Sunday, October 31, 2010

Damning corruption report






NIREN TOLSI - Oct 29 2010 14:00
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State departments failed to respond to 90% of government corruption cases reported by the public on hotlines during the past financial year, according to the Public Service Commission's (PSC) 2010 report on the state of the public service.

Zuma's hotline one of the gripes
The report, released on Thursday, also points to a twelvefold rise in fruitless and wasteful expenditure by the government in 2008/09 compared with the previous year -- from R2,8-million to R35,2-million.

Noting a "sharp decline" in the government's responsiveness to corruption cases, the commission said that 1 430 cases were reported in 2009/10 but there was feedback on only 150, compared with 507 responses (25%) to 1 857 cases in 2008/09.

The commission evaluated the government and public service on a range of issues, including transparency, service delivery and the creation of a more egalitarian society, according to the implementation of policies and programmes.

The report also evaluated the average feedback from the government on reported corruption cases from the 2004/05 financial year to 2009/10, finding that of every 100 cases reported, whistle-blowers or the commission received no feedback to 64.

Corruption is an increasingly insidious problem in South Africa, as reflected in the latest Transparency International corruption perception index report, also released this week. South Africa scored 4,5 out of 10 on the index and was placed 54 out of 146 countries.

In 2007 it was placed 43 out of 170 countries, with a score of 5,1. It scored 4,9 in 2008 and 4,7 in 2009.

The commission's report found that "capacity to follow up on these cases and investigate them is lacking" in departments.

Bleak picture
It painted a bleak picture of the effectiveness of structures created to fight corruption.

CONTINUES BELOW



It said the Anti-Corruption Coordinating Committee (ACCC), formed in 2002 and convened by the public service department with representatives from 18 key departments and agencies, including the National Intelligence Agency, National Treasury and revenue service, still had to prioritise the coordination of "measures to build the minimum anti-corruption capacity of departments. This is a pressing priority for the government, which will undoubtedly require resources and close monitoring."

The report found that the "synergy" between structures such as the ACCC and the National Anti-Corruption Forum (NACF) "needs improvement".

The NACF, established in 2001 to facilitate a national consensus on combating corruption, had been debilitated by "not always having its own budget and capacity", low levels of attendance and participation by government representatives and departments and poor recording of meetings.

The commission said 1 024 cases of financial misconduct were reported to it in 2008/09, compared with 868 in 2007/08.

A "key challenge", it said, is "that some public servants … implicated in acts of financial misconduct resign before disciplinary hearings can be concluded and then accept appointments in other departments". The report found that this was often difficult to detect because departments operated "in silos".

It said that of the 868 officials reported to the commission in 2007/08, 50 (or 6%) left the public service before disciplinary hearings could be held. In 2008/09, 17 implicated employees resigned after charges of misconduct were levelled against them.

The report blamed "highly unsatisfactory" evaluation of the performances of government heads of departments for the sharp rise in wasteful and fruitless government expenditure. As of March this year just half (51%) of these had undergone performance evaluation, a drop from 56% in the previous year.

"In financial terms this means that roughly half of the national budget [including transfers to provinces and municipalities], which was in the order of R500-billion [excluding state debt costs] in the 2007/08 financial year, was controlled by accounting officers who were not subjected to a proper evaluation," the report said.

No holistic planning
The report is forthright on what the government needs to do to improve service delivery -- communicate with itself. It called for greater coherence within the government and between departments and spheres of government in the planning and implementation of projects and policies.

"Planning at departmental level is on its own challenging and to integrate plans across departments or spheres of government exacerbates the challenge even further," it said.

National planning at the departmental cluster level is a "collection of special projects pursuing the joint objectives of a cluster" rather an integrated process, it said. Only 32% of directors general attended cluster meetings, no planning decisions were taken there and there was no holistic planning around outcomes.

At provincial level "there is very limited evidence of actual implementation of projects and budget items directly flowing out of the provincial growth and development strategies".

The report also found that integrated development plans (IDPs) in municipalities were "drawn up for compliance reasons and municipal activities carried on in spite of, and not on the basis of, the IDP".

Forty-five percent of the municipal IDPs "lacked financial strategies" and "most lacked budgets".

Transparency is an issue
The PSC's report rates the state sector "relatively low" with regard to transparency and says that its response to applications for government information under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) is "generally not adequate".

The Constitution mandates the commission to evaluate government transparency, especially with regard to the Act, which allows any citizen to request government information.

The PSC found that compliance with the Act was "generally not adequate in the public service".

Public opposition to proposed legislation that could limit the access of the media and ordinary citizens to state information has gathered momentum in recent weeks, especially with regard to the Protection of Information Bill.

The report also noted that government departments are required by law to report to the South African Human Rights Commission (HRC) on the number of requests for information it receives from the public through PAIA and how these requests are handled.

According to the 2008/09 HRC report, 10 national departments and 71 provincial departments did not submit reports as required.

The PSC noted that the manner in which these requests were handled requires "serious attention".

Mail & Guardian

Comments by Sonny

Corruption is the essence of the ANC's political success!

It's like the power they have strived for!

They would be senseless to give up any of the two - EVER!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

DA News Letter 29 October 2010





29 October 2010

A Weekly Newsletter from the Leader of the
Democratic Alliance:

A very South African identity crisis

As the ANC’s broad church continues breaking up, and the party is increasingly defined by an elite group of corrupt power brokers, many traditional ANC supporters (particularly those who might be considered part of the “intelligentsia”) face an identity crisis: they cannot identify with what the ANC has become, but they just cannot make a clean break either.

They are nostalgic for “the moral high ground” -- a place the ANC once claimed exclusively as its own. And so they look for ways to regain that comfort, without breaking ties with the ANC.

They believe that the ANC can be rescued from itself; they blame individuals in government for the ANC’s failures but remain “loyal cadres” of the movement. They seek refuge in other disillusioned activists and form various “social movements” in which they seek to recapture the social activism and mass politics of the UDF. They criticise the government (most emphatically when it is a DA government). But at heart they remain loyal to what they believe the ANC once was and what, they trust, it can still become -- if only the right “cadres” could be deployed in key positions.

I know how this feels because I was once caught in this identity crisis myself. I have long since given up the illusion that the ANC can be rescued from itself. The ANC’s dominant ideology of racial nationalism and political patronage is now so entrenched that it cannot be reversed by well-meaning individuals trying to resurrect the values of Nelson Mandela.

These thoughts struck me as I read the reaction to my criticism of the ANC’s policy of “cadre deployment” to various institutions intended to be independent of the ruling party. Among various “deployed cadres” I mentioned was Janet Love. The ANC General Secretary recently announced that Ms Love had resigned from the ANC’s National Executive Committee because she was being “deployed” to the Human Rights Commission, which he described as a “strategic” institution.

A group of lawyers, activists and academics sprang to Ms Love’s defence, rejecting my critique on the grounds that Ms Love is a person of intelligence and integrity who had shown through her work in the Legal Resources Centre that she was prepared to challenge the ANC.

This letter was widely circulated and was carried by the Mail & Guardian, as was a separate article devoted to its contents. The underlying message was clear: if “good cadres” are deployed to strategic institutions, then “cadre deployment” is okay. “Good cadres” should be above criticism. Nobody criticised my comments about former ANC MP and current Chairperson Lawrence Mushwana, for example, because they don’t consider him a “good cadre.”

This logical contradiction typifies the “identity crisis” I have described. It was spotted by Anton Fagan, a law Professor at the University of Cape Town, who penned a rebuttal, which spread rapidly through various legal circles and eventually found its way to me through a lawyer in private practice. It was also sent to the Mail & Guardian. Instead of covering its key arguments, the Mail & Guardian, managed to bury them in the peripheral debate about whether a deployed cadre could be independent or not.

So in the interests of ensuring that all sides of this crucial debate are heard, I am pasting Prof Fagan’s letter below. In it, he responds to his academic colleagues’ defence of Ms Love’s deployment to the HRC. I believe Prof Fagan’s argument is irrefutable. In ten years time, it will be regarded as conventional wisdom.

