Monday, August 18, 2014

Editorial: Never forget Marikana - TAKE NO PRISONERS

No Fear No Favour No Prisoners......

Ranjeni Munusamy  South Africa 17 August 2014 11:39 (South Africa)

Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
If you are reading this, you are among the ever-smaller band of people who still read stories about Marikana in Daily Maverick. Most people prefer not to. Most people choose to think of the Marikana massacre as a terrible thing that happened to other people, a world away from their own lives. By turning away from their suffering, we perpetuate the prejudice against the people of Marikana. Just because those in power treat the people of Marikana like children of a lesser God, does not mean we should too. In the US city of Ferguson in Missouri, a state of emergency was declared this weekend as protests intensified over the killing of an unarmed teenager by a police officer. We know who Mike Brown is because his community is demanding justice. Why are WE not? By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.

There are two points in the documentary Miners Shot Down when you can adopt false hope that everything will turn out all right, and that the horrendous events that shred the fabric of our fragile democracy might not in fact happen.
The first is when a group of the striking mineworkers are trying to return home on their way back from the Lonmin mine. They are confronted by an assembly of armed policemen. The leaders of the workers’ group take turns to plead with the police to let them pass through. North West deputy police commissioner William Mpembe wants them to hand over their sticks and spears. They explain that they need them for protection and undertake to surrender them once they get safely to their destination. There are a few moments when they appear to find each other, and, as is human nature, it leads you to believe rationality will prevail.
Of course it does not.
The second point when you can mistakenly believe disaster can be avoided is when Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union president Joseph Mathunjwa addresses the mineworkers at the koppie the day before the massacre. He seemed to be the only person willing to talk to the workers like they are normal human beings. He gives them certain undertakings and they agree to disperse and meet again the next day.
Maybe it will be okay, your mind wills you to think. Again, of course, it is not.
Watch: Miners Shot Down, a film by Rehad Desai

