Better Ramaphosa than the alternative

David Bullard reflects on the state of the ANC, the Russians in Simon's Town and the loadshedding lottery


I finally hit the big ‘seven zero’ last Friday 9th December which also happened to fall on ‘International Anti-Corruption Day’; an invention of the United Nations which most countries prefer to ignore. Did you read about it?

Or course not but on the day after you couldn’t avoid having ‘Yooman Rites’ Day’ stuffed down your throat by the wokist media. Personally, my vote is for anti-corruption over human rights because the former is much more easily defined. But there it is. ___STEADY_PAYWALL___

Anyway, the celebration lunch for fourteen carefully selected guests was held in a private room at the exquisite Vergelegen estate in Somerset West. This was the land that was ‘stolen’ way back by Willem Adriaan van der Stel, the son of Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Cape, and which was completely undeveloped when he turned up to claim 30 000 hectares of barren land after a three day journey by ox wagon from Cape Town.

So he did what any self-respecting land thief would do and planted half a million vines, laid out fruit orchards and orange groves, established several farms with 1 000 cattle and 1 800 sheep and laid out beautiful gardens surrounded by an octagonal wall to keep out the wild animals and then planted camphor trees which have become giants and homes to roosting owls over three hundred years later. Vergelegen is now in the safe hands of Anglo-American.

Unfortunately, after six years as governor of the Cape poor Willem was found guilty of corrupt practices by his political enemies and ordered to return to the Netherlands as a punishment. These days he would have taken the judgement ‘on review’ no doubt and hung on for dear life.

The food, wine and company were all excellent and the banter around the table was generally light-hearted but as more wine was consumed it was impossible to avoid the topic of the downward spiral of South Africa and the horrors that this week’s elective conference might hold.

There was general consensus that Frogboiler would be the least of all evils which, as I pointed out last week, isn’t a particularly strong recommendation for the presidency.

The problem is that the alternatives are too awful to contemplate. Now Julius Malema has shown support for DD Mabuza claiming that he will be President by Christmas we have some idea of the shit-show coming our way in the next few days.

Malema describes Mabuza as a ‘man of integrity’ but since JuJu probably thinks ‘Integrity’ is the name of an aftershave lotion we shouldn’t get too excited about that. After all, JuJu has very many questions we would all like answered such as how does he afford the multi-millionaire lifestyle on a parliamentary salary and is he planning to ever give back the money he allegedly received from VBS bank?

Over the weekend the name of Dr Zwele (Sleazy) Mkhize popped up as challenger for the Presidency this week. Like many people I had assumed that our former health minister had been consigned to the political wilderness after his family members were enriched to the tune of R150 million through a dodgy deals company called ‘Digital Vibes’ during the COVID scamdemic.

Apparently, these accusations are not regarded as too serious by the ANC and Dr Sleazy is welcome to have a crack at the top job this week. Quite what his vision will be for South Africa’s rejuvenation is a little unclear but it’s almost certainly likely to involve close family members in lucrative dodgy tenders. So, business as usual then.

The only good news to come out this week is that Bathabile Dlamini and Tony Yengeni, two of the party’s real low lives, have been prevented from contesting a place on the party’s National Executive Committee because they both received prison sentences of more than six months (but obviously didn’t serve them). I suppose we should draw some cold comfort from that, particularly as Comrade Tony was once the chair of the ANC’s Crime and Corruption committee. If it wasn’t so tragic it would be funny.

Whatever happens this week isn’t going to be good for the majority of South Africans. There is not even a mention of a potential candidate without the stench of corruption about them. One thing is certain though, the thievery will continue unabated and the living standards of the majority of South Africans will plummet. If you thought 2022 was bad, then you ain't seen nothing yet.


Bearing in mind this country’s strong support for Russia in the current Russia v Ukraine war now in its tenth bloody month it should come as no surprise that Simon’s Town played host to a visiting Russian container ship, the Lady R, last Tuesday where it remained until early Friday morning.

One might have expected the Lady R to make for the much larger Cape Town harbour but there were obviously clandestine activities planned so Simon’s Town was selected where the night-time loading and unloading activities could be conducted under fewer prying eyes during the hours of darkness.

Witnesses report that there were convoys of trucks heavily guarded by armed personnel trundling in and out of Simon’s Town harbour but any questions to the Department of Defence and the SA National Defence Force have been met with silence.

So it’s up to us to speculate as to what has been going on with a US sanctioned Russian vessel and why the pro-Russian ANC are so secretive about it.

One theory is that the Lady R was delivering Beluga caviare and specially distilled Vodka for the forthcoming elective conference. We all know how the ANC bigwigs like to flaunt their ill-gotten gains and how better to remind the hoi-polloi of their lowly status during the festive season than by smearing the Pro-Vitas with caviar and quaffing iced vodka from a beer mug?

Another theory is that Vlad Putin has had enough of the war and has installed one of his body doubles to handle questions in the Kremlin while he slips into Cape Town for a bit of R&R. It is pretty awful weather in Russia at this time of year and a bit of sunshine on Vlad’s pale skin may give him the energy boost he needs to get home in late January and launch a new offensive and, who knows, a couple of those nuclear warheads he keeps lovingly talking about.

Russians aren’t very welcome in most of the world at the moment but since we decided to back Russia over NATO and the West in the hostilities Russian tourists feel very welcome here.

Only the other day I was lunching at a wine farm in Franschhoek and couldn’t help noticing the abundance of gorgeous looking, pert breasted, surgically enhanced young women in tight hot pants and flimsy tops. They were accompanied by grim looking older men who kept taking selfies with them. I asked the head waiter if they were Russian and…bingo…they were.

Another restaurant in the winelands has confirmed similar bookings of bad mannered, ugly, elderly men surrounded by what one can only assume to be their beautiful nieces from the good-looking side of the family. Since we are apparently shameless in our support for the Russian war machine, I suppose we should regard this as a tourist bonanza and give thanks unto Lindiwe Sisulu.

Of course, the more likely and far uglier possibility is that this highly secretive operation has to do with the movement of armaments between our respective countries. So, all we need to know is are we selling weapons to Russia for the ongoing war in Ukraine or are they supplying weapons to South Africa for the violent overthrow of the well run Western Cape? We should have the answer in the first few months of next year.


This is the final column for 2022 so may I wish you all everything of the best over the holiday season and thank you for your comments over the year. Mrs B and I are now Wordle addicts and I’m happy to say that our scores are pretty impressive with the majority clustered around three and four attempts.

We’ve had two wins on the first attempt but that was purely a lucky guess and nothing to brag about. Getting the right word by a process of elimination is what it’s all about and a third and fourth attempt win shows that the little grey cells are still functioning.

Up there with the Wordle challenge is the Eskom load-shedding challenge. Just because they said it is Stage 2 in the morning doesn’t mean that it won’t be Stage 6 an hour later.

So the evening you carefully planned with friends now has a four hour power cut looming over it.

But, don’t worry, once you’ve made your plans and decided to get up and turn on the washing machine at four in the morning it may well be back to Stage 4.

A new twist to the game has just been introduced and that’s the spoof load-shedding schedule. This is when you expect the power to go out at six at night as per the schedule but it doesn’t. This induces a false sense of security that all is well… until the power goes out two hours later just when you need your internet connection.

Clearly things have become so chaotic at Eskom that not even the poor sods who put the load-shedding schedule together know what is going on.

This column will be back on 17th January… load-shedding permitting.