Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

The President spoke to the nation on Monday evening addressing the devastating floods in KZN and declared the floods a national state of disaster.  Parts of the Eastern Cape have also been badly affected and the army will be deployed to assist as much as possible. Financial help will be forthcoming.

As you can imagine this week our news has been dominated by this dire situation that occurred mostly in the Durban and surrounding areas. Death—-more than 440 people counted so far;  destruction—hundreds of poorly built homes that were totally destroyed, roads and bridges washed away and 500,000 cut off from drinking water. The consequential loss is too ghastly for words as we watch the nightmare on our TV news broadcasts. What we see is almost as sad as the collapsed and mangled homes in the Ukraine where whole towns have been blasted into oblivion by the Russians. 

And further bad news is that the bad weather is continuing. It is still raining in KZN. But not only that; we are also experiencing more power outages throughout the country and have been moved up to stage 4 by Eskom with even more time off the grid than usual. They also forecast that these outages will probably last throughout the winter for 100 days.

The fact that as a country we are totally unprepared for this type of natural event reflects poorly on the government for not having the staff or the wherewithal to assist when natural disasters occur. An example of our unpreparedness is laid bare by William Saunderson-Meyer in his Jaundiced Eye opinion piece this week:

“38 years ago there was a similar disaster where 25 SAAF helicopters rescued more than 14,000 people. This time the SAP police service and the SAAF, combined, have not been able to put a single chopper into the air. Durban based No. 15 Squadron has not a single helicopter available for search  & rescue and the SAPS airwing has only one serviceable helicopter but “the pilot on duty has been booked off sick”. I can only ask; is it even possible for the ANC can get any worse at governing than they are now?

Well already the bureaucrats in the overstaffed Durban municipality are rubbing their hands in glee at the thought of getting to dispense the funds that have been made available to the destitute. Even Charlize Theron has been on twitter asking for financial help to be sent. 

Early this week a video went viral on social media showing that goods donated in Durban North have been stolen by municipal workers. This clip was declared a fake by the municipality who say they are carefully watching where the funds go. 

But yesterday Daily Maverick highlighted an incident where three eThekwini municipal workers went to load food parcels for the starving and destitute and opened the parcels to help themselves. 

And you are not surely surprised to hear that the truck delivering fresh water was photographed at the Premier’s home before going elsewhere.

Stephen Grootes points out that the government has promised to help the province and to make financial resources available but instead of gratitude they were met with an overwhelming amount of cynicism. It turns out that most people believe this money will simply be stolen. This is David Doubel’s view of the situation from the Daily Friend:

As I expected Accused No1’s “critical” medical condition lasted just one day. He spent Monday in hospital on his doctor’s advice.  That was the day he was due to be in court to face multiple charges of fraud, racketeering, money laundering and corruption. The next day he was at home in Nkandla receiving gifts and well wishes for his 80th birthday. The day before (April 10th) he had been meeting, for almost two hours, with Louis Liebenberg who brought him two Nguni cows as a birthday gift and discussed Afrikaner and Zulu concerns. Stalingrading has never ever been executed better than this and it is quite clear that Zuma will go to the end of the earth to postpone his trial that he has been avoiding for close to 22 years.

What this actually shows is how the legal system can be manipulated and abused by a wealthy accused. The question is who is paying for Zuma’s costs?  And another thing—- has he paid back the R18 million of taxpayer’s money which the State has demanded back from him and which he has already   spent trying to get himself out of these legal holes. The State wants it’s money back because it is so short of funds to help the poor and needy.

The CT Press Club was the place to be last Thursday when legal reporter, Karyn Maughan addressed the audience.  Dennis, that character of note had invited his usual suspects and some wives. Henry passed, but Robin, Paul and I were present as was Vernon.  Karyn is well known because she, so very often and so succinctly, is able to summarize high-profile cases on our radio & TV stations. What she spoke about was the nuclear deal that Zuma wanted to “give” to the Russians. She expanded on the many ANC cadres who had not only received education and aid from the Russians but she also spoke about Accused No 1’s close links with Putin himself. Karyn has recently co-authored a book, ‘NUCLEAR  Inside SA’s secret deal’ which Paul very generously bought (and had signed) for all of us suspects. I have now read it nodding my head throughout in agreement with her views. 

I now think even less of JZ, if that is possible than I did before.

These meetings are always a highlight of my week.