The footage after both these key moments show the deliberate aggression of the police, for reasons they are yet to explain that makes any reasonable sense. The evidence presented to the Marikana Commission of Inquiry by police management, from National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega down the ranks to those in charge of the operation, shows acute contempt for the process of investigating why the workers were killed.
It follows a trend of government leaders shunning accountability for their actions, and showing disdain for the people they are meant to serve. The commission has dragged on for close to two years now and what is apparent is that it is being used as a platform to excuse and dodge responsibility for the use of maximum force by the state against civilians, rather than a mechanism to uncover the truth about events at Marikana in August 2012.
Last week, the highest-ranking political official to appear before the commission again brought to the fore the deadly nexus between Lonmin, the National Union of Mineworkers and the state. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s evidence showed the callous disregard for the plight of the workers and the reasons for their anger.
Two years later, not much has changed. The surviving mineworkers who were at the commission last week were enraged by Ramaphosa’s testimony and the fact that they live and work in exactly the same conditions that caused the uprising in 2012. And like in 2012, Ramaphosa did not acknowledge them or try to understand their frustration. He is no longer on the Lonmin board, so any gesture he made towards the workers need not have been a commitment to assist them. All it would have been was an act of human compassion.
The people of Marikana are desperate that the rest of the world recognises their suffering. The second anniversary of the massacre this weekend was again politicised, with the ANC and government failing to attend because they said they were not invited. Why were they not the ones organising the event? Why are the memorial events always the initiative of civil society and not the organisation which has always claimed to represent the hopes and aspirations of the poor and the disadvantaged in our society? Why does the democratic government that professes to be instrument of radical change keep distancing itself from the wretched of Marikana, forcing them to swallow their misery?
The event, like the one last year, became a platform for the state and the ruling to be bashed and accused of murder. There was nobody there to counter that message and explain whatever it is that government’s approach is. President Jacob Zuma issued a message saying the anniversary of the massacre was time for reflection. “We need to recommit ourselves to ensuring that violence is never again used to solve problems of any kind in our country,” he said.
That message did not reach Marikana on Saturday.
The ANC also issued a media statement saying it hoped the Marikana commission would soon conclude its business and “provide much needed answers to our country and the world on what transpired on those fateful days in Marikana”.
The ANC does not say why it is waiting for a judicial commission to conclude before it can reach out to a community that suffered horrendous violence and trauma.
The Marikana Commission, unlike the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is not there to help the families and heal the wounds of the victims. Until the families got to testify last week, it had been a legally heavy process with a mostly technical interrogation of the facts and evidence. If anything, there has been little attention given to the battery of emotions of the survivors and the victim’s families. Only now, two years later, the families of the dead, who went through hell themselves, starving and cold and harassed by the police, are being heard.
Have we lost our sense of humanity?
As Daily Maverick reported on 17 September 2012, a mere 30 days after the massacre:
After the police shot 112 miners on 16 August, killing 34 of them, the state of South Africa could have, should have, shown empathy and care for the people that everyone forgot for such a long time. Instead, they chose to let NGOs deliver food and care for the hungry and sick, while they opted for the delivery of teargas, rubber bullets and intimidation.
Make no mistake: what is happening today just a stone’s throw away from the blood-soaked field of Marikana, is nothing but a state repression. The government of South Africa decided that it was better for it to be feared than loved. What they achieved is something different: They are now hated. And a government that is hated by its own people has no credibility.
Nothing has changed since then.
This never-ending wait is just another indicator of the continuing agony of that community of Marikana, who wait for answers and for justice while the rest of the world continues on its way. What happens then if the commission finds that the 44 deaths were a result of multiple failures of all the players involved and stops there? What if at the end of this protracted process, still nobody is prosecuted and held accountable. Does our society simply move on as if it does not matter?
Does it in fact matter?
For the people of Ferguson in Missouri, it does matter. The shooting of a single person by a police officer, an unarmed teenage boy called Mike Brown, has set off rioting and looting. Defiance of a curfew has resulted in the governor declaring a state of emergency. It is not that their anger finding expression in violence is justified; it is that a single life taken by the police was significant enough for his community to rise up.
The violence in Ferguson prompted US President Barack Obama to make the following statement: “I’ve already tasked the Department of Justice and the FBI to independently investigate the death of Michael Brown. I made clear to the attorney general that we should do what is necessary to help determine exactly what happened and to see that justice is done.”
He went on to say: “I know emotions are raw right now in Ferguson, and there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened. But let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family. We are united in common values and that includes the belief in equality under the law, respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protests.”
Similar statements may or may not have been made in the wake of the Marikana massacre. Perhaps a commitment to swift justice from the highest office may have made the difference here, instead of a prolonged process of buck passing and legal hide-and-seek would have helped the people of Marikana move on. Most significant in that statement though is whether we could ever consider ourselves as part of the same South African family as the people of Marikana. If we did, perhaps it would be easy to find our humanity and show compassion.
As Daily Maverick mentioned before, South Africans suffer these days from a serious scandal fatigue. Daily life is not easy for many, and there's not much time or energy left for a nationwide outburst of outrage. Sometimes the march of time dulls memory or somehow makes such crimes feel less horrendous. Today, South Africa is in danger of forgetting Marikana. While the populist politicians will continue using the horror for their own narrow political goals, the rest of the country will most likely go on with their lives.
The second anniversary of the Marikana massacre has passed, justice still seems far off and the community is still immersed in daily hurt and pain. Do the rest of us look away, exactly the preferred approach of all those who contributed to the carnage and would like South Africa to forget what happened that wintry day in August 2012? Or do we join/remain in the small but hopefully still significant chorus of those demanding justice for those who fell at Marikana and for the greater community of that godforsaken place?
What should the South African family do? DM
Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko






Sunday, August 17, 2014

NPA official’s delay raises eyebrows

August 17 2014 at 09:51am

Independent Newspapers

Johannesburg - Questions have arisen regarding the qualifications of a senior National Prosecuting Authority official, Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba, after it emerged that she may not be admitted as an advocate.

The questions, from within the NPA, came after Jiba failed to submit, along with other top officials, certified copies of their qualifications, as well as evidence of their admission as advocates.

Sources told the Sunday Independent that Jiba had failed for three months to supply the required documentation. Officials conducting the probe had also been unable to find her name on any of the high court rolls.

One source said that, if Jiba had been admitted in a court of law, all she had to do was to state when and where she was admitted, as well as provide a copy of the high court order that resulted in her admission.

The Sunday Independent understands that the advocates roll is currently incomplete, so it is not clear if the absence of Jiba’s name from the roll is a mistake on the part of the Department of Justice or if she is not an admitted advocate.

Jiba failed to answer questions repeatedly put to her by The Sunday Independent. SMSes were sent and telephone calls were made to her for the past seven days.

When she was contacted for a comment this week, she said: “I’m in a meeting,” before hanging up.

The Sunday Independent questions to Jiba were:

* When were you admitted as an advocate?

* Were you admitted by a court as an advocate or by the bar? If so, which court or bar?

* When was your certificate of admission as an advocate issued?

NPA spokesman Nathi Mncube said Jiba held an LLB degree, but had been unable to furnish the NPA with her certificate of admission as an advocate.

Mncube confirmed the NPA had recently requested all the top NPA managers “to supply us with their qualifications, as well their admission certificates”.

He would not be drawn on when the instruction was issued.

The senior managers were also asked to submit their qualifications.

