Gerald Potash

Hello again,

Cape Town is exploding; in vacant patches of land just outside of the inner city, townships are springing up like mushrooms. Probably 50 informal settlements have sprung up where shacks have been planted on open land. Because there are no services of any kind the shack-dwellers have to buy water and their toilets are the open fields around the shacks. The names of these settlements are amusing; Covid, Sanitiser, Coronavirus, Hillbrow. ……

Carol Paton exposed this phenomenon in Business Day on Monday and the photo they used — was it mine that I used in my newsletter a few weeks ago— or was it the Business Day photographers’ of Khayelitsha taken from “my spot” on the coastal road from Muizenberg?

The really disturbing thing about it all is that every time I use that road I see more and more shacks coming up and they are getting closer and closer to the actual road.

These informal settlements are often EFF and ANC- stoked and these communities are a real challenge to the City. Where are the schools, what about health care? 

Jobs?

Some kids are actually being taught under trees; if you can call what that is teaching. 

And what about the people squatting on the sidewalks in the centre of the city? Because of the Covid-regulations, during the lockdown, evictions are not permitted. There are squatters in front of the main police station in the very centre of the city!

Where do they get food? I guess that these inner city dwellers are most of the beggars that you see at every traffic light in Town.

The problem in the City is that there are about 15,000 squatters plonked on the streets all over the place and only 2400 beds for homeless people.

Ann Bernstein of the Centre for Development and  Enterprise says that the Land Expropriation Bill currently before Parliament is not as bad as some are making it out to be, although she does say that it is not a good bill. It needs work and she has written several clear suggestions that hopefully will be taken seriously and added before the bill becomes law.

This could in some way help to return previously dispossessed people to their own land. Here again is my picture of the sight/ site on way to Somerset West travelling along Baden Powell Drive using the coastal road from Muizenberg.

It is almost time to be optimistic again. This past week, like never before, has seen major judicial decisions going against several high-flyers.(No pun intended when mentioning Dudu Myeni.)The courts have come down hard on some key figures in our society and it is time for us to take a deep breath and thank our lucky stars for an independent judiciary. 

It really does look as if Zuma will be going to jail very soon and the Judge-President of our local Division, Yahya John Mandlakayise Hlophe is probably going to be suspended before being debarred (hopefully) after a scathing judgement from the Judicial Service Commission(JSC) which found that he had tried to favourably influence a case for Accused No 1. We still have a long way to go and there are still problems but these two events and some other judgements delivered this week will have far-reaching effects. 

In the last few days Jacob Zuma, John Hlophe, Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Dudu Myeni have all received what I call serious snotklappe from our  courts.

When you add to this that Ace Magashule will very soon be leaving the No 2 spot in the ANC it really does seem as if the Zuma-faction is crumbling. This is not only an opportunity for the ANC to renew itself but it is also a tonic for those of us who care about this country.

The Mail & Guardian wrote on Friday that this would be a good time for Ramaphosa to shuffle his cabinet. But when it comes to Cyril acting; I am not holding my breath.

It’s taken a long time but at last Judge Hlophe has been found guilty of gross misconduct and we will have to see whether Parliament will remove him from office. Ramaphosa can, and should, suspend him in the meantime.

This case has taken much too long. Charges against Hlophe were instituted in 2008 and like one or two others here, Stalingrading tactics were employed by Hlophe to cling on to high office.

In unambiguous language the judgement found Hlophe’s action grossly improper and from that it is perfectly clear that he must never again judge anyone. He is not fit and proper for the position of a Judge, let alone a Judge President of a local division.

Hopefully he will now be suspended waiting for Parliament’s decision, which is the only body that can remove him from office.

You do not believe that Hlophe has not hit back with guns blazing against the judgement and he has prepared a written response to present to the JSC that he will submit in the hope of changing their minds.

The Public Protector had yet another judgement go against her this week. She had appealed an earlier judgement in the Ivan Pillay matter (where he was unlawfully booted out of SARS, (SA Revenue Services) in December 2020. The Appeal Court ruled that Mkhwebane’s findings, which stated that Pravin Gordhan acted unlawfully, was irrational, as were her recommendations. They found that there is no prospect that another court would find differently and the matter was dismissed.

She is just so clearly part of the “Zuma-faction” with limited legal knowledge and she must go!

We are waiting for Parliament to boot her out, and they will.

Dudu Myeni, former Chairperson of SAA, has also had a bad week when one of her appeals against the sentence declaring her a rogue director for life,  was not reversed. Again she lost with punitive costs awarded against her and she may never again serve as a director of any company.

But when it comes to bad Tuesday’s, nothing beats the Appeal Court decision that Jacob Zuma MUST pay back the money.  R16 million of tax-payers money that he used for his defence of private matters when sued. That is a serious snotklap. He continually claims that the Judiciary is biased against him so from the judgement allow me to quote: 

“There is nothing on the record to sustain the inference that the presiding judges in this matter nor at a more generalised level in other matters involving Mr Zuma were biased or that they were not open-minded, impartial or fair,” the judgment stated.

