Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

The elective conference of the ANC has come and gone, well almost gone and now we await the January 8th special message from the Party leader. 

From the onset the ANC’s chaotic internal affairs were on full display at the 5-year elective conference, held towards the end of December, with proceedings only getting under way after shocking, but not unusual, delays. The 5 days laid down by the Party was not enough time to complete its business and today and tomorrow have been set aside for the meetings to continue but on-line. The voting, however, is done and it is a truly sad bunch of clowns and incompetents who have been chosen as those 80 members to lead the Party. 

What is even more interesting than who made it onto the NEC is who didn’t make it. Min of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande and his fellow Communist, Pravin Gordhan didn’t make it. Neither did the fellow cabinet minister, Thulas Nxesi. Also not up in the ranks are Naledi Pandor, Min of International Relations (and “pro-Palestine whenever possible”) and Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Speaker of the House, also a former Minister.

What the conference demonstrated more than anything else is that the ANC is a deeply divided organisation which is driven by self-interests rather than by the betterment of the country’s population. Even Ramaphosa was booed and jeered when he first attempted to address the delegates. 

The comeuppance of the greedy cadres will no doubt come with our general election in 18 months time–should the economy survive that long. I expect this bunch of losers to lose big time and to lose not only their ruling majority but with it the exclusive powers that they so enjoy and so abuse.

Also highlighting the very differing factions in the Party is the matter of Jacob Zuma summonsing Cyril Ramaphosa to be joined with Billy Downer and Karyn Maughan as an accessory to a crime. Zuma wants Cyril in court on the 19th of this month and the Zuma Foundation has made lots of noise about it. It won’t happen, so don’t hold your breath.

Unfortunately even if the ANC does lose its overall majority, it does not mean that the bulk of these tainted cadres will be out on the street. The likelihood is that most of these cadres will still be part of a governing coalition where the ANC will most probably be the biggest partner.

What you should know about the conference is:  1)Several ANC members directly implicated by the Zondo Commission were elected to the ANC’s national executive committee. 2) Even those with criminal records like Mduduzi Manana, Andile Lungisa and Bathabile Dlamini made it onto the NEC. 3) Despite the cloud of the Digital Vibes matter hanging over his head, the unsuccessful candidate for the ANC president, Zweli Mkhize made it.

January 8th is the day that the ANC was formed in 1912 and now that date usually portends the delivering of the annual policy statement from the leader of the Party. This year the country is waiting for Cyril to show some backbone and to fire those members of his cabinet who were elected not only onto the NEC (National Executive Committee of 80) but even onto the ruling ‘top 7’ who form the Party’s management committee. Not all these cadres are “clean” and some like deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane is under a heavy cloud for retaining monthly “groceries” from Bosasa. Why is she in the cabinet and not in jail?

The stadium where Cyril will deliver his message on Sunday in Mangaung (Bloemfontein to you) is in a sad state of repair and even the toilets have been vandalised (so what’s new?) but the new Sec Gen of the ANC, Fikile Mbalula–also known in our press as Mr Fixfokol– says repairs have been done and the meeting will take place there as scheduled.

South Africa is a wreck. Nothing works…..well. One of the saddest clips I have seen in recent days is the WhatsApp clip doing the rounds showing what De Aar station looks like. De Aar in the centre of the country was our most important railway junction, situated on the line between Cape Town and Kimberley. A skeleton has more on it that the once magnificent and busy station in De Aar.  It has been systematically and completely vandalised to where the windows, roof, tracks and everything else have been trashed and simply left broken and barren. No train will run there for a mighty long time if ever at all. It is sad.

We hadn’t seen Leon & Anne for many years. They are back here on holiday after 30-odd years mostly to see family and friends. We were very friendly with them before they emigrated and I have even spent time with them in their home in Jacksonville, Fl. After our catch-up one of the first things Leon asked me was about the state of De Aar. Even he had seen that clip and he shook his head as to the decline of SA since he left here with his American wife.

