Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to be challenged in Parliament as to his conduct after the money from his farm, Phala Phala was stolen. The two-member ATM Parliamentary Party has brought a motion to Parliament to consider his impeachment. This has now set up a process to see whether he is impeachable.

Cyril has finally answered (after missing two dates of extension) 31 questions that the acting Public Protector put to him about the stolen money affair but he has not made those answers public. Why not? 

Pressure is mounting for answers and not only from journalists. Now 10 political parties also want to know what his answers are. Zapiro was quick with this cartoon from Daily Maverick:

Cyril’s closing speech at the ANC policy congress was the same old, same old. The ANC hasn’t changed and neither has its leader. He really never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Carol Paton writing in Fin24 points out that SA is sliding into instability and we are all waiting for Cyril to do something. The state has lost control, she writes, of safety and security in a vast number of communities & sectors with the result that theft, hijacking, robbery, extortion, illegal trade in gold and chrome is out of control.

What is happening to the DA? Our largest political opposition party to the ANC is unravelling. It is the top black leaders who are leaving, one at a time.

Last week Makashule Gana announced his resignation from the Democratic Alliance, becoming the latest prominent black leader to exit the party. Gana, a previous youth leader with 20 years of solid membership of the Gauteng branch rose to deputy federal chairperson and was the campaign manager for several elections.  He is quite clear that he intends staying in politics. 

Those who have left the DA include Mmusi Maimane, Herman Mashaba, Mbali Ntuli of KZN,  former parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and Phumzile van Damme. Will this upheaval keep the ANC in power after the 2024 election? I hope not.

Helen Zille says blacks leaving the party has nothing to do with race. She goes further and points out that the DA has the second most representatives in Parliament today and almost all are black. 

Qaanitah Hunter, of News24, agrees with Zille and points out that the real reason young blacks are leaving the party has nothing to do with race but it is because they are completely uninspired. The party is stagnating and has become redundant, writes Hunter.

But Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA party also received a serious blow when the bright young eThekwini regional chairperson quit saying that this party is no different to the ANC. Their entire KZN leadership has now abandoned ship. 

Remember his name: Songezo Zibi?  I mentioned his book, ‘Manifesto’ a few weeks ago. Are these experienced black leaders going to hook-up with him?

Mmusi Maimane, leader of the new political party, One South Africa Movement, has called for a renewed fight against crime after falling victim to a robbery at a Cape Town bar.

Maimane was at the bar in Claremont with a family member, who was visiting from overseas, on Wednesday night. Shortly after they walked in, three armed men entered the restaurant, Maimane said.

“I didn’t immediately realise a robbery was taking place because the waitress asked the men if they wanted a table for three,” he said. Maimane says it’s time to get fear back into criminals and not the citizens of the country. ‘

Our crime stats are HORRIFIC with 67 murders every day,  364 violent robberies every day and 153 known rapes every day. Then add 37 kidnappings per day, carjackings 60 per day and so it goes on and on —with ever rising stats.

The 10-hour gang rape of 8 women by zama-zamas near Krugersdorp has been in the news all week and for all the wrong reasons. Our police are pathetic and our police minister is racist and is worse than pathetic.  The Minister Bheki Cele actually said one girl was lucky because she was only raped by one. These zama zamas, a community of illegal immigrants who brandish illegal guns, terrorise the locals right close to the police who look by and do nothing. Pathetic is hardly the word, but the entire police force (not the right word either) is understaffed, undertrained and a shameful disgrace. With the exception of “bubbles” in the Western Cape this is sadly SA today.

Paul Hoffman of Accountability Now has written to Andrea Johnson of the Investigating Directorate (ID) of the NPA requesting answers to his questions on Cele that were promised. This has to do with the inflating of rentals for police headquarters. You may recall that this matter cost Cele his job as police chief but since then he has been elevated to Police Minister and nothing further has happened. Why?

The Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura has been in the news of late. First in his reaction to the repeated gang-rape of the women on the film set by zama-zamas he declared that criminals, including zama-zamas, have taken over SA. He, an ANC big-shot yet says the country is ungovernable. 

On Monday the DA filed a motion of no confidence in Makhura. They say that crime is totally out of control and Makhura has done nothing about it except moan how bad it is. He is the provincial boss, it is he who should be doing something —particularly about the illegal miners who are causing all the chaos.  

Pule Mabe, the ANC spokesperson has achieved what few have done before. Twice in a row he has been the Sunday Times’ mampara of the week. He showed his brainlessness again this week by suggesting that opposition parties take a stand against criminality. As Business Day asks, why doesn’t the ANC get rid of Cele, the useless Police Minister and then do something constructive about crime.

