I am irritated by the amount of publicity given to the ANC as compared to other political parties. This weekend was non-stop ‘ANC news’ as the Eastern Cape held their party elections. There was a race to lead the party between two friends; colleagues who have have served together for years. The incumbent leader won and remains Premier of the province after a chaotic couple of days where disorganization reigned and the conference overran its alloted time schedule. The re-elected party leader is a loyal Cyril supporter and is vital to Ramaphosa’s effort to remain head of the ANC in the coming year-end elective conference.
But why the voters of the Eastern Cape would want him back as leader of the province beats me. The province is a mess, nothing works, the towns are filthy and the officials, now re-elected have done nothing about the critical water shortage. Each one of the retained provincial cabinet should have been fired if the Party was run professionally rather than by cadres.
This election, however, is a serious set-back for the RET-faction in the ANC.
There are seven more such party elections scheduled before the ANC comes to Durban at the end of the year to choose their leader for the next 5 years. Nobody can sum a political event better than Zapiro with another classic from Daily Maverick yesterday:
Murders are far too frequent in our country (more than 60 a day!)and for the police to speedily track down a culprit in a high profile case is as commendable as it is unusual. 28 year- old Hillary Gardee was murdered and her body was discovered last Friday. By Saturday a suspect, from the sprawling township of Schoemansdal in Mpumalanga had been arrested. Gardee, the daughter of a lawyer who was the former General-Secretary of the EFF was found dead in a forest just outside of Nelspruit. Then on Sunday two more suspects were arrested and all three appeared in the Magistrates Court on Monday. It appears that one of the suspects is employed by the ANC but I’m not sure whether he is employed to kill opposition party members.
Judge Dennis Davis has a weekly program on TV where he asks his audience to judge local problems. It is called You be the Judge and all sorts of people and often politicians get grilled by him. This week he had Andre de Ruyter, CEO of Eskom and energy expert, Ted Blom as his guests and Blom was ruthless is his attack on Eskom and the on-going corruption that our power utility is still exposed to.
I felt sorry for De Ruyter when Blom attacked him and it is clear that Blom is not too happy with him or anyone connected to the running of our Power Utility. What Blom so very clearly laid bare is that corruption is still extremely prevalent at the SOE (admitted by du Ruyter) and is costing us really serious money. Lots came out of this often heated debate and one example is that Medupi, one of the largest power stations in the world was budgeted to cost us R34 billion. It cost us more than double that and can anybody tell you where the overrun money went because Medupi is a disaster and is not working functionally. The grand debt of Eskom is over R500 billion and Blom told us that only R300 billion is accounted for. Blom, highly qualified with engineering and business degrees from all over the world, wants to know what has happened to the R200 billion that Eskom has not accounted for. ( Yes, you can guess….it probably has gone to Dubai with the Guptas).
De Ruyter admitted that there is still corruption at Eskom and that it is costing us plenty but that the powers that be are reluctant to do anything about it. I wonder why? Du Ruyter told of his total frustration that when they arrest someone on suspicion of corruption or fraud he is usually released from jail the very next day by some high-up policeman!!
Oh, and did you know that Chancellor House, the ANC’s private investment company was a shareholder in the development of Medupi and they have donated millions and millions to the ANC?
Surely that doesn’t surprise you.
It is Blom’s view that power outages will be with us until at least 2025.
Judge Davis is convinced that nothing will change at this SOE unless we see orange overalls. Carlos in the Mail & Guardian was on to the Eskom debacle in a flash when the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan declared that Eskom is not a disaster:
Taking Judge Davis’s point about orange overalls two Cabinet Ministers have made encouraging statements this week. Ronald Lamola, Justice Minister, and Pravin Gordhan have both made statements about orange overalls being overdue. Remember here they are talking about comrades and some who are probably on first-name terms with them. The ANC is on a downward spiral and unless this happens quickly the outlook for the party is glum.
On that score, some good news is that 20 cases, implicating 65 people from the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture have been registered. The NPA is working with the Zondo Commission and has promised action within the next six months. Shamila Batohi has asked for more funding. She needs between R750 million and R1billion to be able to do her job properly and I feel some cabinet ministers are amongst those 65 who are going to be charged for accepting “favours” from Bosasa, the Gavin Watson company so exposed for bribery during the Commission hearings.
It could only happen to Jacob Zuma where a screw-up in communication with the Judge hearing the case to decide whether his medical parole release from prison was legal or not, was not delivered. The matter which should have been heard in February and then again in May will now only be able to be heard in August and Accused No 1’s jail term for refusing to come back to the Zondo Commission to answer questions ends in October.
You know what I am thinking…….Could this miscommunication have been done on purpose by a loyal cadre? There is an inquiry into the matter.
Those of you interested in politics MUST read RW Johnson’s piece on Helen Zille and the DA which I have included here from Politicsweb. Truly this brilliant man teaches important lessons that every politician should understand.
Two high-profile legal eagles had judgments go directly against them early this week. The Judge-President of our province, John Hlophe had his bid to overturn a judgment allowing him to be impeached, that has been dragging on for13 years, go against him with costs. This matter has to do with him trying to influence two judges in a Jacob Zuma matter where Hlophe came out on the side of Zuma… But, as the court ruled, trying to influence two sitting judges in a case while it is still running just does not go and there must be consequences.
Then not for the first time, our Public Prosecutor, Busisiwe Mkebane was thrown out of court with costs going against her……..now Parliament can vote on whether to impeach her or not….except she has appealed this Con-Court judgment too, but that’s not news anymore. And anyway her impeachment hearing will now begin with Parliament to ask, on Friday the public to write to them stating for or against her staying in her position.
It looks like a fifth Covid wave has arrived and infection numbers are rising rapidly amongst the unvaccinated. But the medical community has told us not to panic but rather to see that we are fully vaccinated. They do not expect this wave to be as disruptive or as serious as the previous ones.
The newish Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla screwed up things badly when he announced new Covid regulations. Initially, he told school kids that they need not wear masks, then he got his mind changed and now we all have to wear marks indoors.
Some more good news is that according to our Transport Minister bullet trains are close to becoming a reality for long-distance high-speed transport. Mind you, when I see it in operation I’ll believe it. Mbalula has also suggested that he is going to announce that we will have electric power points all over the country to charge electric vehicles.
I don’t think anyone can believe a word that this man says and again I ask what are people like this mampara doing in the cabinet.
Has anybody told Fikile that we are still load shedding?
Cape Town has been declared the 3rd best city in the world by The Telegraph newspaper after Barcelona and Sydney. We have lost our top spot, but the results were close and to beat cities like Paris, London & New York is a real feather in our cap.
And the seriously good news is that charges of “gross misconduct”—racism– against National cricket coach, Mark Boucher have been withdrawn.
My notable coffee catch-up this week included a lovely lunch at Harbour House in Kalk Bay yesterday. John and Pat are Rhodesians and are a wonderful company. We didn’t stop talking and I learned all about Expropriation Without Compensation because Pat lost three highly successful farms and got nothing for them. Notwithstanding that, they are happy in Harari and are not thinking of emigrating. It was interesting to learn about their lives and they compared living in their pleasant bubble with the way we live in the Western Cape.
The football from Liverpool on Saturday evening was probably one of the most exciting games I have watched in a very long time. Considering that Liverpool is currently riding on a crest of wins and challenging strongly to top the league, the result of 1-1 was a good result for the white shirts. COYS.
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