Thursday, March 31, 2011

Zim mass grave becomes political propaganda











March 31 2011 at 01:23pm
By Angus Shaw and Gillian Gotora
Comment on this story

AP
In this March 18, 2011, a mass grave digger looks on as a human leg sticks out from a heap of other body parts at Monkey William Mine.
Chibondo, Zimbabwe - Hundreds of skeletons found in a remote mine shaft have brought a macabre thrust to election campaigning in Zimbabwe - but the presence of some corpses still with skin, hair and body fluids has raised doubts over claims white colonial-era troops committed the massacres more than 30 years ago.

Pathologists say visual evidence may point to more recent killings in a nation plagued by election violence and politically motivated murders.

Since President Robert Mugabe called for elections later this year to end a troubled two-year power-sharing coalition with the former opposition, his party and state media have mounted an intense campaign to discredit political rivals and Western critics of his authoritarian rule.

The Fallen Heroes of Zimbabwe Trust, a previously little known group of Mugabe party loyalists, last month launched a program to exhume skeletons in the mine shaft in northeastern Zimbabwe, saying the country's former rulers were guilty of human rights violations that far outweigh any accusations of rights abuses levelled against Mugabe's party and his police and military.

Zimbabwe's sole broadcaster, in news bulletins and repeated interruptions to regular programs, has urged ordinary citizens to visit the disused Chibondo gold mine near the provincial centre of Mount Darwin, 160 kilometres from Harare, to witness the horror of colonial atrocities.

Reporters taken to Monkey William Mine at Chibondo on a trip organised by Mugabe's Ministry of Information said school children were bused there. Militants sang revolutionary songs, shouted slogans and denounced whites and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's pro-Western party for its links with Britain, the former colonial power.

“Down with whites. Not even one white man should remain in the country,” villagers, evidently carefully choreographed, proclaimed. They danced at the site in what was said to be an ancient ritual to appease the spirits of those killed by white troops before independence in 1980.

Villagers appeared to go into trances and others wept and simulated firing guns.

Exhumed skeletons, bones and remains lay in random heaps, some covered by sheets and blankets, near a pile of coffins. Hair and clothes were clearly visible; one corpse wore black tennis shoes. The mine shaft emitted an overwhelming stench.

Journalists who descended a 40-meter shaft found a body with what appeared to be blood and fluids dripping onto the skulls below.

Jimmy Motsi, a leader of the trust group, told reporters the remains of more than 640 bodies have already been removed. Four other mine shafts in the district contain human remains, he said.

The Mount Darwin district saw some of the fiercest fighting in the seven-year bush war waged by Mugabe's guerrillas that ended white rule and swept him to power.

Former colonial soldiers say guerrilla dead were disposed of in mass graves often doused with gasoline or acid.

Forensic tests and DNA analysis of the remains won't be carried out, said Saviour Kasukuwere, the government minister of black empowerment. Instead, traditional African religious figures will perform rites to invoke spirits that will identify the dead, he said.

Kasukuwere said the Chibondo remains were discovered in 2008 by a gold panner who crawled into the shaft. But spirits of war dead had long “possessed” villagers and children in the district, he said.

“The spirits have refused to lie still. They want the world to see what Smith did to our people. These spirits will show the way it's to be done,” he said, referring to Ian Smith, the last white prime minister of the former colony of Rhodesia. “This is the extent of atrocities committed by the Smith regime. They loot our resources and they close up the mine with our bodies.”

The prime minister's party has criticised the exhumations for stoking hatred at a time the nation still seeks healing not only from the pre-independence war but also from political violence that has left hundreds dead over the past decade and tens of thousands of documented cases of torture and abduction.

After independence an estimated 20 000 civilians were killed by Mugabe's soldiers when they crushed an armed uprising in the western Matabeleland province. Many of those victims still lie in unmarked mass graves in the arid bush.

In a sweeping crackdown ahead of elections proposed this year, police and security officials have banned rallies of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, arrested its lawmakers on what the party describes as trumped up charges and have hounded human rights activists.

Tsvangiria's party has called for scientific research and “informed debate and reflection” on all violence that included killings of its supporters surrounding disputed elections in 2008. The party stopped short of alleging that the corpses at Chibondo could include its supporters who have disappeared and remain unaccounted for in years of political and economic turmoil.

Zimbabwe's own pathology and autopsy facilities have been crippled by the country's economic meltdown under Mugabe's rule. No DNA testing is available locally.

Maryna Steyn, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, said human remains should not retain a strong stench after 30 years.

“Usually, when we have remains that are lying around for more than a few years, the bones are no longer odorous,” she said.

Steve Naidoo, a pathologist at South Africa's University of KwaZulu-Natal, said it “seemed strange” that bodies from three decades ago would still have some skin.

“Bearing in mind that the bodies are exposed to an open environment, albeit in a mine shaft, scavengers can access them quite easily. In 30 years, one would expect complete and advanced skeletonization,” he said.

But Shari Eppel, a Zimbabwean activist of the Solidarity Peace Trust, said in the group's latest Zimbabwe bulletin that the presence of soft tissues “is not necessarily an indicator that these bones entered the grave more recently, although it could be.”

A process of mummification can occur when bodies are piled on top of each other in large numbers and to all but the most expert eye “mummified flesh will look the same as rotting soft tissues from a more recent era,” Eppel said.

Only expert forensic anthropologists can establish ages, the sex and causes and dates of death from a complete set of skeletal remains of one individual and therefore “return identity and life experiences” to the dead.

The era of the manufacture of clothing, coins, belt buckles and other items would also be taken into account.

Eppel said the human remains are being indiscriminately hauled from the Chibondo mine shaft without decency, respect or any regard for traditional African customary beliefs on reverence for the deceased.

