Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

It is truly sad for me to begin this newsletter by trying to explain how incompetent our bureaucrats—all appointed by the ANC are. 

The first story of the week is about Cyril Ramaphosa having to go on a SAA A340 jet to the Democratic Republic of Congo with just 12 handlangers.  The airplane has seating for 320 passengers. The trip cost R1.6 million. (The Sunday Times said R2.6 million). Why not use the presidential jet you may well ask? Well, because the bureaucrats forgot to pay the annual R300,000.00 fee that allows all our jets that fly internationally on government business.  This is Brandan’s take on the episode from Business Day on Tuesday:

Worse than that story is the letter to the Daily Maverick in its weekend edition that told the story of the 74 year-old South African woman visiting France who had her bag snatched at a railway station; the bag had her money, passport and her chronic medicines inside. After trying desperately to find the bag (with or without the culprit) she gave up and returned to her hotel to try to make contact with someone at our Consulate or anyone at the SA Embassy. She phoned repeatedly and the answering machine told her to send an email. She did.  And did again. No response. The next day she tried phoning again and the phone just rang and rang and rang. 

And we pay these people’s salaries!

The story has a relatively happy ending inasmuch as someone (an elderly Italian with a Phd) found the bag and collected its contents strewn all over the show.  Then, with much effort he traced the lady on day three to return her bag and contents, sans money of course.

I can imagine her angst. I once left my passport in a bank on a Saturday morning (Barcelona, Olympic Games) when I  had needed it to draw money. When I realised my faux pas I hurriedly  returned to find the bank closed for the weekend. I broke into a cold sweat, I was flying out on the next day, Sunday…….and in desperation I started to rattle the huge iron gate in front of the bank.  A young chap saw me fiercely shaking the locked gate and calmly asked what was the problem. I told him that I thought I had left my passport on the bank teller’s counter. He took a passport out of his pocket and asked me if it was mine? On a Saturday afternoon he had been waiting for me. Barcelona had “ guides” all over the city during the Games to help stupid people like me.

The Trade Unions are killing our teetering economy and it is not a difficult fight. What right-minded person would suggest that in these times what is best for the country is a strike? Yesterday the two biggest unions allowed only essential workers not to strike. This strike asking for higher wages obviously does the economy no good at all but the leader of strike said it was to illustrate how important workers are !!

Oh, for a Margaret Thatcher!

Paul Hoffman in a great talk at Rotary last Thursday told us about the NDR (National Democratic Revolution). This is ANC policy and what the ANC is “married” to since it took over.  It is supposed to look after every individual’s interests.  Its  effect? Young whites are leaving because there is simply no fair space, under this government, for them to compete. 

In his talk  Hoffman made the point that in 1910 the whites of this country numbered 25% of the total population. At the first democratic election in 1994 the white population had already shrunk to just under 15%. The cause of this dramatic exodus of whites were Sharpville, the Soweto uprising and the internal resistance to apartheid which became increasingly militant during the 1980’s. Now the whites number a little over 8% of our national demographic and are being forced to leave because of the (illegal) cadre deployment policy and the frightening high crime rate.  Cyril again this week said cadre deployment by the ANC is not illegal. Judge Zondo disagrees.

Andrew Kenny, engineer, liberal and writer had an article published in the Daily Friend and I quote here his first paragraph. You can read the whole article by clicking on the link below

“I wonder why I feel so nervous about writing this article. All I am doing is finally admitting what I should have known 40 years ago, that the ANC is not only corrupt, not only cruel and greedy, not only incompetent and useless at serving the people of South Africa, not only power mad, but evil” 

Our crime figures for the last quarter were released on Friday. At least 67 people get murdered every day according to our official stats just released. Those 6,454 deaths in the last quarter are more than the deaths recorded for the same period in the Ukraine, which is at war. As you can see it is patently more dangerous to live in SA than to be in the Ukraine. 

There were almost 11,000 rape cases reported (how many unreported?) and suddenly kidnappings have shot up to over 3300 during the last quarter. Add to those figures a useless police minister with a horribly understaffed and generally uncaring police force and you can see why those who can, leave.

A concerning 1million South Africans emigrated between 2015 and 2020, the majority of whom were most likely part of the skilled labour force.

The young mayor of Cape Town Geordin Hill-Lewis was proud to announce that our murder fingers are down across all suburbs and townships in our metro. He puts this down to the metro policing by the city and he has approached Minister Bheki Cele to allow it to be expanded into a full crime fighting and investigative Metro police unit. It is beyond my understanding why Cele has not jumped at the idea. But you know our Minister. He is ANC and he wants to control everything. The only thing he does properly is change his hat every day. He is ‘the man in the hat’.

Some good news:

In announcing the official rules of engagement for the ANC’s national conference due to take place in December, Kgalema Motlanthe made it clear that those who had been temporarily suspended pending the outcome of a court case or disciplinary hearing would be prohibited from participating in any election. That is a blow to people like Ace Magashule who has made it quite clear that he wants his position as Sec Gen of the ANC back. I’m sure he would like to be President.

Roel Goris, an ex Ambassador of our country, made the point this week, also in the Daily Friend, that in all current conflicts involving democracies versus autocracies (with Ukraine vs Russia as a prime example), South Africa is increasingly seen to be taking the side of the latter. This is Zapiro’s take on the visit of our Defence Minister to Russia last week from Daily Maverick:

Almost every day Busiswe Mkhwebane, our suspended Public Protector is in the news. She demanded that her staff address her as ‘Madam’ and  they quite literally had to bow down when she came into the office. She actually fired a prosecutor for calling her by her first name. 

Her lack of legal knowledge became even more apparent yesterday when the Constitutional Court dismissed Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s second rescission application, calling it “an abuse of process of court”.

In a one-paragraph order, the ConCourt said no case had been made out for rescission and ordered Mkhwebane to pay the costs of the application in her personal capacity on a matter that had been heard previously by two courts granting judgements against her.  So this one cost us tax-payers nothing.

She seriously believed that she was playing chess with the President, who altimately e-v-e-n-t-u-a-ll-y suspended her. Check mate!

Making even more news than Mkhwebane is Enoch Godongwana, our Finance Minister. He has been accused of sexual assault by a masseuse at a luxury game farm. The Minister has strenuously denied the allegations and told the press that his wife was present at the time of his massage. The masseuse tells a different story — that Godongwana’s wife had gone shopping; also that she, the masseuse, was given a substantial cash “tip”. 

The daughter of former president Jacob Zuma has accused Godongwana of gender-based violence.

This story is running.

You would surely have guessed if I had asked you: Who was in Court this week trying to hide his tax returns from publication?

Yes, you guessed it, Jacob Zuma. Very few weeks go by without him spending on legal fees.  

Some media houses believe that they have a right to view confidential returns when it is in the public interest. A lower court late last year directed SARS to disclose those records to those media houses but he never did. Now Zuma was in court fighting yet another battle.

The Springboks are in Adelaide to play a rugby test against the Wallabies on Saturday. It is amazing that the coach has again picked to start some of the players who were way off their best against the All Blacks last week. The stars of their victory the week before sit on the bench waiting to be called. Crazy.

The coach (Clive, not the Springbok coach) was on the couch with me to watch Spurs take on Wolves in a Premiership clash.  Again Spurs won by the single goal and again it was a lucky victory. The Times of London called the Spurs’ display sloppy.


As always,                                                                                                    



This has been a tonic week for us as Marilyn and Max (2 of the 3 Ms) are spending time with us from London. I am flying back with them for a short stay, so this will be my last newsletter for a few weeks. G

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