Gerald Potash

Hello again,

There really should only be one story this week and it is all about the municipal elections held countrywide on Monday. The feature of this election, without a doubt, is the low voter turnout. Whereas a low number, 26 million, registered for voting only 12 million pitched up to vote. So many of those who took the trouble to go and register decided not to vote. Then remember that 12 million is only 25% of all of the population who could have voted had they wanted to.

What does this apathy show?  I believe that it shows that voters are generally ‘gatvol’ with what is going on here and by not voting they are registering a vote of dissatisfaction. I loved this cartoon from Dr Jack & Curtis which says so much about our situation:

There was plenty of drama on voting day. Some voting-stations didn’t open until well-after 10.00 (but most though were up and running by 7.00am as scheduled) and not only were some IEC officials actually arrested for “fiddling” with voting papers, at some polling stations they soon ran out of ballot papers!

And can you believe that some voters were actually turned away inexplicably, after registering properly. 200,000 of them were disenfranchised by the IEC after registering to vote. The IEC had five years to get their ducks in a row and couldn’t even do the basics right. Pathetic! 

But I have told you before, this is Africa.

There was drama too in some stations and Helen Zille, Chairperson of the DA, was manhandled and thrown out of a polling station in Gqeberha (PE, to you). She was hurt by a policeman using too much force and has laid a charge against him.

It had nothing to do with the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) but Cyril got it in the neck for the lack of service delivery when he arrived to vote at a polling station in Soweto. ANC support hit an all time low as voter apathy kicked in. Many obviously chose rather not to vote at all than vote for an opposition party, but what was clear is that they did not vote for their ANC councillors and for the first time since 1994 ANC support has fallen below 50%. That’s a big drop from the 66.8% the ANC received in the first free election in 1994. Slowly the voters can see that their ANC is good at corruption but not so good at service delivery and running the country.

Not one of the large Metros in the country will be run exclusively by the ANC. The best they can hope for is to be included in a coalition, which is looking likely especially in some towns where the ANC polled more votes than other parties but not near the 50% margin which would have given them total control. Hopefully this will now see a dramatic decline in corruption at municipal level with the parties watching each other carefully.

The DA on the other hand did reasonably well when one considers that they lost several very influential (black) leaders in this period. 

In reality, though, they polled less than they did in the last elections in every one of the metros, but compared to the ANC they did quite well. The Cape Town area was won quite easily —if with reduced margins— but the ANC did even worse and a lot of the new small Parties have influenced the voting. Patricia de Lille,  a former Cape Town DA mayor and now a Minister in Cyril’s cabinet, launched the Good Party with lots of fanfare but they performed rather moderately . 

It does look as if small parties have made some gains and won seats but mostly in the hinterland municipalities.

The voting, with almost all the results now in, gives the ANC 46.06% DA 22.6% and EFF 10.7%. IFP 4.6% FF+ 2.78%  Interestingly Nkandla municipality has gone to the IFP who did quite well at curtailing the ANC in KZ-N. This is how Rico in Business Maverick saw the elections:

There is a little other news, too though.
Interestingly, amaBhunghani the investigative arm of Daily Maverick, is onto Julius Malema and his cousins and close buddies living the life of Riley from crooked tenders in Tswane (Pretoria to you). They have exposed the dishonesty and are assisting the police in their investigations that could still turn very sour for Julius. The EFF improved their position but not by as much as the pundits had thought they would. Phew!

It is becoming quite apparent that Iqbal Survé lives in a dream world or worse. You see he makes up his dreams to try to sell his newspapers. And when the owner of newspapers reports dreams as facts you can tell his stable has more than just gone to the dogs. The Independent Group, that he heads up, is getting smaller and smaller as less and less readers buy his false news newspapers, written by poor journalists and advertisers find better sources to advertise their specials. Who still reads the Cape Times or the Argus?

The pinnacle of false news was sprouted by Survé himself late last week when he came on TV and rambled about the 10 children born here a few months ago.  Except there are no such children and to listen to his story of how many died at birth (2) and how the others were trafficked out to Nigeria makes it quite clear that there really is nothing left for him. He probably needs mental help.

At the time of “the birth” widely reported in his newspapers not one shred of evidence could be found of such births despite diligent investigation after the story appeared in his newspapers. As you can imagine there was enormous interest in a record-breaking event. Except it was all nonsense. But it is now quite clear that Dr Survé has lost his marbles and cannot be trusted. The PIC (Public Investment Corporation) has instituted a case against Survé and his companies and must now hasten to get back their loan of R4.3 billion which was given to him improperly.

A former Miss Iraq has come out stinging against Mandla Mandela, the 43 year old grandson of Nelson Mandela, who is agitating aggressively for Miss SA not to take part in the Miss World pageant later this year in Israel. Here I quote:

“All I can say is, how dare you? How dare you as a man try to tell an organization for women and women empowerment what to do? This is an opportunity that millions of women dream of having — to go on world stage and represent their people, their nation, their culture. Not governments, not politics, and definitely not your political agenda,” Idan said in her rebuke to Mandela. 

The Chairman of the African Union, and President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Felix Tshisekedi has just last week been to Israel and being deeply Christian he did a tour of holy sites around the Sea of Galilee. He also received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Netanyahu and expressed the hope that there would be more scientific collaboration between African States and Israel. That is not the ANC view though. They prefer cosying up to China and Venezuela and Russia.

Yesterday Ace Magashule was in court as an accused in the Asbestos roof case. The Free State lost R255 million in that matter and Ace says he has nothing to do with it notwithstanding that he was the Premier of that province at the time. His personal assistant gave damning evidence to the Prosecuting Authority but she has transferred to the USA where she is studying. She did not make herself available yesterday as required. She is now being charged and is going to be joined as an accused in this case. An order for her extradition has been authorised.

This all would be really exciting if only our prosecutors were more professional.

Our petrol price is sky-rocketing. This year it has gone up over 25% and it wasn’t cheap to begin with. This affects the poor badly. Everything goes up with this massive increase and as it is many of the poor can no longer afford the luxury of even a taxi ride. Our inflation is likely to hike up too. 

A side issue is;  why did the government wait until the voting was done to announce the R1.2 per litre increase? Guess!

Yesterday all the usual suspects were at Steenberg Golf Course to lunch with that character of note, Dennis. Yes, it was a full-house (all 6 of us present and correct) and the chatter was snappy and the humour robust. These get- together are a tonic and everyone leaves feeling that much better.

The weekend sport was plentiful and the results were mixed. The cricket could not possibly have been more exciting. It took David Miller to not only hit two successive sixes in the final over but also keep his head to score another 5 runs to take SA just over the winning line with one ball left in that final over. In that innings SA even conceded a hat-trick. What an unbelievably exciting end to an otherwise rather ordinary T20 match!!

The football wasn’t anywhere near as exciting. Man U went ahead, then scored twice more to humiliate Spurs at home 0-3.

I felt sorry for Richard, here for only a few days from Sydney, whom the coach and I put through the ordeal of watching the game with us.

The news is that the Spurs manager has been fired but that’s not really surprising given the way they are playing.

Oh, it hard to be a Spurs fan.

As always,


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