“What is happening ... is a travesty. Bones speak quietly and in a language only an expert can hear. Let's not silence them forever, but bring them the help they need to be heard,” she said. - Sapa-AP

The Star

Comments by Sonny

Despot Mugabe has had his own legacy of genocide unearthed for the World to see.

These are the exhibits that should have had him prosecuted in the World Court in Den Hague!!

Colonial genocide is a myth!

MUGABE is too old to die young!

State corruption bombshell









March 31 2011 at 09:28am
By Deon de Lange
Comment on this story

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS
National police commissioner Bheki Cele. Photo: Melinda Stuurman
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on Wednesday provided a rare glimpse into rampant corruption in the government when it told Parliament that 16 departments and public entities were under investigation for fraud, corruption and maladministration.

National police commissioner Bheki Cele, who is already under fire for his role in a multi-billion-rand headquarters lease in Pretoria, faces new questions after the SIU revealed that the construction of 33 police stations - valued at more than R330 million - was under investigation for “significant irregularities”.

The SIU has prioritised investigations into the Pienaar, Hazyview, Brighton Beach and eSikhawini police stations after an initial probe revealed fraud and corruption that included SAPS officials having undeclared interests in suppliers awarded work by the police; the lowest quotations not being accepted; no quotations received from winning bidders; and actual payments far exceeding budgeted costs.

SIU chief Willie Hofmeyr told visibly shocked MPs from the National Assembly’s justice committee on Wednesdaythat more than half of the government’s approximately 10 000 subsidised housing projects were suspect. This included instances where “contractors were paid for building houses which may not exist at all; were extensively incomplete; seriously defective; or were paid for more houses than were built”.

He said the investigation by public protector Thuli Madonsela into the Pretoria and Durban police office leases was “only one part of a far wider investigation” into the police’s procurement division.

So widespread is corruption at this department that the SIU has been forced to prioritise only the 20 “top cases”, which alone total over R2 billion.

At the SABC the SIU uncovered that between September, 2007 and March last year, about 20 employees had undeclared interests in firms that did business with the broadcaster to the tune of R2.4bn. This follows an earlier auditor-general investigation that uncovered corruption involving 20 SABC employees to the tune of R3.4m.

According to Hofmeyr, a joint investigation with the Brixton commercial crimes unit had so far resulted in eight criminal cases, of which five had been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority. “There is serious criminality that is being investigated at the SABC,” said Hofmeyr.

The Department of Public Works is being investigated after the SIU discovered that R35m had been paid to entities in which department officials had undisclosed business interests. A contract issued by this department for the construction of “accommodation” at an undisclosed border post - valued at R375m - was also under the microscope.

The public protector has already slammed Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde for “unlawfully” entering into the police headquarters lease in Pretoria. Now the SIU is looking into another Pretoria lease, this time for a single residence which the department had leased as “residential accommodation” at an astronomical R217 000 a month - without “relevant approval”. The contractor had been “positively linked to a DPW official”.

The Department of Arts and Culture is being probed for misusing funds ring-fenced for the 2010 World Cup.

The Tshwane Metro had paid R185m between 2007 and 2010 to businesses in which 65 municipal staff members had either had undisclosed interests or, brazenly, were the vendors doing business with their own municipal council. Further procurements of R80m were also under investigation.

Ten waste management tenders at the Ekurhuleni Metro - valued at R500m and involving 19 different contractors - were under investigation. In one of these, payments totalling R37.8m had been made to service providers without delivery notes and no one at the metro could confirm whether the goods were ever delivered.

Also in Ekurhuleni, information and communication technology contracts worth R32m had been awarded to a company with which the municipality’s executive director of IT services had an undisclosed relationship.

“He has since resigned and is now employed full-time by the company,” Hofmeyr said to astonished gasps from MPs. And the municipality’s director of infrastructure had admitted to approving invoices valued at R12.4m for services that were never delivered.

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is being probed - at the request of minister Gugile Nkwinti - in what is likely to be the country’s biggest-ever “data uplifting project”.

So far, fraud and corruption charges have been laid against three officials and a KwaZulu-Natal businessman relating to land reform grant fraud totalling R50m. And working with the Hawks and the Assets Forfeiture Unit, the SIU has seized KwaZulu-Natal farms worth a further R50m.

The SIU can only investigate at the request of a department or government entity - and only after the president has signed a proclamation authorising such a probe.

President Jacob Zuma has signed 16 proclamations for the 2010/2011 financial year, including one proclamation to investigate all 23 municipalities in North West.

Asked by one MP whether South Africa was losing the fight against corruption, Hofmeyr said: “I think we should all accept that corruption is a serious problem in our country, but I am hopeful that we will make good progress over the next few years.”

He also said he was encouraged by the fact that the president had issued 16 SIU proclamations - the most in a single year - and that “significant resources” were being devoted to the problem. - Political Bureau

The Star

Comments by Sonny

I know JZ, finish and klaar! Do what you want!

Banana Republic of SOUTH AFRICA!



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SIU probes staggering corruption cases
2011-03-30 23:42


Related Links
Cops in spotlight in corruption probe


Cape Town - The special investigating unit (SIU) has been inundated with new cases revealing staggering corruption in the police, the public broadcaster, the land reform and housing subsidy systems, state departments and municipalities, MPs heard on Wednesday.

SIU head Willie Hofmeyr told Parliament's portfolio committee on justice: "We have received a flood of new cases. Some of them are very big."

He outlined 16 new proclamations received by the anti-graft unit in the past financial year, the most ever in its 15-year history, before commenting wryly that "few professionals in South Africa are honest".

The SIU was investigating the entire procurement chain in the public works department and had so far found that R35m was paid to entities in which officials had undeclared business interests.

