Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

The Ramaphosa-faction in the ANC got a strong boost this weekend when Mpumalanga (Eastern Transvaal, to you)—the first of the eight provinces to hold its conference ahead of the National Elective Conference at the end of the year— gave solid support to the President. This province changed allegiance suddenly five years ago when their then Premier, DD Mabuza “was offered” the Deputy Premiership for his support of Cyril in what has become known as the CR campaign. And so it happened that Cyril became head of the ANC instead of you know who —by the narrowest of margins.

This Mapumalanga result is a serious setback for the Zuma faction and the chances of DD Mabuza retaining his position now look slim.

Interestingly, the fellow elected to lead the province for the ANC is unemployed. This quiet-spoken fellow is one of the millions and millions of our population looking for a job.

Another interesting feature of the election was that a chap who is charged as a suspect in two murders was elected as the provincial Treasurer. 

But in this case, the Party, after two days, asked him to step aside and he did, although two days later his letter of acknowledgemnet  has still not been received by the ANC committee.

Ramaphosa was stronger in tone than he has been before while addressing the congress at its close on Sunday. He told his audience that the ANC is a house on fire and that they have to put it out or the general election in 2024 will be lost. For that, he blamed the faction fighting. He even actually went so far as to blame too many cadres for wanting to score financially from positions in the Party. Well, it’s time you woke up Cyril!  So, when did you notice this?

Is Cyril at last showing leadership?

The rot in the ANC is palpable and it really is time that Cyril does something more than just talk.

Ramaphosa’s second term bid, however, received a setback in the Lower South Coast region of KZN when at their elective conference this weekend supporters of JZ carried the vote. As you can see the factions are fighting and this whole leadership thing in the ANC is still very much in the air.

Two sentences handed down by our courts have made lots of news this week. Our erstwhile Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, the current leader of the ANC Woman’s League, was found guilty of perjury and fined R200,000-00 (that is less than two months of her income from her current positions as head of ANC structures) or 4 years imprisonment. Half of those sentences have been suspended for 5 years. This sourpuss had already been convicted in 2016 for fraudulent travel claims and was then fined for lying to Parliament. Then in 2017 she illegally extended a contract that cost us R1.5 billion. She will pay this new fine of R100,000-00 and so stay out of jail. That is outrageous. But she is a cadre.

She who has cost us, taxpayers, billions is still running the show for the ANC and has not stepped aside, although the Top Six did meet on Monday to consider her position. What is there to consider? She is a convicted criminal. But don’t think for one moment that this sourpuss is the only top-shot who lies and has been found out. Our Public Protector was found lying under oath by the Constitutional Court.
Paul Hoffman of Accountability Now has written to the PP demanding answers to his 13 questions directed to her years ago that she studiously ignores. He has added a rider that if she ducks answering this time he will expose the contents of his request to the press. What is she doing in office?

This is Zapiro’s take on the matter from the Daily Maverick echoing the Dlamini cry that her crimes are little oversights (smallanyana) :

The other judgement-making news was all about a student who in 2017 was erroneously overpaid R14 million instead of her monthly R1,400-00 food allowance and she spent R818,000-00 of that as quickly as she could before the error was identified. She got a 5 years imprisonment sentence without the option of a settlement fine.

There is no doubt that had she been an ANC cadre she would have been above the law

You probably recall that the ANC passed a resolution at their indaba in 2017 that those accused of a crime would step aside until they cleared their names in court. This means nothing.

One State Dept that is now working well, very well, is SARS. Our tax recovery fellows have been on the ball this financial year and have collared R25 billion that in days gone by would have slipped under the carpet. Luxury cars, wealthy individuals, churches and ppe (personal protective equipment) were the sure targets that Kieswetter and his crew focused on.

Some more good news. This week Moody’s changed it’s outlook on SA’s debt from negative to stable. Two reasons were sighted: The higher commodity prices and the governmemnt’s debt consolidation plans.