Accused No 1also used the fact, very recently in his divorce matter, that he was unable to pay the amount demanded for maintenance because he didn’t have that kind of money that one of his wives was claiming………

So where is he going to find R16 million with the Guptas in Dubai?

The coach says his son, Duduzane, the Gupta ball-boy, now a millionaire, can “lend” him the money. That son is also in Dubai but has indicated he wants to come back home because he wants to be the next President of SA!

On a webinar on Tuesday morning, top financial journalist, Bruce Whitfield interviewed Judge Dennis Davis on the new tax initiatives to try to recover the obviously illegal funds that some of the very rich are hiding outside of the country. The Judge heads up the Davis Tax Committee and he has now been seconded to SARS as a consultant to try to correct the tax imbalances that have become so very obvious. He would like to see SARS being able to prosecute its own cases instead of waiting for the ridiculously overburdened NPA getting around to those often rather specialised cases. During the interview Davis made some telling observations like that SA is not a failed State but rather it is an incompetent one. He also pointed out that incompetence aids corruption. More than 35% of State appointments go to people who are not properly qualified for their positions. This was shockingly admitted, the week, by the Minister of Public Service and Administration. No wonder our State is incompetent. When illustrating incompetence Judge Davis used a classic case in point , which has nothing to do with tax, it is the vaccine roll-out debacle here. Oh, we get promises, we get updates, but how many people, apart from the President and the Min of Health, have been vaccinated? Zapiro saw it perfectly in the Daily Maverick with this cartoon:

Total has located two absolutely huge gas reserves off our SA coast. We have barrel equivalent = 1 billion barrels of oil. It’s huge! It’s world class. Will it solve our energy problems? It definitely could. And we will have enough over to fuel all our jet aircrafts and a whole lot more.

How long before it gets up and running? 5-8 years? And won’t it attract Isis terrorists like the oil fields in Palma in Mozambique recently? 

These oil fields become targets.

The Sunday Times ‘Mampara  of the week’ is Lwasi Lushaba, a lecturer in Political Science, nogal, at UCT. Last week in a pre-recorded lecture he told a first year class of impressionable students that Adolf Hitler committed no crime.

The newspaper asks where this Mampara, who was so active in the ‘Fees must Fall’ campaign, got his PhD.

Hopefully there will be the necessary steps taken to educate this racist, but in the meantime the DA has lodged a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission.

There is a lot to this whole episode but the bottom line is, that in his long drawn-out explanation of why he used that example, he never once asked for forgiveness or apologised for any hurt he may have caused.

Anti-Semitism is rife here and again this week in the calling for Judge David Unterhalter, when he sat as a candidate for selection, to be excluded as one of 2 Judges to fill positions of the Constitutional Court by the BDS lobby is both bigotry at its worst and disgusting discrimination. 

You will not be surprised to learn that the only two white Judges and a female Judge, of the 8 interviewed, were “eliminated” after their first hearing.

SA Rugby got a rude surprise this week when our top four Provincial teams were booted out of the up-coming Rainbow Cup where they would have played each other later this month before flying off to Europe to play three more matches each. Even the proposed Pro 16, where they were to set-up in Bristol is now in serious doubt because of Covid restrictions on South African travellers. That’s bad, really bad, because we have pulled out of the Super Rugby competition where we played against the Southern Hemisphere teams.

The cricket series against the Pakistanis is almost done. We are busy with the T20s and yesterday Pakistan won comprehensively again and are leading the series by 1-2 with one match to play.

On Sunday evening with me on the couch, waiting for the kick-off, was not only the coach but also a dyed-in-the-wool Man United supporter, Kareen. The coach thought it may be better for her to watch somewhere else, but since she was visiting her sister, the world champion for a few days, we all watched the game together. Spurs were up 1-0 at half time. And Kareen was rather quiet.

Then, like so very regularly this season, Spurs managed to lose the advantage and eventually conceded 3 second-half goals. 

As there coach left for home he turned around and mumbled “It’s hard being a Tottenham supporter”.

As always, love to all,

Gerald 

2 thoughts on “The Week That Was”
  1. Enjoying the wit, wisdom and humour Mr Potash. The sad reality of the way it’s going though, touches at the heart of the soul.

  2. “Ann Bernstein of the Centre for Development and Enterprise says that the Land Expropriation Bill currently before Parliament is not as bad as some are making it out to be, although she does say that it is not a good bill. It needs work and she has written several clear suggestions that hopefully will be taken seriously and added before the bill becomes law.”

    And how many hundred years do you think it will take after the ANC bosses have their farms [ala ZANU PF in Zimbabwe] before this fool-proof, yet clearly God-given panacea filters down to the street-people of Cape Town?

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