The probe also found that an official had signed a lease for a residential property in Pretoria for R217 000 a month without the relevant approval, Hofmeyr said, stressing that it was "a single house, a big and expensive house but just one house".

The contract value to date exceeded R7m.

Serious criminality


SIU investigators have also found that the police's procurement process for the building or renovating of 33 police stations to the tune of R330m was deeply flawed.

Hofmeyr said at several stations the work was not put out to tender but contracts were instead awarded on what he facetiously called a "three quote" system.

"You have one quote for the desks and another quote for half the bricks, and another quote for the other half of the bricks. It is not, I think, a very desirable system."

The probe was focusing on Pienaar, Hazyview, Brighton Beach and eSikhawini police stations and had also found BEE fronting and instances where SAPS officials had interests in the contracted companies.

The longest-running project on the SIU's plate, its investigation into public housing corruption, has shown that at least half of all projects undertaken by the department of human settlements were "problematic in some way".

Investigators were probing contracts worth R2bn. Contractors were being paid for houses which did not exist at all, were extensively incomplete, seriously defective or fewer than the number agreed upon.

Hofmeyr said the SIU's probe into the cash-strapped SABC had uncovered "serious criminality" with R2.4bn paid out to businesses in which 20 company employees held interests between 2007 and 2010.

The unit opened eight criminal cases against staff members of which five had been finalised and handed to the National Prosecuting Authority.

Hofmeyr said the unit not only uncovered extensive corruption in the Tshwane and Ekurhuleni metros but had been asked by the national government to investigate all 23 municipalities in North West province.

In Tshwane, it found that 65 officials had interests in companies doing business with the metro that had received payments totalling R185m between 2007 and 2010.

Officials colluded with service providers, paid them for work that was not done and tampered with tender specifications.

At Ekurhuleni, "a number of people are in the process of being dismissed" for wrongdoing that included a director signing off on invoices to the value of R12.4m for services that were not delivered.

Endemic abuse


Hofmeyr said it was heartening that government departments were increasingly calling on the SIU to probe endemic abuse and noted that the department of land reform and rural development had asked it to scrutinise the entire land reform process.

He was expecting it to ask that the unit do the same on the land restitution system.

The land reform investigation saw the SIU conduct its biggest ever data swoop, with investigators effectively seizing more than 50 million documents to track fraudulent or irregular awarding of grants and funds.

With the help of the Hawks and the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the SIU has seized farms and assets in KwaZulu-Natal worth R50m and brought fraud and corruption charges against a businessman and three officials from the department.

In another new probe, the department of arts and culture was found to have incurred unauthorised expenditure of R42m related to the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Hofmeyr trod carefully on questions relating to the Public Protector's report on the R500m contract for the police's new headquarters in Pretoria, in which she found that the deal was fatally flawed and fingered national police commissioner Bheki Cele as the organisation's chief accounting officer.

But he conceded that on occasion the SIU had been "crippled" by the lack of co-operation from accounting officers, and like the protector, suggested that Treasury should step in.

"The public protector's solution was that Treasury should look at it and take the necessary steps, which may mean persuading the accounting officer to do it ... they carry a lot of persuasive value."


- SAPA

Read more on: corruption | siu | willie hofmeyr

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Arrest warrant for police intelligence boss







March 30 2011 at 06:36pm

Indepedent Newspapers
Colonel Vish Naidoo confirms that a warrant of arrest has been issued for the head of police crime intelligence General Richard Mdluli. Photo: Indepedent Newspapers
A warrant of arrest has been issued for the head of police crime intelligence General Richard Mdluli, police said on Wednesday.

“Yes there is a warrant and the police are acting on it,” Colonel Vish Naidoo said. “I can't confirm what it is for.”

The Mail & Guardian reported last week that the Hawks were probing Mdluli and Gauteng crime intelligence boss Joey Mabasa over allegations that they interfered with the Hawks' investigation into Czech fraud accused Radovan Krejcir.

The newspaper reported that a source close to the Hawks, an intelligence source and a prosecuting authority official had all confirmed that the investigation centred on Mabasa and Mdluli.

“The probe is understood to focus on allegations that crime intelligence engaged in extensive phone-tapping of Hawks members and others involved in the Krejcir investigation,” the Mail & Guardian wrote.

It is alleged that in at least one case, intercepted conversations found their way to targets of the Hawks' investigation, which includes not only Krejcir but a number of his associates.

Mabasa has previously been accused of holding meetings with Krejcir at Sandton's Michelangelo hotel, something the two men have denied.

Mabasa's wife and Krejcir's wife are also reported to have set up a company together.

Mabasa claimed he had been separated from his wife for the past 15 years, despite credit records showing that they had given the same home addresses for the past four years.

Mabasa alleged that, in a telephone call to him, former Krejcir employee George Smith confessed to murdering strip club boss Lolly Jackson.

The City Press newspaper reported earlier in March that tensions between national police commissioner General Bheki Cele and Mdluli was “sky high” after two police “spies” raided the public protector’s office.

Cele was reported to be livid when he found out about the “unannounced visit” to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Pretoria office.

Police management suspended the two counter-intelligence officers.

“An inside source told City Press that tension between Cele and Mdluli had been simmering for a while, with Mdluli being seen by Cele and his supporters as the last senior official left in the police from the Jackie Selebi era,” the newspaper reported.

Mdluli was promoted from deputy head of Gauteng police to head of national crime intelligence on July 1 2009 by acting police chief Tim Williams. -

Sapa

The Star

Comments by Sonny

Dirty Spooks and their syndicate partners and cronies think they are untouchables!

No wonder crime and corruption is so rife in SA!

