This week the goings-on at the Zondo Commission really dominated the news here. First up was Anoj Singh. We heard that this key character in State Capture, the former financial head of Transnet hadn’t spent a penny of his salary for years and years (he saved it diligently in an interest bearing bank account— you can save a lot like that, he managed R19 million) because he always had cash. From that you might deduce that the Guptas gave him lots of money because they were so very close. The evidence certainly suggested that, and when the evidence got too hot for the ex-CFO (Chief Financial Officer), he suddenly felt ill while answering questions and asked the Commission for a postponement. Oh, his cash to live from, when the Judge asked him, he said came from his success as a gambler and his savings. He lied so much at the Commission that the popular radio announcer, John Maytham, said his nose was as long as a telephone wire.
But Singh’s evidence was nothing compared to the explosive evidence that followed when Malusi Gigaba’s estranged wife, Norma, gave evidence. The ex-Finance Minister —who before that had other portfolios in Zuma’s cabinet—(he, who was not shy to send clips of his “privates” on social media to his girlfriend that his wife found and launched) wanted to bar his wife giving evidence and he had top advocates try very hard to stop the open enquiry, that is the Commission, from hearing her. When he saw that Zondo wasn’t budging he then tried to have her evidence heard in-camera, but Zondo didn’t fall for that either and until very late on Monday evening the sparks flew! Gigaba is the fancy-pants dresser and Gupta puppet who pays for everything in cash. Norma told the judge that even the R5 million that their wedding cost was paid for in cash. Surely the NPA are listening and surely these crooks in high (ANC) office must be arrested and brought to book.
Then yesterday as head of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa arrived to give evidence before Judge Zondo. He will take questions again today as leader of the ANC. He is slow and he is boring and he tells us what we know. His evidence doesn’t in any way compare to the excitement we had had listening to Ms Gigaba. Yes, he admitted that there are under-qualified people in top jobs. Yes, the party put them there but you can’t simply fire thousands you have to train them up properly and they have begun, etc etc etc. He is a wus. He is scheduled to make another visit to the Commission as head of the Country late next week.
Hopefully the evidence leaders for the Commission will then get stuck into him today and when he later returns as President of SA.
The Guptas and their lieutenant, Salim Essa, have been banned in the UK. They are on a list of 23 of the most corrupt people in the world who are not welcome in the UK. The noose is tightening for the Guptas and their American money has already been frozen in the USA. But they still build shrines and castles —with my money; our tax-payers’ money—in India and live the high-life in Dubai with a certain Zuma offspring, Duduzane. Atul Gupta is reckoned to be worth R10.7 billion and he came to SA with nothing in 1993. That was when the young brothers sold shoes from the boot (trunk to you) of their car.
From plenty of evidence at the Zondo Commission it has become abundantly clear that the Guptas effectively ran SA when Accused No 1 was supposedly in charge.
Big-shot, former chairman of the ANC and erstwhile Premier of North West Province, Supra Mahumapelo, was yesterday suspended from the party for 5 years. He is an important figure in the RET-faction in the ANC. Let’s see whether Cyril talks about this at the Commission this morning.
The song seems to be is over for Ace Magashule, too. He and Supra were Premiers at the same time and were hugely influential in the Party. Tomorrow he must vacate his office in Luthuli House. That is when his 30 days end. Will he leave or pull a Zuma and take the matter to court?
I could be wrong but I think he will step aside. No one does it better than Zapiro:
The Cape Town movie My Octopus Teacher, after winning a BAFTA has now won the Oscar for the best documentary of the year. This marvellous movie, made right here, is worth every single award it receives and if you haven’t seen yet, please do. It’s available (in SA) on Netflix and I presume easily available all over now after Sunday nights’ Oscar presentations. I recently met John Smuts whose son, Kevin, wrote the music, and earlier this week I listened to an interview with Kevin on the local talk-radio station. Well done indeed!
Talking of Oscars, Tokyo Sexwale, erstwhile political prisoner on Robben Island, then first democratically elected Premier of Gauteng (Transvaal) and now billionaire and a Presidential hopeful, has seriously tarnished his reputation this week.
He came out with a highfalutin claim that mega-billions, in trillions, (R41 380 513 104 000 000) had been stolen from the Treasury and our Reserve Bank by scammers. When the Sunday Times called him out as Mampara of the week for his ridiculous story he organised a two-hour live TV interview to explain why he is right and everyone else, from the newspapers to the Governor of the Reserve Bank, is wrong.
