With the two day taxi strike in the Western Cape, Ramaphosa on the RED carpet in London, Zuma ordered to go back to jail, Janusz Walus getting a pardon after 28 years in jail on a life sentence, the Civil Service on strike and the nominated cadres vying for the ANC top 6 spots…….where do I start this week?
The taxi strike caused unbelievable chaos. Our rail services are almost completely busted with few trains still able to run and the overwhelming majority of our workers use taxis (I believe 1.5 million a day use taxis). Two Golden Arrow city busses were torched on Monday while trying to bus people out of Khyelitsha (the enormous “black” suburb near the airport) to work. Those people can’t simply walk to work 15 miles away. But the workers who were able to get lifts left their jobs early and stores in our area were forced to close hours earlier than normal to help as many of their staff as possible. This week has been hugely frustrating for all of us active in the area.
Then think what effect this taxi strike has had on the matric students writing their final school exams. Many kids have been unable to get to the writing venues in time and special facilities are now having to be set up by the School Board to allow these scholars to write later, probably with different question papers.
The taxi strike is all about the City being “too harsh” on the drivers and too many taxis getting impounded by our traffic officials.
What the taxi bosses don’t admit is that their drivers are a law unto themselves and that they are reckless and dangerous to life and limb on the road.
Then the Civil Servants want a 10% wage increase and the government has offered 3.5%. The government has told the strikers that they just isn’t any money for this.
Our government is probably the most bloated in the world. We have more than 10,000 senior Civil servants…..far, far more than any other developed country—- and ours (largely inefficient anyway) are holding SA to ransom and will have the country on it’s knees if a solution to this problem is not speedily resolved.
Will JZ go back to jail? He should and he may but, knowing Accused No 1 as well as we do, we are expecting objections from his legal team to this decision from the Supreme Court of Appeal.
What the court declared ages ago was that Arthur Fraser had no right at all to pardon Zuma, full stop. Then the Dept of Correctional Services was wrong to let Zuma go free after 15 months from the date of his incarceration because the matter had not yet been adjudicated by the highest court in the land. Now the DA want Zuma back in jail by Friday at 5.00 pm but I am not holding my breath.
And the question is, if he does get sent back to jail will unrest break out again like last time? Yesterday Dr Jack’s cartoon in Die Burger was so very on point, don’t you agree? He might have added Do not collect $200.00.
Zuma was also in the news earlier in the week when his lawyers were in discussions with the liquidators of VBS Bank. Accused No 1 owes them R6.5 million for the non-security upgrades to Nkandla where the bank had granted him a bond. This matter has been going on for too long and hopefully it will finally get settled or Zuma will forfeit his home.
While all this is going on around JZ he still wants to be elected as Chairman of the Party next month!
Janusz Walus originally received the death sentence for murdering Chris Hani in 1963. The Constitutional court has allowed his coming out on parole and has given our Justice Minister 10 days to act accordingly.
Hani’s wife has gone ballistic and Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla called for mob justice to take place when Waluś is released from prison. She wants him “taken out”.
This is the daughter who, when she heard the judgement going against her father earlier in the week, tweeted “ We are not going back”
Will the rioting and destruction re-emerge if indeed Zuma is again incarcerated? Ramaphosa is in London as the first guest on a State Visit to King Charles. Ramaposa leaves the darkness of his country for the brightness of the many flash photographers lights. However the very dark cloud of the Phala Phala farm story has not gone away and I am expecting plenty of the British media to quiz him on that. But the Brits can “do” posh and this State Visit (the first one since 2019–covid) was POSH. 67 gun salute, 1000 horsemen, wreaths at the grave of the Unknown soldier, dinner at Buckingham Palace with the King and Queen Consort, address to the full House at Parliament then a private meeting with the Prime Minister and all the speeches and interviews. Some in the press were not too impressed with Cyril’s longish speech mostly asking for money and neither were some of the Lords present over impressed either. One writer reported to having heard two titled fellows muttering as they adjourned the House “What a dreadful fellow”. I loved this cartoon from Brandan in Business Day:
This whole week our load shedding has been erratic and annoying. Eskom said on Sunday that it had run out of diesel and it does not plan to buy more until April next year. There has been much talk about this and, frankly, nothing is clear. Is there no diesel or is there no money to buy diesel? What does seem certain, though, is that load shedding will be with us for a long, long time yet.
Load shedding not only disrupts our lives it also decimates the economy and it is all to blame on the ANC. From delivering world class cheap power in the early 1990’s (under Nationalist government control) when Eskom was the envy of the whole world to the grotesque unreliable mammoth that it has become. This is the legacy for which the ANC will be remembered.
Cabinet ministers Lindiwe Sisulu, Mmamoloko Kubayi, Senzo Mchunu and Enoch Godongwana were among some big names who failed to muster enough support for nominations to the ANC’s top six positions. The most likely result of those contesting for the top 6 are, Cyril for President, Paul Mashatile as Deputy Pres, Ndumiseni Ntuli for Secretary General, Nomvula Mokonyane as Deputy Sec Gen, Stanley Mathabatha as Chairman and a tight race between Pule Mabe and Benjamin Chauke for the job as Treasurer General.
Meanwhile, a City of Johannesburg (News24 calls Joburg the City of crooks) whistleblower who uncovered billions of rand in graft in the Department of Public Safety has written to Mayor Mpho Phalatse and other officials desperately seeking protection. This is a big problem and whereas crime is getting lots of exposure whistle blowers are not safe.
Jacques Pauw is still getting lots of publicity. His latest book ‘Living in shadows of Zuma’s Keepers’ hit the book shelves and caused quite a stir. The book delves into some of the most important national events over the last few years and comes to the conclusion that very little has changed under Cyril, not withstanding his calling Zuma’s time as head of State ‘the 9 wasted years’. Pauw’s conclusion is that South Africa is spirilaling downwards and there does not appear to be an effective brake other than the courts. And those courts are under severe pressure, sometimes from within their own ranks and often the courts are biased in favour of those implicated in corruption alleges Pauw. He points out that there seems to be a critical collapse of infrastructure — electricity, water, sewage, roads and railways — and it appears to be approaching a tipping point. The skills and expertise required to salvage the situation have become critically scarce. The country is in the throes of a brain drain that rivals and may even exceed the exodus that accompanied the political upheavals of the 1960s and mid-1980s writes Pauw.
Pauw is also highly critical of Julius Malema and the EFF, who predictably want the book taken off the shelves of our booksellers.
Charlize Theron has caused a stir in suggesting that Afrikaans is heading for oblivion. Every single newspaper has run editorials and commentaries pointing to the utter nonsense Theron is talking. Even Stellenbosch University has “officially” commented. David Bullard makes the point that if Charlize had claimed that Afrikaans was a growing language she would have found herself in just as much trouble.
Some good news is that the Technology services company EOH has agreed to repay close to R200 million it received from the Dept. of Water & Sanitation illegally between 2012 & 2017. Investigations are still on-going and even more may have to be repaid.
Some bad news just released is that our murder rate has gone up to just about 77 per day. 7004 people murdered from July to September. The DA is again calling for Police Minister Behki Cele to be replaced. It really is time.
The coach was with me on the couch, but the couch has moved. The world champion and I have moved after living in the house we built 42 years ago. The whole exercise is stressful and tiring but we believe it is for the better and we have been warmly welcomed by our new neighbours which makes the move so much easier. Oh, the rugby…..The Springboks won easily against Italy, but only after a tight and highly entertaining first half when both sides played very well indeed. You know there is no Premiership football now for more than a month with the World Cup just started in Qatar.
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