Gerald Potash

Hello again,

Yesterday the High Court ruled that Jacob Zuma must go back to jail. Further the court ruled that the three months that JZ has spent careering around and making speeches must not count as term served in prison towards his 15 month sentence. 

The ruling was that Arthur Fraser was totally wrong to grant a medical parole to Zuma in these circumstances and that has now been overturned by the court.

Also JZ must pay costs of this legal action which was brought by the Helen Sussman Foundation, the DA and Afriforum. 

(Hoe lekker kry ek nou!)

Oh, there will be an appeal, there always is but the the rope is getting tighter for the jailbird.

There will no doubt be ructions and already his lackeys are shooting their mouths off, but for us to have any chance of survival justice must be seen to be done.   Today is a public holiday in our country but I am sure you will have heard of this development wherever you read this.

The headline that grabbed my attention on the weekend was in City Press about the desperate state of our railways. Tracks uplifted, kilometres of cables stolen, stations vandalised and totally decimated. Our railways are teetering at the very edge of total collapse. And there were photos to show it. Sad is not the word, it is criminal. This government should be arrested for what they have allowed to happen.

How we have regressed and it’s not just the railways, or the post office, or the health system or the police or the supply electricity and/or water or the inefficient docks or the Airways that are all run by the State and just don’t work properly or even at all. The ANC should hang its head in shame with what they have done to a world class country that they took over a short generation ago. 

To add to the embarrassment of this depressing situation is that not one manager has gone to jail as a result of this mismanagement. At least I don’t know of one.

Hilary Joffe writing this week in Businesslive points out that the constraint on rail infrastructure —trains just don’t run—has prohibited our country of taking full advantage of the coal exports when the price of coal has hit an all time high. The railways must be fixed and not by handing concession goodies to cadres. It needs competent independents to get cracking right away. Joffe ends her article pointing out that the longer it takes to turn around SA’s rail infrastructure, the greater the economic damage will be.

The question left unanswered; has our clown of Min of Transport ever fixed anything?   Don’t be silly; …..  but he is a loyal cadre and certainly not shy to take advantage of his privileged position, as he did so conspicuously when he was Min of Sport.

Even ex-President  Thabo Mbeki, the keynote speaker at the 2021 Chief Albert Luthuli Memorial Lecture on Friday, had a full go at  ANC members for putting their own interests ahead of the ANC and the country. Mbeki said: “Many among our members see their membership of the ANC as a means to advance their personal ambitions, to attain positions of power and access to resources for their own individual gratification.” Mbeki also said the decline in the quality of ANC membership and their candidates was behind their electoral collapse in the recent municipal elections. Although Mbeki didn’t say it, a lot of the blame for the decline of the ANC must rest on the shoulders of Cyril Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa has now been head of the Party for four years and in my opinion has achieved nothing. In fact it is apparent that the decline now is worse than under the Zuma administration. Communities are sliding into deeper social and economic disintegration and crime has become a way of life.

Then Paul Hoffman of Accountability Now wrote on Monday that the SA Police are unutterably corrupt, the NPA is hollowed out, infested with saboteurs, under-capacitated and lacking the skills and capability to prosecute serious corruption either effectively or efficiently.

Add to that the story Marian Thamm wrote in Daily Maverick about the horrifically gruesome murder of a top cop, who painfully bled to death through his eyes and nose as he seemed to be about to pull the plug on PPE  corruption in SAPS and you are left with very little hope that this administration will get anything done.

Without wanting to be too critical one has to lay the blame at Cyril’s door. The longer he does nothing the worse this story gets.

There was a memorial service for the late FW de Klerk on Sunday and one of the speakers was Cyril Ramaphosa. 

The memorial was controversial and indeed there was a (minor) disruptive protest before the service began in central Cape Town in the Groote Kerk in Adderley St.  Cyril acknowledged that though FW grew up and condoned Apartheid he admitted that FW played an instrumental role in our transition to democracy. Cyril ended off Statesman-like by saying FW was a man of Africa and must now be left in peace to rest in the soil of Africa.  

Then on Sunday late evening Cyril tested positive for COVID and has been put to bed. He seems chirpy enough but had not been properly vaccinated— had only one shot—and will probably be back at his desk next week.