Helen Zille


Dear colleagues

Your letter in Friday's Mail and Guardian (22 October 2010) prompted me to read Ms Zille's original comments. Having done so, I must confess to finding your letter to be both mistaken and ill-judged. For what it's worth, here are my reasons for so concluding.

Your letter is mistaken, primarily, because it confuses the institutional with the personal. When it is alleged that a person's membership of an institution, or affiliation with an organisation, creates a conflict of interests, it is no response to point out that he is a person of virtue or that his record shows him to be impartial and fair-handed. So to respond is, in fact, to make what philosophers call a 'category error'.

It is the same with judicial independence. If it is so that the judiciary's independence (from the executive) is undermined by the appointment of senior prosecutors to the bench, then one cannot hope to justify such an appointment by extolling the appointee's integrity, or by pointing to his record of prosecuting government corruption. That is why the principle against such appointments would be violated no less by the appointment of Billy Downer as judge, than it was by that of Braam Lategan (or, by analogy, L C Steyn).

The same reasoning applies to the Human Rights Commission and Ms Love's appointment thereto. Your letter does not dispute the following of Ms Zille's allegations of fact: (1) that Ms Love recently resigned from the ANC's National Executive Committee and (2) that ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe announced that Ms Love had been strategically deployed to the HRC by the ANC. Given this institutional background, how could anyone - with a straight face - argue that Ms Love's appointment to the HRC does not violate the principle against conflicts of interest and threaten the independence of the HRC? And again, remember that Ms Love's many virtues are irrelevant here - just as Mr Downer's would be to his appointment as a judge.

A second error is really just the flip-side of the first. Your letter assumes that, if one criticises an appointment on the kinds of institutional grounds described above, one by implication also criticises the person of the appointee: thus that Ms Zille is said to have done 'a grave injustice' to Ms Love. This, with respect, is a non sequitur. I can without self-contradiction argue that Mr Downer should not be elevated to the bench, because it would compromise the judiciary's independence, while maintaining that he is a man of great integrity who, but for his decision to pursue a career as a prosecutor, would have made a perfect judge.

A possible third error in your letter is its apparent assumption that, if one criticises an appointment on institutional grounds, one also criticises whatever institutions the appointee may have worked for in the past: thus that Ms Zille is said to have 'undermined the LRC'. This, it seems to me, is to draw a non sequitur from a non sequitur. If I oppose Mr Downer's appointment to the bench, must I also be taken to be attacking the NPA?

Why do I also believe your letter to be ill-judged? Because, given the standing of the signatories, it is bound to weaken a simple yet important principle, namely that persons with close ties to the governing party (and it does not get much closer than recently having been a member of the party's national executive committee) should not be appointed to statutory or constitutional bodies obliged, in part, to adjudicate conflicts between the governing party and others. If it were acceptable to appoint Ms Love to the HRC, in violation of this principle, why not also other members of the ANC's NEC to the Supreme Court of Appeal, or the Constitutional Court, or the much-discussed Media Tribunal?

In sum: on the facts stated by Ms Zille, and not controverted by your letter, Ms Love's appointment to the HRC was an instance of cadre deployment. If cadre deployment is a bad thing, then so was Ms Love's appointment, regardless of her personal strengths. It follows that Ms Love's appointment could not be defended, as your letter attempts to do, by singing her praises - but only by showing that cadre deployment is not a bad thing after all. Your letter, thankfully, does not go so far as to argue that cadre deployment is an acceptable practice. But it is likely to encourage those who believe that it is.

Ms Love, I am sure, is both good and worthy. But so is the principle against cadre deployment. It is a pity that your letter did not manage to explain the former without detracting from the latter.

Kind regards
Anton

Signed Helen Zille

Court stops newspaper report on crime intelligence




Oct 30, 2010 11:09 AM | By Sapa
The Sunday Independent was interdicted by the High Court in Pretoria from publishing information on appointments in the crime intelligence division of the SA Police Service (SAPS), the National Press Club said.


Photograph by: .
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"The Minister of Police, National Commissioner and Divisional Commissioner of Crime Intelligence brought an urgent application before the court on Friday evening to stop the Sunday Independent from publishing any information about appointments and to return documents in possession of the newspaper," the National Press Club said in a statement.

"It is believed that the newspaper wanted to expose alleged nepotism within Crime Intelligence. Last week, the paper published a series of allegations."

According to the National Press Club, the lawyers for Independent Newspapers were stuck in traffic and late for the hearing set for 8pm on Friday.

"Shortly before 9pm, Judge Ephriam Makgoba decided to continue with the hearing, in the absence of the respondent's legal team.

"Within minutes, the judge made a ruling in favour of the applicants," the statement read.

Judge Makgoba ordered Independent Newspapers to refrain from "publishing or causing to published any information pertaining to the advertisement and appointment of any individual within the Division: Crime Intelligence".

Independent Newspapers was also ordered to immediately hand over any information or documentation about appointments to the SAPS.

The newspaper was ordered to pay the costs of two counsels.

Chairman of the National Press Club, Yusuf Abramjee, said: "We are shocked. The ruling came as a surprise and without legal argument by both parties.

"This is a travesty of justice. There may be a technical point here because the respondent's legal counsel was not on time. But, that's not good enough. The case should have been argued on its merits.

"We have been told that the matter will be taken on appeal by the Sunday Independent to higher courts."

Times Live

Comments by Sonny

The Americans have the Illuminati, the CIA and the FBI.
The British have the Masons, MI5 and MI6.
The Afrikaner SA had the Broeder Bond and BOSS.
The ANC has MK and all their cronies.
Generally the police forces are run via Nepotism links and the "Inner Circle!"
No wonder the "Who's Who" should not see the light of day!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cops Prosecutors need training- NPA


Cops, prosecutors need training - NPA
2010-10-29 11:50




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Simelane: No political meddling
'Progress' in fight against crime
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Special units' reporting lines changed
SA needs special crime units
DA calls out Simelane after audit
DA: NPA restructuring continuing

Johannesburg - The police and prosecutors both need training on how the criminal justice system works, head of the National Prosecuting Authority Menzi Simelane said on Thursday.

"I was reading through a police statement today and it didn't make sense, I even asked others in the office to try read it but they also couldn't make sense of it," he told a justice symposium hosted by the Helen Suzman Foundation in Johannesburg.

"It wasn't just the language used and the handwriting - it showed the huge gap in training."

Simelane was addressing three questions posed to him: What were the major constraints in the criminal justice system? How did the judiciary effect the administration of the criminal justice system? What role can civil society and the private sector play?

Roleplayers

Simelane said there were many roleplayers in the criminal justice system and for it to function properly each needed to do their job.

He gave the example of bail.

"How come do we have a lot of people who commit serious crimes getting out on bail over and over again?" he asked.

Judges needed to take control of their court rooms as many cases were being postponed over and over again because parties involved were not ready.

"I once saw a case be postponed 56 times," he said.

This was not a one-sided view, Simelane said.

"We shouldn't only seek answers from the judiciary, we need to involve all parties."

It did not matter how many resources were put into fighting crime, what was needed was for people to stop committing crime.

"As long as people carry on committing crime we'll never win," he said.

The questions posed at the symposium had been asked over and over again, Simelane said.

Progress

"We don't seem to be making headway or progress with these issues.

"Is it because nothing is being done, or are we so desperate that we don't realise the improvements?"

If the administrative processes in the criminal justice system were carried out properly it would enhance the system.

There were a number of departments responsible for the administrative processes - the Department of Justice, the police, the Department of Social Development and the Department of Correctional Services.

The judiciary played a complementary role which enhanced those departments.

The way people reported crime was also very important, Simelane said. Facts needed to be reported exactly as they happened and the person helping or taking a statement had to have the right attitude.

Crime 'a mindset'

He said the crime rate in South Africa could not be blamed on poverty.

There were many African countries dealing with abject poverty and yet the crime was not as high as it was in South Africa.

