| Gerald Potash |

Hello again,

This past weekend was embarrassing for the President. Twice he was made to abandon an address to the members of his party who had been called to Limpopo to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the ANC.

His talk on Friday to the ANC Woman’s League was abandoned because of “health protocols not being adhered to.” The real reason may well be that as it was about to start it was speedily abandoned for security reasons. And then the next day again while he was addressing the full membership of the delegates present to celebrate, the lights suddenly went out and again he was rapidly escorted out of the hall for security reasons.

Make of this what you will but could it be that the RET-faction was behind all of this? Were they also behind Parliament having been burnt to a cinder? And were they behind last June’s insurrection?

And who smashed the windows of the Constitutional Court last weekend? Was that also someone with a RET agenda?

It is well known that the Magashule-Zuma axis is determined to regain power and make no mistake with Party elections up late this year the race for leadership has begun.

Talking of the RET faction, Ramaphosa refused to allow Ace Magashule to attend the celebrations or to be at the fancy dinner where seats cost such astronomical prices. So Ace arranged for a local ANC branch to “invite” him as their special guest. Apparently he even presented himself to them. But Ramaphosa put his foot down firmly when he got wind of that and told the Limpopo branch in no uncertain manner to withdraw their invitation. We are not used to Cyril taking a tough stand on anything so this was a surprise. A pleasant surprise.

What is clear again from this episode is that the faction fighting in the ANC continues. This round to Ramaphosa.

During the weekend Cyril made promises. He is very good at making promises. He promised that corruption in the party will be addressed, jobs will be created, cadre-deployment will be addressed and only qualified people will rise to decision-making positions. We have heard all these promises before. What is clear is that Ramaphosa has been a failure as a President of the ANC and that the ANC has been a dismal failure as a governing party. And a question; where did the ANC get the money to feed and entertain all the delegates when they can’t pay their staff salaries or the tax that they owe the fiskus?  Hopefully the Party will fall apart and a new party with better leadership will take over, but that is not a foregone conclusion. Not nearly;—- as much as many would like to see the end of the ANC. This is how Rico saw the celebrations over the weekend from his cartoon in Business Maverick:

The top news story this week has been the furore that has exploded around Lindiwe Sisulu’s outburst.

Sisulu, currently the Tourism Minister who has been around for many many years and has “served” as a Minister in at least a half a dozen portfolios, has thrown her hat into the RET ring to challenge for the Presidency of the ANC. This weekend she let rip and criticised the country’s constitution, political leadership, rule of law, and the judiciary. But it was really a sales pitch (according to Tom Eaton). She couldn’t even beat DD Mabuza to the vice-Presidency at the last ANC elections, but this time she did manage to get several top-shots in the Party angry and every newspaper in the country to carry her photo with the angle of the story they favoured.

Her attack on black Judges has been severely criticised. The cabinet has distanced itself from her opinions and Judge Zondo (acting Chief Justice) has taken deep exception to what she said. He points out she has no facts and that she should know better. He believes that she should immediately apologise for her outrage. It is not acceptable that a MP and a member of Cabinet should defame judges without any facts at all. Her article is riddled with baseless accusations and her attack on the constitution, which she has sworn to uphold is unacceptable, Zondo said.

The Judge believes that there should be action taken against her.

The EFF, however have come out in full praise of the brave cadre and have criticised Judge Zondo for trying to stifle  political commentary. This is Brandan’s view from Business Day yesterday:

As you have no doubt noticed the Zondo Commission is still very much centre stage. This week the Economist does a tidy summation of where we stand right now.  Thanks to Avrim and to Ian I can pass on this clear & concise article on to you, so let me know if you would like to read it.