Corruption is National Sports in government!

The part of ANC history which has not been recorded yet!

DA: Jo'burg crime unit to investigate Shaik




DA: Jo'burg crime unit to investigate Shaik
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Mar 30 2011 16:58


The commercial crimes unit at the Johannesburg Central Police Station will investigate convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik's alleged breach of the Companies Act, the Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.

The DA laid charges against Shaik after reports that he was still listed as a director of a company that was involved in South Africa's arms deal.

"Mr Shaik needs to take responsibility for his apparent failure to comply with the legislation," DA federal chairperson Wilmot James said in a statement.

"If Mr Shaik instructed his auditors to engage with Cipro [Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office] on this matter, as he suggests in this morning's Beeld, then it is his responsibility to follow the matter up, and ensure that his auditors have carried out his request."

Cipro said they had not heard from Shaik's auditors, James said.

Police spokesperson Vish Naidoo said he could not confirm that the commercial crime unit would be investigating. He said only once investigations had started would he be able to do so.

The Sunday Times reported that Shaik was listed as a director of KobiProp, previously a subsidiary of the Nkobi Group, which was fined for corruption during Shaik's fraud and corruption trial, which ended in 2005.

Shaik's lawyer Reeves Parsee told the Sunday Times: "He [Shaik] said he had given his accountants instructions to resign himself from KobiProp. He doesn't know why this hasn't been reflected."

According to the Companies Act someone found guilty of theft, fraud, forgery, uttering a forged document or corruption cannot hold a directorship.

Shaik is the sole "active" director of KobiProp, according to Cipro. -- Sapa

Intelligence boss linked to Krejcir








Intelligence boss linked to Krejcir
2011-03-30 19:30


Related Links
Arrest warrant out for police intelligence boss
Krejcir faces questioning over Beeka
Lolly shot after turning on Krejcir


Johannesburg - The head of the police crime intelligence General Richard Mdluli was allegedly being probed for interfering with the Hawks' investigation into Czech fraud accused Radovan Krejcir.

A warrant of arrest was issued for Mdluli. "Yes there is a warrant and the police are acting on it," Colonel Vish Naidoo said. "I can't confirm what it is for."

The Mail & Guardian reported last week that the Hawks were probing Mdluli and Gauteng crime intelligence boss Joey Mabasa over allegations that they interfered with the Hawks' investigation into Czech fraud accused Radovan Krejcir.

The newspaper reported that a source close to the Hawks, an intelligence source and a prosecuting authority official had all confirmed that the investigation centred on Mabasa and Mdluli.

"The probe is understood to focus on allegations that crime intelligence engaged in extensive phone-tapping of Hawks' members and others involved in the Krejcir investigation," the Mail & Guardian wrote.

It is alleged that in at least one case, intercepted conversations found their way to targets of the Hawks' investigation, which includes not only Krejcir but a number of his associates.

Mabasa has previously been accused of holding meetings with Krejcir at Sandton's Michelangelo hotel, something the two men have denied.

Wives set up a company

Mabasa's wife and Krejcir's wife are also reported to have set up a company together.

Mabasa claimed he had been separated from his wife for the past 15 years, despite credit records showing that they had given the same home addresses for the past four years.

Mabasa alleged that, in a telephone call to him, former Krejcir employee George Smith confessed to murdering strip club boss Lolly Jackson.

The City Press newspaper reported earlier in March that tensions between National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele and Mdluli was "sky high" after two police "spies" raided the public protector’s office.

Cele was reported to be livid when he found out about the "unannounced visit" to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Pretoria office.

Police management suspended the two counter-intelligence officers.

"An inside source told City Press that tension between Cele and Mdluli had been simmering for a while, with Mdluli being seen by Cele and his supporters as the last senior official left in the police from the Jackie Selebi era," the newspaper reported.

Mdluli was promoted from deputy head of Gauteng police to head of national crime intelligence on July 1 2009 by acting police chief Tim Williams.


- SAPA

Read more on: crime | richard mdluli | bheki cele | joey mabasa | radovan krejcir | thuli madonsela

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

DA lays charge against Shaik






DA lays charge against Shaik
March 2011
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Foto24/Julian Rademeyer.

The DA on Monday laid charges against convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik after reports that he is still listed as a director of a company that was involved in South Africa's arms deal.
Democratic Alliance (DA) federal chairman Wilmot James laid the charges at the Johannesburg Central police station, said DA spokeswoman Kelly Miller.

The charges were laid against Shaik as his alleged directorship after a fraud conviction was in breach of section 218 of the Companies Act.

The DA wanted the matter investigated by the police.

The Sunday Times reported that Shaik was listed as a director of KobiProp, previously a subsidiary of the Nkobi Group, which was fined for corruption during Shaik's fraud and corruption trial, which ended in 2005.

According to the Companies Act someone found guilty of theft, fraud, forgery, uttering a forged document or corruption cannot hold a directorship.

Shaik is the sole “active” director of KobiProp, according to the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro).

“As far as I am concerned I had signed all the necessary company resignation documents and would have expected that between the company's internal accountants and auditors, this secretarial matter would have been resolved,” Shaik was quoted saying.

Shaik's lawyer Reeves Parsee told the Sunday Times: “He (Shaik) said he had given his accountants instructions to resign himself from KobiProp. He doesn't know why this hasn't been reflected.”

Last year it emerged that former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni was a director of six companies, despite a corruption conviction. - Sapa

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Hawks 'have arms deal bribe'
2010-09-10 12:00

Related Links
Chippy Shaik 'asked for bribe'
Dramat questions pursuing arms probe
Arms deal 'firmly on Scopa agenda'
NPA not probing arms deal


Johannesburg - The Hawks say they are in possession of a signed agreement in which a German arms dealer agreed to pay a bribe to a group represented by Shamim "Chippy" Shaik, the Sowetan reported on Friday.

