Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sharemax board seeks ways to pay investors



Sharemax board seeks ways to pay investors


The new board of the troubled Sharemax group of companies is looking at alternatives to its planned scheme of arrangement and offer of compromise to allow investors in the various Sharemax schemes to choose between a monthly income or the repayment of their capital "with a haircut".

About 40 000 shareholders have invested R4.5 billion through Sharemax's various property syndication schemes.

Dawie Roodt, a spokesman for the new Sharemax board, on Friday also denied that "all sins are forgiven" and action could not be taken against anyone for alleged illegal acts related to Sharemax once the scheme of arrangement in terms of section 311 of the Companies Act was in place.

Sharemax defaulted on monthly payments to investors in September last year when new investments dried up after an investigation by the registrar of banks found its funding model contravened the Banks Act.

This led to the registrar appointing statutory managers to manage the repayment of funds obtained in contravention of the Banks Act or to seek legal alternatives.

Roodt confirmed that some of the companies in the Sharemax group were "definitely bankrupt", and not only The Villa, the partially completed R3.5bn retail development to the east of Pretoria.

The amount owed to investors by some of the companies exceeded the value of the assets owned by the company, he said.

Roodt said one benefit of liquidation was that there was closure, certain investigations would take place where fingers would be pointed at who was at fault and all the ramifications resulting from that.

But Roodt said there was no doubt a liquidation would not be good for investors in Sharemax, although it "leaves open whose fault it is".

Roodt said lawyers and financial advisers maintained that if the scheme was put in place "all sins were forgiven", but that was not the case.

Without suggesting anyone was guilty of anything, Roodt said if an investor afterwards wanted to claim, they could do so but it would be difficult for them to prove how much they had lost.

Roodt said the new Sharemax board had been granted permission by the high court to convene meetings to seek the approval of investors in the Zambezi Retail Park, The Villa and so-called income plan schemes for the scheme of arrangement and offer of compromise but dates had not yet been set for any of these scheme meetings.

He stressed that this was not because the Sharemax board was dragging its feet but because it was investigating possible better alternatives and opportunities than the scheme of arrangement.

Roodt said the board had "made very nice progress" on alternative options that the board members believed would be attractive to investors.

"We want to give investors options to allow them to stay in and ride it out or cash in now and take a haircut, but not in all instances. But investors in The Villa will not get all their money back.

"But we want to give investors those kinds of opportunities and choices. Many investors invested because they wanted a monthly return. We are investigating options and financial instruments so they can get a monthly income."

The lengthy repayment period in terms of the scheme of arrangement and the fact that many investors are pensioners means many will be dead before they are repaid.

Chase International managing director Pierre Hough, a business strategist who conducts specialist forensic investigations, previously claimed the planned offer of compromise sought to legalise an illegal act and was prejudicial to the rights of "prospective investors". He noted: "The issue of share certificates to prospective investors is highly irregular and possibly fraud."

Business Report


Sharemax R200 000 claim hearing set for next month
April 13 2011 By roy cokayne


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

A claim of R200 000 lodged with the fidelity fund of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces relating to the alleged illegal release of funds from the trust account of Sharemax Investments attorneys Weavind & Weavind is set to be heard next month.

Pierre Hough, the managing director of Chase International and a business strategist, lodged the claim in October on behalf of Johanna Bosman, one of his clients.

Jaco Fourie, a senior legal official in the disciplinary department at the law society, said yesterday he had received a response on Monday from Hough to the comments made by Weavind & Weavind on the claim.

He said the matter would now be placed before a committee of the law society to decide how to deal with it.

A date had not yet been arranged for the committee meeting. Hough also lodged a R200 000 claim with the Attorneys Insurance Indemnity Fund related to the same matter on behalf of another client, Toffie Risk.

But this claim was rejected on the grounds that the fund’s liability was excluded by section 47(1) (g) of the Attorneys Act and non-compliance with section 26 of the same act.

In terms of section 47(1) (g), the fund shall not be liable in respect of any loss suffered by any person as a result of theft of money which a practitioner has been instructed to invest on behalf of such persons.

Section 26 of the Attorneys Act relates to the purpose of the fund and, among other things, states the fund shall be applied for the purpose of reimbursing persons who may suffer pecuniary loss as a result of theft by a practising practitioner, candidate attorney or employee of any money or property “in the course of his practice”.

Both claims followed the halting of construction on the Zambezi Retail Park and The Villa projects in September last year when Sharemax funds dried up, which also coincided with investors in the syndications not receiving their monthly payment.

The registrar of banks subsequently appointed statutory managers to Sharemax to manage the repayment of funds to investors after an investigation found Sharemax’s funding model contravened the Banks Act. - Roy Cokayne

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pointing of Firearm - Appeal Court Judgement 27 May 2011











W Cox : JOHANNESBURG 30 May 2011 11:23

THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL OF SOUTH AFRICA
JUDGMENT
Case No: 608/10
In the matter between:
MANDLA XABENDLINI Appellant
and

