FIRST of all, let’s say a very happy belated Woman’s Day to all our female readers. We hope you had a truly restful day and are now ready to take on the world. AFTER an action-packed weekend’s excitement last Saturday and Sunday that included Karate, an NSRI open day, the Bathurst Country Affair along with many other events, this weekend seems to have settled down somewhat. Saturday sees the South African Air Force Association (SAAFA) holding its “for the love of Music and Dance” show at Don Powis Hall, Settler’s Park with a matinee performance at 3pm and an evening performance at 7pm. Also, don’t forget the Medieval Banquet organised by the Port Alfred Knights Templar this Saturday evening at the Port Alfred High School hall. AS far as national news is concerned the question of everyone’s lips at the time of going to press (on Tuesday, a day early because of the public holiday) is will the secret ballot in the no-confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma be successful. By today, we are all aware of the results of the vote. If the vote was passed then Zuma has been forced to resign as President along with his selected cabinet. Speaker Baleka Mbete will then become interim President, at least for 30 days while the government votes in a new president and he or she, in turn, appoints a new cabinet. For the vote to succeed it was necessary for at least 50 ANC MPs to vote with the opposition, and all opposition members voting to have Zuma removed. However, it seems more likely that ANC MPs will have voted along party lines, and that Zuma will, in fact, have strengthened his hold on the country, at least until he is replaced by a new party leader at the ANC elective conference which will run from December 16 to 20 in Gauteng. Still, Zuma will remain President of the country until national elections in 2019. As the ancient Chinese curse goes, “may you live in interesting times”. INTERNATIONALLY , no one could accuse US President Donald Trump of having sat on his hands for the first few months of his administration. Although there has been more noise about Trump’s tweets, he must be commended on not taking nonsense from anyone. His anti-media (fake news) blurts are often a sore point for many, as he has a habit of ignoring protocol and saying what he actually thinks. Agree with him or not, it is refreshing to hear politicians talking like the man-in-the-street. However, when it comes to the press it was strange to see Sean Spicer resign as press secretary when Anthony Scaramucci was appointed as White House communications director. However, Scaramicci lasted just 10-days in the post before he was removed from office by Trump. At a time when (rightly or wrongly) the US has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement (which, incidentally, threatened US jobs in the coal and oil sectors – entirely contrary to Trump’s election promises), maybe he just needs better press, BIRTHDAY congratulations and very best wishes for the year ahead to everyone having a special day this week, especially Angie Botha, Elsie Merifield, Craig Robertson, Gill Marcus, Owen Moore, Lynda Clarke, Hannah Coetzee, Megan Waddington, Jimmy Joubert, Barbara Spencer, Sandy Birch, Josh Harvey, Alan Hulley, Bill Whitham, Sandy Maclaghlan, Daphne MacLachlan, Arleen Naude, Marjorie Henley, Pat Cummings, Travis Dell, Bet Justus, Matthew Steck, Muriel Macgregor, Juane Dorfling, Niki Smuts, Nompilo Njibana, Callum Timm, Colin Smithers, Allan Sheridon, Caylee Snyman, Gavin Ormandy, Marion Bartlett, Hester Voster, Gordon Todd, George Morgan, Ian Macpherson, Una Webber, Jay Williams, Jenna Rowe, Tracy Lloyd, Campbell Westcott, Eric Strydom, Janene Lynn Turner, Hikash Maharaj, Michael Swanepoel, Yvonne Mackenzie and Jenni Muller. SPECIAL birthday wishes to Grayson Haupt who turns one tomorrow. It won’t be long before we give you a laptop and get you to be a reporter like your mom. BUSINESS anniversary congratulations and all the best for your continued success to Bushman’s Bar and Grill, Sky Alarms and Hendri Frankenveld’s office at Rosehill Mall. THE Rand is still flapping like a flag on the wind of foreign intrigues, unsettled and highly volatile. The Tuesday’s no confidence vote might actually balance itself out with the Rand losing in some quarters due to a general lack in confidence in the South African government, and gaining in others due to signs that current ANC policy has withstood the no-confidence vote. Either way, the Rand is currently not under anyone’s spotlight, as the countries that have the major influence on our currency are looking toward Syria, North Korea, climate change, the US and Brexit, among other things. We should not take this as a positive thing. The statistician general, Pali Lehohla, has just released figures that indicate more job losses and a depressed economy in the foreseeable future. With last year’s figures in brackets to compare against, the Rand was trading at R13.13 to the Dollar (R13.31), R15.52 to the Euro (R17.39) and R17.12 to the Pound (R14.88). Commodities were trading at Gold $1 262.41 per fine ounce ($1 352.44), Platinum was trading at $971.30 per fine ounce ($1 588.80) and Brent Crude Oil price of $52.28 ($44.63) per barrel. SPECIAL thoughts and prayers are with all those folk who are not well, who are having or have already had tests, operations and treatments. "Sterkte" to Roy Potter, Andrew de Vries, Dot Fetherstonhaugh, Ben Kember, Barbara Tee, Dr Jerome Boulle. WEDDING anniversary greetings, congratulations and best wishes for many more years ahead to all couples having an anniversary, especially Jan and Pippa Sowtus, Dean and Juanita Jakins and David and Jean McCowen. OH dear, what happened to the Proteas? After a thrashing in the first test received from the our “Soutie” cousins, we got them back good in the second test. But the third was a debacle and the fourth, completed on Monday, showed that we are not as strong a test side as we would like to think. Come on Faf and the boys, let’s get it together for the test series against Bangladesh at home, which starts at the end of next month. IT was sad that the Lions didn’t have another five minutes to play in the Super Rugby final last Saturday, otherwise the result of the Super Rugby final, held at Ellis Park against the New Zeeland champions, the Crusaders, might have been a different matter. Losing by just a converted try, the Lions looked the far stronger team on the night, at least in the second half. Unlucky boys, and let’s see you shine again next season. THOUGHT for the week: “A happy life consists in tranquility of mind” BEST regards as always, The Team.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Bathurst resident Dennis Rawson, centre, with wife Rose, left, and daughter Dianne Spilkin, recently celebrated his birthday with family and close friends at the Royal Port Alfred golf club