Shaik, the brother of convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik, was working for the defence department as chief of acquisitions for the arms deal at the time.

The newspaper said it had a copy of the English translation of an agreement signed by Christopher Hoenings, who was at the time an executive at German warship manufacturer Thyssen.

"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 US$3 million (about R21m)," the agreement reads, according to the translation.

The Sowetan reported an unnamed source as saying on Thursday, that apart from Shaik, another 21 politically-connected South Africans allegedly benefited from the German bribe.



- SAPA

Read more on: arms deal | thyssen | hawks | chippy shaik

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NPA not probing arms deal
2010-05-14 22:08

Related Links
Radebe miserly with arms details
Attempt 'to hide dodgy deals'

Cape Town - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is no longer investigating any cases of arms deal corruption as this was now in the hands of the Hawks, national director Menzi Simelane said on Friday.

"We are no longer responsible for all of that," he said after a briefing to Parliament's watchdog committee on public accounts (Scopa).

Simelane told Scopa this was an accepted outcome of the decision to disband the Directorate of Special Operations or Scorpions, which stripped the NPA of any investigative capacity.

Its successor, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations or Hawks, reports to the police instead of the NPA.

Hawks investigating

"All information has been handed to commissioner (Anwa) Dramat," he said, referring to the head of the Hawks.

Hawks spokesperson Musa Zondi said the unit was indeed investigating allegations of arms deal corruption but he was not at liberty to discuss the cases.

The files were handed over to the Hawks at the unit's inception in July 2009, he added.

Simelane said he had "no idea" whether businessman Fana Hlongwane was still in the cross-hairs since he recently instructed the NPA's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) to abandon a court application to freeze assets in Lichtenstein allegedly linked to shady arms deals.

The AFU was responding to requests from European investigators who suspected the money could be traced back to bribery and corruption by British defence company BAE.

Simelane's intervention

The Scorpions believed BAE did not play by the rules when it won a deal to supply Hawk trainer aircraft and Gripen fighter jets to South Africa for $2.1bn, but paid about R1bn in "commissions" to secure the contract.

Simelane's intervention earned him accusations of effectively burying the arms deal probe.

He defended his decision, saying hundreds of pages of reportedly incontrovertible evidence against Hlongwane, a former advisor to late defence minister Joe Modise, turned out to be "not so clear-cut" on closer inspection.

Scopa chairperson Themba Godi said he would call the police to question them about any progress in probing allegations of corruption around the multi-billion rand arms deal inked by the Thabo Mbeki administration.

"When we invited the NPA we wanted to talk to these Scopa resolutions. The SAPS has responsibility for anything that happens further and we would want to know whether, since the transfer took place, there was any progress."


- SAPA

Read more on: military | corruption | hawks | npa | menzi simelane | musa zondi

Sharemax hopes for compromise from court








Sharemax hopes for compromise from court
March 29 2011 at 06:00am
By Roy Cokayne


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The planned application by the new board of the Sharemax group of companies to seek permission from the High Court for an offer of compromise in terms of the Companies Act to creditors in schemes promoted and marketed by the company has hit a potential snag.

Chase International managing director Pierre Hough, a business strategist who conducts specialist forensic investigations, claims the planned offer of compromise is seeking to legalise an illegal act and prejudicial to the rights of “prospective investors”.

Hough said there were no investors or shareholders in either the Zambezi Retail Park or The Villa schemes because a condition that had to be met for the scheme to become effective had not been fulfilled.

This condition was the transfer of the properties into the syndication vehicle mentioned in the prospectus for both these schemes, he said.

Hough stressed both the Zambezi Retail Park and The Villa schemes had failed and, in terms of the government notice on property syndications, the money deposited by prospective investors into the trust account of Sharemax attorneys Weavind & Weavind must be repaid.

“In terms of the government notice, the money deposited can only be dealt with in one way. It must be repaid to the applicants. The issue of share certificates to prospective investors is highly irregular and possibly fraud.

“Prospective investors in Zambezi Retail Park and The Villa must not be duped into believing they are shareholders and debenture holders. They are merely prospective investors,” he said.

An investigation by the Reserve Bank found that Sharemax’s funding model contravened the Banks Act.

“You can’t take an illegal scheme and through a compromise arrangement move people from A to B. You must inform people correctly,” he added.

Dawie Roodt, the chairman of the Efficient Group and a director and spokesman for the new board of the Sharemax group of companies, said he was not in a position to comment on claims that there were no shareholders in Zambezi Retail Park or The Villa. He said he did not understand all the legalities around such claims.

But he said there was a lot of freedom around an offer of compromise provided the court was satisfied the alternative was worse for all concerned.

A statement issued by the Sharemax board last month stated the schemes of arrangement related to an offer of compromise were being structured “with the view to eliminating all and any contraventions of the Banks Act”.

It said this was to make it possible for the directives issued by the Reserve Bank against all Sharemax companies, and the appointment of statutory managers, to be withdrawn once the High Court had sanctioned the schemes of arrangement.

Roodt confirmed the planned offer of compromise would probably involve four Sharemax schemes, Zambezi Retail Park, The Villa and Sharemax’s income and growth plans.

He said the new board had made progress and on behalf of investors had taken over all the claims of former Sharemax chief executive Willie Botha and chairman AndrĂ© Brand and “with a bit of luck” would be able to launch the High Court application soon. - Business Report

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Sharemax fails to settle with Capicol
Capicol
09 March 2011


Sharemax board unable to pay R64m, Capicol to seek legal action.


