Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

Two days before the announcement of his sudden and dramatic resignation as the CEO of Eskom became public Andre de Ruyter was poisoned.  De Ruyter was poisoned at work with cyanide in his coffee a day after he had handed in his resignation but before that news was widely known. After taking his coffee he immediately felt strange; weak, dizzy and confused and his face reddened and began to swell. Soon he became totally disorientated and he was taken to a nearby clinic where the poisoning by cyanide was confirmed. De Ruyter has laid attempted murder charges at a police station. 

The Eskom COO, Jan Onerholtzer has also survived an attempt on his life and both of these men have maintained their belief that the trouble at Eskom is internal and largely due to sabotage conducted by staff at the various power stations.

This points strongly to the view that SA has become a criminal state. As if you need confirmation of this fact even Ramaphosa accepted this sad state of affairs in his January 8th speech.

Ramaphosa’s speech to his Party on Sunday was underwhelming. Cyril made promises, all promises he has previously made: Party renewal, an end to load shedding, economic recovery based on increasing employment and investment, better service delivery, fight against crime and corruption, build a better SA.  Then he intimated to what most of us wanted to hear; who would be sacked from the cabinet. Cyril, being Cyril then chose the ‘long game’ which I suppose was to be expected. He told us that he first has to carefully consider any cabinet changes. Really?! The fact that he knows that he has a bloated cabinet and that some of his colleagues in that cabinet attack him openly and even repeatedly is not enough reason for him to fire them right away?  He said he needed much more time to carefully consider his options. What a spineless wuss!

The reality of this ANC is that it is so poor of quality talent that choosing new cabinet ministers is indeed difficult.

The Financial Mail chose Ramaphosa as their Man of the Year with their cover for their last edition of the year asking under his picture….And now will he do something? This is Zapiro’s view of Ramaphosa from the Daily Maverick on Tuesday: the same as last year…..and the year before…..

There is a veritable war going on in the ANC camp. Zuma and Ramaphosa are grimly fighting. Zuma has instituted an urgent private prosecution to have Ramaphosa joined with Billy Downer and Karyn Maughan as an accessory after the fact in the matter where Zuma believes he can get Downer removed from prosecuting the case where he, Zuma is Accused No 1 and Thales, the French arms dealers are Accused No 2.   A full bench will now hear this “urgent” application later this morning (Thursday) in the Johannesburg High Court. Ramaphosa claims that these charges are illegal and unconstitutional. 

An interesting op-Ed in The Citizen yesterday pointed out that when the national anthem was sung at the end of the ANC conference last week the Afrikaans section at the end of the anthem was not sung. The same thing happened at the last Elective conference in 2017 while Zuma was still in control. 

When that once happened in 1996 Madiba called the choir back go sing the WHOLE anthem. But these two Presidents are not Mandela. 

The Citizen editorial by Martin Williams goes on to tell that Whites, Indians and Coloureds make up 21% of our population but in the ANC NEC leadership they only make up less than 5%.

Two of our universities have been in the news this week.

Early in the week the Rector of Fort Hare University survived an assassination attempt but his bodyguard driver was not so lucky. The attempt on his life has to do with the awarding of dodgy degrees and the granting of irregular contracts. This is what happens here at institutions of higher learning when the Rector tries to root out corruption at his institution.

Then UCT just keeps making news and for different and wrong reasons. This week the Rector, Mamokgethi Phakeng, and her deputy came under fire for bullying and misleading their staff. Phakeng had been found to be lying and is accused of belittling students.

Further criticism of UCT comes at the cost of the on-line schooling offered by the university. The coarse they offered is a disgrace because the teaching does not happen and marks get allocated to scholars for subjects they do not even take.

The whole, expensive, system is a total shambles.

To make matters worse for Phakeng she posted pictures of herself armed with high-end armory (AK-47) on her Facebook page. She, who is on medical leave has found time for this nonsense and this has come in for criticism too, but was she trying to warn any prospective assassin?

I recently read Jacques Pauw’s book, Our Poisoned Land and it is depressing to realise how much investigative journalists like Pauw and Pieter de Toi uncover and how little the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) react to what is presented to them on a plate. Corruption gets exposed and high-flyers get named. In the last chapters he exposes how the EFF has been “benefactors” for years from all sorts of nefarious deeds and the looting of the VBS Bank is just one such episode in the story presented by Pauw in his latest book.

It really is time that Malema and Shivambu get brought to court to answer what Pauw and amaBungani and other brave journalists have uncovered and exposed.

And not even one person has been charged arising out of the findings of the extensive Zondo Commission Report on State Capture.

The ANC gets far, far too much publicity. You would think we only have one news source in this country. It really does seem as if our news channels are mouthpieces for the ANC.

SA is doing all it can to obviate “grey listing”. Tomorrow a SA delegation will be in Morocco to try to convince the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) not to add us to the list of grey listed countries. Our top financial chaps are going to try to convince FATF that we are doing enough to combat illicit financial crime. Will they be believed? The downside is harsh if they don’t accept our story. Money will become much dearer to borrow and the terms of repayment also become much shorter. And that is if we can get anyone interested in investing here.

For most of us it is difficult to get used to the power outages. Load shedding is with us daily and often we have outages three times a day for a little more than 2 hours at a time, but sometimes even 4 hours at a time. KFC has temporarily closed some of its outlets in South Africa due to load shedding as it struggles with supplier problems and some branches have taken certain items off the menu. Small businesses generally are taking severe pain because of the irregular supply of electricity. Yesterday Business Day headlines were about factories having to shut down because of load shedding.

Not surprisingly our manufacturing production has fallen.

And all the while the ANC talks about their plans for stimulating the economy!

I have an idea for them: fix Eskom!

The bad news is that an energy expert, Monique le Roux believes that even if all the plans for privatisation and green energy go ahead as hoped for by the government, we will still have power outages for another 10 years. This is how Rico saw what Eskom is doing to us from Business Maverick at the time of Wimbledon last year.

Golf is an expensive pastime, we all know that, but would you pay R350,000-00 for one round? That’s just over $20,000-00.               That is what three fellows did pay to play a round with Cyril before the NEC meeting in Bloefontein last Friday. The ANC is bust and needs the money badly, and then to sit with him or a cabinet minister at the dinner after the golf also cost a small fortune.

The Protea’s cricket tour of Australia is over, thank goodness. The tour seems as to show how badly SA cricket has regressed. Even with the rain saving us to some extent down under, what is clear is that we are nowhere near the standard required for test cricket and our coaches have lots of work to do.

The 20-over bash, inherited from the IPL (Indian Premier League) has started in Cape Town and all the matches are being played nearby. So far I haven’t taken in a game but Dennis, that character of note is twisting my arm and the standard of cricket is just so much better.

The Stormers were unlucky, in an entertaining game in Glasgow to have been pipped by the local side in the dying seconds of the game on Sunday evening.

Spurs played Portsmouth in their FA Cup fixture on Saturday and managed a 1-0 win to get them into the fourth round of that competition. My favourite team had plenty of the possession but did woefully little with it. Portsmouth, 51 rungs lower in the league tables can be satisfied with their performance against a top team even after their narrow loss. 

As always,


Email:     Phone: +27 82 557 5775
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One thought on “The Week That Was”
  1. The stating aware of situations is needed.

    Just finished, a handful of hard men.


    We dared to win, next.

    God be with you all.

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