Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

In spite of the acting Public Protector clearing Cyril Ramaphosa of any wrong doing in the Phala Phala farm scandal, Songezo Zibi who heads up the Rivonia Circle— and now the very new political party that arose from that ‘talk ring’ known as Rise Mzanzi— is not at all happy with that decision. He points out that there was simply no sale.

Although the money was paid by the “buyer” the buffalo were never collected and the money wasn’t banked but stuffed into a lounge suit. Then they were sub-standard animals near their demise. The buyer had no knowledge of buffalo and showed no interest in the stock. Thus there was actually never an exchange and Zibi wonders what the money was really for and whose it was.

Zibi admits he gets no glee in writing about taking apart this flimsy story and singles out the President as being as unbelievable as his predecessor, Jacob Zuma.

He after all knew about the “sale”, knew about the cash and did ……….  nothing!!?

Zapiro was quick off the mark after Zibi’s article with this brilliant cartoon in Daily Maverick. Do take a proper look:

Some very disturbing news from the last few days has been the attacks on the large delivery trucks used to transport so much across the country. In several provinces this weekend 6 trucks then 5 trucks and on Monday 3 and Tuesday 3 and yesterday 4 more trucks were set alight and damaged beyond repair. It looks very much like a co-ordinated attack where gunmen fire at truck drivers to halt their progress and then they throw buckets of petrol into the trucks before setting them alight. The trucks are all heavily laden but nothing gets stolen; just totally destroyed. So far no one has claimed responsibility and it is unsure what the motive is. 

Some believe it was to relive and recall the riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng exactly two years ago. Those riots cost the economy R50 billion and more than  350 lives and these attacks seem to be going the same way.

What is certain is that this time there are gangs at work and they are not only targeting trucks. Anything to prevent goods getting to market. The country is already on its knees because trains don’t run and now this……..

As you are aware our policing is almost non-existent and the lack of it is of critical concern.

Glynis Breytenbach in her talk to the CT Press Club last Wednesday indicated that the first thing the DA would do if they won the election next year would be to get rid of Bheki Cele, the minister of Police. He is useless and week after week his actions attract derision.

Has he uttered one word about these truck attacks?

Well yesterday he said he “lamented the torching of trucks in key transport corridors.” And then he added that the police have identified “12 people of interest”. He said the people of interest were “concentrated in KwaZulu Natal.

After the  NEC (National Executive Committee) meeting on the weekend a smiling Ramaphosa —the smile looked forced to me— took questions from the press. He rejected claims that Paul Mashatile was going to be replaced in spite of the Deputy President making the point that he knew of a plot to remove him. City Press on their front page on Sunday reported in bold red letters:

THEY WANT ME OUT    Paul Mashatile.

The  Sec-Gen, Fikile Mbalula did not exactly share the President’s view about Mashatile in his statement. What is apparent from these exchanges is that that there are serious schisms in the ANC in spite of Cyril’s smile and his telling the press all is hunky dory in the Party.

Then Paul Hoffman in a letter to Businesslive points out that not only Cyril, as he informed the press at that press gathering, can remove Mashatile from office. The caucus of the ANC can and did remove both Mkebi and Zuma before their terms had ended. The caucus could get rid of not only Deputy but also the President.  

Yesterday more news broke of Mashatile’s extravagant lifestyle. He lives in an exquisite modern mansion valued at close to R40 million that is owned by his son and son-in-law in a trust and they do business with the State. Are you surprised?

What did come out of the conference though bwas that the BRICS meeting will take place here and it won’t be virtual. Will Putin come? I doubt it. Brandan summed up Ramaphosa at the  press conference rather well with this cartoon in Business Day on Tuesday:

We are having a very cold winter. This week there have been photos of snow from almost all over the country coming through on social media. From our mountains to Ellis Park rugby stadium, from Du Toit’s Kloof Pass to the streets of Johannesburg, all covered in thick white snow. And not surprisingly the load-shedding “holiday” we have enjoyed during the past week with minimum daily disruptions is over and more regular outages have been announced by Eskom. We are now back to the highest levels of load shedding with up to five outages a day. Oh, dear.

On that tack I must mention that this past weekend the Electricity Minister, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said that corruption and fraud at Eskom are understated despite them being so well documented. He is targeting underperforming generating stations as major corruption hubs and seeking the culprits. So far without much such success but at least it is all coming out in the open.

He also said that fraud and corruption weren’t the only problems but he is “on to it”.

Here’s hoping!
But Jan Oberholzer, the former Eskom COO warns that Eskom still does not have a plan to avoid future load-shedding. “Without proper planning and a clear understanding of the future, we cannot ensure a stable energy supply for our country,” he said.

Not only is electricity a BIG problem but water is too.

In 2013 89% of this country’s wastewater treatment systems were in a critical state and needed upgrading. Yes, in 2013!! Did it happen? ………….Don’t be silly.

Are you then surprised to learn that the recent cholera outbreak killed 47 citizens in 5 provinces where over 1000 suspect cases were reported.

Should the ANC not be charged for murder for these deaths?

From yesterday large parts of Johannesburg have been without water. The outage for these suburbs are scheduled to last up to 44 hours. Some arrangements have been made to supply water-trucks for drinking water but residents have been asked for some time now to take special care to use only as much water as is absolutely necessary. 

Now those taps have run dry.

One of the other points that Glynnis Breytenbach made during her address last week was that there are 34,000 prisoners in our jails who are unable to afford the R500 to get themselves released on bail. What does that say about the situation in this country?

Hannes Wessels has a weekly blog, Africa Unauthorized that also syndicates my newsletter. But he is an accomplished and successful writer with more that just a few books to his credit. 

He is not a very regular contributor to the blog but I would very much like you to read the article he published in the blog this week. It really is sadly accurate.

Click on this link to open the article: 

The governor of our Reserve Bank, Lesetja Kganyago received worthy praise from Business Day on Tuesday:

“ The Reserve Bank Governor delivered the IMF’s central bank lecture in Washington. As SA continues to flail about impotently in the international arena, at least one of our institutions remains worthy of global attention”

The coach was on the couch early and “Oom Dawie” from next door wasn’t much after him to arrive for the opening game of the Rugby Championships. The Springboks played the Wallabies at Loftus in Pretoria and we had never in 90 years lost a test match to the Aussies there.

The result was an easy 42-12 victory for the Boks but the praise showered on our players was, I think a little premature. This coming week we are up against the All Blacks in Auckland and I fear this could be a very much tougher match.       Nienaber, the Bok coach has brought in the big guns for this test. He has made 10 changes to the team from the winning team of last week and “The Enforcer” Eben Etzebeth will lead the team. We will all three be on the couch watching from 8 o’clock in the morning;  that’s for sure.

As always,


Email:     Phone: +27 82 557 5775

One thought on “The Week That Was”
  1. So our president tries to convince us he is wise,
    And having visited Russia he deserves a prize,
    How very decent of him,
    Knowing the results will be grim,
    As his efforts will only help South Africa’s demise.

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