Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

The City Press newspaper on Sunday led with the story of Cyril’s (our) grossly bloated cabinet comprising 62 Ministers & Deputies. The mean size average of a European cabinet is 18 and the USA has 21. Since April our Minsters don’t have to pay for their electricity or water. Cyril waived the R5000.00 monthly cap in April. Not only does the cabinet receive huge salaries (R2.4 million p/a) and all sorts of perks that we pay for, you can see that the ANC Gravy Train just keeps on rolling along. This is what cadres strive for and now being in cabinet means that you also never have a power outage. As you can see some pigs are definitely more equal than others, to misquote George Orwell slightly.

It really is beginning to look as if Cyril is in for a battle at the ANC leadership conference at the end of the year. Zweli Mkhize, KZN’s preferred candidate, this past weekend had a strong swipe at Cyril calling him out for his weak leadership. Dr Mkhize made it quite clear that he does not believe Cyril warrants a second term.

It is also clear that Nkosasana Dlamini-Zuma and her sidekick in cabinet, Lindiwe Sisulu are calling for a female President, meaning they also want Cyril out. These two ‘beauties’ both have an eye on the top spot. Sisulu has been criticised for claiming that only 3 tourists had been murdered in SA in the last 27 years. But since when are any of Sisulu’s trumpetings backed by fact? And Dlamini-Zuma has again been criticised for paying lots and lots of dead people monthly unemployment benefits. Neither of those two are competent, as can be readily seen. Frequently cabinet ministers are criticised or even chastised by our Courts. 

Does Cyril ever do anything about it? 

Don’t be silly. 

The latest Minister to get blasted is ‘Mr Fixfokol’, Fikile Mbalula. In 6 years as Transport Minister he has attended exactly one single meeting to consider steps to be taken about the150 listed criminal cases lodged at SAPS by the bus company,  Intercape. But then it is well known that too many in Cyril’s cabinet are clowns. Criticism this week has also been levelled at another clown, Ebrahim Patel, the Trade & Industry Minister for achieving absolutely nothing in his more than three years in office. And can you think of a bigger clown than Bheki Cele our Police Minister?

If only Cyril had a backbone….we need a strong, honest leader. Is there even one of those in the ANC?

I learnt yesterday that Fikile Mbalula is to be nominated, in Cyril’s top six, as Secretary General of the ANC at the elective conference in December. That is typical. You don’t have to be competent or educated you just have to be loyal to the boss. This is how Stephen Francis and Rico, in the Daily Maverick see it:

Sara Gon in the Daily Friend this week has written that coalitions (citing the shambles last week in Johannesburg) are not working in SA and we must start thinking about a plan ‘B’.

She believes that even if the ANC falls under 50% in the next general election the ineptitude and greed of opposition parties could still keep the governing party in power. And remember that The EFF are in reality nothing but another ANC faction and could easily coalesce with them to form a majority government. 

Not a happy thought.

News24 reports on the “war” going on at Eskom.

A secret probe has apparently unearthed evidence which directly points to police and political organisations (gangs)  siphoning off hundreds of millions of Rands from our SOE.

This investigation started when more than R1 billion of spares could not be accounted for at Tutuka power station.

 Then yesterday more than half the lights in Durban went out suddenly. There was an explosion at the Eskom power station. I know what you are thinking.

We here are relatively lucky in that the Cape Town area suffers far less from these outages because the DA runs a better city and we get shielded from some of the outages by having a far more competent Council running our town. Doesn’t Rico get it right with this cartoon from Business Maverick?

With SA’s economy teetering, to hear that Transnet’s two biggest unions are striking for higher wages is definitely not good news. It is no less than economic sabotage. This strike will cost us hundreds of millions of Rands per day and our ports are suffering seriously. Already almost 30 ships are waiting to enter Durban. Last time there was a strike of this nature it took almost a year to even recover from the damage and loss incurred.

But the State does not have the money to pay the workers who say they simply want money to eat. On the other hand the Unions point out that Transnet directors earn millions per year and the workers want more than the 3%-5% offered. They want 12-13%.  

To add to that seriously bad news is that we have been told to prepare for a public workers’ strike.  How could anyone fix the overall economy if that happens ?

Jacob Zuma stays in the news. This week he was in court to attempt to get Billy Downer, the chief prosecutor for the State in his upcoming corruption, money laundering and fraud case, removed. Zuma also wants top journalist Karyn Maughan charged with publishing his medical report illegally.

The State has already refused to prosecute this claim but Accused No 1 is happy to fight another hopeless court battle on a ‘private prosecution’ if it helps delay his facing time in court. Anyway this is seen by most as just another way of his trying to delay the inevitable; the trial with Thales, where the French Arms Co is charged with him and is designated Accused No 2.

This lark is costing JZ well over R500,000  That’s just the amount he has to pay as a deposit to the court to cover possible eventual costs, should he lose—which he almost certainly will.

For someone who perennially pleads poverty JZ has indeed deep pockets for court actions. Mind you it is thought that this amount was sponsored by a “friendly” diamond dealer from the Northern Cape.

The local press is unified in calling this case an attack on press freedom.

It is interesting to note that JZ was too sick to serve his 15 month jail sentence (and so got a “medical” parole from his buddy Arthur Fraser) for contravening a court order. But he is not too sick to want to take over Chairmanship of the ANC or run ridiculous court cases.

The UCT brouhaha has quietened down but has not yet come to an end. The Minister of Education, Blade Nzimande has now asked for a report on the matter. It would appear that the university senate is exactly equally divided and there are (not unsurprisingly) also allegations of racism. It seems Professor Lange (formerly deputy vice- chancellor for learning and teaching) is at the heart of the dispute and her sudden resignation is now being investigated.

Yesterday it was announced that UCT had retained its position on the World List as the best African university. Stellenbosch & Wits are also rated but slightly lower down on the list.

The DA has lost yet another black leader. The former  KZN provincial DA head has resigned first from his position in the Provincial parliament and then, about a week later from the DA. 

Not good for the DA at all.

Some good news is that the Public Prosecuter has lost her appeal to have her suspension overturned by the courts and so to return to work.  She now has to wait for the Concourt to make a ruling on whether Cyril’s suspension of her was legal. Knowing our Constitutional Court this could still take quite a while.

I hadn’t seen Steven & Carlene for ages and it was so great catching up with them at one of the best food stores anywhere, Woolworths Food at Waterstone Village in Somerset West. Bev was with us and we chatted. Steve made the point that the only way the ANC will change is if we all joined that Party. I am not so sure about that but it will definitely have to change from the inside and it doesn’t look like it is going to happen anytime soon. So Steven may have a point.

The lunch was somewhat spoiled by my getting a phone call from the usual suspects asking where I was? I had double booked the Tuesday lunch.


Our Protea cricket team were exposed by a weakened Indian outfit in the 3 match series. The ODI exposed a very brittle batting line-up and we will struggle to qualify for the World Cup due to be played next year.  

The coach was on the couch to watch the rugby and the football. The Stormers won again with a last gasp try to snatch a bonus point and keep themselves very much in contention in this season’s United Rugby Championship (URC). 

The football was oh, so much more exciting.  In fact it was a nail biter from start to final whistle with Spurs winning by the only goal of the match. Again our team just didn’t have enough possession (40%) and the performance against a good Brighton side really just wasn’t good enough.

But hey, a win is a win.

So COYS. As always,                                                                                                


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