On Saturday, Department of Justice spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said an auditing process was under way to ensure the names of all the NPA advocates were on the roll. He said the auditing process was expected to be completed in March next year.

He said that, where there was uncertainty about whether the person was an admitted advocate, the registrars of all the high courts would be able to provide the information.

He said the names of the advocates used to be kept manually in a book, but around early 2000 the department introduced an electronic system that crashed in 2003.

Jiba’s official CV, as it appears on the NPA’s website, says she is an admitted advocate of the high court. However, it does not indicate in which year she was admitted as an advocate.

Jiba’s CV says she completed a BJuris in 1987 and an LLB in 1989 at Walter Sisulu University, which was then known as the University of the Transkei. In 1996, she obtained an LLM in commercial law.

Her professional career started in 1988 in Peddie, in the Eastern Cape, where she worked as a prosecutor in a magistrate’s court.

In 1997, she resigned from government employment and began her articles of clerkship to qualify as an attorney with the firm Qunta Ntsebeza in Cape Town. She was admitted as an attorney in 1998.

In 1999, she joined the then Investigating Directorate for Serious Economic Offences (Idseo) in Pretoria as a senior state advocate.

When Idseo was disbanded and the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) was formed, she was made deputy director of public prosecutions.

When contacted for comment, the former executive manager of the NPA’s Integrity Management Unit, Prince Mokotedi, defended Jiba, saying this was a smear campaign against her.

He said this was part of the ongoing faction fighting in the NPA.

In a separate matter, the NPA lodged charges of misconduct and perjury against Jiba, head of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit Lawrence Mrwebi and North Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions Sibongile Mzinyathi with the Pretoria Bar Council.

Sunday Independent

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Judge concerned about delays in starting NPA investigation
Sapa | 14 August, 2014 08:39

Former Constitutional Court Judge Zac Yacoob. File photo
Image by: Moeletsi Mabe
Retired judge Zak Yacoob on Thursday expressed concern about a delay in getting documents from the NPA so that he could begin his investigation into media leaks at the prosecuting authority, according to a report.

Click here
SAfm reported that Yacoob told the broadcaster the National Prosecuting Authority was meant to deliver documents to him within 48 hours but there was a delay.

According to the broadcaster, Yacoob doubted he could meet the three-month deadline in which to complete his investigation.

"It's getting less and less feasible because I said three months 12 days ago, and 12 days have been lost already because in those 12 days we haven't got the documents yet," he told SAfm.

"So as time goes on the three months time limit becomes less and less doable and the problem is if I can't finish by the middle of October, I can start on this again only at the beginning of December, that's the problem."

In a statement at the end of July, the NPA said it had appointed Yacoob chairman of a fact finding committee to investigate allegations of the involvement of NPA employees in leaking information to the media and other parties.

The commission was authorised to enter any building occupied by any NPA employee, inspect and seize any documents, records and books related to the investigation.

In June, NPA integrity management unit (IMU) head Prince Mokotedi was suspended after a document on former prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach was leaked to the media. Mokotedi denied leaking it.

A day before his suspension, The Star carried a report on the IMU document which recommended that Breytenbach be criminally charged for corruption, misconduct, conflict of interest, fraud, and racketeering.

In the unit's report, Breytenbach is accused of soliciting a loan of US1 million (about R11m) from businessman Nathan Kirsh, a complainant in two cases she was prosecuting. Breytenbach is also accused of accepting a R6.3m donation from Kirsh through the FW de Klerk Foundation. She left the NPA to join the Democratic Alliance as an MP.

Last week Thursday, Mokotedi resigned after being served with a formal charge sheet. The NPA could not disclose what charges he faced.

Hawks probe Cabinet minister for Drug trafficking

Hawks probe Cabinet minister for drug trafficking
2014-08-17 08:30
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela speaks at a conference on crime and justice in Sandton, Johannesburg. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)
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Protector, govt must build relationship - Mandonsela

Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has handed over a case to the Hawks regarding an allegation that a Cabinet minister is linked to drug trafficking.

According to the Sunday Independent, Madonsela made the shocking disclosure during an address to the annual international conference hosted by the Institute for Security Studies last week.

She said her office was a safe harbour for whistleblowers and that when cases were of a criminal nature rather than one of administrative misconduct she handed them over to the relevant bodies such as the Hawks.

She said her office received the complaint some time last year that a member of the executive was involved in criminality involving abetting drug lords.

She said the matter had been referred to the Hawks.

She would not however name the minister nor give further details. The Hawks spokesperson failed to respond.

Madonsela told delegates at the conference that that transparency, accountability, and the rule of law are important elements in the fight against crime.

She said these three concepts were important as transparency and accountability challenge the rule of law in society, which leads to justice, Sapa reported.