(Could Cele’s continued position in cabinet have something to do with his having Cyril’s back?)

And Cele is not the only Minister who should urgently be fired. Just look carefully at this cartoon from Zapiro in the Daily Maverick on our public holiday (Woman’s Day) on Tuesday to see who else should go……….and actually there are so many more. ….., Like Minister Nkoana-Mashabane who made a 4-minute speech on Woman’s Day that must rank as the most brainless addresses ever by a Minister. (And that is really saying something!)

The suspended Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane received another serious snotklap on Monday when she was again judged to be irrational and lost her third case against Ivan Pillay and SARS (our Revenue Services). Again this lady is shown to be totally incompetent and has cost us tax-payers unnecessary money when costs against her office was again awarded by the court. I am hard pressed to remember when, if ever, she has won a case. And she, suspended, is currently before Parliament fighting to stave off an impeachment enquiry into her fitness to hold office.

That enquiry should be a slam dunk. 

Yesterday the Constitutional Court also in a short, crisp judgement told Ace Magasule that his appeal for being suspended by the ANC has not chance of success and so suspended he remains. Good.

Early in the week Volodymyr Zelensky condemned SA for choosing neutrality when Russia is clearly the aggressor in the war.

This week United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken spent 3 days here in SA on the first leg of his African tour. During his short stop he upset the Chinese Ambassador when he said that China had overreacted to Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. He also alluded to SA’s attitude towards Russia when it is plain that an independent country’s sovereignty is being attacked. And don’t think that Biden’s counterpart Minister Pandor didn’t get Palestine into the discussion when she urged America to do more. She never, however,  mentioned anything about the terrorism and the firing of rockets into built up areas to kill innocent people.  I was surprised that she attended the meeting not wearing her kaffiyeh.

We also learnt from Blinken’s visit that Ramaphosa is going off to Washington next month to strengthen ties. I wonder if Biden will tell our President that ties with the USA will only be strengthened if SA accepts that Russia is indeed the aggressor in Ukraine.

Business Leadership SA (BLSA) is led by Vusi Mavuso. She writes regularly for Moneyweb and other publications and her articles are compulsory reading. This week she highlights the fact that BLSA is providing financial assistance to the NPA to help in effective prosecutions of complex international crimes as spelt out in the Zondo report. All the proper protocols will be followed and results are expected.  This is GOOD news from a very bright lady.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has taken action against two former Transnet big-shots. Their assets, and their wives assets as well as the assets in their family trusts, have all been frozen. Good news. The SIU contends that this wealth was acquired by illegal tenders and “kickbacks” and the State wants its money back. Also the court ordered that no benefits from the Transnet pension fund be paid to them. This at last sends out a strong message to those cadres who thought they could get away with their pilfering.

My coffee catch-ups this week were rather different in that I had never met Alan & Diana before. They came out to Lourensford on a sunny, windless winters’ day to sit under the trees and chat. What an interesting couple. 

Then two days later my old bridge pal, Malcolm arrived at the same venue to chat. We spoke bridge and we spoke fishing and we spoke England and we didn’t speak politics.  While we were chatting Ivan, the old Stellenboscher surprisingly came over to greet me where we had met just met a little while ago. He was back at Lourensford with his family. What a pleasant surprise to meet up with them all and what a good place to sit and chat.

Did you watch? Did you see the scores?

What a weekend. The rugby on Saturday evening was brilliant and the Springboks are again beginning to look like the world champions they are. Our boys gave the All blacks a real “klap” and the win is our biggest against the Kiwis in 94 years. 

Then to add to the pleasure SA has a new champion. The ladies British Open golf tournament at Muirfield was won in an exciting play-off by Ashleigh Buhai.

To make Saturday even more special the coach was sitting with me on the couch to watch the opening Premiership game of the season for our favourite team. We had a slight problem with timing because the Spurs game and the rugby test match clashed time wise. We overcame that by taping the Spurs game and watching the rugby test first. We then saw our team in a 4-1 win that was clinical and bodes well for the season ahead.

As always,                                                                                                  

Gerald 

Email: gpotash1@gmail.com     Phone: +27 82 557 5775
 
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One thought on “The Week That Was”
  1. Can Helen Zille be trusted.
    Does South Africa discuss who was where when the European arrived.
    Blacks certainly weren’t in Cape Town. Koi and San were.
    Had Blacks ventured any further than The Great Fish river. Had they even got that far.
    If Ramaphosa homeland is Limpopo what is he doing as President in Cape Town?
    Ramaphosa has said he visits his farm once a year? Whose money was it?

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