"So why do some people commit crime and others don't?" he asked.

"It's a mindset."



- SAPA


Read more on: crime | npa | menzi simelane

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

SANDF member accuses cops of torture





27 October 2010, 00:10
A senior accountant in the SA National Defence Force in Pretoria is claiming R950 000 in damages from the SANDF and from the police, claiming he was abducted by colleagues and severely tortured by the police after he was falsely accused of stealing $75 000.
Simphiwe Wilfred Zondi said in papers before the Pretoria High Court that on September 10, 2004, he had been “abducted” from his office at the Poyntons Building in Church Street by a Major Petzer and a Flight Sergeant Masidi and taken to the offices of the police Serious and Violent Crimes Unit.
He said the two SANDF members handed him over
to the police who questioned him about a housebreaking and theft during which the money apparently disappeared.
“During questioning the police demanded I take off all my clothes, except for my underpants. They demanded I sit on a chair (and) tied my arms with brown tape to the chair (and) my feet together with rope.”
“The police poured water all over me and placed a tyre around my neck and tried to suffocate me on numerous occasions while still pouring water over me.
“They hit me with their open hands on several occasions and they also hit me with a plastic pipe.”
Zondi said hours later the two SANDF officials fetched him and dropped him off in a park in Danville. The two again took him “against his will” a few days later and demanded he undergo a polygraph test, he said.
He was arrested three days later at work on charges of housebreaking and theft of $75 000.
“They took me to my house and searched it before handing me over to the police.”
Zondi said he had been held in custody at the Pretoria Local Prison.
He appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court several times and was eventually granted R5 000 bail.
His case was postponed a few times before all the charges were dropped against him nearly a year later.
He has instituted eight different claims totalling R950 000. His claims include R100 000 each for his alleged abduction and assault and R200 000 for “illegally depriving him of his liberty.”
He said the two SANDF members who “abducted” him, had a duty to stop the police from torturing him and had forced him to undergo a lie detector test. Zondi also said he was arrested while there was no real suspicion he had committed a crime.
The SANDF said its two officials had a right to arrest Zondi, as they suspected him of housebreaking and theft. It was denied that Zondi was ever assaulted or tortured.
No trial date has yet been set. - Pretoria News

The Star

Comments by sonny

A case of the pot calling the kettle Black?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Matric Certificate Credible



Date:Tuesday, 26th October 2010


Breaking News


Matric certificate is credible

Thursday, 21 October 2010 11:28
JOHANNESBURG - The 2010 matric qualification is credible and will meet all standards of examination and assessment, quality assurance body Umalusi said on Thursday.

“It’s all systems go for the final exams,” Umalusi CEO Mafu Rakometsi told reporters in Johannesburg.

“We want to instil confidence to the many stakeholders about Umalusi’s state of readiness in quality-assuring the coming important examinations.”

Rakometsi said all National Senior Certificate question papers had been moderated and approved, and the next step was to monitor the conduct of exams. Once exams had been written, they would put systems in place to monitor marking.

According to Umalusi acting chief operating officer Vijayen Naidoo, the body had decided to shift from moderation to verification in 2010, by focusing more on the individuals and organisations responsible for pupil assessment.

The definition of irregularities had also been broadened from purely pupil inconsistencies to all exam processes.

“We wish matric learners all the best for their examinations,” Rakometsi said.

“It is important for you to reach your full potential, and achieving good NSC results will give you plenty of options to pursue your career aspirations.”

-Sapa

Comments by Sonny

Credible to who - Blade and his cronies?

Not to the world at large!

How long are we expected to accept this Communist Hogwash?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Zuma calls special cabinet meeting






Oct 24, 2010 12:00 AM | By MOIPONE MALEFANE
President Jacob Zuma has called a special cabinet meeting to formulate a new growth path for the country.

President Jacob Zuma


The meeting in Pretoria tomorrow comes after months of criticism from Zuma's allies in Cosatu and the SA Communist Party unhappy at the government's failure to develop a new economic blueprint.

Zuma's decision to meet before the usual Wednesday session has fuelled speculation that he plans a cabinet reshuffle after his recent one-on-one meetings with ministers. But officials dismissed talk of a reshuffle and insist the meeting is on economic issues.

Cabinet spokesman Themba Maseko said the focus would be on an economic growth path.

At the ANC national general council meeting in Durban last month, Zuma said the new growth path had to help South Africa break with its long history of jobless economic growth.

"The new growth path must start with the recognition that, on the one hand, we have had economic growth for a sustained period since the advent of democracy...

"On the other hand, poverty remains high, inequalities have remained the same or even grown worse, while some of the jobs created often brought low wages and poor conditions," Zuma said.

He denied his government failed to produce a new growth path because of disagreements between economic-cluster, particularly finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his economic development counterpart Ebrahim Patel.

Tomorrow's meeting comes two days before Gordhan presents his medium-term budget policy statement to MPs.

ANC alliance leaders say skills, jobs, labour-intensive industry and poverty must be pillars of the new growth path.

Times Live

Comments by Sonny

Zuma is too weak to reshuffle his cabinet.

He has run out of popularity and 'golden handshakes!'

It time for him to run the gauntlet!

He is afraid of his own inner circle!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

DA at Work - 21 October 2010


20 October 2010

Welcome!

Welcome to DA@Work, a weekly newsletter keeping you in touch with the hard work being done to create an Open, Opportunity Society for All in South Africa.



In this edition of DA@Work:

Quote of the Week
Top Story
In other news
Subscribe to our vacancy newsletter



Quote of the Week


“The greatest check on corruption is the willingness of voters to hold their representatives to account by voting them out of office. Only when politicians are really frightened of voters who are prepared to use the power of the ballot to change their government, is it really possible to hold corrupt politicians accountable. The more opportunities for voters to do this, the less corruption there will be.”

Helen Zille in her recent SA Today, “The drive to destroy the provinces is purely political””



Top Story

Ministry tensions: DA to call on Minister Blade Nzimande to appear before Parliament

Ian Davidson MP, DA Chief Whip raised concerns over the recent tensions in the Department of Higher Education and Training. Minister Blade Nzimande has been embroiled in another scandal with the Director-General (DG) Mary Metcalfe, allegedly asking her to resign. Davidson said that if the reports were true, then the minister should explain his decision to Parliament. As such, the Democratic Alliance (DA) would be calling on Dr. Nzimande to appear before the portfolio committee on higher education and training.

Davidson said that numerous sources suggested conflict between the minister and the DG, allegedly relating to his expensive overseas trips and expensive stays at luxurious hotels during his tenure in the Cabinet.

He added that the DA would be writing to the chairperson of the portfolio committee on higher education and training requesting that Dr. Nzimande appear before the committee to answer questions based on his department. It is time for the minister to be open and transparent about the affairs of a ministry responsible for overseeing the education and training of our people, said Davidson.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the minister had been involved in controversy. During his brief tenure, he had engaged in unethical, self-indulgent and excessive spending, including the purchase of a luxury BMW as his ministerial car and taking up extended stays at high-end hotels, he said.

Davidson stated that the DA was concerned that allegations of the DG’s possible ousting come on the back of numerous resignations, transfers and dismissals of directors-general under the Zuma administration:

• August 2009: Public Enterprises DG Portia Molefe resigned
• April 2010: Presidency Chief Operating Officer Jessie Duarte resigned
• June 2010: Labour DG Jimmy Manyi was suspended
• July 2010: Rural Development and Land Reform DG Thozamile Gwanya resigned
• July 2010: Communications DG Mamoduphi Mohlala dismissed
• September 2010: Presidency DG Vusi Mavimbela transferred

These changes at the highest echelons of the civil service do not bode well for service delivery. The South African people are entitled to some constancy in the departments that serve them. At the very least, the minister either needs to confirm or deny the allegations of discord in his department concluded Davidson.

Read more...