David Mabuza our deputy President has been acting in Cyril’s place this week. This man lacks statesmanship and has lots and lots of questions to answer. The most recent one is that he refused (with the help of the Speaker) to answer was a question in Parliament last week; what was he doing in Russia for six weeks just two months ago at the height of the insurrection? Don’t we have doctors here?

He didn’t answer and it is not the first time he has ‘disappeared’ to Russia for protracted ‘health reasons’. This is Brandan’s take on the Mabuza episode in Parliament from Business Day:

Jacob Zuma has released a book, Jacob Zuma Speaks, “to set the record straight”

Who wrote it? Not, I reckon the uneducated Accused No 1. Can he write at all? That he even has the chutzpah to consider telling his side of the story when anybody who was about  during his disastrous 9 years as President knows exactly how dearly his corruption and friendship with the likes of the Guptas has cost this country. Will there be chapters on how Shaun Abrahams ruined SARS or what another lackey, Hlaudi Moseneng did to the public broadcaster, or what his favourite lady, Dudu Myeni did to SAA or how he politicised the Police?  And will there be details of his very many lunches at the Gupta’s Saxonwold precinct where the notorious brothers ‘elected’ cabinet ministers?

Zuma’s continuing undermining of the Judiciary and his arrogant disregard for the law is what he will be remembered for. No, not what the radical economic group (RET) that support him want us to “remember”.

The book is being sold from a car boot in Sandton, next to McDonald’s if you are interested in getting a copy. The cost R300.00 and R1000.00 for a signed copy.

Some good news is that Cyril has commanded that lifestyle-audits be instituted for all high-ranking officials in government. Good!

Some more good news is that PCR tests for the COVID virus have been cut from R850 to R500. (Just over a fortnight ago I paid R2500.00 for a PCR test at Heathrow airport to get back home). This is Jerm’s hilarious cartoon of our current situation:

Some very, very good news is that the UK (and now Australia) has lifted the red-list restriction on SA and two of the 3Ms will be here on Monday having rebooked their flights from London. You can only imagine what this means to the world champion.

On Sunday  evening, watched by more than 600 million viewers our Miss SA made it not only into the finals of the Miss Universe competition but became the 2nd runner up after Miss India and Miss Paraguay. A very creditable performance from our own beauty who competed against 79 others. What she had to say about Israel will no doubt upset the BDS crowd. She told reporters that up till now she had thought that SA was the friendliest place in the world but now she believes that the citizens of Israel may be even more friendly. She is a devout catholic and was particularly moved by her visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Old Jerusalem. 

In the meantime an organisation called Citizens for Integrity has called on Minister Mthethwa to apologise to Lalela. He is a bully and he offered her nothing but threats. But I am not holding my breath for this apology. Have you ever known the ANC Minister to apologise for anything?

A big (sporting) story that made headlines this week is that the head of SA Rugby has been given a decisive slap down. He, Jurie Roux lost his appeal to have to pay back to the University of Stellenbosch, where he was a chief financial officer, R37 million that he gave to the Stellenbosch University rugby club irregularly.  This saga has been six years coming and the Rugby Board knew about the dispute when he was appointed their CEO. Now the Board, which has awaited the outcome of this protracted matter is going to have to face the matter directly.

A big question is where is Roux going to find R100 million that he owes in legal fees, interest and the money that he splashed out on his rugby pals.

I don’t often watch much motor racing. It’s too noisy. But I have family in London who are mad about the sport and are huge Lewis Hamilton fans and anyway Tottenham weren’t playing because so many of their team are down with COVID, so the world champion and I watched the most exciting F1 race ever. Drama has never been more tense than this. The  equal points, the crash near the end, the last lap overtake…….

And a new young world champion, but with objections raised. Sport doesn’t get more exciting than that. What a racing season!

As always,                                                                                            


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2 thoughts on “The Week That Was”
  1. Gerald, not sure if you remember us. Brent, David and Martha and I were in your beautiful country in May. I have continued to enjoy your news letter weekly and have learned so much about your country. Thank you again for taking sure good care of us on our visit. We are busy planning the next trip! Merry Christmas to your and your family.

  2. Must admit have grown to like these weekly updates, Even though I never actually lived in South Africa, just Rhodesia and Kenya.
    So the ANC are waning in popularity, never mind the next majority party will be just as bad. That unfortunately is the way politics is today. But don’t worry South Africa, there is the odd corrupt official in the West, in fact East and Asia etc.

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