My article of the week is Paul Hoffman’s “ Corruption stunts our freedom in South Africa” It appeared yesterday in Politicsweb and those who would like to read it can click on this link:

For some weeks Adv David Unterhater SC has been in the news. He has three times been refused a seat as a judge on the Constitutional Court and many knowledgeable journalists have pointed out how extremely biased the the selectors’  questioning of him has been. He has been slated for not giving enough black female judges places to assist him on matters where he was senior and able to appoint juniors to act with him (he denied this and told the questioner his facts are wrong), for being Jewish and serving a short spell on the Board of Deputies and for any thing else potentially detrimental that they could think off. What they could not challenge was that he is undoubtedly one of the very top legal brains in the country and would unquestionably enhance the quality of the Bench. 

Here you see Aparheid in reverse working. Only the colour of his skin has determined why he has not been appointed to the Bench. This is the SA we live in today.

Are you surprised to learn that 1 million of our people have emigrated in the last 5 years—mainly the educated ones?

But on the other side of the coin is Doug and Cassie’s view.

I really enjoy my catch-ups with Doug and Cassie, they are not too often here, but this time our catch-up was on their farm in Stellenbosch where I popped in for coffee. Doug, during our chat asked me whether I would rather be living in SA in 1985 or now.  What an interesting question and whereas we don’t agree on all political issues this time he knew he had me. He expanded on how far we have come as a country and that all countries have hold-ups and corruption and the like. He gave me figures. Those are the things that I so often complain about. Doug pointed out that things could have been so terribly worse. And then to make his point Doug asked who would have thought in1985 that in our lifetime we would have had more players of colour than white in our national cricket team and a black captain of the Springbok rugby team.

Point taken!

However, this is Brandan’s take of SA today from Business Day on Tuesday:

Our Easter weekend was spent in Sea Point because our children from Sydney had booked into the Waterfront and our London family joined us in a suit at an hotel not too far away on Beach Road. Richard, who travels a great deal was rhapsodic about the very many features, apart from the wonderful accommodation and safety that the Waterfront offers. He raved that it really is a world-class precinct.

Some very good news is that Delta Airlines will be flying direct from Atlanta to Johannesburg and then on to Cape Town. This is great for our tourism and America is a very large part of our local tourism business. 

A beer route is being mooted in the Western Cape that will hopefully compete with the wine tours that are so famous and popular in our region.

Cricket SA have ended their relationship with Managing Director, Graeme Smith. His contract terminated at the end of last month and it will not be extended. Much of that decision has probably to do with the way Smith appointed his good friend Mark Boucher as coach of the Proteas when Mark has not even a Level 4 coaching certificate. Could there also be an ethnic reason?

We watched the football, not on our couch, but in a room in Waterfront hotel and instead of the coach with me (he is in Sydney) lots of our family were with me. The kids are all, well almost all, Tottenham supporters and we were looking forward to the game, after all Brighton are quite a way down on the log.  Spurs received a lesson and though it took a 90th minute goal for them to lose 0-1 they never looked like winning.

British tennis star Emma Raducanu displayed her loyalty to Tottenham Hotspur by training in the club’s shirt before her appearance at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. I saw the photo in the English press and smiled. She will no doubt also learn that it’s hard being a Spurs fan. 

As always,                                                                                                    


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One thought on “The Week That Was”
  1. great to catch up on the corruption in Sarf Efrika (well, not really!!!!). My dear old VOC ancestors ( 6X gt grandfather Johannes Marthinus Spangenberg arrived 1736, 8X gt grandfather Jacob Coetzer arrived 1709, Jacob Mouton arrive 1699 plus many others) are turning in their graves in the Drakenstein sadly due to what has happened to their beloved country due to the INCREDIBLY EVIL, incompetent, corrupt, racist, communist cANCer govt in Zuid Afrika. Very tragic.
    I worked on the Cape Town waterfront docks in 1975 for a few months. I suspect it was a bit rougher back then. I recall leaving work after my shift at to catch a bus to the Hotel Elizabeth at Seapoint to go and chase skirts on a Friday night and stumbled on a poor white guy who had been mugged and stripped off his clothes. All he had on were his underpants. I rushed to a nearby hotel and told the manager to call an ambulance and cops. I hope he did. I should have stuck around but I was in a hurry. Felt guilty about that and still do.
    I suspect that the victim had been mugged by a mob of Bantu dock workers who had clocked off work at 10 pm as I had done. I tell you which era I would prefer to live in and it isn’t post 1985…….

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