In other news

NYDA Advisory Boards: DA Youth agrees with Young Communists


Mbali Ntuli, DA Youth Chairperson said in a recent statement that the Democratic Alliance (DA) Youth supported the Young Communist League’s (YCL) call for President Zuma to intervene and depoliticize the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and make it more representative of youth identification. The NYDA was supposed to be an independent body that promoted the interests of South Africa’s youth instead of place where ANCYL members got rich, said Ntuli.


Read more...


NEWS FRESH FROM THE OVEN.......!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fraud case lodged against Sharemax's Zambezi scheme


Fraud case lodged against Sharemax's Zambezi scheme
October 18, 2010

By Roy Cokayne


Submit your comment

A criminal case has been opened at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria related to the Zambezi Retail Park property syndication scheme marketed by Sharemax Investments.

Brigadier Andre Wiese, Brooklyn police station commander, confirmed last week that a case of fraud had been opened and subsequently been transferred to the commercial crimes unit in Pretoria.

Pierre Hough, the managing director of Chase International, said on Thursday that he had opened the criminal case on behalf of one of his clients.

Hough also lodged a claim with the Fidelity Fund of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces after Sharemax's attorneys, Weavind & Weavind, failed to respond to a demand to repay his client's R200 000 deposit paid into their account.

In an affidavit, Hough claimed that theft was committed by Weavind & Weavind of the money, and that there was fraudulent non-disclosure and misrepresentation in the Zambezi Retail Park prospectus.


Sharemax and Weavind & Weavind did not respond to several requests for comment.

Hough said his client's funds appeared to have been withdrawn from the trust account soon after they were deposited and prior to the transfer of the property.

A Department of Trade and Industry (dti) notice on property syndications issued in 2006 in terms of the Consumer Affairs (Unfair Business Practices) Act of 1988 prohibits the withdrawal of funds from a trust account before the properties have been transferred to the syndication vehicle.

Neither Zambezi Retail Park nor The Villa had been transferred to the syndication vehicle specified.

Sipho Tleane, the director for legal support and prosecutions in the consumer and corporate regulation division of the dti, said the division had not received any complaints about the alleged contravention by Weavind & Weavind but if it did, it would be referred to the SAPS.

Sars bleeding, yet govt continues to waste money


Kim Cloete*|15 October 2010 15:39 Sars bleeding, yet govt continues to waste money

It's clear when the going gets tough, the tough get dirty argues Kim Cloete.
CAPE TOWN - This past week has seen a whirl of activity in Parliament, with mounds of paperwork, hopeful plans, strategies and reports being presented to MPs. With this has come more revelations of wasteful spending and a warning that with reduced tax collections this year, we're in for a rocky ride, with far less money to go around.

Lest anyone forget the rough road the economy has travelled over the past year, the Sars Commissioner, Oupa Magashula, reminded MPs of the effect the downturn has had on its coffers.

2009/10 will go down as the year debt rose and collections crashed.

Sars' overall revenue declined by R26.4bn, with corporate income tax plummeting by 18% compared to the previous year, customs duties 14% down and VAT slipping by 4%. The credit crunch also took its toll. Companies and individuals alike found themselves sinking into debt, with Sars often the loser. "It significantly affected their ability to pay on time and in some cases at all," Magashula told Parliament's Finance Committee.

At least Sars is not alone in its predicament. The commissioner said similar trends had been reported by tax authorities the world over.

Many taxpayers were late at the gate. Sars issued more than 270 000 penalty notices to taxpayers with multiple outstanding returns. This pulled 80 000 late returns into the tax basket.

With the chips down, this past year has seen a full house of wheeling and dealing. The warehouses have been crammed with illicit and counterfeit goods - from two warehouses stacked with booze to others packed with 67m cigarettes, 340 000 DVDs, 35 tons of textiles and 400 seizures of drugs with a street value of R280m.

It's clear when the going gets tough, the tough get dirty.

And then there are the government officials who are partying merrily and living the good life as if the country is swimming in money.

This past year, has seen the police department get seriously flashy, with its Table Bay hotel bills for the minister and eight officials, sunroofs and ambient lighting in the ministerial BMW's and giant poster billboards of the minister of police, Nathi Mthethwa.

The department's finding it too hard to keep out of the news. Over the past few days, the minister has confirmed that a new "official" residence for the National Police Commissioner, Bheki Cele, cost taxpayers R3.7m.

Cele wasn't happy with the less luxurious houses he was offered in Pretoria's Silverton.

Mthethwa said he hadn't approved the purchase of the house, as this was the responsibility of the department's accounting officer. But surprise, surprise, the accounting officer for SAPS is Bheki Cele himself. We'll be watching to see if there's any response from the Public Service Commission as to whether he thinks it's a clear conflict of interest.

The latest spending revelation was the police department's glossy Rivoningo magazine, which cost nearly R15m to produce 50 000 copies a quarter over 21 months.

On a wider scale, there's now been a lot of talk about getting departments, provinces and municipalities to account for their spending and services.

The minister of public service and administration, Richard Baloyi, raised this in Parliament this week, following the signing of delivery agreements intended to get all spheres of government to streamline their priorities - and account for their work.

But before the news about the agreements was digested by journalists, he was asked to speak about the renewed public service wage negotiations - considered a more urgent and weighty issue, at least for now. A revised wage agreement would obviously suck more out of government's depleted barrel of money. A somewhat uneasy quiet over the past few weeks was broken by the SA Democratic Teachers' Union's decision to insist on a revised government offer, although it said it would not re-commence the strike.

Baloyi wouldn't reveal much, except to say government was close to finding a solution with labour. "We are hopeful that we will see ourselves on a forward-march to communicate to people ‘Yes' - We have come to the end of this."

Yes, but not without some caution from his cabinet colleague.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan warned in Parliament this week that more jobs could be squeezed if wages were hiked. "It's a simple equation if you like ...that if we continue to increase current benefits for current workers, we crowd out future employment."

A concern over generous wage deals and its impact on unemployment was also raised in the IMF's recent report on the state of the South African economy.

In the medium-term, it'll be interesting to see if the delivery agreements announced by Baloyi make a difference. They look at sharpening up service delivery, knocking corruption, improving business systems and restoring the faith that South Africans have in the country. The confidence part of the deal is the most nebulous, but possibly the hardest goal to achieve. Since the World Cup, our own confidence in the country and government has taken a dive - and we need some clear leadership to get into the optimistic groove again.

*Kim Cloete is an experienced journalist with a keen interest in the political economy. Before pursuing a career as an independent journalist, she spent time as a television journalist and later Parliamentary Editor for SABC Radio and TV News. Kim was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University in 2005/06 and has received several national and international awards for her work.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blade forces DG to quit

Blade forces DG to quit
2010-10-17 16:07


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Johannesburg - Higher education and training director general Mary Metcalfe is set to quit following a nasty fallout with minister Blade Nzimande.

Three sources in the education field, all of them in government, say Nzimande has demanded that Metcalfe resign after barely a year in her position.

Two government officials who are aware of a meeting that took place last week and where the resignation was ­discussed, told City Press that Nzimande ­informed Metcalfe that he no longer trusted her and that she should leave.

Nzimande and Metcalfe had previously worked together in a United Democratic Front structure, the National Education Co-ordinating Committee, and at the ANC’s national post-secondary education initiative.

Things are said to be so bad that Metcalfe was looking at leaving at the end of the current financial year next March, or even earlier.

An education official said Metcalfe had quit her job at Wits to join the department and was upset that “an impression would be created that she has done something wrong” if she left.

The source said Metcalfe was “taken aback and shocked” at Nzimande’s demand for her resignation, which has since sent shock waves through the new department.

'Paranoid'

The source said it was not clear what had made Nzimande demand Metcalfe’s resignation and on what information he based his ­mistrust of the director general.

The source said Nzimande was “paranoid” and believed there was a cabal within the ­department that was working against him.

Another education official said Metcalfe had in the past few weeks questioned the cost of an overseas trip Nzimande was to undertake. The trip to Cuba has been postponed ­after Metcalfe questioned what appeared to be inflated prices that would have cost the department more than R1m.

On Saturday, Metcalfe would neither confirm nor deny that she had been asked to leave.

