Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

The story of the week must be the $8.5 billion offered by wealthy nations to SA to bolster energy supply and it is linked to a climate-finance deal. 90% of those funds will be used to decommission coal-fired power plants while developing renewable energy sources.

The question that must arise is how much of that money will be syphoned off by the well positioned cadres who are rubbing their hands in anticipation of all this money coming into the country.

It really does seem as if everything that connects cadres to these kinds of funds gets diminished by their corruption. A story in the Sunday Times this week highlights the gross embezzlement and fraud carried out at the National Lotteries. Late last week the SIU got an order to attach luxury homes, vehicles (including a Rolls Royce) and even business franchises of those suspected of benefitting fraudulently. Siwela in the Citizen on the weekend saw it like this:

To add to the Lottery story this week another ANC big-shot, a former cabinet Minister, Bongani Bongo was in court facing corruption charges. These charges relate to a farm bought for R10.5 million being sold to the government minutes later for R36 million. You are surely not surprised at this story are you?

Isn’t this the way that the way all Ministers get so rich?  Interestingly Bongo, the former Minster, was fired by Cyril (yes, Cyril has actually fired someone from his cabinet) when he came into office in 2018 but Bongo sat until quite recently as a senior MP, with all the frills and perks that that allows.

Jacob Zuma hit out at Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday telling a group of loyalists that Ramaphosa’s election as Party leader was not democratic or fair because Ramaphosa admitted that he used money to “buy” votes.  Zuma went so far as to suggest that  by calling the ANC “the Accused No 1 corrupt organisation in the country” Ramaphosa was de-campaigning the ANC.

JZ wants the organisation to get itself into order.

Isn’t that ironic? He who almost single handedly did the most damage to the Party now wants it to renew itself.

Presidential hopeful and cabinet member, Lindiwe Sisulu, had another “go” at Cyril on Friday. She spoke on the SABC and stated that 3 previous Presidents had recently expressed disappointment with Ramaphosa’s performance as ANC leader. She then went even further by suggesting that the President should step-aside because of the Phala Phala farm saga. She also doesn’t want the President to “interfere in ANC matters”!!

Why doesn’t Cyril turf her out of cabinet right now?

You know why…….it’s because Cyril is a wuss. This cartoon is from Brandan in Business Day more than a year ago and is still prescient:

Sunday was the final day for Cyril to respond to the questions asked of him by opposition parties pertaining to the Phala Phala theft matter where “millions of dollars” were stolen from his farm. We have been told that he has answered those questions. Well, within the next week or so we will know whether the former Chief Justice, Sandile Ngobo and his two colleagues will rule that the Leader of the ANC must step-aside and so not allow his name to go forward next month in the Elective Conference. The Conference will again be held at Nasrec and whatever happens in the next week or so, it is bound to be fascinating. 

Even more so now that the ANC Youth League have come out in favour of, not Cyril but Zweli Mkize to lead the Party.

Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhebane makes news every week and every week it is bad news. This week we learnt that she has been living in the Ministerial Estate at great cost to the State–us– (R60,000-00 p/m rental) to which she is not entitled. She is about to be kicked out, but she has already cost us R4 million irregularly. Wouldn’t you like the State to pay for your rental and all the other perks that come with living like our grossly overpaid Ministers?

Mkhwebane also lost yet another Appeal last week on Thursday.  She wants to return to work but she not only lost her appeal against her suspension but was ordered in the Western Cape High Court to pay costs in her personal capacity. 

It’s hard to know who has lost more cases; Zuma or Mkhwebane. Both use Adv Dali Mpofu as Counsel and he has earned over R12 million in fees from her alone —money that we tax-payers have had to pay just for him to act for her. 

That is a disgrace.

Has Mpofu actually ever won a case, I wonder. But this ex-Chairman of the EFF has a big mouth and, indubitably, an even bigger ego.

The Office of the Treasury  of the United States has imposed financial sanctions on four brothers doing business in SA who are thought to be terrorists. The Akbar brothers are active in Durban and the US believes they are part of an Isis cell doing business here. It would appear that the US has lost faith in SA’s ability to track terrorist activity and have imposed these sanctions internationally.

Service delivery protests and power outages have badly affected final year school exams. Last week 119 venues were affected and these exams will have to be re-written.  On Tuesday one of the questions in the matric maths paper had an error. Boy, has this caused a reaction! 

Mind you, those kids do have my sympathy. The exams are hard enough and this bunch has to contend with power outages and now faulty questions. Not easy.

At UCT internal bickering and disastrous staff meetings continue. Accusations, walkouts and unhappiness rule the roost and lawyers have been  brought in from all sides to try to keep some sort of peace. On Monday night  after a marathon meeting lasting 8 hours a panel including three judges was appointed to investigate the misconduct and abuse allegations levelled at the vice-chancellor and the council chair.

This story is connected to the dismissal of the  deputy vice-chancellor Lis Lange and is causing major staff divisions and  needs to come to an end.

Stellenbosch Univesity called for an inquiry into the case made by black students who feel they are made not welcome there. Judge Khampepe’s report points out that though steps in transformation have been taken there is still a “barrier”. Certain of the black staff also feel unwelcome.

The Rector of the University has noted the report and said that steps will be taken to correct these perceptions by positive action.

Some very good news making headlines this week is that our City is forging ahead with their high-tech crimefighting plan. We are getting drones to monitor hotspots, we are getting a specialised Highway Patrol Unit which will automatically scan number plates and we are getting the return of gunshot sensors.

The rumour that Pick-n-Pay boss, Raymond Ackerman is dead is untrue. The 91 year old said so himself in a humorous tweet on Monday.

Leon asked me whether I knew if Eskom was doing anything for Black Friday.

The coach was on the couch as usual to watch the big games. On Saturday evening the Springboks (current rugby World Champions) played Ireland (ranked No 1) in Dublin. We just lost 19-16 but we didn’t have a kicker and the refereeing was poor in our eyes. 

Then the coach was back to watch the football on Sunday evening.  But late on Saturday night our cricketers had an “easy” last group game against Holland. A win or even a rain induced draw would see us through to the knock-out stages. 

I am so pleased I didn’t stay up to watch the Netherlands beat the Proteas and our boys are coming home from Oz sooner than expected since this loss sees us out  of the T20 World Cup. Did you even know that they play cricket in Holland?

A cruel joke doing the rounds:

The good news is that our Bafana Bafana boys are now not the worst SA sports team.

Then the coach was back to watch the football to make this an unbelievably depressing weekend of sport, Spurs went down 1-2 to Liverpool at home.

Last night Spurs were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Nottingham Forest 0-2. Notts are the bottom placed side in the Premier League.

Sports results don’t get worse than this and you know how hard it is to be a Spurs supporter but I will remain loyal to my teams.

As always,  


Email:     Phone: +27 82 557 5775
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2 thoughts on “The Week That Was”
  1. Close down coal fired and build renewables. Well that is a laugh.
    Mexico had a series of outages and tracked the faults to wind farms and shut them down.
    A wind turbine does not produce the essential and legally required 50 hertz.
    Rooftop PV solar does not have the capacity to supply the grid.
    Interesting times ahead.

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