Yesterday the committee set-up to look into the Phala Phala farm robbery made its report to the Speaker of Parliament. As at writing the contents of that report are not yet known but in a constitutional democracy such as ours this report could determine the fate of Cyril Ramaphosa. Late yesterday Cyril came out and said that he had actually nothing to answer to because all the allegations made by Arthur Fraser were hearsay.
He really didn’t look very worried.
Most stories this week (and certainly next week) will be about the forthcoming ANC leadership conference where the top six, also known as the working committee, will be chosen. Cyril is miles ahead of Zweli Mkhize (of the RET faction) in the race to lead the ANC for another five years. But the Phala Phala story has not yet been settled and that dark cloud could radically change things. The two ladies (Lindiwe Sisulu 66 votes and Nkosasana Dlamini-Zuma +100) vying for leadership could hardly muster enough votes of support where Mkhize got over 900 and Ramaphosa over 2000 nominations from the Party branches. Sadly almost every candidate for a top post in the Party has a dirty mark against his name. Oh, there are very few hers. Once again the Deputy Sec General will be the only female in the top six.
Paul Mashatile, the current treasurer and acting Sec General, seemed to be a shoo-in for the Deputy leader but this past weekend saw some heavy politicing in Gauteng and KZN to weaken his position.
Apparently Mkhize’s followers would like Dlamini-Zuma as Deputy where Ramaphosa’s crowd want Lamola to fill the second most important spot.
And so the fighting and bickering in the factions of the ANC just goes on and on.
The editor of the Sunday Times lamented a week or two ago that there is a spectacular lack of talent in the ANC and SA has been left in the hands of bunch of total incompetents. Who can ever disagree with Barney Mthombothi?
While on editors…..a former Sunday Times editor, Songezo Zibi, is launching a political party or parties out of his popular talk shop, The Rivonia Circle. The Rise Campaign was launched this week to encourage a million people to come together and to form political parties prepared to oppose those who do NOT represent them.
Zibi believes that there are millions of S Africans who would happily support any meaningful opposition to the inefficient and lazy cadres who are working for themselves rather than for the citizens whom they are supposed to support. This movement is in its infancy but watch this space!
Could the DA form a coalition with the ANC after the next General Election? Their party leader in Gauteng, Solly Msimanga, believes it is not only possible but likely. Helen Zille, the DA party Chair, was quizzed on this in Rapport newspaper on Sunday and she does not believe that the ANC is united enough to even coalesce with itself so according to her this is extremely unlikely. Zille believes a coalition between the ANC and the EFF is the worst possible scenario for SA but she does not believe the DA can win the election on its own and she is in favour of working with parties who could at least be prepared to agree to the basic values of the DA.
Whereas I panned Cyril for his performance in London last week the press this week have been far more forgiving. British Firms are positive that things will stabilise here after the ANC elective conference. Even the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak pointed to the Square Kilometre Array technology project as a positive example of working closely together.
‘Zuma’ is the name of a swanky restaurant that re-opened in Umhlanga last weekend. Two of the well-heeled guests who were there to cut the opening ribbon and dance jigs on the dance floor were two ex-convicts both of whom received medical parole from their sentences. Both men, then “terminally ill” on their release from jail looked wonderfully fit and feisty on the dance floor. You have guessed who they are, Jacob Zuma and Shabir Shaik. To quote Glynis Breytenbach of the DA the actions of those two demonstrate a shameless and flagrant disregard of the rule of law. They demonstrated, by attending this event, that they believe they are above the law and all accountability mechanisms.
It is sickening how they have abused the judicial system. The DA has repeated its call for JZ to be returned to prison and to have Shabir Shaik’s parole reconsidered.
Marcus Jooste, one of the ‘Stellenbosch mafia’ and currently residing in Hermanus, has been charged by German prosecutors and he has been called to give evidence as to the falsification of figures in the Steinhoff stock market collapse. The German probe into Steinhoff is separate from an investigation into fraud and money laundering between 2009 and 2017 being conducted by the Hawks, who have not announced any charges yet— in spite of the financial bomb exploding in 2017 that hurt so very many. The world’s second largest race horse owner has not yet been called to account before a SA court for the disaster that caused the virtual collapse of the world-wide furniture distribution company that he ran from Stellenbosch.
What does this tell you of our NPA?
Ronald Lamola, our Min of Justice, defended the Hawks saying this is a very difficult case but he believes an arrest of Jooste is imminent. Well, the Germans have won this one.
Janusz Walus was due to be released on parole today after having served 28 years of his life sentence in jail for murdering anti-Apartheid activist Chris Hani in cold blood. The unanimous judgement to grant him parole was delivered by Chief Justice Zondo who has since been severely criticized by many here. Then, Walus’ citizenship previously withdrawn has been reinstated so that he can spend his parole time in SA. There are some who believe he should immediately be returned to Poland.
Walus in prison was stabbed in the neck by a fellow inmate on Tuesday and is now recovering in the prison hospital.
His condition is said to be stable. This is Brandan’s take on the matter from Business Day yesterday with the dithering Min of Interior, Aaron Motssoaledi:
The case to have the suspended Public Protector removed from office continues to excite. Her impeachment case is before a special committee in Parliament to decide whether Mkhwebane is fit for office or should be impeached. Her Counsel, Adv. Dali Mpofu is throwing every curve ball at the hearing committee that you can think of merely to delay, for as long as possible, the inevitable. Mkhwebane has asked to be excused from Friday’s proceedings. Unusual when you are called to Parliament to defend yourself against impeachment, don’t you think?
Well, her excuse is a good one. She has to be in another court to answer questions of her perjury before a court after “making up” evidence.
Dawie Roodt, the well-known economist this week paints a dark picture of SA going forward. He believes that ourl country is on the brink of disaster. Our economic growth has been on a downward curve since 2011 and the government interferes far too much.
Then when you analyse the unemployment figures released this week (we have the third most unemployed people in the world) in spite of a small improvement you can see what a mess we are in. But don’t take my word for it….you can read the article by clicking on this link:
The usual suspects got together on Friday to celebrate Robin’s birthday at the scenic wine estate, Glen Constantia. I thought that only Stellenbosch had truly spectacular views but this wine estate comes really close. And to quote Dennis, that character of note, everyone had a JFT—for the uneducated that is a Jolly Fine Time. Sporting wise the soccer—OK, the football, World Cup in Qatar is dominating the news. I’m not much interested unless Spurs are playing but I must admit to watching a bit here and there and I am quite enjoying the excitement. Zapiro wouldn’t let this world event pass would he? Again he hits the nail on its head with this cartoon from Daily Maverick;
The coach was on the couch with me to watch the rugby. The preliminaries had been played in the weeks leading up to Twickenham. This was the big one; England vs Springboks. And what a test it was……hard tough forward play, a spectacular fleet footed try, a man red-carded (sent off) on the Springbok side and in the end a well deserved win for the SA team.
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