“The only thing I am prepared to say publicly is that I have not resigned. The work of the department is critical to the future of the country and I am carrying on with work,” she said.

Nzimande’s special adviser, Gwebs Qonde, said: “It is absolutely incorrect and we are going to issue a statement on Monday on the matter. The minister has never ever asked the DG to resign. No, no, no; he has never done that.”

Asked to comment on other allegations, including the postponed trip to Cuba, Qonde pleaded for more time.

“All your questions will be answered on Monday when you will hear the department’s position,” he said.

Mount Nelson stay

The first official said Nzimande’s suspicion of a conspiracy was allegedly sparked by revelations of his stay at the luxurious Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town last year.

The source said Nzimande also felt that ­Metcalfe was dragging her feet in hiring blacks in senior positions.

Since her appointment Metcalfe has filled two vacancies with black deputy directors general while a third one rejected the job after ­going through the interviews, the source said.

Tshwane University of Technology deputy vice-chancellor of research, innovation and partnerships, Prince Nevhutalu, was tipped to take over one of the senior posts in the department but he allegedly declined it.

Nevhutalu told City Press he and the department had been involved in a negotiation process but that it had died down due to lack of progress.

A source outside the department but within the education field said: “Blade’s advisers have limited or no experience in higher education."

Metcalfe had a stint at Wits and even her appointment was questionable because she does not have a PhD.

“All was not well there and maybe the minister wants to counteract this lack of experience.”

He cited Dr Molapo Qhobela, the former deputy director general for higher education, as having had a fallout with Metcalfe, since leaving to join his former minister, Naledi Pandor, at the department of science and technology.

Metcalfe confirmed she did not have a PhD and that Wits knew that when she was appointed.

She also said she had great respect for Nzimande’s advisers.


- City Press


Read more on: education | mary metcalfe | blade nzimande | naledi pandor

R44 billion dissapears

R44bn disappears
Funding bungles mirror poor matric results
Oct 13, 2010 10:21 PM | By THABO MOKONE and NASHIRA DAVIDS

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Three of the country's provincial education departments cannot explain what they did with more than R44-billion allocated to them in the past financial year.

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Photograph by: Reuben Goldberg Meisie Nkau, business executive in the office of the auditor-general, told Parliament yesterday that only three of the country's provincial education departments were given clean audits for the 2009-2010 financial year - Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Presenting the audit outcomes of all provinces to the parliamentary portfolio committee for basic education, Nkau said the worst managers of public money were the education departments of Eastern Cape, Limpopo and North West.

The audit report of each department included a disclaimer by the auditor-general to the effect that he could not verify entries in their accounts because they were not supported by documentation.

The Eastern Cape and Limpopo education departments produced matric results that were among the country's worst last year.

The Free State, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape audits were qualified because of auditors' concerns.

Nkau told stunned MPs: "There was a lack of internal controls totally. It is disappointing to note that three of the nine provinces regressed when we should be working towards a clean administration.

"The deficiencies open gaps for fraud, and for irregular and wasteful expenditure," she said

Compounding the problem, she said, was poor oversight by provincial MECs, their heads of department and chief financial officers.

The lion's share of the national education budget, R123-billion, goes to the provinces.

Eastern Cape, the worst province in terms of financial management, received R20-billion from the Treasury but could not explain how R1.5-billion of it was spent. Many children in the province are still taught in open fields and under trees.

DA education spokesman Wilmot James yesterday announced the launch of a campaign to identify under-resourced schools and determine the effects of wasteful expenditure, corruption and bad management.

James will begin in Eastern Cape with visits to seven "mud schools" that are taking the government to court alleging that it has failed to provide adequate buildings.

After the auditor-general's presentation to the portfolio committee, ANC MP Nomalungelo Gina asked: "Are we going to continue giving them money whereas they can't account? What are the steps we are going to take because we can't allow this?"


•A study by Stellenbosch University has shown that almost half (47%) the Grade 3 pupils in Western Cape cannot read and write to the required standard. In addition, only 35% are sufficiently skilled in maths.
The Western Cape education department commissioned the study to assess performance in the foundation grades of 45 schools.

It was found that teachers often did not "set the bar high enough for children" and that pupils did not have all the text books they needed.

"It was also found that there is limited reading and writing in classrooms," said Bronagh Casey, spokesman for education MEC Donald Grant.

Van der Berg and his team made several recommendations, including limiting classes to 40 pupils and grouping schools according to their performance to allow "for far greater targeted and specific assistance to under-performing schools".

Principals will have to present quarterly reports to the department, detailing how much of the curriculum they have covered.

Education expert Graham Bloch said literacy and numeracy levels in Western Cape and Gauteng, though unacceptable, were higher than in the rest of the country.

"Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga perform badly in all phases.

"These are poorer, more rural provinces [in which] parents are generally more submissive - unlike parents in Western Cape or Gauteng, who are more likely to put pressure on the system to improve conditions at schools," he said.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hawks success rate at only 11 percent








16 October 2010, 00:10
The South African Police Service’s woes aren’t over yet.
This week, the parliamentary police oversight committee forced the head of detectives, Raymond Lalla, to admit that only 14 percent of the country’s nearly 34 000 detectives had been properly trained.
Today the Saturday Star can reveal that the police’s new elite crime-fighting unit, the Hawks, has a success rate of only 11 percent, compared to the 90 percent of the Scorpions it replaced.
Added to this, the SAPS has had to declare a contingency fund of R7 billion
for legal claims against it, after recently firing its legal services head, Lindiwe Mtimkulu. The Democratic Alliance had called for her head, claiming she had run the SAPS’s legal services department into the ground.
Yesterday, however, national commissioner General Bheki Cele came out fighting, vowing that police would implement new strategies to improve their service to the community.
One of these was to join forces with nine departments, including the South African Revenue Service, Home Affairs and Customs – in the rollout of a roadblock strategy.
Cele warned tax evaders, unlicensed drivers and anyone with anything to hide from Home Affairs or Customs to beware come December 4, when the police would begin their new, all-inclusive approach to roadblocks.
The DA’s shadow minister for safety and security, Dianne Kohler Barnard, submitted questions about Justice Department revelations that the number of dockets sent back by lower courts for further investigation had risen by 74 percent.
Responding to Kohler Barnard’s statement, Zweli Mnisi, spokesman for the Police Ministry, said
“…the criminal justice system… needs to be strengthened. We were the first to acknowledge some of the lack of capacity in these areas (Intelligence and Detectives), hence one of the critical aspects we spoke about was around training.”
Mnisi also said unspent portions of the contingency of R7bn for legal claims might be redirected to programmes.
He said, however, that the ministry had vowed not to tolerate officers abusing the law.
Kohler Barnard also criticised the Hawks’ “underachievement” of only an 11 percent conviction rate. “Their conviction rate for organised crime is just 11.94 percent, and that after having failed to reach their very low target of getting 25 percent of cases to court. These figures are utterly unacceptable.”
She said the performance of the Hawks was unimpressive “to say the least”.
“The Scorpions had a 98 percent success rate in court, and the country was sold the concept of the Hawks on the premise that it would be better than the unit that was closed down. That isn’t the case. The ANC slaughtered a thoroughbred and replaced it with a Shetland pony,” she added.
Hawks spokesman Musa Zondi said comparing the two was like comparing bananas to apples. “We are using different formulas,” he said. – Additional reporting by Michelle Pietersen

SATURDAY STAR

Comments by Sonny

A law unto themselves.....!

So now the World Soccer is the reason why detectives are not receiving the required

training?

Come on Commissioner, you appear to be the biggest problem!

Don't keep shifting the blame while you keep on partying!!

The Hawks will never come near the Scorpions!!

They are a waste of tax payers money!

Friday, October 15, 2010

DA NEWSLETTER 15 OCTOBER 2010





15 October 2010

Welcome to the latest edition of SA Today, the weekly newsletter from the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, Helen Zille.



