Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

Ramaphosa rushed back from London after the Queen’s funeral to attend to the electricity crisis. The ‘dramatic’ news he shared with us in his newsletter on Monday after the urgently called Cabinet meetings was that we are in for a long period of power outages before matters can return to normal. Every energy expert has been saying that for years and years and he could quite easily have told us that before he even left. I repeat, to your annoyance, that Cyril is a wuss.

But there are changes coming at Eskom and it is thought that the whole board is to be replaced. It needs to be. There have been 7 board resignations since 2018 and not one director has been replaced and those on the board have no technical expertise. I don’t mind changes but the rumour doing the rounds is that Andre de Ruyter, the CEO is about to be fired and that is worrying.

Gwede Mantashe is not only our Energy Minister he is also chairman of the ANC. In that position he was in Johannesburg on Monday to open the 14th AGM of SA’s largest trade union, Cosatu after Cyril at the last minute recused himself.  Gwede was booed off the stage by hundreds of unionists before he could say even one word.  

What does this tell you about the tenuous position of  Cosatu’s relationship with the ANC their alliance partner in government?

Later in the day the Cosatu President warned the ANC to get rid of the bad apples in the Party or loose support from the Union. It really does look as if the ANC is in for a hiding in the next general election. This cartoon from a fortnight ago by Stephen Francis & Rico (two bright guys who can draw!) tells the whole story.

Tony Leon in the Sunday Times then Ray Hartley & Greg Mills in Daily Maverick have all come out in strong criticism of Naledi Pandor, our Min of Foreign Affairs. Naledi stood in for Cyril at the UNO General Assembly last week and waffled about things the ANC has been going on about for 30 years. About the war in Cuba, about Palestine and about the Western Sahara—all countries with records of horrific human rights abuses and with a total lack of democracy. About the war in Ukraine and the thousands being killed by unprovoked Russian aggression—-not a word of criticism from Pandor.  Pandor is pathetic……but she is a loyal ANC cadre.

Build One SA (Bosa) is the name of Mmusi Maimane’s new political party launched on Saturday but commentators are sceptical that it offers anything different to any of the other parties.

The country we live in is run by gangsters. They control the taxi industry (that’s why the trains don’t run) they control the trucking (how many drivers get shot and taken out) they control illegal mining(zama zamas), they control wild life poaching and the highly lucrative exporting of rhino horns, they control cash-in-transit heists and everything from kidnappings and child trafficking to cybercrime. They kill honest policemen (like Charl Kinnear of the Anti-gang Unit) and whistleblowers. 

The most damning exposé of the sinking ship that is SA is the recent report from the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC). Mark Shaw (read his book ‘Hitman for Hire’) in this report believes that the crime here can be reversed but having read the document it is hard to see how. 

Carol Paton has written an excellent report for News24 on this whole scary business that you can read by clicking on this link:

The former National Police Commissioner (Khomotso Phahlane) has been arrested on fraud, corruption and theft charges. Along with him there have also been arrests of some of his top brass (2 Major-Generals and a Colonel) and as good as this is—that there is at last some visible action against the blatant thieving that goes on in front of our noses— it is just a small drop in an ocean of crime by cadres who take advantage of our poor policing and the dismal lack of any accountability.

When your top cops are taking bribes to the tune of R54 million what reason do lowly policemen have not to accept  smaller “gifts”? It has become only too apparent that the whole so-called “Civil”  Service is a hotbed of dishonest cadres who are not only incompetent but have stolen the country dry.

By the way our Police Minister is also severely tainted with corruption……..when will he be arrested?

Well yesterday a former cabinet minister was arrested along with several Gupta “contacts”.  Mosebenzi Zwane and several “business big-shots” connected to the Guptas are now out on bail. It is said that they funnelled R280 million to the Guptas for nothing in return. I wonder how much Zwane made out of the deal personally? 

So progress is being made in arresting certain big shots and that is good news and a warning that the NPA are not completely asleep……I can think of plenty other ministers and ex-ministers who must be more than just a little worried right now.

You probably won’t believe it but that old man who was released from prison because of his medical condition and who has spent more than 10 years appealing case after case to keep himself from facing corruption and money laundering charges, Jacob Zuma (80), has made himself available to be nominated as Chairman of the ANC at their next kgotla . What a bloody cheek! You will not be surprised to learn that Gwede Mantashe was again selected by the Sunday Times as their Mampara of the week. And that was even before he was jeered off the stage on Monday and then again on Tuesday. Zapiro didn’t miss a beat in the Daily Maverick with this cartoon after Mantashe’s ongoing waffling about our energy problems.

Do we need more bad news? Last week a young (39) mother and very well-known restauranteur from Observatory got taken out by a shark in shallow water in  Plettenberg Bay at the popular Central beach. There have been several shark sightings in Plett lately and this episode is not good at all for the popular holiday resort.  The Plett people are onto the problem and arrangements are being made to control the problem.

The usual suspects got together under the auspices of Dennis, that character of note and Brad, for the first time, joined Kenny, Robin and yours truly for a lovely chat over coffee (well beer and wine are almost as good as coffee, I’m told) and a sandwich at Kelvin. Brad pointed to the need for many more schools and told us that the population in the Western Cape is likely to grow by another 1.5 million by 2030. He is voluntarily involved and he explains that the basic requirements for schooling cannot begin to be met with this expected influx. He told us that there are already schools in our region where the pupils have no pens, no rulers and no clean paper to write on and the classes have up to 60 pupils.

The coach and I were not on the couch watching the Stormers play the Irish side Connaught this weekend. We were at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch watching the game live, thanks to getting tickets from Cyril G (not Cyril R). My disappointment was that the ground wasn’t nearly as full as it should have been to watch the Stormers kick off their season where they ended last season as top dogs of the United Rugby Championship. We then rushed back home to sit on the couch to watch the Springboks beat Argentina in Durban in the final test of a series that had delivered some huge surprises. Oh, the Boks won but test rugby lost. Rugby is becoming boring where kicking possession away is the norm instead of the ball going from hand to hand down the back line to the wings. That is how we were coached and that’s how rugby used to be played. Now it’s always just “crash-bang” and that’s boring. 

What makes it doubly boring is the amount of whistle blowing from, in effect, three referees—-and the endless referrals to the camera to “make sure”. The players get a nice rest but it is anathema for spectators.          

Anyway the real quality of SA rugby strength will soon be tested when the year-end tour against Ireland, France, Italy and England takes place. The local rugby scribes are not too optimistic of our chances and neither am I. This is one time I would love to be proved wrong.

There was no Premiership football due to the international fixtures.

As always,          



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