On Tuesday the second part of the Zondo Commission Report was handed to the President. It is depressing reading and it only has to do with the business of State capture within two key enterprises, Denel (Arms manufacturing) and Transnet (our rail services).The culprits of the blatant thieving that helped the Guptas syphon billions of Rands out of the country are highlighted and Zondo has shown how everything was done with then President Zuma’s knowledge and collaboration. He is the golden thread that saw to it that the State was hollowed out for the benefit of the Guptas and those who helped them.
The commission found that he should face corruption and racketeering probes for his role as a willing enabler to the plunder at Transnet.
The facts are laid out and action must be taken.
Then people like Lynne Brown, Gwede Mantashe, Brian Molefe, Anoj Singh and Malusi Gigaba (to name just a few) must also be sweating badly (and it has nothing to do with our heat-wave). They are crooked, face criminal charges and wouldn’t it be nice if the NPA, now that this evidence is all out in the open, did what they are supposed to do and arrested those culprits today?
What a message that would send!
It really is high time for action to be taken against these rogues, but Zondo admits that our legal system is not adequate and has made suggestions in his report where improvements can be made.
Sweat, you buggers! Accused No 1 was back in court on Monday to again try to get the chief prosecutor in his upcoming Arms Deal bribery case removed. JZ is charged with fraud, money laundering, racketeering and corruption in the trial which has been set down for April. Thales, the French Arms supplier is Accused No 2. This case has been pending for 16 years!
This is not the first time or even the second time that Zuma and his team have tried to get rid of Adv. Billy Downer and I don’t think he is going to get the judge to overturn the original judgement this time either.
The counsel for JZ, on Monday, even used the fact that JZ is an old man to try to influence the Judge. Are there different laws for old and young men?
When JZ was brought to trial for the first time on these charges he wasn’t old, rather middle aged; but hey, this is Zuma doing what he does best, Stalingrad stalling-tactics!
The small crowd outside the court on Monday indicates that at last the penny may have dropped and Zuma is just not the god he was a while ago.
Judgement in this matter is set down for the 16th of this month. This is Zapiro’s summing up of the court proceedings from yesterday’s Daily Maverick:
There was another judgement against Ace Magashule on Monday. The Supreme Appeal of Appeal ruled that his application to have his suspension from the ANC overturned because it was unlawful had no reasonable chance of success and he was ordered to pay costs.
So the step-aside rule works. The judgement was short and sharp and was exactly one page long.
Magashule will probably now appeal to the Constitutional Court because he can and because that is what his erstwhile boss in the ANC taught him.
An interesting development in the Minister Sisulu saga is that ‘Accountability Now’, the NGO run by Paul Hoffman SC, wants this Minister charged for contempt of court and/or scandalising the courts. Shamila Batohi (head of the NPA) has refused to take on the matter and Hoffman has written back to her and he says he wants action. What Sisulu has done is illegal, outrageous and she must be charged, because to quote Hoffman again, she remains unapologetic.
Hopefully I will hear more about this at a luncheon meeting in Clovelly later today where Hoffman will be addressing the Probus Club (about the Zondo Commission reports) and I, with the usual suspects, have been invited.
Our Cape newspapers are having a field day with the going’s-on of Albert Fritz. Fritz has been a big shot in our province for a long time. He is a DA leader and has occupied several positions in the Provincial government, the latest one being MEC for community safety. He was suspended last week and now there is an independent investigation currently looking into the most sordid of his alleged nefarious affairs. SA has the highest rate of sexual assault in the world and Fritz has been fingered by several young ladies in his staff and right now things do not look good for him. All the facts are not yet known so let’s wait before making judgement, but if Fritz is guilty of what has been “leaked” he is in for the high jump. Very little has changed in these last four years that Cyril has been running the country. Remember that it was Cyril who sat as Deputy President and must have been aware of what was going on. He also headed up the appointment committee of the ANC. The NPA and Ramaphosa both need a serious shake up. Justice Malala writing in the Financial Mail believes that history will judge Ramaphosa harshly. His trying to keep the ANC factions together has really cost of the country.
A bit of good news this week is the fact that two Gupta business associates were in court on Tuesday and each received bail for a trial that will begin on the 11th of this month. At last the NPA are getting moving. The State is looking to get R37.7 million back that was deliberately syphoned out of the country illegally. This is nothing to get too excited about but hopefully it is a start of similar prosecutions. The NPA have asked us to watch the space.
I am watching!
Another bit of good news this week is that an engineer in the Railways (PRASA) was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to jail time. But he is a small fish in a big pond where the big fish are very visible. This conviction helps but it is not nearly enough.
Good news, too, is the quality of the four judges currently being interviewed for the position of Chief Justice. The process of their interviews are screened live on TV and watching gives one hope for the future. These are top people with top pedigrees and any one will be a credit to the position currently vacant.
Another story that has made lots and lots of news this week was the firing of the news editor at SABC. She had the gall to actually decide what was newsworthy and ran a programme that her directors did not approve of. The “free, fair and independent” State owned news provider is not so independent after all and it’s definitely not fair.
So what has changed since Zuma’s time in the chair? Isn’t this just another ANC political purge, asks Business Day. This is 2lani’s comment from Maverick Citizen on Tuesday:
We have new Covid rules. The main change, apart from schools going back to full week learning for all pupils, is that self isolation for people who test positive but show no symptoms is ended. And if you have symptoms when you test positive then you need isolate for only 7 days.
Again the price of our petrol went up this week. This hurts badly and chases up inflation. So does power outages and we had our first load shedding of the year yesterday with a warning of more to come.
I have enjoyed my catch-ups with Ivan and he and Rene have now returned home to Israel after a two month break here. They came to see us just before leaving for home and the world champion joined us for a lekker gesels at Lourensford. We didn’t talk as much politics as on previous catch-ups as it was more the girls talking family matters. It was just lovely having lunch in the most picturesque surroundings.
The Blitsboks have done it again. Their 34th win in a row and every time they win they now break a record. Their win against Australia on Sunday evening in the final in Seville was commanding.
Having won so many games in a row is all good and praiseworthy but one must remember that the All Blacks are still precluded from competing because of their harsh Covid restrictions.
There was no Premiership football to watch this weekend but the coach and I watched our Stormers team luckily draw with the Sharks after being awarded not one but two penalty tries in the dying quarter of the game. Penalty tries are rarities in rugby these days but to get awarded two when your team is far behind is lucky beyond luck.
Then wasn’t the tennis final in Melbourne just unbelievable? The world champion and I sat for the 5½ hours glued to the TV to watch Nadal record his 21st Major championship in a match of high quality and very few errors. Nobody has ever won more majors. He is a genuine 💥
Also impressive was Medvedev’s congratulatory speech at the end of it all. I enjoyed that as much as the tennis. But Medvedev (he is seeded No 2 in the world) is a difficult character and has threatened to miss the next couple of Majors. He says the crowds are so anti-him and pro whoever he plays against.
Last night, in the lesser Provincial rugby competition, the Currie Cup, the Sharks beat WP 35-20.
PS There will be no newsletter next week.
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