SA Today
Helen Zille, DA Leader

The drive to destroy the provinces is purely political

All indications are that the ANC has made up its mind about the future of the provinces. The only question is whether it wants to reduce their number, change their powers, or abolish them altogether. Whatever emerges, there is one objective in mind: to centralize power and prevent a viable challenge to the ANC at provincial level.

I have been interested to learn that this tactic is a fairly common form of power abuse in emerging democracies. It is one of the key reasons why the transition to democracy has failed in other countries on our continent.

At the Democracy and Development conference I attended in Durban this week to discuss the future of provinces, an academic, originally from Ghana, explained how provinces had been undermined in his home country. Soon after independence in 1957 Ghana’s provinces were turned into regions, and their previous powers increasingly concentrated in the central state. When the ruling party sensed a challenge emerging in any region, regional boundaries were changed to pre-empt the challenge. At the same time, more and more regions were established in order to create more paid positions for political associates and to “buy-off” potential challengers.

The use of “regions” for political patronage had nothing to do with fulfilling the functions of government. As a result, the growing number of regions increasingly failed to deliver the services they should have. This sparked political resistance, which was then defused by the central state, through the creation of more regions and deploying more “cadres”. This was one of the key reasons why Ghana did not live up to its early promise of democracy (although there are now signs that the tide may be turning).

From almost all examples of failed transitions to democracy, the root cause of the problem is political patronage – or what we call “cadre deployment”. It is interesting to analyse the ANC’s approach to the provinces within this broader context.

In the discussion paper prepared for its National General Council the ANC states that the “unitary state remains the ANC’s philosophical orientation and point of departure.” It then asks, rhetorically, “Have provinces improved the lives of our people in each province qualitatively and have they addressed the key socio-economic challenges facing communities in each province?”

Of course it is true that some provinces and many local governments have not functioned optimally. The question to ask is WHY NOT? We must diagnose the problem accurately if we want to find the right solution. But the ANC is not interested in finding a solution. The sub-optimal functioning of some provinces is a useful pretext for it to centralise its own control, just as the poor quality of some journalism is a useful pretext for the ANC to try and control the media.

The spurious reasons the ANC gives to reveal its real intentions. I have identified six:

First, the ANC suggests that the provinces are a relic of apartheid. This is deeply ironic. As far as I remember, there was no Limpopo, Mpumalanga or Gauteng during apartheid. And instead of nine independent provinces, there were only four administrative arms of national government. It was a highly-centralised, power-abusing unitary state, which is just what the ANC wants to bring back.

So the question must be asked: who wants to bring back apartheid?

The second argument is that the three-sphere system of government is complicated and often leads to over-lapping roles, unnecessarily protracted decision taking and inefficiency. There is some latent sympathy for this argument among the general public. There are people who believe that removing the provincial sphere, would streamline government, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. But this belief is unfounded. There are Ministries, departments, projects and parastatals under central government control that are more corrupt and inefficient than almost anything governed under concurrent provincial powers. Just think of the Department of Correctional Services and the SABC.

Conversely, there are excellent examples where co-operative governance has worked very well between all three spheres. Preparations for the 2010 World Cup are a case in point. Co-operation happened because there was sufficient political will to achieve results, sufficient competence through the appointment of personnel who are "fit-for-purpose" to undertake the jobs they are required to do, immutable deadlines, and accountability to independent structures.

Where there is a lack of political will, co-operative governance is doomed to failure. The cynical transfer of provincial land from the Western Cape to the National Government on the day before the April 2009 election, for instance, is the kind of political sabotage that prevents co-operative governance from working. It is absolutely deliberate. It has nothing to do with inefficiency or lack of capacity. It undermines the letter and spirit of the constitution. And then, with cynical irony, Ministers blame our three-sphere constitutional system for the problem their power abuse has created. If anything, their actions only serve to illustrate yet again, how vulnerable democratic systems are to power abuse. Democracy requires good faith and respect for the rule of law in order to work.

Thirdly, the argument goes that there would be less corruption if there were fewer spheres of government. This is untrue.

Corruption is not bound by borders or size. It can be rife in a tiny rural municipality or in a centralised government department, or across several departments as exemplified by the Arms Deal.

Corruption proliferates when there is a lack of accountability and transparency, and insufficient checks and balances. In fact, highly centralised systems tend more towards corruption than those that diffuse power throughout the polity and build in effective oversight. And of course, the greatest check on corruption is the willingness of voters to hold their representatives to account by voting them out of office. Only when politicians are really frightened of voters who are prepared to use the power of the ballot to change their government, is it really possible to hold corrupt politicians accountable. The more opportunities for voters to do this, the less corruption there will be.

Fourthly, there is an argument that costs would be saved by scrapping or merging provinces. But this saving would be insubstantial, if indeed there would be any at all.

The services provided by the provinces would have to be continued through decentralised arms of the central state, so there would be no savings in administration and infrastructure. Probably the only savings would be in the legislatures themselves (about 2% of total provincial costs), but even here it is likely that most of the legislators (whose support would have to be bought if the ANC were to prevent an internal revolt) would be re-deployed to other positions in the state.

A fifth argument the ANC uses against the provinces is the large disparity in income and economic opportunities in the different regions. This is true. It is also true that there is a lack of efficiency in most rural provinces. But it is false that these problems would be better addressed by central government.

The equitable share formula enables the national government to distribute resources according to developmental priorities and is designed to offset these disparities. In fact, the formula significantly advantages the rural provinces, even as urbanisation is drawing more and more people into the cities.

A sixth argument is that the provinces are inefficient. But, again, there are remedies available if a particular province is failing. Clause 100 of the constitution sets out the powers the national executive has to intervene in any province that is not fulfilling its obligations or maintaining essential standards. This includes a complete central take-over of provincial functions if it can be demonstrated that provincial governments have failed. It is telling that this has never been done before. If the provinces were so inefficient, why has not one ever been put under administration?

These six so-called reasons are designed to cloak the real intentions – to prevent another party from governing better than the ANC and winning elections.

Our whole approach to government is different. We are focused on job creation through business-led economic growth. We don’t deploy cadres, we apply the principles of “fitness for purpose.” We are holding school principals directly accountable for school performance. We are prohibiting employees of the state from doing business with the state. We are introducing legislation to exercise greater oversight of the police. We have stripped away all the ostentatious symbols of power such as blue lights on ministerial vehicles. We have also put a cap on what Ministers can spend on cars and cut out all lavish perks and parties. We are opening up tender processes for public scrutiny.

The point is that we are doing things differently, which is precisely what the ANC fears. Gwede Mantashe admitted as much in September. The ANC is frightened that we will succeed where it has failed.

In the debate over the future of the provinces, it is crucial that citizens and commentators alike do not simply swallow the ANC's reasoning. The most rudimentary research will demonstrate that the reasons currently being advanced are spurious. This is about power and control – just like the proposals on the table to silence the media.

It is unfortunate that so many people do not see the impact that scrapping or reducing the provinces will have on our democracy. I believe it will do even more damage than a media tribunal or a protection of information bill. It will demonstrate what the ANC is willing to do when it loses power at the ballot box. And if the ANC is willing to get rid of the provinces to prevent another party from governing at provincial level, what will it do to retain power at national level?

Ultimately, democracy depends upon the ability of citizens to change governments. The rotation of power at local and provincial government levels is essential for the maturation of our democracy. If there is no opportunity for parties other than the ANC to rule anywhere, then our democracy is doomed. We will repeat the tragic history that our constitution's founding fathers worked so hard to avoid.



Helen Zille

Comments by Sonny

How ironic, the ANC gave birth to these 'white elephants!'

The time has come for a new ruling party!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Arms deal probe ‘cancelled’






Monday, 11 October 2010 20:46
PAUL KIRK

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks have scuttled all investigations into bribery and corruption in South Africa’s leg of the arms deal most closely linked to President Jacob Zuma and his inner circle.

Cape Town businessman Richard Young has been officially informed that Hawks boss Anwar Dramat cancelled investigations into the leg of the arms deal in which he, Young, was the complainant.