Madonsela said transparency enabled the "wrongdoings of society to be exposed".

"If people know what is happening in society they can become an enforcer and put pressure on state officials to instil justice."

Accountability was also essential in the criminal justice system.

"Accountability is an obligation to be answerable for your behaviour and decisions," Sapa quoted her as saying.

- News24
Read more on: hawks | thuli madonsela | crime

Prepaid electricity: Pay R100, get R90 - We expose Pretoria reseller’s unlawful practice.

South Africa

Author: Antoinette Slabbert|
14 August 2014 00:11
Prepaid electricity: Pay R100, get R90

We expose Pretoria reseller’s unlawful practice.

Moneyweb has uncovered an apparent widespread practice where electricity resellers illegally overcharge domestic consumers for electricity. This typically affects end-users in sectional title flats and townhouses.

After an investigation Moneyweb can reveal that a Pretoria reseller, MeinRoux (Pty) Ltd., trading as Prepaid Electric, has been unlawfully inflating electricity tariffs and pocketing R10 for every R100 voucher sold, in contravention of the Electricity Act and municipal by-laws.

Prepaid Electric chose not to respond to Moneyweb when offered an opportunity to respond to these allegations.

City of Tshwane spokesperson Selby Bokaba says the practice is widespread among resellers and is why Nersa and organised local government through Salga are proposing a regulatory framework to regulate the industry. “Many customers are not aware of their consumer rights”, he says.

Moneyweb earlier reported on the practices (How middle men pad your municipal electricity bill – expert) and Nersa’s public hearings on the subject (Rogue electricity resellers should be regulated – Sapoa).

Bokaba says electricity by-laws stipulate the customer buying electricity from a reseller should not be worse off than when buying directly from the municipality.

Applying unapproved tariffs is also a contravention of the Electricity Act. The national energy regulator (Nersa) is the only body authorised to approve electricity tariffs.

Following numerous complaints on social media about the cost of domestic prepaid electricity on social media Moneyweb investigated.

We submitted Prepaid Electric’s tariffs as stated on its website to the City of Tshwane. See the tariffs applied from July 1 2013 to June 30 2014 here. The new tariffs for 2014/15 are not on the website.

The reseller applied a sliding scale, also known as an inclining block tariff, to all its Tshwane prepaid customers. This means that end-users consuming more than 650kWh were charged R1.642 per unit. (1 Unit = 1kWh).

It says on the website: “Eskom implemented the sliding scale pricing system on 01 July 2011, to encourage a lower usage of electricity - in other words, the more electricity you use, the more expensive it becomes.”

According to Bokaba: “The (domestic) resellers tariffs for both prepaid and post-paid in Tshwane licensed area is fixed at 137.78 c/kWh and there is no inclining block(IBT) tariffs applicable to all the customers being supplied by or through resellers.”

Bokaba quoted the current tariffs, applicable from July 1 this year to June 30 2015. Moneyweb has established that the same principles applied in the previous financial year and end-users were all supposed to pay R1.2835 per kWh.

All end-users, except those consuming 100kWh or less were however subjected to higher tariffs by Prepaid Electric.

To add insult to injury Prepaid Electric states that in the case of sub-meters it needs extra revenue: “Take note, because the municipal system does not cater for prepaid solutions in sub-letting situations, the service is provided by private institutions - therefore the use of private software. The access to this software is made available at a reimbursement of 10% of electricity purchases and has been approved by Eskom (eg. R100 voucher will provide electricity to the value of R90).”

This, Bokaba says, is a widespread but unlawful practice among resellers. He says provision has already been made for the reseller’s costs in the approved tariffs (2014/15=120c/kWh). “The tariffs that the City submitted to the regulator (NERSA) for approval included all reasonable costs that the reseller would incur to service the customer”.

The situation varies from one municipality to another and to be able to verify whether they are being over-charged, consumers will have to establish what the local by-laws and tariff permit. The principle that consumers should not be worse off than when buying directly from the municipality, however applies countrywide.

Advocate Werner Zybrands, municipal consultant, says end-users who have been over-charged should lay complaints at the municipality and Nersa.

He says Nersa should act and order the reseller to credit clients who have been over-charged. If the reseller doesn’t comply, Nersa could get a court order preventing the reseller from selling electricity at all.

Zybrands says a wider investigation is needed into the activities of resellers. They typically also manage other municipal services on behalf of body corporates of sectional title complexes and add a layer of fat that from the face of it may be substantial.

Municipal customers are increasingly battling to pay their municipal bills. Anger about this is frequently directed at municipalities without taking into account the role of private companies, he says.