The arbitration award made at the end of 2010 concluded that Sharemax owes Capicol R64 million, excluding damages, which was due for payment by no later than 7 March 2011. The Sharemax board conceded, prior to the payment date mentioned, that they are unable to pay said amount. Capicol then made yet another offer to them for consideration by the investors. This offer once again provided for repayment of the full syndicated amount paid out monthly over 10 years to the investors to assist them as these payments represent the sole livelihood of many of these investors.

The newly appointed Sharemax board has inexplicably rejected this offer whilst the 7th March has come and gone with no payment forthcoming in accordance with the arbitration award. This comes after Capicol made an offer to the Sharemax board in September 2010, which was signed by a duly authorized director of said board and it also entailed repayment of the full syndicated amount (invested capital) to the investors; however the board failed to even present this offer to the investors for approval.

Capicol has made all reasonable attempts to ensure that the investors are protected in this dispute; however, due to the Sharemax Board's most recent decision Capicol has no choice but to proceed with an urgent application for cancellation of the subsequent bond as the agreement has now cancelled. This will be done in order to ensure proper protection of the collective interest of Capicol, Zambezi Mall, its' tenants, contractors and employees.

Capicol is disappointed with this result, but will now pursue the necessary legal remedies available to it.

( Realestateweb )

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New plan punted to save Sharemax
By: Vic de Klerk

2011-03-23 07:02
A MARVELLOUS exchange of words (or is it a civil war?) is taking place among the financial advisers previously so keen to place our senior citizens' money with the Sharemax property syndications.

On the one hand, there's the group giving unqualified support to the SA Reserve Bank and the new independent board in a Section 311 scheme of arrangement.

On the other, there's Herman Waschefort, who has solutions – or perhaps dreams – that could result in capital losses and possible liabilities for the advisers.

Waschefort is now being branded a heretic in Sharemax circles.

Sharemax founder Willie Botha has also reappeared from the wilderness over the past two weeks. In a letter to his former colleagues – and especially the financial advisers – he's now singing the praises of the Reserve Bank as their saviour.

That's the same bank – and especially deputy registrar of banks Michael Blackbeard – whose status has quickly changed over the past two weeks from skunk to champion.

The reason, in brief, is the so-called directive given by Blackbeard himself to the two statutory managers – Neels Alant and Jaco Spies – he appointed for Sharemax and its syndications.

The directive states: investors' capital must be protected, no liquidations may be granted and investors' deposits must be refunded.

The advisers, probably unknowingly, with the assistance of new chairperson and former Judge Willie Hartzenberg and spokesperson Dawie Roodt, interpret that directive very conveniently as meaning – under the proposed 311 scheme of arrangement – no action may be taken by the manager that may cause capital losses.

In brief, no building – no matter what state it's in – may be disposed of at less than the syndication value.

In his letter, Willem (previously Willie) Botha, big chief of the old Sharemax, simply interprets the first directive as follows: "The Reserve Bank must protect investors' capital."

That might be a bit different from Blackbeard's original intention with his directive.

The gist of the 311 scheme of arrangement seems to be that no capital losses may be suffered and that the advisers will therefore escape any claims by investors.

That's the advisers' interpretation. In his letter to them, Theo van Grijp, one of a trio in control of DA-Assits, an organisation formed to protect the interests of brokers, shares the following good news with his fellow advisers.

At a meeting with Frontier, which now manages Sharemax's day-to-day activities, it was said "the advisers are very serious about the fact they will not be able to support any solution that will result in capital losses for the investors.

"If the Section 311 scheme excludes capital losses for the investor it automatically means no liability for the capital losses for the advisers. This is a very important point."

That's a unique way of interpreting the Reserve Bank's directive.

Blackbeard was very quick to confirm to Finweek last week that directive No 1 – which reads: "The investors' capital must be protected" – is indeed an instruction to the statutory managers to proceed as effectively as possible with investors' assets.

"Keep the losses and costs as low as possible; the instruction is not a fire sale," Blackbeard said.

The interpretation by the old Sharemax advisers, perhaps with some help from the new board of the syndications and the new management company, Frontier, that it means there may not be any capital losses is simply wrong.

The net rental income with the possible exception of Leeupoort, is simply far too low to justify the so-called syndication value of the buildings.

Even in the case of an orderly sale of the buildings, the prices that could be realised would in most cases be far short of 50c in the rand.

Of course, it suits the board of the syndications perfectly to have the advisers suddenly now supporting their 311 scheme of arrangement so eagerly.

Spies says there are currently more than 27 000 individual investments in the syndications. The number of people could be fewer, perhaps around 25 000, as some invested in more than one syndication.

To get the scheme of arrangement to work, the directors need the support of 75% of those 25 000 investors. Not only 75% of those who turn up at the meeting, but 75% of both the number and extent of the investors.

The assistance of the former advisers is therefore highly necessary to obtain that support.

In a special letter to financial advisers who marketed Sharemax Investments' property products, signed by Judge Hartzenberg, the board confirms that on March 1 this year it held a kind of information session with a group of advisers involved with Sharemax products.

Hartzenberg again pointed out how important it was for the advisers to keep up to date with developments and especially to make sure their clients (investors) got to see the original media and other releases.

The reason for that, Hartzenberg said, "was that the investors should not depend on newspapers and the radio, or on journalists' interpretations".

Hartzenberg is quite right, but then the releases and communication with advisers and the investors should preferably be fully complete from the beginning.

To the advisers, this isn't a journalist's interpretation. The first point of the Reserve Bank's directive – "investors' capital must be protected" – certainly doesn't mean the statutory managers may not dispose of an asset at less than the syndication value.

Investors will still suffer losses, even if the 311 scheme works perfectly and as things currently stand, the advisers can still be held liable for the capital losses investors would suffer.

