Gerald Potash

Hello again,

The weekend got off to some really good news when we learnt that  Shamila Batohi, head of the NPA, has cracked her whip. The Gupta  properties have been attached by the State and even better she  has approached Interpol and asked that two of the Gupta brothers and their wives be arrested and urgently extradited so that they can stand trial in SA.

—Then on Tuesday we heard in a related matter that the UAE are assisting and co-operating and it looks quite possible that the Gupta couples will indeed be extradited.—

More good news from a State Capture point of view was that a high-up lieutenant of the Guptas, one Iqbal Sharma, spent the weekend not in his luxury R12 million Santon home but in a cold police cell. All his assets were also attached late last week.

When Sharma’s bail application was heard on Monday it was postponed by a day to give the magistrate time to consider his lawyer’s voluminous petition requesting bail.

Then on Tuesday the magistrate heard that Sharma had at least R260 million undeclared overseas funds and that he is a serious flight risk; so she has seen to it that Sharma will be sleeping in a cold prison cell for the next few weeks at least. The NPA are confident that the case against Sharma can proceed almost immediately. They say that they are ready.

Yes, at last things are beginning to happen.

Carla Lewis in a brilliant op-Ed in yesterday’s Die Burger refers to the lavish lifestyle of the likes of the Sharmas,  the Gigabas and the Guptas and how the ostentatious splashing out of their wealth is an embarrassing reminder of how State money has been used to enrich a few at the cost of the millions of desperately poor in this country. She pitied that the death penalty is no longer available in our country. As Lewis writes; these perpetrators are Guilty by Gucci.

Lewis did not write of Brian Shivambu who has made such big news this week. He quietly decided to pay back R4.55 million to the now liquidated VBS Bank. Up till now he has strenuously denied that he owed any money at all. That is just some of the money that was looted from the bank and allowed Malema and his No 2, Brian’s brother, Floyd Shivambu to live the high life. Pauli van Wyk of the Daily Maverick has followed the money……. more than R20 million of that looted money has found its way directly to Malema and Shivambu.…. and the fancy clothes, posh birthday parties and extravagant meals were all paid for from money syphoned illegally and with their full knowledge of where it came from. It also paid for the EFF’s birthday bash in Umlazi. And what a party that was!

What makes this story really interesting, though, is the vehement denials made by Brian, Julius & Floyd for more than a year since being fingered.

Van Wyk goes further and points out that Malema has been doing this for years and she has records to prove it. 

Why has the Revenue Services not laid charges, as they have done with Sharma? This is how Rico re-tweeted the EFF big-shots, after the news broke this week:

But Shamila Batohi went much further than simply having Sharma arrested……. She has pointed a strong finger at the Prosecuting Authority and she wants answers as to why Duduzane Zuma (Accused No1’s son and he who wants to follow Cyril Ramaphosa as President of SA) was not prosecuted after causing the death of a female passenger in a taxi. That accident that was caused by his reckless driving of his fancy Porsche that also injured three others. And Ms. Batohi also wants answers to why charges —including murder charges— against Richard Mdluli, then head of the Police Crime Intelligence, were withdrawn.

I can guess, can you? My view is that those charges were withdrawn by the Prosecuting Authority because the PA were doing the bidding of Accused No 1. It is common cause that the PA was hollowed out by Accused No 1 and those in place were put there to do his bidding. At last Batohi has spoken now let’s see what happens.

The President in his weekly newsletter says there is lots of good news and optimism abounds. He points to the strengthening of the Rand and the trade surplus and he notes that the mines are doing much better; also positive is the fact that 100,000’s of jobs have been created by his government. But how many have been filled? Looking at the latest unemployment figures, none. Cyril is, however, upbeat about the economy (really?) and he believes we are beating COVID. 

Not too many, I fear, subscribe to his views. 

Again, this week, Zweli Mkize has kept our news commentators busy. The Minister of Health ducked a meeting on Friday called by Parliament to discuss his position vis-a-vis the Digital Vibes fiasco. There were press reports over the weekend that he was ready to resign his position and that a new Head of Dept had been identified.

Siya Khumalo, writing for News24, put it  succinctly;                             It makes no difference whether Ramaphosa chooses a replacement for Mkize or not, because that replacement will be a cadre. The problem is that Corruption is the symptom, the ANC is the disease.