Moneyweb inivited Wayne Dennison, director of Meinroux last week to respond to the municipality’s statements. He initially set up an appointment with Moneyweb through his personal assistant for Monday morning, but on Sunday night she informed Moneyweb that Dennison decided against the interview. He did not respond to further invitations by Moneyweb to respond.

Resellers are middlemen that typically manage the electricity metering and billing of residential, commercial and industrial on behalf of landlords and body corporates. The licensed electricity distributor, be it the municipality, Eskom or in a few cases private distributors, bring the supply to one point on the property and issues one bill. From that point the developer distributes the electricity to individual units that have to be billed according to their consumption. The reseller is usually responsible for meter reading, billing, collections and paying the bulk bill. There is hardly any transparency for end-users to ensure that this is done in an equitable way.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Investors need to wise up to Ponzi schemes - Sharemax and directors schemed to defraud public, says Fais ombud

Investors need to wise up to Ponzi schemes


With many South Africans – and retirees, in particular – struggling to make ends meet, they become easy pickings for fraudsters operating get-rich-quick investment scams, also known as Ponzi schemes.

In their search for high returns on investments, South Africans seem to repeatedly entrust their hard-earned savings to operations which, at best, have short-term track records and, at worst, knowingly sell promises that they are unable to deliver on.

Investors buy into these promises without fully understanding how these operators achieve their alleged returns.

Over the past five years, the following schemes – which have had traumatic consequences for unsuspecting investors – come to mind: Fidentia, Leaderguard, Sharemax, King Group, and the Herman Pretorius saga.

There is a golden thread running through this list: each one promised a return far superior to that of the financial market, at a very low risk. In hindsight, such promises were too good to be true. But why do we continue to move from one such scandal to the next?

Spotting a Ponzi or pyramid scheme is relatively easy. Here is a checklist to arm yourself against fraudsters:

1. Insist on proof that the investment vehicle is registered with the Financial Services Board (FSB).

If it isn’t, and your money gets lost, you have no avenues of recourse open.

2. Compare the interest rates on offer with the global and local investment landscape (for example, interest rates and economic growth rates).

If the national interest rates are at 5 or 6 percent, and someone is offering you a guaranteed return of 30 percent, it is likely to be a fraudulent scheme. Having realistic expectations of investment returns is the cornerstone of any sensible investment strategy.

3. Be wary of consistent returns.

By their very nature, financial markets are fluid instruments fluctuating daily.

If a scheme offers consistent, guaranteed returns and it is not underwritten by an insurer or bank, it is most likely not invested in secure financial instruments and should, therefore, be closely scrutinised.

4. Look carefully at the track record of the institution and individual offering the investment opportunity.

And this means not just taking their word for it. Contact the FSB, contact the editor of the personal finance section of the newspaper, and ask reputable brokers for their opinion. In an economic downturn, your best bets are very well-established investment houses with solid track records and healthy cash reserves.

Don’t be fooled by professional-looking documentation or reporting.

5. Practise steps 1 to 4 above, no matter who you hear about the scheme through.

Unfortunately, many unsuspecting investors are introduced to Ponzi schemes through intermediaries, such as friends and family, and this provides them with a comfort factor. This does not mean they are safe. It is possible that those family and friends will equally become victims.

6. Don’t be comforted if the scheme has paid out regularly to those family or friends.

This is a classic characteristic of a Ponzi scheme. In order to appear legitimate, they pay out, as promised, for a period of time to allow word-of-mouth to market the scheme on their behalf. Then, when there are enough investors, they pull the plug and make off with the money.

7. Trust your instincts. Common sense and gut feel can be great defences against falling for Ponzi schemes.

Ask yourself why you have been given an opportunity to make fabulous returns on your investment. Why have you been so lucky to get this unbelievable opportunity to multiply your wealth? What’s so special about you?

8. Be extremely wary of “opportunities” to invest your money in franchises or investments that require you to bring in subsequent investors to increase your profit or recoup your initial investment.

No legitimate investment house employs this strategy – in short, it is a very big clue that something dodgy is brewing.

Whatever your reason for investing, it is vital to have a goal, a timeline and reasonable expectations.

By investing in regulated investment products – such as unit trusts or mutual funds – you are investing in products that have an enormous amount of governance.

Before investing, you must be sure that you are trusting your funds to a person, people or an institution that has shown that it can consistently deliver returns over an extended period of time.

Long-standing institutions with proven track records are often the wisest choice.

Please contact an accredited financial adviser to discuss these collective investment schemes.

* De Villiers is chief executive officer, Sanlam Structured Solutions.



Named after Charles Ponzi, an Italian immigrant to the US who convinced New Yorkers to invest in coupons yielding fabulous returns in the aftermath of World War I, most Ponzi schemes have the following modus operandi: investors are wooed by fantastic returns, with the older investors in the scheme getting paid from the proceeds of the newer investors. But the scheme only lasts as long as it attracts new investors.