But also in sad state of repair are many schools, many hospitals, many harbours, many roads……and I can go on and on and it is all the fault of the ANC and their lack of care and competence. Will things change? Not under this bunch so don’t hold your breath but rather tighten your belt.

It will be interesting to hear what Cyril says at his Jan, 8th speech because the reality is that the ANC has achieved nothing other than chaos and ruin and he is unlikely to tell it like it is. 

The year ahead is going to be a testing year. We are going to have soaring energy prices, food costs are sharply up and our huge number of unemployed are going to really struggle. This is dangerous and warnings have been posted about the 30 million of our population on the dole. That is fully half the population out of work of any kind and barely surviving living on a shoe string.

Load-shedding has been with us throughout the holiday period.     Even on New Year’s day when you would expect demand  to be at its very lowest, with mines, factories, schools and many businesses closed, we had power outages. The outlook for the year ahead is glum and now Eskom has decided to “up” its security measures at many of its power stations. Sabotage is the reason given for this decision and corruption another where suppliers are in cahoots with employees at these  marked plants. Is this action not too late? Has Eskom not already effectively killed the country ? Certainly our economy is dying and prospects for the year ahead are miserable.

The load shedding has even played havoc with some of our most popular beaches having to close down at the very height of the summer holiday season. The continual shutting down/starting up  of the purification plants has caused breakdowns and beaches from Durban to Muizenberg have had to close because of the presence of effluent in the water—and/or where pumps have failed due to the erratic power supply.   

The Daily Maverick brings out a weekly newspaper, 168 . Last week it had a bumper edition and Zapiro was at his brilliant best summarising the year just past with the following cartoon. Take your time to read each character, it’s worth it.

The best news of the week has been the substantial decrease in the price of petrol effective yesterday. And Andrea Johnson, head of the ID (Investigating Directorate), has promised some high profile arrests soon. At last the noose seems to be tightening on some of the well-known corrupt big shots who so robbed us all.

This has been a tough time for us sports fans. Our national cricket team, the Proteas is embarrassingly poor. The Australian test 11 made our team look worse than a bunch of 2nd teamers. They steamrolled our players in the two tests played and the third and final test match is currently underway in Sydney. I’m not holding much hope for this game either. Rapport on Sunday carried this cartoon at year end by Dr Jack. (Translation: A depressed South Africa cries out to the fortune teller, “OK OK enough about the cricket, what about everything else…..?)

The weekend football was almost as terrible as our cricket for Spurs’ fans. Spurs lost at home to Aston Villa and the away team deserved their 0-2 win. But the coach and I remain fans even though it is not easy. I have been asked why I still support this frustratingly inconsistent team and my answer is that loyalty is not for sale. You’re either a team supporter or you’re not. But you already know it’s hard being a Spurs fan. Late last night Spurs came right and beat their London rivals, Crystal Palace 4-0. That’s better for us hard suffering fans.

Our Stormers rugby team is doing well and their win against the Lions gave the weekend a much needed lift.

As always 


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2 thoughts on “The Week That Was”
  1. Hi ex news on what i happening in S/A have just spent , 9 weeks in S/A , 99% of the African people i met were down to earth and hard working people, very friendly, discussed a few topics , but was a bit reserved of what i said , but the majority were open as to the Govi, they need a change , but they do not know who to Vote fore , ?. one Party is as bad as the other, asked about a majority White Gov, yes they said they would like to see more Whites in the Govi, this may change alote and help the Country to go forward, Generally they stated there maybe a Power struggle , which could cause uprising ?.. which they do not want. As to ZUMA all stated he should be in Prison and just keep his big mouth shut and enjoy his corrupted funds he took from the People. MIKE

  2. “Happy New Year” 🙂 Being the secretary at these ANC meets must be the simplest job in the World – Grab the minutes from all the previous promises meetings, change a few names here and there and Voila! Job done, QED… :(. If a progressive mind exists there, leave a copy for yourself or successor complete with previous wording and leave blank spaces to complete name changes and dates. R.I.P.

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