Then on Tuesday afternoon Ramaphosa announced that Mkize would be placed on special leave. Is that the same as stepping aside? According to Michael Bagraim, shadow Labour Minister in the DA, there is no such thing and Michael believes that he should be dismissed. Of course, like Magashule, his suspension will be on full pay.

Eskom is in a real mess and we are suffering more power outages. Our outages have been upped to stage 4 when we can have up to 5 hours of power cuts a Day.  

Parts of Soweto have not had any electricity for months and on Tuesday the locals there blocked a key intersection with rubbish and burning tyres as a protest.

One of the problems, according to Andre de Ruyter, the CEO of Eskom, is the huge amounts of money that the municipalities owe the Utility. De Ruyter’s interview on Judge Dennis Davis’s TV program ‘You be the Judge’ this week was outstanding. He is calm, knowledgeable and on top of a very wobbly institution. There are no easy answers but de Ruyter is at least aware of the miserable situation and is doing all he can to steady the ship.

My article of the week is from The Economist. It paints a somber

picture of SA today. If you would like to read how an outsider sees

SA today just drop me a line and I will pass it on to you, because I am not clever enough to create a hyperlink that you can click on. On the other hand just look at this cartoon from Zapiro, from the Daily Maverick, to see what Johannesburg (and not only Johannesburg) looks like today:

CASAC, the Civil society for the Advancement of the SA Constitution, wants the process to select judges for the Constitutional Court to start all over. Malema was on that panel and used it to discuss cases that he is involved in and that is highly irregular. Then you will recall that some of the questioning was grossly unfair and virtually anti-Semitic.

The ANC is strongly pro-Palestinian and some of the panelists showed that unashamedly. But what has politics got to do with selecting highly qualified, honourable judges? Judges who are more qualified than others should not be excluded from selection because of a panelist’s feeling that they may not be pro-Palestine.

The Sunday Times did not print the brilliant op-Ed that David

Lazarus penned and sent for them to publish but they did print his letter to the Editor and several others castigating the bigoted  Ronnie Kasrils about his views on our Chief Rabbi, after that newspaper had prominently printed his biased opinion with his set of lies on their editorial page a fortnight ago.  The lies continue and the virulent anti-Semitism from the ANC has hardly cooled down. And not only with the likes of the ANC and the EFF but right around the Western world. Will “the longest hate” ever end?

My coffee catch-up-up this week was unplanned. Robin and I both

arrived at the CT Yacht Club early as guests of that character of

note, Dennis, for our planned coffee catch-up before we would be listening to the invited speaker, Marilyn Honikman, speaking to the Rotarians about her prize winning book, ‘There should have been Five’.

Well, we spoke, and spoke and spoke and didn’t even notice Dennis arriving. So we had coffee and just went on talking. Robin is an interesting character, born in Egypt, educated in England and has travelled the world (and I mean, the world!) for business that

largely was in advertising and international Media which he founded and chaired for 20 years.

He receives my newsletter and was (quite pleasantly) critical and when I told him of my ongoing “problems” with Mailchimp he gave me some very good ideas.

What a fortuitous and fruitful meeting!

The talk from Marilyn Honikman about her book was good. Very

good indeed. I knew very little of the non-White soldiers who       fought for SA in WW11. Her book is about the soldier, Job Makseko, MM.

He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery at Tobruk, but had he been

White we would have had 5 SA solders awarded the Victoria Cross

after the war. Honikman speaks as well as she writes and she kept

us totally engrossed during her presentation.

Tomorrow the Proteas begin the serious part of their West Indies tour. I look forward to watching some test cricket (if only on TV) again.

The weekend rugby was another very close game for us, Stormers,

but this time we lost in the very last minute of the game to the

Sharks. The big rugby news from the weekend, however, was

about the squad picked to represent Springboks in their upcoming

endeavours against the British and Irish Lions touring team and first two tests against Georgia. 46 players have been selected to come together to start the preparations. That is simply too many, but many of the overseas players still have commitments and will be arriving much later.

SA has not played a test since match since we won the World Cup

in Japan in 2019.

As always, love to all,

Gerald

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