* This article was first published in Finweek.
* To read more Finweek articles, click here.

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Sharemax shareholder update
Board of Directors of the Sharemax Promoted Portfolio of Companies
23 February 2011


Statement from the board of directors of the companies in the Sharemax promoted portfolio of companies.


The board of the Sharemax related companies currently operating under the directive of the South African Reserve Bank (the SARB), is pleased to announce that good progress is being made with the proposed Schemes of Arrangement Process. The board remains convinced that this Process provides the best solution and protection to investors and other interested parties.

In previous press releases the board reported that the relationships between the various entities related to the Sharemax promoted portfolio of companies (the companies), are complex and in some instances uncertain. Due to these complexities, the board has decided to propose Schemes of Arrangement in respect of the companies, in order to restructure the financial affairs of the companies to the best benefit of investors and other interested parties (“the Schemes”).

A likely alternative to the proposal of the Schemes may be the liquidation of some or all of the companies, which will inevitably result in significant losses to investors and other interested parties. It is commonly known that a liquidation process has no result, other than causing substantial losses, as a result of the very process of liquidation, and the forced sale scenarios, inevitably associated with a liquidation process.

In addition, investors and other interested parties, including financial advisors having advised investors to invest in the Sharemax promoted portfolio of companies, need to be cognisant of the following. Should the board be unsuccessful in restructuring the affairs of the companies to the extent that any unlawful structures associated with the companies are not rectified by virtue of the proposed Schemes, the business conducted by the companies prior to the directives having been issued by the SARB, may be determined as having formed part of possible illegal scheme. The effect this off may well be that investors who had received income under such a possible illegal scheme, may be required to repay prior income received.

The same applies in respect of financial advisors, having received commissions on their activities in promoting the business of the companies, and having advised their clients to invest in the Sharemax promoted portfolio of companies. In short, financial advisors may well face the possibility of having to repay their commissions and/or face possible litigation, based on advice provided to investors, to invest in such a possible illegal scheme.

Furthermore, should the board not be determined and resolute in its attempts to restructure the affairs of the companies in the aforesaid manner, or be unsuccessful with the proposing of and having the Schemes sanctioned by the High Court, the board will have no alternative but to report to the SARB that it has been unsuccessful. In this event, the SARB may well instruct the board to comply immediately with the directives of the SARB, to the extent that all monies invested in the various projects undertaken by the Sharemax promoted portfolio of companies, will have to be repaid.

Since it will be practically impossible to “repay all monies”, the only alternative will be the liquidation of some or all of the companies, with the consequential serious negative impact on interests of investors and other interested parties. A liquidation process, as opposed to a successful restructuring of the affairs of the companies, so as to eradicate any possible illegality, will undoubtedly bring with it, the extremely negative effects of illegality as referred to above. Moreover, in specific circumstances, the SARB may decide not to oppose a liquidation application by other parties, should the board not be able to present an acceptable plan(s) that are approved by the relevant stakeholders.

The board is aware of the creation of forums and pressure groups which purport to represent certain “interest groups”. The board is willing to engage with credible support groups provided they are properly constituted, representative and with credible objectives.

However, the board is concerned that the creation of some of these groups are designed to jeopardise or undermine the progress made so far. It is also clear to the board that the demands and proposals by some of these groups are impractical and based on a misunderstanding of the issues regarding the legal consequences of and the board’s intentions with the proposed Schemes.

Rumours to the effect that the board refuses to consider reasonable offers on properties are also factually incorrect. The board has received various offers and where these offers were considered reasonable and in the best interests of the companies, the necessary steps were taken to eventually sell these properties as part of the Schemes. Furthermore, the board is legally and duty bound at all times to act in consultation with the SARB appointed statutory managers and to obtain approval from them in regard to all actions of the board relating to its dealings with assets of the companies.

The board is also aware of a process attempting to replace the current board of directors. As part of the Schemes, investors will get the opportunity to ratify the appointment of the current board or to replace the current board with other directors. Attempts to force such a change prematurely could contribute to the derailment of the existing process, will be resisted.

The board is also concerned that attempts to replace the current board is driven by parties having agendas other than those of the board, and in particular, agendas aimed at either liquidating the companies and/or utilising the assets of the companies in a manner and to the effect which will be less beneficial to the interests of the investors and other interested parties. The board’s aims and activities are primarily intended to serve the best interests of investors and other interested parties, with a view to providing the best possible financial benefit to investors and other interested parties, without personal gain to the members of the current board and most certainly with a view to averting the losses undoubtedly associated with any liquidation process.

The board is also aware of actions by certain pressure groups and/or individuals, including attorneys, to solicit proxies from investors. The board urges investors to study the Schemes of Arrangement documentation as soon same are available before signing any proxies. The Schemes of Arrangement documentation will include proxy forms, should investors wish for someone else to represent them at the upcoming meetings of investors, following the implementation of the Schemes.

Any mooted “judicial management process” is concerned, the board advises that it has carefully considered this, and has also taken extensive professional advice in regard thereto. Investors are again cautioned against supporting such a process, as it is the considered opinion of the board that this process is nothing more than a carefully designed action aimed at ultimately procuring the liquidation of certain of, if not all, of the companies. Clearly, the intention is to benefit, not investors, but liquidators and parties affiliated to liquidators whilst ignoring the serious negative effects of a liquidation process, including exorbitant fees and expenses to be paid, to liquidators and parties affiliated to liquidators. The Board will, and by reason of the fact that no judicial management process will achieve any results other than eventual liquidation, oppose any judicial management process.

