Gerald Potash,

Hello again,

Last Thursday evening Andre de Ruyter was interviewed on one of our popular TV news channels. While he was being interviewed, he was still the CEO of Eskom with his chosen date of departure still a little while away. Well, the very next day he was summarily fired.

It is hard to describe the explosion of news that has followed De Ruyter’s chat with Annike Larsen on eNCA.  He told it like it is: that there are syndicates (ANC cadre cartels?) stealing R1 billion a MONTH from Eskom. 

Four of those syndicates are operational in Mpumalanga — and when he reported that to a high-up ANC MP he was told that “ they must also eat”. De Ruyter told Annike that he had reported corruption a long while ago but nothing has been done to stop or even combat it. He had also reported that two cabinet ministers are involved in the corruption at the Power Utility but he didn’t name them. When he told Minister Pravin Gordhan about his observations nothing happened.

He told the interviewer about the members of these syndicates (he called them cartels) having weekend parties in Mpumalanga. They arrive in their Lamborghinis & Maseratis and after the weekend they park them at a motor-dealer (who gets paid, of course) who pretends that they are for sale.

At those parties champagne at R35,000 a bottle is popular. Are you surprised to learn that cadres fly in regularly from Cape Town on the weekends to join the fun?

The two Ministers closest politically to de Ruyter, Gwede Mantashe and Pravin Gordhan, reacted by calling him incompetent and “right-wing” and all sorts of other things but they did not call him a liar.

Now the Daily Maverick has done its own research and confirms that two senior cabinet ministers are directly involved with these criminals. They advise that they are not able to name those involved YET.

Yesterday suddenly DD Mbazua, the Deputy President resigned. He served as Premier of Mpumalanga and was a “Zuma man” until he changed to supporting Cyril (when offered the job as Deputy?) at the ANC elective conference allowing Cyril to win the leadership position narrowly.

The Daily Maverick’s investigations were further disclosed by investigative journalist, Ken Bloom on Tuesday when he was interviewed on radio by our erudite radio talk show host, John Maytham. It was fascinating to hear what they have already uncovered and there is more to come in the next two weeks, he promised.                                                           So watch this space.

The op-Eds this week have also been fascinating and Tony Leon writing in the Sunday Times points out that Ramaphosa is very much affected by de Ruyter’s revelations. It was Cyril who sat at the side of Jacob Zuma, Accused No.1 for 5 years while the State was being hollowed out by the Guptas—and he said and did nothing. It was Ramaphosa who headed up Zuma’s special “war room” committee set up to fix Eskom and our electricity problems.       En kyk hoe lyk Eskom nou! I have no doubt that de Ruyter’s life is now in danger. He spoke to Annike Larsen about his cyanide poisoning and how the two middle -aged police sageants who were sent to investigate the attempted murder thought cyanide poisoning had something to do with his sinuses. Zapiro already on the weekend was absolutely accurate with this view from the Daily Maverick newsprint edition—and don’t miss the pigs eating at the trough.

Some of the smaller political parties are now jumping on the bandwagon and Mmusi Maimane, leader of BOSA (Build one SA) has laid charges against De Ruyter for not disclosing in his interview to whom he referred  as corrupt. The ANC has also threatened court action against de Ruyter and now so has Ramaphosa. Even the DA are in the mix to force de Ruyter to divulge more.

This week we had yet another example of corrupt councillors running our towns and cities into the ground. eThekweni (Durban to you) budgeted R91 million to fix the street lights. It spent…….R579 million and the lights still aren’t working.  Where are the millions that are missing?…….Guess.

The tragedy is that stories like these are just so regular that we just nod at the ongoing corruption and total lack of accountability that has become so usual under this ANC government.

At least we have a free press that can report what is happening and hopefully the ANC be voted out of office next year. But if they are will they go?

Cyril in his weekly newsletter, issued as usual on a Monday morning, did not have a word to say about Eskom or the affair with de Ruyter. Instead his whole message was about SA having been dumped onto the grey-list by the FAFT (Finacial Action Task Force). So SA becomes even less attractive to investors because our standards for money control are not up to International best practice and the country is now even less attractive to foreign investors. What’s worse now is that dealing with other countries imports and exports becomes more expensive. Cyril, however, remains positive and says “we hear what they (FATF) say and we are speedily getting back on track”. SA has had 5 years to get back on track and……. Brandan in Business Day on Monday got it just right:

Have you heard who our new Minister of Electricty is?                Neither have I.                                                                                  Cyril is still considering his options..

Paul Hoffman, SC of Accountability Now, repeatedly points out that the law enforcement agencies must be strengthened after Accused No.1 so hollowed out the National Prosecution Agency. The NPA is understaffed and under-resourced and it became so very apparent last week in the Nulane trial, the first State Capture trial to come to the court. This case is directly Gupta-connected and the accused were given a lifeline because the NPA had not been able to present the court with original documents and were working with copies. The Judge was not impressed. 

Will this allow the arrested Guptas brothers in Dubai to escape the application of red notices issued by Interpol? They say they are the victims of a political witch hunt in South Africa and they may indeed “escape” their forced return to face the music here because of this poor NPA performance.

Hopefully the news from UCT will now start to taper off. There has been a verbal war raging at the University of Cape Town where the outgoing narcissistic vice-chancellor Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng has been placed on leave “with immediate effect”. And she will stay on leave until her term ends early next year. Good.

What a pity that it is costing the university R12 million.

A gathering of the usual suspects in Somerset West is quite unusual. But what made our latest get-together even more unusual was that there were 12 of us and not only the usual half dozen characters. The ladies came too and it was lovely enjoying a meal with our wives present and chatting in a beautiful setting on a lovely summer’s day. 

My other catch-up of note this week was also (hardly coincidentally, since I chose the venue on both occasions) at the Millhouse on Lourensford Estate. Keith, the doctor of law once from Oudshoorn and now from Miami South Beach, came out for lunch and is also suitably impressed with the venue. With just the two of us at the table I even gave Keith a little time to talk and tell me his story and a fascinating story it is.

The sporting weekend highlighted Cape Town as an iconic venue to host international events. The E-motor race on Saturday afternoon in the Green Point stadium area was a huge success that attracted a bumper, jam-packed crowd watching such a first time event. Then the women’s cricket final on Sunday saw another full-house crowd at Newlands enjoying the exciting spectacle in gorgeous weather.  Our girls did us proud by reaching a final for the very first time and they played well but Australia, the competition favourites, beat the home side in an entertaining match to retain their world champion status for the sixth time.

It was interesting to learn that the motor race and the cricket competition, both well organised, brought R2 billion in revenue to the Mother city which makes us all very happy.

The Proteas are busy with a Test match against the West Indies at Centurian in a Pretoria and it’s going quite well, two days having been played so far.

The coach was next to me on the couch to watch not only the cricket from Newlands but also the football from Tottenham when Spurs played their London rivals Chelsea on Sunday. Although they started poorly (what’s new?) the team we support managed a comfortable win to retain the important 4th spot on the log but last night Spurs went down to Sheffield 0-1. 

It’s not easy being a Spurs fan. As always,                                                                                      


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