Some good news is that in spite of Minister Gwede Mantashe (what is he hiding, oh he is hiding something, could it possibly be some favours from Bosasa?) saying the ANC cannot arrest and try cadres and that cadres must not use the Zondo report as an axe to chop one another, the young Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has suggested that a special court should be created to speedily deal with matters raised by the Zondo Commission. Even the Justice Minister can see that the NPA is just not up to this important task and that the corruption so exposed  by Judge Zondo must be speedily prosecuted. Further, the the minister should listen to Paul Hoffman of Accountability Now who tells us the NPA are under resourced and under funded and there must be a new investigative anti-corruption unit set up as a Chapter 9 institution where the ruling party cannot meddle.  After hearing of Lamola’s plan 

I wonder what Jacob Zuma is going to do now…….is he going to tell the ANC it is against its constitution to try him for corruption?

Sweat, Accused No 1, sweat!

The former acting CEO of SAA has come out strongly that legal action must be taken against Dudu Myeni, she who is so very close to JZ and had Zuma’s back (and front?) for running the airline into the ground. Myeni is shameless, incompetent and arrogant and a lengthy jail term is exactly what is needed. She who has multiple luxury homes and lives the life of Riley pleaded to be too poor to come to from KZN to Johannesburg to attend a Zondo Commission hearing because she was short of funds!! (The Zondo report details some of the hundreds of millions of Rands that she has plundered). Also a Special Court will give the country hope that at last something is being done about the corruption that has engulfed us all. 

Yesterday the NPA actually woke up and made a statement more than a week after Judge Zondo slammed them for being so ineffectual in spite of all the evidence which has been collected over the 3 years of evidence being given to the Commission. The NPA has finally responded: with the announcement that a new “task force” would focus on these cases. They even announced that the ID (Investigating Directorate) is currently investigating several matters.

I’m not holding my breath eventhough BUSA (Business Unity SA) has indicated that they will be assisting in providing Advocates to assist the NPA.

Caryn Maughan, top journalist at News24 makes an interesting point. If the NPA is too encumbered to take on these corruption cases they should decline to prosecute so that private prosecutions can swing into action.

Zandile Christmas Mafe, the fellow who allegedly set Parliament alight was in court on Tuesday and threatened to go on a hunger strike if his bail hearing was again postponed. Well it was and he has been referred to a mental institution because there is a possibility that he is suffering with paranoid schizophrenia.

The local mental institution is currently full and he has to wait for a bed to become available, so he is back in jail. His next bail hearing has been set at February 11. The ubiquitous Dali Mpofu is now acting for Mafe, but who is paying him? 

We have learnt this week that the parliament building was not insured and to save even more money security guards were only employed from 8.00 to 20.00 

Now it is us tax-payers who are going to have to pay the R1 billion that it will cost to restore the home of our democracy. 

We did it! The Proteas won the 2nd cricket test match and levelled the series against India. It wasn’t easy. I have never seen more aggressive bowling in my life, than that delivered by the Indians. Our batters took it on the body, on the hands and on the head, but stuck it out and scored a memorable victory. Now the Newlands test is underway and reasonably very evenly poised, if India do seem to have an edge. Today’s play will be interesting. Unfortunately COVID regulations has kept the coach and I from going to watch live, rather than watching on the box.

Sunday afternoon was going to be easy for the coach and me. We were on the couch to watch Spurs who were playing a team three leagues lower in the third round of  FA Cup, at home. At half time Spurs were being outplayed and out-smarted and were 0-1 behind. At 60 minutes Spurs were still 0-1 behind and then at 70 minutes with the score still 0-1 Conte (Spur’s Manager) brought on the bomb-squad and ultimately Spurs won 3-1. But the kudos must go to Morecambe for holding a ‘top’ Premiership so very well.

Last night in the second leg of the Semi-final of the Carabao Cup Spurs went down 0-1 to Chelsea and having lost the first round too are now out of the competition.

It’s not looking good, ….so

Come on you Spurs. COYS!

As always,

Gerald

Ps

There will be no newsletter from me next week.

See you in a fortnight.

G

Email: gpotash1@gmail.com     Phone: +27 82 557 5775
 
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