A brief status report:



· Agreement with Sharemax shareholders

The board has been and is in discussion with relevant parties and agreements have been reached in some instances (see previous press releases). Following the agreements already concluded, the board is pleased to announce that it is on the verge of reaching an agreement with the shareholders of Sharemax Investments. More detail will be provided as soon as these agreements have been concluded.

· Property management

The Frontier board has decided to subcontract some of the property management of seven properties (Athlone; die Meent; Oxford Gate; Liberty; Range View; The Fern; Rivonia) to JHI Properties as from March 1, 2011.

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Sharemax lawyers called to pay back
October 22 2010 at 03:48am



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A 105-year-old Pretoria-based law firm connected to the multibillion-rand property syndications marketed by troubled Sharemax Investments could be liquidated.

Weavind & Weavind has been served with a written demand for repayment of R1.55 million to 11 investors in terms of section 145 of the Companies Act, which is a precursor to launching an application for the liquidation of the firm.

The demand relates to funds deposited by the investors into the law firm's trust account for The Villa syndication, a R2.8 billion retail property development in Pretoria's eastern suburbs that was promoted and marketed by Sharemax.

Construction on The Villa and Zambezi Retail Park syndications ground to a halt last month when funds from Sharemax to Capicol dried up. Capicol is the developer of both projects.

Kobus Schabort of Schabort Attorneys, who represents the 11 investors, confirmed yesterday that the letter of demand was served on Weavind & Weavind early last week.

Schabort said his firm had not yet received any response from Weavind & Weavind, but in terms of the Companies Act the law firm had three weeks to respond. He confirmed that his intention was to initiate legal proceedings to liquidate Weavind & Weavind if it failed to repay or put up security for the amount demanded.

Attempts to obtain comment from Eckhard le Roux, the managing partner of Weavind & Weavind, were unsuccessful.

Schabort Attorneys said it had to execute the claim against Weavind & Weavind before a claim could be lodged against the fidelity fund of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces. However, a R200 000 claim has already been lodged with both the fidelity fund and Attorneys Insurance Indemnity Fund related to the alleged illegal release of funds deposited into the trust account of Weavind & Weavind for the Zambezi Retail Park syndication.

Over the past 13 years, Sharemax has raised billions of rands, much of it from pensioners, for more than 30 property syndications. But last month the registrar of banks appointed statutory managers to manage the repayment of funds to investors from all its syndications after an investigation revealed that Sharemax's funding model contravened the Banks Act.

A planned high court application last month on behalf of the 11 investors to place Sharemax under judicial management was stymied when the registrar of banks appointed the statutory managers, which stayed all legal proceedings against the company.

Weavind & Weavind was identified in various prospectuses issued by Sharemax as the attorneys involved in the property syndication scheme, and was responsible for administering deposits made into its trust account for the syndications.

Neither the Zambezi nor The Villa property syndication schemes have been transferred to the property syndication vehicle. The withdrawal of funds from the trust account before the transfer of the properties to the syndication vehicle is prohibited in terms of a Trade and Industry Department notice issued in 2006

( Businessreport )

Malema ‘did not attack Zuma’















March 29 2011 at 11:49am
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The ANC Youth League denied a report that its leader Julius Malema had openly criticised President Jacob Zuma, a move that could land him in hot water with the ruling party.
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Malema takes aim at Zuma
The ANC Youth League denied a report on Tuesday that its leader Julius Malema had openly criticised President Jacob Zuma, a move that could land him in hot water with the ruling party.

But The Star newspaper said it stood by its story, which quoted Malema as saying at a weekend conference in Tzaneen, Limpopo, referring to the situation in Libya: “South Africa voted in favour of imperialists, and we cannot smile about that.

“The ANC of Nelson Mandela would never have voted for the killing of fellow Africans imposed by our former masters.

“Since he got into power, comrade Zuma has been surrounded by bad advisers. I'm dismayed and shocked at the way our country makes its decisions. How can they vote for the interests of the UN and the United States of America, a country which clearly wants control over oil reserves?”

African National Congress Youth League spokesman Floyd Shivambu said on Tuesday morning that Malema criticised the government's move for supporting a United Nations no-fly zone resolution in Libya, where leader Muammar Gaddafi's rule is under attack.

But he said Malema did not personally attack Zuma.

“He (Malema) never said that. He never said anything about all those things,” Shivambu told Sapa, claiming that The Star reporter was not at the conference.

But the English daily said three journalists had worked on the story and one of them had attended the conference and had made notes of Malema's comments.

Last year, Malema faced disciplinary action in the ANC.

This came after several incidents, including the youth leader chasing a BCC reporter out of a press conference after calling him a “bastard” and a “bloody agent”; he also expressed support for Zimbabwe's Zanu-FP while Zuma was trying to finalise a political settlement between them and Movement for Democratic Change formations; and Malema complained about being publicly rebuked by Zuma.

He also sang the words “shoot the boer” in public after it was banned by a high court.

The youth leader was ordered to make a public apology to Zuma, attend a course at the ANC's political school and pay a R10 000 fine to a youth development project.

“I make this apology unconditionally as I accept that as a leader of the ANC and of the ANC Youth League my conduct and public utterances should at all times reflect respect and restraint,” he said in his statement of apology last May. - Sapa

The Star

Comments by Sonny

The Choir Boy would never insult his Boss!

He is too obedient to go to a political school and pay a R10 000 fine to a youth development project.

“I make this apology unconditionally as I accept that as a leader of the ANC and of the ANC Youth League my conduct and public utterances should at all times reflect respect and restraint,” he said in his statement of apology last May. - Sapa

The ANC must have been misinformed about Malema's behaviour!

Why would Malema want to "Kill the Boers!"

Does he want to redistribute their wealth & property?

Or does he just want to Nationalise their Heritage!