Gerald Potash

Hello again,

At last Cyril is showing some backbone.  Last week he gave the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane 10 days to let him know, in writing, why he should not suspend her. It all has to do with the parliamentary motion instituted to impeach her— to decide whether she is fit for purposes. Clearly she is not, as can be deduced from the one dozen damning judgements on appeal that have gone directly against her decisions in the last three years. In these cases she has been made to pay personal costs as well as her office having had to pay the balance of costs for her desperately poor decisions. More than one court has told her she is biased and not impartial and it is quite obvious that her legal knowledge is poor and the position of PP is far too onerous for this legal light weight. The sooner she goes the better

But this story has an interesting tailpiece. 

Ramaphosa was heard on a leaked tape to be condoning, at an internal ANC meeting, the use of tax-payers’ money for ANC campaigning. If that is true then it is theft. The PP is wanting to investigate that claim made by Mervyn Dirks, an ANC MP and solidly in the RET-faction. Dirks has brought his request for investigation before SCOPA (Standing Committee on Public Accounts). Of course, Mkhwebane was delighted and indicated that she would be investigating this matter which she sees as criminal.

Well, over the the weekend Paul Mashatile the ANC treasurer and now also acting Sec-General of the ANC came out strongly against Mkhwebane’s actions and told her that she has no jurisdiction to investigate internal ANC matters which are part of the Executive Code of Ethics.

You will not be surprised to learn that the EFF are strongly opposed to Cyril’s proposal to suspend Mkhwebane.

The Min of Transport, Fikile Mbalula also known as Mr Fix Fok*** because he fixes nothing but talks a lot, was also called before the SCOPA this week. There he admitted to 3,000 ghost workers getting paid monthly by PRASA (our rail services) every month. That’s almost 20% of the workforce. The corruption and blatant theft with the collusion of this ANC is nothing but criminal. Where is the oversight, where is the control of directors who get (over)paid royal stipends? Where is the cabinet Minister to stop this rot? Are you at all surprised that our trains don’t run? This was Brandan’s cartoon from a couple of months ago highlighting  the dysfunction in the State Owned Enterprise with an appointed chairman who was fired for his incompetence and for not disclosing his dual nationality. But as usual with this ANC it was too little too late.

Mbali Ntuli, a top, top DA MP from K-ZN who once vied for Party leadership has resigned from her party and from parliament citing ‘negative culture’ in the DA . In the last couple of years the DA has lost more than just a few important and very visible black members and it is doing the party no good at all. It is worrying that the DA are unable to keep those members happy. Has it to do with Helen Zille, ex-party leader and now it’s chairperson? Or is the current leader John Steenhuisen just too weak to keep the party together? Whatever the reason the DA is turning into a whites only party and that does not bode well for the future. Already there is an “Afrikaner white” party, the Freedom Front +.

Dr Makhosi Khosa, once a powerful ANC MP has changed parties several times and very conspicuously. This week she was booted out of ActionSA for indiscipline. To watch our politics is fun—-sometimes.  

On Thursday, in South Africa’s Parliament, President Ramaphosa blamed NATO for the war in Ukraine. Saying he would resist calls to condemn Russia he also stated: “The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded the warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region.” Then on Saturday, Mandla Mandela, a grandson of the great man and an MP who is a convert to Islam, got up in a meeting in Dakar and blamed ‘Apartheid Israel’ for the war in Ukraine. He was a guest of the BDS movement and is a most outspoken anti-Israel activist. Not once in his speech did he mention that Russia had invaded Ukraine. Mandela did not stop there but went further and blamed Israel for its’ effort to dominate the African continent. Oh, he even used the well-worn stereotyped expression of the wealthy Jews with their political influence. His bigoted anti-Semitism is sickening. It is naked racism.

Tony Leon says in an opinion piece delivered yesterday that SA will pay dearly for Ramaphosa’s thumbing his nose at the West and taking Putin’s part. He actually called Ramaphosa ‘Putin’s puppet’.

Then the Russian Ambassador to SA said in Pretoria this week that the Ukrainians are welcoming the Russian soldiers who are doing their best not to harm any civilians or civilian infrastructure. 

Who talks the greater rubbish, the Ambassador or Mandla Mandela?