South Africans in search of high returns have also been caught out. Names that spring to mind include Barry Tannenbaum – who fleeced billions from wealthy individuals in 2009 – Masterbond, Ovation, Fidentia and, most recently, Herman Pretorius.


May 24 2013 at 08:00am
By Roy Cokayne

SHAREMAX Investments, its network of financial advisers and four of its directors – Gert Goosen, Willie Botha, Dominique Haese and AndrĂ© Brand – were involved “in a scheme calculated to defraud members of the public”, financial advisory and intermediary services (Fais) ombud Noluntu Bam said yesterday.

Bam reached this conclusion in her latest determination on a complaint lodged by a 73-year-old female pensioner from Heidelberg in the Western Cape against financial adviser Edward Carter-Smith after investing R490 000 in the Zambezi Retail Park on Carter-Smith’s advice.

Sharemax promoted and marketed the Zambezi Retail Park property syndication.

Bam ordered Carter-Smith, Sharemax Investments, FSP Network (a network of brokers set up to market Sharemax schemes), Goosen, Botha, Haese and Brand jointly and severally to repay the complainant.

Carter-Smith complained that he had been misled by the directors of Sharemax and called them “liars”.

In an earlier determination Bam said Sharemax was “nothing more than a Ponzi scheme” in which investors were paid interest out of their own funds.

Business Report confirmed in October last year that the Hawks were investigating allegations that Sharemax committed fraud and operated a pyramid or Ponzi scheme.

About 40 000 people invested about R4.5 billion in the various schemes promoted and marketed by Sharemax.

It defaulted on monthly payments to investors in August 2010 when a decision by the registrar of banks that Sharemax’s funding model contravened the Banks Act became public knowledge.

ACT Audit Solution told the ombud that it had concluded after seeking a legal opinion that the transfer of investor funds from the trust account of Sharemax attorneys Weavind & Weavind to the investment property companies in The Villa and Zambezi schemes, prior to the registration of transfer of the property to investment property companies, “may constitute a reportable irregularity on a proper interpretation of the prospectuses”.

However, Sharemax directors claimed no reportable irregularity occurred because a bona fide “copy and paste” mistake had occurred during the drafting of the prospectuses.

Bam said this claim by the directors of Sharemax was “disingenuous and against the probabilities”.

She said her office was in possession of promotional pamphlets produced and distributed by Sharemax in 2010 that also stated investors’ funds would be paid into the trust account of Weavind & Weavind attorneys until the property was ready for transfer into the investors’ names.

Bam said Sharemax, FSP Network and the four Sharemax directors on their own version knew at the time of producing this pamphlet that they were “wilfully and deliberately misleading members of the public” because of the “cut and paste error” and the prospectus was subject to rectification.

They failed to explain why this “error” was only discovered after the Reserve Bank intervened in 2010 and after the scheme had already collapsed. They also failed to explain why Weavind & Weavind, which allegedly made the mistake, did not file any papers or correspondence in support of the “cut and paste error” version.

Bam said Weavind & Weavind had further failed to explain why it did not inform investors there was an error before it started paying the funds out of its trust account.

She said Weavind & Weavind had never supported the notion of an error in the prospectus. The law firm was of the opinion that the government notice on property syndications did not apply to this scheme and it was therefore not illegal to pay the money from the trust.

Letters sent to each investor by Sharemax, acknowledging the investment and stating that their investment had been deposited into Weavind & Weavind’s trust account, and kept there until the investment amount was processed and the property was transferred, were “equally untrue and misleading” because on Sharemax’s version this was a mistake.

Bam said these letters of confirmation were still being written to investors after the “mistake” was discovered.

“The only reasonable conclusion to be drawn… is that the second to seventh respondents [Sharemax, FSP Network and the four Sharemax directors] were involved in a scheme calculated to defraud members of the public,” she said.

Zuma meets with Nxasana over NPA inquiry - Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli heads back to court

Zuma meets with Nxasana over NPA inquiry
2014-08-15 15:52
(Picture: AP)

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NPA head possible suspension raise questions
Zuma considers NPA head suspension

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma met National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana on Friday, the presidency said.

"[The two met] to discuss various matters around the president's intention to hold an enquiry into the NDPP's fitness to hold office," spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

"The president has taken note of the issues raised by the NDPP."

He said an announcement would be made when all the processes had been completed.

Earlier this month, Zuma notified Nxasana that he was considering suspending him pending an inquiry into his fitness to hold office.

Nxasana filed an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria this week seeking an interdict to stop Zuma from suspending him before he had been provided with full details of the allegations against him and given a chance to make further representations.

