restaurants in the world. ‘La Colombe’ in Constanta has been joined by the relatively new ‘Fyn Restaurant’ in Parliament St. When one considers just how many restaurants there are world-wide this is indeed a great achievement. 

Also proudly 3rd of the top wineries in the world are in the Cape. ‘Creation’ in the Hemel and Aarde valley near Hermanus, ‘Delaire’ in Stellenbosch and ‘Klein Constantia’ made it into the top 50.

The weekends have become tough, and it really isn’t much fun watching your favourite teams lose week in and week out, but the coach and I are loyal fans. As usual, the coach was on the couch to watch both the rugby and the football and none of the games we watched went the way we wanted. The WP Stormers chucked away their game in the opening match of the Rugby Championships in Italy against Benetton.   Then, I could write a full story on the rugby test. Expected to lose by anything up to 50 points against the mighty All Blacks and with just two minutes left to play in the game the Springboks were still leading. That they lost is not the story, the story is all about the tactics employed by the ‘Boks – kick, kick and kick again….kicking away possession is their tactic. To continue to unceasingly kick away hard-earned ball so repeatedly with overlaps waiting on our side was worse than boring, it was stupid. One of the letters to the Editor asked why Faff floated the ball per his high kick to the opposition instead of just passing them the ball. To watch the Springboks kick the game away was frustration with a capital F.

If you think that was bad, you probably don’t know what happened to Tottenham in the North London derby vs Arsenal on Sunday evening. Arsenal started their season as poorly as Spurs started theirs’ well. But the boot was on the other foot and by halftime Spurs were 0-3 behind. In the Premiership there is no coming back from such a deficit and Spurs eventually lost 1-3.

Oh it’s hard being a Spurs fan.

As always, 



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