Ramaphosa had another one of his famous “family chats” on Tuesday night. He lightened some of our Covid restrictions, but there are still plenty of rules to adhere to. Sport stadiums can now be 50% full, no masks necessary outdoors and no PCR tests for those vaccinated entering SA. Generally his concessions are too little too late to assist a failing economy and the State of Disaster continues.

. This was Zapiro’s take yesterday in the Daily Maverick:

The minister of Health admitted to Parliament that there is a shortage of 1,300 doctors and more than11,000 nurses at our State hospitals. The Opposition parties believe the figures to be much higher than that. What it really means is that there is a total collapse in our Health care.

The ex-Min of Health, Zweli Mkize who was touted to be our next President and who has now been suspended from the ANC for his perceived corruption in the Digital Vibes corruption matter, is taking his Party to court. When asked this week how so much of Digital Vibes money got into his son’s bank account he refused to answer. He has a strong following in, particularly, KZN who would like to see him as the ANC’s next leader and he has not opposed this proposal. It really does look as if the fight in the ANC for leadership is well and truly under way.

Most commentators believe Cyril will be re-elected at the ANC year end Conference as party leader but the real battle will be for who will take over as Deputy President. That will be the strongest indication of who will take the Party forward. Two or three possibilities are coming to the fore since it seems that DD Mabuza, the incumbent, has other things on his mind. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has again been proposed as a prospect for the job she did from 2004–2009. However she has said she does not want to stand in the way of a younger person. She is seen as a Ramaphosa faction candidate.

Khayelitsha is a suburb of mostly hundreds and hundreds of shacks along the N2 on the way to Somerset West from the city. This weekend two Tramway City busses were torched and six people murdered in broad daylight by the gangs that operate (with impunity?) in the area. The busses that get torched are almost definitely the work of taxi-gangs. The myriad of white Toyota Quantum’s that seat10 to 14 (with fold down seats) but can fit in almost double are owned by powerful taxi bosses and they are a law unto themselves. On the road these taxis are extremely dangerous since many of the drivers get paid to transport more and more people every day and traffic laws mean nothing to them; off road their bosses are probably murderers. In the taxis the drivers are murderers. How often do we read of taxi accidents where people are killed. 

Those murders in Khayelitsha could be related to a taxi-war but it is uncertain. Typically the useless police issued a statement as they so often do:   Anyone with information that can assist the police is urged to call 0860………… because they have absolutely no idea who could have killed these people in broad daylight.

Joan, Piet and I had a coffee catch-up in Stellenbosch where the three of us sat and chatted on Tuesday. We three agree that Stellenbosch is quite unique. It is a bubble where quality, excellence and cleanliness is taken for granted. The difference to the rest of SA (except, of course most of the Cape) is dramatic. An editorial in Die Burger on Friday by the editor of Volksblad —the Free State daily—points out how depressing it is to return home from holiday in the Cape to Bloemfontein, now called Mangaung. You find filthy streets with huge potholes, lights/electricity not working and taps with no water notwithstanding plenty of water in the local dams.  Standard appliances for him now include a gas stove, a generator and a water tank. And don’t for a second think that Johannesburg is any better. There are many towns that are even worse. The state of the majority of our towns and cities is simply disgraceful.    There is one small positive, as pointed out in the editorial, which was and that is that the Free State Premier admitted for the very first time that the province is in a sorry state.

Some very good news is that last week we completed our first auction for high demand spectrum for mobile telecommunications. The spectrum release will see data costs come down significantly and everyone from police stations to schools will benefit directly from this long awaited government decision. The decision will allow for the roll out of 5G connectivity throughout the country which will be a major boost for the economy.

Some more good news is that Ford’s R15,8 billion investment in their new bakkie and sport Everest SUV will kick off this year and will contribute almost 2% of our national GDP.

Sunday was a big sports day. The coach is overseas and will be in Sydney for two months so I watched cricket, we won, rugby we won (the Stormers murdered Cardiff), the Grand Prix motor racing, Leclerc won, and most important of all, football where Spurs won in a most exciting match. Seldom do Sundays get better than that. Not quite everything has gone to sporting-plan since then though. But what a Sunday!

As always,                                                                                                   


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