In November last year Young submitted a criminal complaint against former Defence Procurement boss Shamin “Chippy” Shaik, Thyssen TRT and companies closely associated with paying Shaik and Zuma bribes.

Repeated attempts to obtain detailed comment from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were stonewalled, with the prosecutions body telling The Citizen to contact the Hawks as the NPA have has no investigative capacity.

The latest investigation into “Chippy” Shaik commenced started after Young laid charges with the police. Earlier probes into the arms deal had been initiated by the State itself.

Young himself confirmed the end of the investigation: “As the complainant in the matter I was officially contacted by Colonel Johan Du Plooy last week and informed that a decision had been made by Dramat who had handed an order in writing ... to cease the investigations. The reasons given to me were financial – and the supposed fact that the Germans were not willing to co-operate with the investigation.”

Young’s Cape Town company CCII Systems lost out on key arms deal contracts to a French company whose local representative, Schabir Shaik, was the brother of “Chippy” Shaik. Schabir Shaik was subsequently convicted of paying bribes to President Jacob Zuma.

In May this year, Menzi Simelane, the National Director of Public Prosecutions appeared before Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) and admitted that he had handed over all the arms deal investigations to the Police Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigations.

Last month the head of the DPCI – or Hawks – Anwar Dramat, told Scopa that his investigators were probing fraud and corruption to the value of R480 million. He also told Parliament he expected the probe could take another five years and cost up to R10 million.

He then asked Parliament to take an “executive decision” on whether it was in the “best interests of the country” to proceed with the investigations.

Dramat was slapped down by Scopa, who which refused to do so. Opposition MPs were critical of Dramat. Democratic Alliance member on Scopa, David Maynier, told Dramat that he: “needed a stiff dose of investigative Red Bull’.” Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille said Dramat was “out of order” for making the requesting that parliament scrap a criminal investigation. Inkatha Freedom Party representative on Scopa, Narend Singh, said that cost should not be a reason to scrap the probe. Singh told Dramat that spending R10 million to go after R480 million in bribes was a “good deal”. He suggested the assets of those who took bribes could be seized.

Asked to comment on the latest developments, Maynier said: “If it is true that the investigation into the arms deal has been shut down, then it is a complete travesty of justice. It was clear from last month’s presentation by General Anwar Dramat ... that there was very little appetite to pursue the investigation.

“The fact is that the arms deal corruption slick reaches all the way into the highest level of government, including President Jacob Zuma. There is no doubt that if there was a full investigation some very big political fish would be convicted and jailed.”

Young said that he questioned the claims that German investigators were not willing to co-operate. Last month The Citizen reported that the Hawks had confirmed being in possession of a document given to them by German investigators which seemed to be “smoking gun” evidence of Shaik’s corruption.

The document, given to the Hawks by German prosecutors reads in part: “The last trip (July 27 to 30, 1998) was suggested by C Shaikh (sic), director Defence Secretariat. During one of our meetings he asked once again for explicit confirmation that the verbal agreement made with him for payment to be made in case of success, to him and a group represented by him, in the amount of $3 million (about R21 million).”

Despite claims by the Hawks that the letter was not officially obtained – and therefore not of use in court – a top legal expert, Advocate Paul Hoffman SC, told The Citizen that the “Law of Best Evidence” allowed prosecutors to use the best available evidence – which could be a copy and not the original.

It was not clear whether the Hawks were proceeding with the other leg of the arms deal investigation – a probe into bribes paid by BAE Systems who paid large amounts to various politicians and officials in order to win the contracts to supply Hawk Jets and Gripen fighter aircraft.

At the time of going to press the Hawks’ Musa Zondi had not responded to The Citizen – as he undertook to do after receiving numerous many phone calls.

The Citizen

Comments by Sonny

The Hawks are just as good as the TRC!

Too many smoking guns in their hands!

The President will reward his disciples with Grace!

Wedding day bloodshed




12 October 2010, 00:10
By Solly Maphumulo
A R400 000 Rolex watch and R10 000 in cash appear to be the reason why the best man at a wedding was gunned down.
Robbers opened fire at Chris Kouremetis with an AK-47 and a 9mm pistol on Sunday just as he was about to leave the Cradle restaurant in Muldersdrift.
Warrant officer Odette van Staden said it seemed Couremetis was targeted for his expensive watch and the R10 000 cash he carried. Couremetis, believed to be in his late 20s, was shot with an AK-47 and a 9mm pistol.
He was the best man at a lavish wedding ceremony at the Cradle Restaurant.
The
ceremony was attended by about 90 guests from all over the world when the shooting took place.
“We believe this is part of the Rolex gang, who specifically look for their targets,” Van Staden said.
She said 12 shots were fired, and two bullets hit Kouremetis in the chest and hand. The rest of the bullets left his luxurious car, a Cayenne worth more than R1 million, riddled with holes.
Last week, a man was shot and killed for his Rolex watch in Joburg. He had been returning from a shopping centre when his car was pushed off the road by the robbers.
Van Staden said police believe the bullet penetrated the heart of Couremetis, a property developer based in Cape Town.
“I think this must be the shot that killed him. The other bullet wound in the hand was not serious. When the paramedics arrived at the scene, he was certified dead,” she said.
At around 10.30pm, the two armed men emerged in the car park and allegedly opened fire on Couremetis. When he dropped to the ground, his attackers took his watch and moonbag containing R10 000 wrapped around his waist.
Two women were seated in the back of the car, and Kouremetis and his male passenger were about to get into the car when they starting fire.
The guests inside the restaurants scattered in panic, some hiding under tables. The two women were rushed to hospital, where they were sedated and treated for shock.
A woman, who refused to be named, said her daughter was among the guests at the wedding ceremony and was still traumatised.
Like many other guests, the girl had travelled all the way from Australia to attend her best friend’s wedding. She had been friends with the bride since their high school days.
“She was so distraught that she could not even relate the story properly. She was vomiting all over the place,” the mother said.
“My daughter said people were running around trying to hide as the sound of gunfire continued.
“It sounds like it was a hit because no other guests were hurt or robbed. There is something fishy,” she added.
Couremetis’s father Costaz was too distraught too speak to The Star last night. - The Star

The Star

Comments by Sonny

The Rolex Gang must have good intelligence to have done this 'hit'!

It looks more professional to us!

Someone at the wedding could have tipped off the 'Hitmen'!

Let's not exclude the Bruma connections!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Man shot during robbery




11 October 2010, 00:10
A 58-year-old man was shot and wounded during a robbery on his smallholding in Pretoria in the early hours of Monday, Gauteng paramedics said.
The man was awoken by noises outside his home at 2.30am, said ER24 spokeswoman Vanessa Jackson.
“An unknown number of suspects were outside a window, and allegedly shot him through the window at close range, hitting him in the shoulder. The man then fled deeper into the house where the suspects pursued him.
“The man explained, that as he fled, more shots were fired, but he was lucky enough not to be hit again,” said Jackson.
The gunmen
fled several minutes later when police arrived.
“This may have saved the man's wife and teenager, who were in the house at the time,” said Jackson.
The man was taken to a nearby hospital.
Police could not immediately provide details of the incident. - Sapa

THE STAR

Comments by Sonny

Fight crime - Shoot back!!