Judge Joseph Raulinga postponed his application indefinitely.

Zuma announced his decision to institute the inquiry on 5 July5, after reports emerged that Nxasana had apparently not been given a security clearance because of past brushes with the law.

This included being tried for murder about 30 years ago.

He was acquitted on the charge based on his version of self-defence.

Read more on: jacob zuma | mxolisi nxasana | pretoria | politics

Comments by : Made in SOUTH AFRICA
In a recent edition of the investigating newspaper on Fridays,i read an interesting article of exactly what the spytapes were.
They were the result of a full blown SAPS Crime Intelligence operation,dating back to 2003,called Operation Destroy Lucifer,targeting around 45 people in the NPA and Scorpions like Leonard McCarthy and Gerrie Nel.

Another interesting fact is that a former commander of Crime Intelligence,Mulangi Mphegho,at one point in the endless prosecutoral wars stated under oath that these phone intercepts reveal that the NDPP who decided not to charge Number One,Mokotedi Mpshe, had an affair with a prosecutor in Kimberley and that he alledgedly approved fraudulent travel claims by her in order to pursue the relationship with him.Nice blackmailing material don't you think?

Mpshe is still an acting judge in the Land Claims court 4 years after he left the post of NDPP and has never appeared before the Judicial Services Commission,where difficult questions can be asked.

In that article it is also clearly stated that Mpegho in 2007 approved an application to conduct phone and electronic intercepts of 6 targets on the basis that they are drug suspects.One of that suspects was Leonard McCarthy.
A certain Richard Mdluli also approached a certain Prince Mokotedi,head of the NPA "Integrity" Management Unit in September 2007,to ask for help in his investigation of Gerrie Nel,Mokotedi referred him to a certain Nomgcobo Jiba

Jiba of course had an axe to grind with Gerrie Nel,because he secured the conviction of her husband,an attorney by the name of Booker Nhantshi for theft of trust funds.She would later go to considerable lengths to procure an arrest warrant for Gerrie Nel.Jiba was also in frequent communication with a certain Lawrence Mrwebi,who provided an affidavit in support of Mdluli's investigation of Nel.Nothing came of any investigation of Nel,as we all know.Number One would later expunge the criminal record of Booker Nhantshi,and he was appointed to a government job.

Jiba was internally charged for her actions,but after a labour court case,Mpshe approved an out of court settlement and she was reinstated.
Off course Jiba took over as NDPP from Menzi Simelane,and Jiba and Mrwebi shielded Mdluli from prosecution even though a Hawks dossier implicated him in the theft of millions from the SAPS secret account.
As should be clear by now Number One appointed Mxolisi Nxasana because he thought he could control him.That after the DA threatened with a court case if Number One did not appoint a permanent NDPP.

When he turned out to be more independent and decided to charge Mdluli,his fate was sealed.
One of the many questions now is,what does Mdluli know to ensure him this kind of protection?There must also be an enquiry into Adv Nomgcobo Jiba,Adv Lawrence Mrwebi and Adv Moipone Noko,PDPP in Kwazulu Natal.

They are the ANC team players in the NPA.
Adv Jiba and Mrwebi were the ones who shielded Mdluli from prosecution against fraud charges,for defrauding the SAPS secret account out of millions of rands.
Jiba also had Adv Gerrie Nel arrested to thwart him with going ahead with the arrest of Jackie Selebi.She also owes Number One big time,because Number One expunged the criminal record of her husband Booker Nhantsi,and he was appointed to a government job after that.
Adv Noko and Mrwebi also decided not to go ahead with charges against Peggy Nkonyeni and Mike Mbuyakhulu,MEC members of the ANC in Kwazulu Natal,in the Gaston Savoi "Amigos" case in KZN,although the previous acting PDPP in KZN,Adv Mlotschwa,felt there was a case to be answered by Nkonyeni and Mbhuyakhulu.In fact Mlotschwa was removed,and replaced with Noko,simply because of this case.

Noko also withdrew the case against Thoshan Panday,and colonel Navin Madhoe,from the SAPS in KZN,who tried to bribe Genl Johan Booysen with R2 Million.Thoshan Panday is a highly connected individual and a business partner of Edward Zuma,son of Number One.
Noko also dropped the case against tenderpreneur Shawn Mpisane.


Mdluli heads back to court

August 10 2014 at 12:21pm

IOL - richard mdluli

Independent Newspapers

Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. File picture: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg - Former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli will appear in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court on Monday after criminal charges against him were reinstated.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed on Sunday that Mdluli would return to court.

However, spokesman Nathi Mncube would not confirm which charges Mdluli would be facing.

