Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

It has been a bad and a good week for Cyril. His Party is supporting him and he is smiling notwithstanding the report on his action after the robbery at his farm. The Section 89 report has made things extremely difficult for him and I am quite sure that wherever you are you have been hearing/ reading about what is going on in SA concerning our President.

Every day of this week the report and its possible ramifications have totally dominated our news. I have received articles about the affair from the NY Times, The Guardian, The Sydney Herald, The Economist, The Jerusalem Post and even a Swiss newspaper highlighting the trouble that our President is in. Thank you ALL for forwarding them. Here every one of our newspapers has had pages of commentary daily on all the meetings called by the ANC and opposition Parties to discuss “what next for Cyril Ramaphosa” after that report from the Section 89 Committee found that Cyril had a “prima facie” case to answer and suggesting that his impeachment is a possibility. At the weekend the grapevine sent out a message that Cyril had tendered his resignation. That was exciting and made lots of news but who would take over? Then we read that the top brass in the Party implored him to stay and fight. And then at the beginning of the week there were the two top-level ANC meetings where Cyril recused himself…….correctly…..because they, the ANC big shots, were to discuss him and what to do about his position…. so more stories leaked and kept us enthralled.                                                          

The meeting on Tuesday decided that Parliament must vote on the matter and then the vote was postponed for a week so that a full house of MPs could vote.  Since Parliament was burnt down at the beginning of the year, the meeting will take place next Tuesday at the CT City Hall and all 400 will vote on whether Cyril should stay or face a possible impeachment. This was Zapiro’s take on it from The Daily Maverick on Saturday:

Now it seems Cyril’s lawyers have advised him to challenge the report and to take it on the review to the Constitutional Court to have its findings overturned. Why? Probably because this action will take so much longer. Does this not remind you of Zuma’s Stalingrading tactics?    

Tim Cohen, business editor at Daily Maverick, in his excellent article on Monday–After the Bell– points out one thing that has made no news at all—namely that the Committee’s report is based on hearsay evidence submitted by Arthur Fraser, a known charlatan who is not beyond making up stories. And there are serious problems with the story. Who is Mustafa Mohamed Ibrahim Hazim, a citizen of Sudan (maybe Dubai?), who arrived on Christmas day and bought 20 buffalo for cash? Why did he arrive at the farm on Christmas day? How did he get all those dollars into the country? Was the money declared? Was VAT paid on the sale? Why are the cattle that he bought still on the farm almost three years later? And who can properly explain why all that money was “hidden” in a sofa?

What this excitement has pushed out of our newspapers are the many serious problems we have here.  The shocking state of SA is and should be the real issue. The ongoing, irritating and hugely disruptive power outages, the disastrous state of unemployment, the demise of our railways, the state of education at our schools, the fact that certain gangs now have police working for them, the state of our roads…….you’ve heard it all, and more, before and it’s the sad reality of living in SA today. The ANC is to blame and MUST be replaced at the next election which is now just 18 months away.

Justice Malala suggests that if you want to get an idea of what awaits South Africa in the almost two years to the 2024 elections, you can just do a quick scan through the ANC’s nominees for seats on its 80-member national executive committee (NEC). The ANC’s 3,800 branches “in good standing” have overwhelmingly nominated convicted thugs, corruption-tainted and scandal-ridden individuals to lead them — and us. It is sad that this Party has sunk to the level where decency and service mean so little. With a little bit of luck the ANC will be despatched to the bin and a coalition of the DA and like minded Parties will be able to keep these despicable characters far away from power. 

Malala goes on “You could pin the ANC nominees list to a wall and throw a dart at it. Almost every throw would reward you with a scoundrel” This is the Party that Ramaphosa puts ahead of the country. Does he deserve to remain as President?  One real fear is that voters may not turn up in enough numbers to achieve a change of government and a likely scenario is that the ANC will coalesce with the EFF and if that happens then G-d help us all.                                     I received this WhatsApp message from Pieter during the week. It really does say it all, doesn’t it?

A further problem is that if Cyril goes who replaces him?              Never before have I better understood the expression, ‘Better the devil you know……’.

Our Deputy President, DD Mabuza has this week been reported to the NPA because of his connection with a R35 billion land scam. That’s not the only mark against his name either. And what lots of S Africans would like to know is what he does in Russia when he “disappears” there for months at a time.  OUTA, the organization for undoing tax abuse, believe he was the kingpin in a Mpumalanga land restitution scheme and want him charged along with 12 others for his important part in the crime —and they say they can prove it.

Jacob Zuma is hopping mad that The Helen Susman Foundation has made application to court to join State Advocate Billy Downer’s legal challenge against Zuma’s legal challenge against the private prosecution Downer launched against him. Convoluted, no? This comes to court later this week and it is going to be fun, so watch this space.

Yesterday Janusz Walus was released from prison after serving 28 years for killing Chis Hani.  After being stabbed in prison just before his parole release was due, I hope that the police can keep him safe. There is a huge amount of displeasure from a certain group to his parole ruling. He will be staying in SA for the duration of the parole period.

Load shedding is with us big time. Yesterday we were moved up to Stage 6 again and immediately our electricity was off from 4.00 till after 8.00 pm.  It’s a pain!

One bit of good news this week is how well the economy has rebounded. The expected 0.6% growth rate for the quarter came in at 1.6%. That certainly surprised most analysts. Agriculture was the star performer thanks to bumper grain harvests. 

Will it help? Not really because our birth rate is about 1.6%.

My notable coffee catch-up this week was with Marvin and Lois from Melbourne. My late brother, Allan was particularly close to Marvin and we go back about 60 years and Lois knows the world champion from their both growing up in Windhoek. They emigrated 44 years ago and we have remained in contact ever since. When I was in Sydney earlier this year I was going to meet them but then I got covid and had to cancel my plans, so this was really a lovely meeting after not seeing them for about 5 or 6 years.

Dennis, that character of note invited the usual suspects to listen to Judge Dennis Davis address the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday last. Paul couldn’t make it but Peter (from Monaco) was with us to listen to the brilliance of the Judge talking about, amongst other current topics, how politicians are “using” the law to deflect the law for their own purposes. Think of Jacob Zuma and his Stalingrading tactics as the obvious– but certainly not the only–example. The Judge took questions from the floor and was magnificently detailed in his explanations. I am sure we would all have sat the whole afternoon listening to him had he not needed to leave rather early to meet a cabinet minister.

The coach was not on the couch with me to watch sport this weekend—he had another engagement. But in the games on the weekend in the World Cup Tottenham’s Son Heung-min was brilliant in an assist that secured a win for his country Korea, Harry Kane scored in England’s encounter to help them through to the knock-out stage while Richarlison was totally magnificent in Brazil’s 4-1 win against S Korea. To round off the Spurs’ front row’s class Perisic’s great header made it possible for Croatia to go up against Brazil in the quarter finals.  So Spurs fans are happy even though Korea lost on Monday and is now out of the competition. No football until the weekend……I am expecting the coach to be back on the couch.

As always,


Email:     Phone: +27 82 557 5775
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