The press has been unanimous this week with its criticism of Ramaphosa for his lack of communication. He has not only kept the Phala Phala farm debacle secret but he refuses to explain why a plane full of security personnel was necessary to accompany him to Ukraine and Russia or why it had a cache of illegal arms on board. Not a word has he uttered about his visits other than to say that they, the African nations, together with him on this trip are a step closer in showing they are working together in their support for a peaceful result. So what does that mean?
Of the total mess up with the plane that was left for 26 hours waiting idle at the end of the Warsaw runway with puffed-up army generals, high ranking police officers and a few top journalists, who were all supposed to accompany Cyril, he said not a word. But the Minister in the President’s Office at a press conference once they were back home said that it was a really bad idea to take the journalists along. Is that statement adequate to explain the mess up and embarrassment which again made SA a laughing stock. Ramaphosa has surrounded himself with a cabinet of half-wits and Khumbudzo Ntshaveni is one of them.
RW Johnson, the political scientist then paints an exceedingly poor picture of Ramaphosa’s performance in Paris this past week. That he was completely out of his depth and lacking understanding of the situation is more than worrying. So not only is Cyril backing the wrong horse in the Ukraine war, as far as SA trade is concerned, but he also told European leaders that they need to give African States more money to allow them to be taken seriously. What utter nonsense! His demeanour as well as his statement was sadly out of context with the discussions taking place. Johnson says Ramaphosa was way out of his depth and rather pathetic at the meeting.
Paul Mashatile is our Deputy President and is keen to take over the mantles of leadership and Carol Paton believes that transfer might come soon. This week News24 has been doing in depth analyses of this man and what we read is disturbing to say the least. His love of parties and pretty girls are legendary and his use of other peoples money is just as disturbing particularly when it is seen who is supporting his billionaire life-style. One of his major patrons is Edwin Sodi, the billionaire who with Ace Magashule is criminally charged with fraud and corruption in the Free State asbestos roof scandal. Sodi’s luxurious sea-view holiday home, is available to Mashatile at all and any times times free of charge and whenever he wants. It was used by him frequently. It is in Clifton and is worth about R80 million. The house has just been sold by the authorities trying to recoup missing Free State funds. But no worries for Mashatile. Just 5 houses down from Ramaphosa’s mansion in Fresnaye, another very swanky Cape Town suburb, is a home owned by Ndavhe Mareda, a billionaire largely rich from coal contracts he has received from Eskom. That home too gets used free and for nothing by Mashatile who very rarely pays for anything out of his own pocket. And when he stays there his guests naturally stay free too.
An amount of R371,000 was paid into Mashatile’s bank account a little while ago by Sodi. Not a word of this payment has been mentioned.
Die Burger in a front-page exposé on Tuesday calls out the ANC for remaining dead quiet about all these Mashatile revelations. Communicating is not the ANC strength, is it?
Also on Monday one of Mashatile’s ex-girlfriends was in court after Mashatile’s adviser was threatened by her and another ex-girlfriend. The girls are apparently trying to extort money from Mashatile and the matter (held in camera) has been postponed until the end of August.
Then on Tuesday Rise Mzansi, the political party has formally asked our Public Protector to investigate Mashatile and ask him to prove that he is not “captured”. That may be very difficult for him to deny in the light of all the evidence now public.
The articles running in News24 about our Deputy President are titled
“Mashatile Unmasked. A president in waiting: Inside his life of excess”
The article also goes back to Mashatile’s younger years and points out his “connection” to Alexandra (the Johannesburg suburb where he grew up) and the ‘Alex mafia’. All this information is just a little more than disconcerting. It could actually be criminal.
Yesterday afternoon Mashatile announced that he has nothing to worry about. He scoffed the stories doing the rounds and said that they were nothing but speculation.
Is there no one else in the ANC who can take over from Cyril?
SA needs new leadership and the sooner the better.
This is Brandan’s cartoon from yesterday’s Business Day:
Judge Zondo was all over the news towards the end of last week. Parliament attacked him for having the gall to criticise them. The Judge pointed out that NONE of the recommendations he made in his report on State Capture have been followed up by Parliament. A year ago Parliament set themselves a year in which to set up hearings/ committees and then make laws to prohibit such capture in future, but they have done NOTHING.
Zondo fully believes that with this lax parliament State Capture could easily take place again. (As we all can all see; because of their inaction corruption is just as rife as it always has been.)
There is no end in sight to this disagreement between the Judge and the legislators. Parliament (read ANC MPs) believe that Zondo is undermining the principle of the separation of powers.
Paul Hoffman SC in Business Day on Tuesday again points out that what is needed urgently is a Chapter 9 (not to be behoven unto Parliament –read ANC) Super Scorpions investigative body to exercise oversight of the executive and to ensure proper implementation of the laws passed. This was Zapiro’s take on the whole sad affair taken from The Daily Maverick early this week:
The ANC in the Western Cape held their elective conference for the first time in 8 years this past weekend in Cape Town. Typically it got off to a shaky start on Friday with registration taking a whole day.
Eventually, new office bearers were elected and Cyril was on hand on Sunday evening to close the whole thing. He told the faithful that he believes they can take over from the DA in our Province!!
The DA has been in the news because the Party ex-head honcho in the Eastern Cape called Helen Zille a racist. And he did so publicaly. Not a good idea. He, Nqaba Bhanga also accused Zille of working with the ANC to get rid of him. He has now, after being given time to explain himself, been turfed out of the Party.
Our universities remain in the news. It has now become obvious that some universities have become huge sites for personal enrichment and procurement through budget allocations. All this because of poor leadership and turmoil at our education institutions.
The ANC has issued a strong warning to members who have been burning ANC memorabilia and T-shirts in protest of the expulsion of former secretary-general Ace Magashule. Lots has been written about this support (actually only in the Free State) but this will all disappear once Magashule is found guilty of his crimes. It really is time for the NPA to start cracking the whip.
For all you Free Staters your Cheetahs won the Currie Cup in a lively, reasonably entertaining encounter against the Pumas. But the Bloemfontein Stadium was just over half full and one wonders whether there is still a place in SA rugby for the Currie Cup now that the Big Four play in the overseas leagues.
The football season is almost upon us. News from the Premiership is all about the transfers and movements of top players to new clubs. Is Kane leaving for £60 million to Bayern? That news is rather worrying.
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