Then after those scathing reviews and critical cartoons like this one from Brandon in Business Day, there comes a further twist in the tail. The funder of the fund in Singapore that sponsored the money, has invited a delegation to come to Singapore to show them that Tokyo is right.
Tuesday was a public holiday here. It was Freedom Day, the day we all voted in the New Democratic SA for the first time in 1994 and the local TV stations showed how very little has changed for the majority of the people of this country in the 27 years that the ANC have been in control. It is a sad indictment of the ANC and even Ramaphosa in his Freedom Day address to the nation (from the Free State—-did you see Ace Magashule anywhere? he was the Premier of that Province for years and years remember?) called out the corrupted for what they have done to further impoverish the poor. He urged voters not to vote for councillors who accept bribes and steal their money.
Lots of people wrote about Freedom Day and what it means but the best article in my opinion was Paul Hoffman’s take in Daily Maverick. Here I quote just one point he made
“The pass laws were the work of an undemocratic and authoritarian regime which is no more. The poverty now in evidence in SA is the outcome of an uncaring government of kleptocrats, state capturers and perpetrators of a silent coup. Those who repurposed the State to serve their greed to the prejudice of the common good need to be held to account by the people.”
You can read the whole article by clicking on the link:
Last week saw 14 municipal by-elections. The ANC retained 10 seats and gained 2. One from the DA (in Knysna) and one from the IFP in KZN.
The voter turn out was low. The Municipal Elections in full, will be held on October, 27.
Julius Malema gets far too much publicity. He is a populist and continually reminds me of Hitler stoking, stoking. On Tuesday at a rally he demanded that all Whites must apologise to all Blacks for taking their land. He claims that Ramaphosa is working for the whites to keep them in privilege and that we should do away with Freedom Day because Blacks are not free. He also wants Durban to have a name-change, it is too Colonial.
The TV channels love him. Why?
The Politicsweb website yesterday posted several seriously concerning articles of where we are right now.
David Bullard (I haven’t seen him in our local shopping centre lately) writes that he can’t recall a time that he was more despondent about SA.
Phamlani Majozi writes that crime levels have rocketed and corruption has reached pandemic proportions. The crime levels alone, he says, disqualify the ANC from governance
RW Johnson writes on the fire and the burning of books at UCT. All three writers are there this week amongst many others.
The Tourism Fund has been stopped by the Courts of giving financial assistance to only Blacks. BEE. All tour businesses have suffered from this Covid pandemic, not only the black businesses. Covid isn’t racist, the Government is.
While on racism, Wendy Kahn of the Jewish Board of Deputies has come out strongly about the racism displayed by the Judicial Selection Committee (JSC) on the disqualification of the two Jewish judges from becoming elevated to the Constitutional Court.
The two were asked questions that none of the other applicants had to answer. Like about working on Jewish Holidays and about their position on the Israel/Palestine situation while no Moslem applicant was asked about anything like that or about working on Eid, no Christian was asked if they would work on Christmas.
SA remains as racist as it ever was and it is disgusting.
The criticism by Wendy Kahn of the JSC was widely reported in every newspaper I read, but I bet not by the CapeTimes. But then I don’t read their rubbish.
The trade unions have been showing muscle this week. The Government is steadfast to stick to its plan not to allow wage increases to public servants and the workers don’t like that. They have threatened to bring the country to its knees with a Nation-wide strike. (That is the last thing we need)
Then on Monday Cape Town municipal workers threatened the City with a strike if they went ahead to dismiss 500 errant fire-fighters due to their 2019 illegal strike.
And Lindiwe Sisulu wants to “import” engineers from Cuba when we have 132 qualified persons unemployed to fix the disgustingly poor water-delivery problems that her department have been twiddling their thumbs with. Solidarity have given her until tomorrow to answer their legal demands before they call a strike. I loved this Brandan cartoon in Business Day this morning:
South African cricket stepped back from the brink of an international crisis when officials announced late, very late on Sunday evening that the differences between the two rival factions battling for governance of the game had been resolved.
In a joint statement issued shortly before midnight, Cricket South Africa’s members’ council and the interim board announced that agreement had been reached on a new governance model. Much stress, here. Lets hope it has a happy ending.
When you’re not good enough you really shouldn’t win and Spurs didn’t win in the Cup final on Sunday evening. The coach was sitting next to me on the couch and it wasn’t an easy game to watch. We complained how much better Manchester City were and ultimately they scored. 1-0 doesn’t sound like a “k——pak” but that’s what it was. Oh, it’s hard to be a Tottenham supporter. As always, love to all,