“That will be confirmed in court tomorrow,” he said in an SMS to Sapa.

According to City Press, Mdluli would be appearing on charges which included kidnapping, assault and intimidation.

Charges were reinstated earlier this year after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) upheld a high court ruling against the withdrawal of fraud and corruption charges against Mdluli.

This was after Freedom Under Law sought an order in the High Court in Pretoria to set aside the decisions and reinstate the charges against him.

Mdluli was suspended amid allegations of fraud and corruption, and charges relating to the murder of his ex-lover's husband Ramogibe in February 1999.

In the 15-year-old case, Mdluli and three others were initially accused of killing Oupa Ramogibe, as well as charges of intimidation, kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.

Ramogibe allegedly received death threats after marrying Mdluli's former girlfriend and was told to leave her or he would be killed. He opened an attempted murder case before his death.

At the time, Mdluli was the station commander of the Vosloorus police station in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, and was accused of sabotaging the investigation.

The charges of kidnapping and assault relate to allegations that he intimidated and assaulted the family and friends of his ex-lover to find out where she had moved to when she got married.

The fraud and corruption charges, meanwhile, relate to a different time in Mdluli's life in his capacity as head of the crime intelligence unit.

He is accused of employing family members and friends as intelligence operatives, and misusing police funding to buy luxury cars.

The fraud and corruption charges were withdrawn on December 14, 2011, and in March 2012, Mdluli was reinstated as head of crime intelligence.

A month later, the NPA provisionally withdrew the murder charges, pending an inquest into the matter.

In May that year, then police minister Nathi Mthethwa announced Mdluli would be transferred from crime intelligence to the office of the deputy national police commissioner for operations.

Later, he was suspended for a second time when allegations emerged from the inquest into Ramogibe's murder. In November 2012, the inquest cleared him of any involvement in the murder.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Pallo Jordan and six other politicians caught in their lies


Aug 2014 00:00 Phillip De Wet

Many senior South African politicians have lied blatantly – only to be exposed by the law – so Pallo Jordan marks a break of sorts with the past.
Pallo Jordan. (Gallo)

There are allegations aplenty of lies large and small told by politicians. But, unlike Pallo Jordan, who finally confessed this week, they generally deny the allegations until legal processes catch up with them. These six politicians, largely post-apartheid, stuck to their denials until the end.

Tony Yengeni
In 2001, Yengeni took out full-page advertisements in several major newspapers to deny he had benefited from a large discount on a car and to proclaim himself a victim of racism and the allegations against him hogwash. He was later sentenced to four years in prison for it, served four months, was arrested for drunken driving while on parole, found not guilty, and another charge of drunken driving is currently pending against him.

Tony Yengeni (Gallo)

Yengeni is a serving and influential member of the ANC’s national executive committee.

Dina Pule
Pule, while the communications minister, lied persistently in vehement attacks on the Sunday Times, after the newspaper first reported allegations of corruption and conflicts of interest made against her, the public protector Thuli Madonsela would later find. Her denials were simply false, Madonsela said.

Sicelo Shiceka
Another victim of the public protector, the minister of co-operative governance, Shiceka, lied when denying he had visited a convicted drug-dealer girlfriend in Switzerland, a visit paid for by taxpayers. Shiceka also lied about a stay in a luxury hotel, Madonsela found.

Thulas Nxesi

Thulas Nxesi (Gallo)

As the minister of public works, Nxesi claimed that a report on security spending at Nkandla contained sensitive information about security and, therefore, could not be released to the public. In fact, he said, under the provisions of the National Key Point Act, it would be criminal to treat the report as anything other than strictly confidential. But, only after legal demands for information made keeping the report secret untenable, it was eventually released, unedited, following a Cabinet decision, and contained no security-sensitive information.

FW de Klerk
In the dying days of apartheid, De Klerk finally formally acknowledged that South Africa had developed nuclear weapons – but said it had not acquired the technology or material from another country, and had never co-operated with another country to produce the weapons. As it turned out, thanks to the prosecution of an army brigadier, there had been sourcing, sharing and co-operation with Israel.

FW de Klerk (Gallo)

Jacob Zuma
In 2003, Zuma told Parliament that he did not meet the arms deal player, Alain Thetard, which would become central to allegations of bribery and corruption. He repeated the denial, in no uncertain terms, in an affidavit during the trial of Zuma’s financial adviser, Schabir Shaik. Shaik, on the other hand, said the meeting did take place but had been utterly benign. But prosecutors produced the infamous “encrypted fax” that captured Thetard’s summary of the meeting. In finding Shaik guilty of corruption, including of funding Zuma, the court found that the meeting had in fact taken place.

Phillip de Wet is an associate editor at the Mail & Guardian.

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