Parliament voted on Monday and interestingly the DA voted with the ANC so that the suspended Public Protector, Busiswe Mkwebane, has now, at last been fired. She tried with all her might and all her stalingrading-tactics learned from the master, Jacob Zuma, to delay her day of reckoning —so that she would automatically qualify for a R10 million payout next month when her 7 years in office ended. The number of matters that she lost in court during her period in office showed again and again an embarrassing lack of legal knowledge. This, added to the inflated opinionated attitude she displayed about her own abilities, was disagreeable to say the least. So she has become our first PP and the first person in a Chapter 9 institution to be removed from office.
On Tuesday the EFF announced that they would take the decision on judicial review by appealing. I don’t think it has any chance of success though. Just more wasting of the court’s time.
One of the biggest news stories of the week was the passing of Prince Mangosutu Buthelezi who died this week at age 95. He will be buried tomorrow and be given a State funeral. The Prince left a very mixed legacy. A powerful political leader in KZN, he was the founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). Some called him a cheat and a murderer (Mondli Makanya—City Press) while the Sunday Times was far gentler in calling him a warlord who became a peacemaker. Most ‘papers praised his role in helping to achieve our democratic status after Apartheid and in becoming the elder statesman that he was. Ramaphosa was ‘deeply saddened’ by his passing. Raymond Ackerman (Pick ‘n Pay) founder also died this week (at 92) and his passing also attracted plenty of press, particularly in the Business news sections, and as you would expect his obituaries were all full of praise. This is Zapiro’s moving sketch of the Mensch from the weekend’s Daily Maverick:
Magnus Heystek, the finance guru, believes SA is hurtling towards economic disaster. Government finances are in a shambles and it is borrowing billions of rands every month just to repay previous loans and interest. He believes investors should diversify into dollar-based assets.
Energy supply remains our biggest problem. The incompetence of the Eskom board is highlighted again and again. Peter Bruce calls the Ramaphosa government neglectful, fragmented, incompetent and dishonest. It’s hard to disagree with Bruce. Living in SA with regular power outages, unemployment skyrocketing and inflation creeping up the outlook is indeed gloomy.
Cyril had a meeting earlier in the week about the fiscal crisis with the top Nedlac (National Economic and Labour Council) officials. It could not have been easy and there is no news on that front yet.
Will the ANC lose power after the general election and will they be replaced? Unfortunately the answer seems to be No.They will probably receive less votes than ever before and may even loose their outright majority but then, in all likelihood they will simply form a coalition with another Party and things will probably not change very much.
This cartoon from The Daily Friend by ddavidtoons&marius says it all:
Justice Malala writes this week in the Financial Mail that the ANC is already sending election messages; 1) Apartheid is to blame for all that goes wrong and 2) the ANC will deliver a basic social grant soon. Both of these statements are wrong. It is the ANC who has ruined this once flourishing country and the government has no money for more grants.
In fact the government is so broke, with expenditure far outstripping income, that an increase in taxes is most likely.
Financial experts are anticipating that to help alleviate that burden VAT could increase by 2% after the budget.
This week Pieter Malan in Rapport had a full go at the useless Ramaphosa. Oh, he is often saddened like he was after the Johannesburg fire and at the death of Buthelezi. Indeed after every disaster he is either saddened or shocked but none of his statements move him into any action. He is a wus.
You are surely not surprised to learn that the ANC is appealing the court ruling that they must disclose their cadre lists to the DA. Notwithstanding this costly exercise and their lack of funds, an appeal to the Constitutional Court has been made. Robin points out that that shows just how anctious they are to keep the lists hidden.
And you’re surely not surprised that Jacob Zuma got another two “klaps” in the courts this week. On Monday he appealed the court’s decision to have his private prosecution against State prosecutor, Billy Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan dismissed. He lost that appeal and again he has been burdened costs. Good. Oh Zuma will now, in all probability appeal this ruling too in order to keep his trial for corruption & money laundering in the Arms Deal from being heard anytime soon.
On Tuesday his appeal against the judgement when he attempted to link Ramaphosa with leaking information to Downer was dismissed with costs. In this matter Adv Dali Mpofu was criticised for being less than truthful and trying to mislead the court. Not nice.
The question being asked is who is paying all the monumental costs that have mounted up for all these successive court disasters of Zuma?
A book will one day be written on how to ‘Stalingrad’ to keep yourself from appearing in court when directly fingered as the key accused. The author need only ask Jacob Zuma, Accused No1.
Now some very good news stories. Our inflation seems to have stabilised and it looks as if the central bank will be able to hold interest rates. More good news is that our tourism figures continue to improve and we are now ahead of our pre-Covid figures.
On Tuesday we heard that a new R1.6 billion Club Med beach resort is being developed on the KZN north coast. Then yesterday Club Med mentioned a 2nd such development for the northern KZN. This is a very good news story for tourism.
Then, industrial production increased again, if only slightly for the fourth month in a row.
And probably the best news of all is that, thanks to non-governmental sources, the Kusile power station will be coming back on-line in December after being off stream for the whole year. This will, no doubt, help reduce our severe power outages.
Right now we are in Stage 6 of power outages again with 4 outages a day.
My notable coffee catch-up of the week was with John, a very good lock for Hamiltons in his day and still a more that useful squash player. We spoke of the ridiculousness of the ANC wanting to charge Andre de Ruyter for not having the necessary authority to investigate malfeasance at Eskom when the thieves (many named in the Zondo Commission Report) are still in the employ of our power utility. We spoke about the governing Party’s wilfully obfuscating facts and the fact (EWN News yesterday) that it seems former Deputy President, David Mabuza is one of those named.
Wherever I went on Sunday people were talking rugby. Has SA been this united since Mandela? I don’t think so.
In the sauna at the gym, in the coffee shops and even at the lunch table at the clubhouse everyone was talking rugby. Everywhere you went people were wearing green and gold and the entire staff in the Spar were all togged-out in Springbok jerseys. The proper ones!
The coach and I watched the Springboks play Scotland in their opening game of this World Cup with Oom Dawie next door and we shared his couch. SA got off to a good albeit hard-earned win.
Interesting was Rassie Erasmus, Springbok manager, sitting high up in the coach’s box in the stand with a strong flashlight. Occasionally he switched it on. It was suggested that was to indicate to the kicker whether to kick for the corner or go for posts. Innovative or interference?
At last this week the Proteas had a win in the 50-over stuff against the Aussies. After successive losses in all the T20s and then the first two ODIs we now have a chance and this series is alive.
There was no Premiership football this week so no Spurs news.
The world champion joins me in wishing my Jewish readers a happy, healthy, safe and peaceful New Year and Well over the Fast.
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