‘Partnership is not nationalisation’






11 October 2010, 00:10

Partnership does not equate to nationalisation, Sakhile Ngcobo, head of corporate affairs at De Beers Consolidated Mines, said on Friday.
Ngcobo was addressing the second day of the Black Management Forum's summit in Johannesburg.
“De Beers has had a long history of success in Africa because of its partnerships.
“We have partnerships in Namibia, Botswana and also in Angola where exploration is being done.”
Ngcobo said that in all its negotiations with the government of Botswana which took place every year, the topic of nationalisation had never come up.
“But every year we are asked what we can do better to benefit the people of Botswana.”.
The diamond industry was the lifeline of Botswana's economy and for over 40 years, De Beers had enabled the country's population to enjoy a higher standard of living.
“In our discussions with Botswana, we study the issue of beneficiation though - we have to ask how come China, India and Belgium manage beneficiation (the cutting and polishing of diamonds) and why we as Africans didn't take the opportunity to do this,” Ngcobo said.
“De Beers is not suggesting that its partnership idea is a cure for all things - but it is something to think about.”
Ngcobo said De Beers had recently sold some of its operations in South Africa.
“Most of the assets we've disposed of have gone to Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) entities and to the communities - and Jaggersfontein is an example.”
Recently De Beers announced that it had closed a transaction in which all of the company's assets at Jagersfontein had been acquired by the Superkolong Consortium, thereby introducing miners with empowerment credentials to opportunities which had the potential to deliver significant returns. - Sapa

The Star

Comments by Sonny

More Communist Rhetoric?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

R80m stolen from Guardian's Fund: Radebe


R80m stolen from Guardian's Fund: Radebe
Oct 10, 2010 2:24 PM | By Sapa

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An estimated R80 million has been defrauded and stolen from the Guardian's Fund by corrupt justice officials and syndicates, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said.

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Photograph by: Bruce Gorton
Radebe said that since February 2010 there had been an investigation that involved the Hawks, the Special Investigating Unit and the National Prosecuting Authority into allegations that corrupt officials in collusion with syndicates had defrauded the Guardian's Fund of about R80 million.

The Guardian's Fund falls under the administration of the Master of the High Court and was created to hold and administer funds paid to the Master on behalf of various people such as minors, people who are incapable of managing their own affairs, unborn heirs and missing or absent people.

"Several corrupt officials give out particulars of the legitimate beneficiaries.

"The syndicates are able to make use of fraudulently obtained identity documents to apply for and claim as a beneficiary.

"Bank accounts are opened using these false identity documents and corrupt officials pay such monies into their accounts," he said.

One syndicate member had claimed 15 times for the same beneficiary.

He said "the tide was turning" against the corrupt officials and he hoped to see them behind bars soon.

Radebe said that in the 2009/10 financial year there had been 26 fraud case, 25 cases of theft and 70 cases of negligence in the department.

He said that of the 121 cases of financial misconduct, 60 cases were dismissed while there were 60 convictions and one case was still pending.

He said 21 staff had been dismissed, 19 had been given final warnings and 20 had received verbal and written warnings.

The total value of the 60 cases where convictions were recorded was R30 million. One case alone involved R29 million. So far between R300,000 and R500,000 had been recovered.

He said that since he had taken office, the department had improved the areas where the Auditor General had previously expressed grave concerns.

"The department managed to effectively reduce the areas of qualification from five to two by successfully resolving in the 2009/10 financial year the previous negative findings on asset management, employee benefits and lease commitments."

In the past year the department had expanded its facilities in a bid to ensure all South Africans had access to justice.

He said three new courts had been built and a further three were under construction. Fifteen 15 branch courts had been converted into full service courts with their own areas of jurisdiction.

He said the Small Claims Courts had been expanded and there were now 212 operating.

The department hoped to have a Small Claims court operating in each of the country's 384 magisterial districts.

He said that the department's Seven Point Plan had resulted in higher conviction rates with conviction rates of 90.5 percent being recorded in district courts, 74 percent conviction rates in Regional Courts and 87.7 percent conviction rates in High Courts.

He did not reveal the conviction rates for specific crimes such as murder.

He said that the case backlog had been reduced and that the department had recruited 80 new public prosecutors in a bid to reduce the case load

The department had managed to reduce the number of children awaiting trial by 50 percent during the past financial year.

He said presently 71 percent of juvenile cases were resolved within three months.

Deputy Justice Minister Andries Nel confirmed that former police commissioner Jackie Selebi's appeal process would not be paid by the state.

The trial, in which he was convicted of corruption, cost R17.4 million which was footed by the state.

This did not preclude Selebi from applying for legal aid although he would have to undergo a means test.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sexy students strip for 'manly' president




OCT 8, 2010 | REUTERS | 27 COMMENTS
Jacob Zuma's got a rival for the raunchiest president - Russia's Vladimir Putin has such a fan club that young women sent him sexy photos of themselves

'CALL ME YOUR BIRTHDAY PRESENT': That's one of the messages sent to Putin
MUSCLE-MAN PREZ
What do you say bloggers - Must we make one for our very own JZ?

Some were bearing gifts for Vladimir Putin's 58th birthday - others bared their flesh.

Several female journalism students from a prestigious Russian university posed in slinky lingerie for a calendar filled with warm -- sometimes steamy -- birthday greetings for the prime minister.

Putin has assiduously developed a manly image by posing shirtless on horseback, stalking a tiger through Siberian forests and climbing into jet-plane cockpits.

The cheesecake calendar features a photograph of a woman for every month in 2011, each with a word bubble addressing the president.

"Vladimir Vladimirovich, WE LOVE YOU!" reads the cover, which shows a close-up of a woman's chest above barely concealed cleavage.

"You only get better with the years," third-year Moscow State University journalism student Nastya Klabukova, posing in a black-and-teal bra and panties, says on the September page.

"The fires are out, but I'm still burning," the March model says -- a risque reference to wildfires that killed more than 50 Russians this summer, and which Putin helped fight by dropping water from a plane.

In a retort, other journalism students from the same school posted a calendar with photos depicting them in dark clothing, their mouths taped, with captions asking questions about issues that are the focus of criticism of Putin and his era.

Critics have accused Putin, who was president in 2000-2008 and has hinted he may return to the Kremlin in a 2012 election, of encouraging a personality cult.

Technically subordinate to the successor he steered into the presidency in 2008, Dmitry Medvedev, Putin is widely believed to be the final arbiter of Russia's policy.

Putin and his spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment about the calendar. Its creators said they had not consulted with Putin's office or anyone else in politics before publishing the calendar.

"We wanted to create a colourful project and at the same time make a present for his birthday," said Vladimir Tabak, a co-head of the publishing company that put out the calendar.

Nine of the calendar girls are current students at the department, two are graduates and one is to enroll there soon, Tabak said.

He said all were at least 18 except one 17-year-old who was more fully dressed than the others.

Sowetan News

Comments by Sonny

Give us Putin anytime!!

The other guy will never be a national stud!!

BREAKING NEWS - Power consumption increased in August





Thursday, 07 October 2010 16:44
JOHANNESBURG - The actual estimated volume of electricity consumed in August 2010 increased by 0.7 percent compared with August 2009, Statistics SA said on Thursday.

Electricity consumption for the first eight months of 2010 increased by 5.1 percent compared with the first eight months of 2009.

However, electricity consumption, after seasonal adjustment, for the three months ended August 2010 decreased by 2.2 percent compared with the three months ended May 2010

Statistics SA said the actual estimated production of electricity in August 2010 increased by 0.5 percent compared with August 2009.

The estimated production of electricity for the first eight months of 2010 increased by 5.0 percent compared with the first eight months of 2009.

However, electricity production, after seasonal adjustment, for the three months ended August 2010 decreased by 2.0 percent compared with the three months ended May 2010.

Statistics SA said electricity delivered to the provinces for the first eight months of 2010 increased by 5.8 percent (8246 Gigawatt-hours) compared with the first eight months of 2009.

Increases were reported for all the nine provinces ranging from 0.7 percent for KwaZulu-Natal to 12.9 percent for Mpumalanga.

Statistics SA said the volume of electricity purchased from outside South African borders increased from 8 208 Gigawatt-hours in the first eight months of 2009 to 8 407 Gigawatt-hours in the first eight months of 2010, representing an increase of 2.4 percent (199 Gigawatt-hours).

The volume of electricity sold to neighbouring countries in the first eight months of 2010 increased by 6.4 percent (577 Gigawatt-hours) compared with the first eight months of 2009.

- Sapa

THE CITIZEN

Who is committing fraud with our rates accounts in Johannesburg?

It is time for Amos Masondo to be axed!

Meters get read twice a month, yet, we are Billed with an 'inflated estimated

account?'

Lucrative business the municipality!