Also good to learn is that the NPA are going after the ex-chief of the State Security Agency (SSA) for allegedly stealing more than R150 million. The money was allegedly used to finance ANC campaigns and to see that their choice of candidates were elected to key positions in the Party. Oh yes, there was money over after the campaigning and that was used to buy properties in Pretoria, Joburg and Cape Town. 

That is just another example of to where our tax money has been funneled under the Zuma regime.

ABSA Bank is one of our big five. It used to be Barclays in the good old days. They are in trouble because they have appointed a white CEO.   The bank and it’s directors have been attacked by The Black Management Forum, the PIC and various economists. The fallout is lamentable when the best person qualified for a job must be overlooked because of “transformation”. 

Is this part of the price we are paying for Apartheid?  Probably.

Accused No 1’s fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering trial is set to start this coming Monday. I can’t wait!

JZ is still trying his level best to have the case postponed, or even withdrawn. His counsel has used the plea that he is too old to stand trial in such a lengthy matter. So I ask, whose fault is that?

The lawyers will be in court on Monday, but I am not so sure that Accused No 1 will be there. I’ll be watching the proceedings, for sure. This is a classic old cartoon from Dr Jack & Curtis that says it all: 

Cyril held a “family chat” on Monday evening on TV. He was late again but only by 15 minutes. He has ended the State of Disaster (some say in name only leaving many restrictions still in place) after 750 days. We still have to wear masks indoors and sports and religious meetings have restrictions still in place. 

Pik Botha’s grandson, who shares the family name, Roelof Botha has this week been appointed to head up one of the world’s biggest hedge fund, Sequoia Capital. This graduate of UCT (followed by an MBA at Stanford) who once sat at the desk next to Elon Musk at Pay Pal, has done so very well.   We are constantly reminded how much the brain drain from here is hurting.

I’m not much into touring anymore but Jonathan had some time ago told me about the Cape Muslim & Slave Heritage Museum that had recently been developed inside the Castle. It took me a little while to get there, but I did on Monday and there I met with Igshaan Higgins, the curator. Igshaan is an interesting chap, also a lawyer, who spends more than 70% of his time at the Castle developing this project. 

What an interesting tour. So much to see, all marvelously authentic from the beginnings of the Cape, with Jan van Riebeek meeting the Khoi and the San, to Bo-Kaap and District Six (where I worked as a counter-hand in Mr Banks crockery shop in Hanover St as a schoolboy) and its Jewish connection. You see everything from authentic colourful Coon Carnival outfits to “the kitchen” where sosaties to samoosas and plenty more can be enjoyed.  

Did you know that the Cape Colony was sold to the British by the Dutch for £6 million. 

What a wonderful addition to a Cape Town visit the Castle has just become. Already this museum was awarded The Golden Heritage Award for 2022. It is sure to win many more awards and has become a must-visit and not only for tourists to our lovely city.

As sporting weekends go, this past one wasn’t too bad at all.

The Stormers trounced their Welsh counterparts, the Ospreys in the Cape Town stadium and are on top of the log with 2nd place Bulls to play on Saturday. The Proteas beat the Bangladeshi’s in the first cricket test but there is a bad taste. Bangladesh has asked for neutral umpires for the 2nd test. Do they hope that will help their poor performance when, in their second innings they were all out for 53?

Spurs scored 5 times in their Premiership match to make the race to the top four and so make qualification for the premier European competition again possible. The way they are playing right now gives us diehard fans hope. 

As always,                                                                                                  


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One thought on “The Week That Was”
  1. Thanks for mentioning that the Dutch sold the Cape Colony ( an area that at that time included the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and a chunk of the Northern Cape as part of a Treaty in 1814. What is not mentioned is that the total population of this large chunk of real estate at the time was said to be some 60 000, including Settlers, slaves, Khoi-Khoi, San, etc. Now there was no proper census of course, so the numbers for outside the various larger settlements no doubt involved at least a modicum of inspired guess work but that is sparsely occupied by any measure at some 3.2 square kilometres (320 hectares) each. Since my forbears were in the 27 000 European number, and I am told that they “stole” the land, one has to ask “who on earth from?”

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