Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

The biggest news of the week is not about SA but what is happening in Israel and Palestine. You will not be surprised to learn that our Government “stands with the people of occupied Palestine”. The fact that Hamas are terrorists and kill innocent people in cold blood is academic as far as the ANC is concerned. Not a word of sympathy about the horrific cold-blooded killings of innocent Israeli lives.

Unfortunately many of us know, or know of, some of those killed in the attack in Israel. For many years a late Free State farmer, Jacob Meltz, a lovely old ‘boere-jood’ sat regularly in his seat in the back row of our synagogue every Friday evening. His Israeli daughter was murdered in the attack. The photos of the butchered, raped, and numbered naked bodies by Hamas terrorists with thick black numbers (to photograph and brag at home?) are of completely inhuman and callous action. These are the actions of a genocidal, radical Islamic, misogynistic terrorist organization. The situation is deeply depressing. 

This government’s anti-Semitism doesn’t allow sympathy for anything Jewish. But the war is likely to affect us in SA negatively as far as the oil price is concerned. Even before the war Brandan was concerned with our skyrocketing price of petrol. This cartoon from Business Day on Friday:

SA is on the cusp of a financial collapse. The Treasury is almost out of money, the price of commodities (our main exports) has collapsed and our tax collections are under-performing badly. Then there is not a single State Owned Entity (SOE) that is financially healthy. But the MPs get very well paid and a R4 million package has just been OK’d for the new Secretary of Parliament as an annual salary. That is obscene! The unemployed are dying of hunger and State Officials are creaming wherever they can.

Week after week News24 publishes damning articles into the luxurious lifestyle of Paul Mashatile, our Deputy President. The problem is that little of the money that it takes to live the life in that style has been earned. He lives on the gratuities of others (for passing on tenders?). When anyone tries to get answers from Mashatile his stonewalling is typical of all cadres in similar positions. He refuses to discuss these matters and that is expected; but the loans & tenders granted to his son-in-law and the lack of transparency uncovered by the Daily Maverick journalists is totally damning and one would expect a reponse. Yet not a word from Mashatile. Not a word from Cyril. Not a word from the ANC. 

Kick backs, from awarding favours and tenders are clearly the easiest way for top-shots in the ANC to get rich.

Then the Weekend Maverick (168) fingers Malema and his sidekick, Shivambu. These two benefitted from the millions stolen from VBS bank and they spent it like there was no tomorrow. How sad the NPA don’t have the quality of investigators that this newspaper has. Neither of these two have even been charged for benefitted so illegally from funds that are not theirs.

Parliament, typically, exonerates criminals. The Mail & Guardian reports this week how four top-shot ANC MPs, notwithstanding evidence in the Zondo Commission Report, have been cleared by their parliamentary colleagues (cadres). So Minister Nxesi (he claimed the money wasn’t for him, but for fundraising…….his fund no doubt), and MP Frolick’s R4000 per month was paid to him before the current Parliamentary rules were passed………and so it goes. All cleared. It’s disgusting.

This is how Zapiro recorded the episode in the Daily Maverick:

Dudu Myeni is close to losing some of her Gucci bags. She will almost certainly lose her four vehicles and her home. OUTA, the organization for tax abuse, is pushing the sherrif of the court hard to attach and sell her assets to repay the R6 million she owes othe State in legal costs. It is five years that we have been waiting for some action and at last OUTA has pushed the matter.

But this is not the end for Myeni. This declared delinquent director is likely to see the inside of a prison cell soon. She has been charged with corruption and fraud and I look forward to this case coming to court.

Rise Mzansi is a newish political party under the leadership of Songezo Zibi. This fellow was once editor of the Business Day newspaper and has a good record. The Party has been going around the country quietly recruiting workers; so expect a sensible political voice at the upcoming elections instead of the all the grandstanding from the likes of The ANC and the EFF.  Zibi realizes that this election is out of reach but by talking to the ‘middle class’ Rise Mzansi expects to be a force in 2029. 

Die Burger newspaper ran a front page story early in the week on the 22 civil society organisations banding together against the ANC. They are worried about the future and are encouraging voter registration to do something to change the country’s poor leadership.

The ANC and the EFF, together in coalition in Ekurhuleni (Boksburg, Benoni, Springs to you) are at loggerheads. The ANC councillors have asked Luthuli House (ANC headquarters) to do something about it. For most of us this is very good news.

Peter Bruce writes that the imminent collapse of UNISA, the largest distance-learning university in the Southern Hemisphere with 370,000 students, has been brought to its knees by cadre deployment and is seeking to be placed under administration- –because the staff is incompetent. The ANC has a ‘proud record’ of sinking successful businesses, mostly because of their ‘criminal’ cadre deployment policies. 

So far, writes Bruce, they have sunk the railways, three national airlines, the arms manufacturer, the post office, the health service, most small towns, most large ones, the air force, the navy and the electricity supply. Now Unisa is on the cusp of collapsing.

What a record! 

Yesterday in ‘After the Bell’ with Tim Cohen the point was made that South Africa is collapsing under President Cyril Ramaphosa, with the rand weakening, debt increasing, and state-owned enterprises failing.

Oh dear.

We have had 10 consecutive interest rates hikes, since Nov 2021 to try contain inflation and our repurchase rates are currently at 8.25%. According to the Reserve Bank this does not affect the unemployed because they do not qualify to raise debt. It hurts home-owners repaying bonds though.

SA’s population has grown to just over 62 million. That is a growth of 10 million in 11 years. The results of last year’s census were released on Tuesday. The Western Cape has a population of 7.4 million, 3rd most after Gauteng & KZN. (But have they counted all the illegals living in the shacks, I wonder.)

Business Day reports on an undercount. Not good but they are happy with the stats given. 81% black, 8% coloured, 7.3% white and 2.7% Indian/asian.

In 1996 whites made up 11% of the population.

Population movements have been colossal– as in so many parts of the world.

This week’s coffee catch-up was delightful because it was with old friends. Leon is here from Sydney, Steven & Colleen are here from England and Karen was here at Waterstone from Sea Point. The chat was lively and it was just so good to hear about what they are up to.  Long may these catch-ups continue.

Our cricket team, the Proteas, created a world record score in their opening World Cup match on the weekend but later today they are up against Australia and that is likely to be a much harder contest. So here’s hoping!

As far as the Springboks were concerned there was no active rugby this past weekend. Ireland beat Scotland, as expected and so we have gone through to play France in the first round of the knock-outs this week end. Here’s hoping too!

Spurs were reduced to 10 men when they  had a defender red carded at the end of the first half but they hang on determinedly to win 1-0 and so go to the top of the Premier league. The last time they headed the log was 1960/1 when they went on to win. So…… 


As always,



I am taking a little break with these newsletters. Towards the end of the month I plan to visit my family in Sydney and next week I have a particularly heavy schedule.

Hopefully I will be back on-line towards the middle of next month.


One thought on “The Week That Was”
  1. Hi Gerald. Another great and informative newsletter. I’m going to miss them whilst you are away. Safe travels!

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