THE STATE Respondent

Neutral citation: Xabendlini v State (608/10) [2011] ZASCA 86
(27 May 2011).
Coram: HARMS DP, MALAN and THERON JJA
Heard: 24 May 2011
Delivered: 27 May 2011
Summary: Arms and Ammunition – Pointing a firearm in
contravention of s 39(1)(i) of the Arms and Ammunition
Act 75 of 1969 – Pointing - What constitutes – Wider
interpretation that offence not only committed when
firearm is pointing directly at person concerned is preferred
as it accords with the intention of the legislature. 2
_________________________________________________________________
ORDER
_________________________________________________________________
On appeal from: Western Cape High Court (Cape Town) (McDougall AJ
with Thring J concurring, sitting as a court of appeal)
The appeal is dismissed.
________________________________________________________________
JUDGMENT
________________________________________________________________
THERON JA (HARMS DP and MALAN JA concurring):
[1] The appellant and his co-accused were charged in the Regional Court
(Cape Town) with robbery, theft, unlawful possession of a firearm and
ammunition and the pointing of a firearm. The appellant was convicted
already on 10 December 1999 on all the counts despite his plea of not guilty
and was sentenced to an effective term of 20 years’ imprisonment. On
appeal, the Cape Town High Court on 2 March 2003 set aside the
convictions relating to unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The appellant appeals against his conviction in respect of the pointing of a
firearm, with the leave of the high court which was granted on 7 June 2010.
(We refrain from commenting on its reasons for granting condonation and
leave.)
[2] The question on appeal is what constitutes the pointing of a firearm for
the purposes of the then applicable s 39(1)(i) of the Arms and Ammunition
Act 75 of 1969. Section 39(1)(i), which was introduced by s 6 of the Arms
and Ammunition Amendment Act 16 of 1978, made it an offence for any
person to wilfully point any arm, air rifle or air revolver at any other person. 3
[3] The facts giving rise to this appeal are briefly the following. John
Thompson and Jean Badenhorst had been employed as security officers by
Fidelity, a company involved in the transportation, delivery and collection of
money. They were on duty on the morning of 4 June 1998, and had delivered
money to Woolworths in Adderley Street, Cape Town. As they were leaving
Woolworths they were attacked and robbed of an empty metal money
container and the firearm which Badenhorst had in his possession.
[4] A taxi driver, Moegamat Bowers, who had been parked in Strand Street,
near the entrance to Woolworths, had noticed three males, one of whom had
been armed with a firearm, enter Woolworths through the entrance normally
reserved for the receiving of goods. He later observed the three men running
out of the store carrying a metal trunk and leaving the scene in a white Ford
Bantam bakkie. Bowers pursued the bakkie as it drove off.

[5] Sergeants Nicholas du Toit and Richard Beesley had stopped at a
nearby traffic light controlled intersection when they were alerted to the
robbery and the involvement of the bakkie. They then pursued the bakkie. At a
further traffic light controlled intersection, two males alighted from the bakkie
and ran into a nearby train station. While in pursuit of the bakkie, the police
officers fired shots directed at the wheels of the bakkie. They noticed a
passenger in the bakkie, (later established to be the appellant) pointing a
firearm at them. The police then fired shots directly at the appellant,
whereafter he disappeared from their view. The bakkie crashed into another
vehicle and a short while later was forced to stop. The two occupants, the
appellant and his former co-accused, were arrested.
[6] There has, to date, been conflicting interpretations by the courts of s
39(1)(i) and its predecessor, s 114 of the General Law Amendment Act 46 of
1935 which read: 4
‘Any person who knowingly and without lawful cause points a firearm or an air gun or air
pistol at any other person shall be guilty of an offence . . . .’
In R v Humphries 1957 (2) SA 233 (N), Selke J stated that the phrase 'pointing
a firearm' (as used in s 114) was less precise than aiming a firearm. The
learned judge held that ‘pointing a firearm’ did not mean the deliberate and
careful taking of aim with the idea of hitting a person with the shot if one were
fired, but that it rather embraced ‘the notion of directing the firearm towards a
person in such a way that, if it were discharged, the bullet would either strike
that person or pass in his immediate vicinity’.
1
Williamson J (van Deventer J
concurring) in S v Van Zyl 1993 (1) SACR 338 (C) held a somewhat different
view and concluded that the offence of pointing a firearm at a person, as
envisaged by s 39(1)(i) was only ‘committed when the firearm is pointed
directly at the person concerned so that if discharged the bullet would hit the
victim’.
2
More recently, in S v Hans 1998 (2) SACR 406 (E), Erasmus J
found that it was irrelevant for the purposes of s 39(1)(i) whether the weapon,
if discharged, would have injured any person. The court reasoned that it was
therefore not necessary to introduce, as Williamson J in Van Zyl had, such a
requirement in determining the meaning of the section.
3
[7] In Van Zyl, the court adopted a narrow interpretation of the word
‘point’, as meaning pointing at a person in such a manner that if the firearm
was discharged, the person would be struck. A wider interpretation was
favoured in Humphries and Hans. In my view, the wider interpretation is to be
preferred. First, it accords with the intention of the legislature which is to
protect the public from the dangers associated with the handling and use of
firearms and the resultant fear induced in the mind of the person at whom the
firearm is pointing that he would or could be struck.
4
It is trite that the words

1
R v Humphries 1957 (2) SA 233 (N) at 234F-G.
2
S v Van Zyl 1993 (1) SACR 338 (C) at 340G-H.
3
S v Hans 1998 (2) SACR 406 (E) at 411H-412A.
4
C R Snyman Criminal Law 5ed (2008) p 467. 5
of a statute must be given its ordinary, grammatical meaning having regard
to the text as a whole. The offending conduct, in terms of s 39(1)(i), is the
pointing of a firearm. As was noted in Hans, it is not necessary that the
weapon is cocked or loaded, or even that it is capable of discharging
ammunition. The mere pointing of a firearm, at another person, constitutes the
offence. The current formulation of the relevant section confirms this position.
Act 75 of 1969 was repealed in its entirety and replaced by the Firearms
Control Act 60 of 2000. Section 120(6) of the latter Act, which creates the
offence of pointing a firearm, reads:
‘It is an offence to point—
a) any firearm, an antique firearm or an airgun, whether or not it is loaded or capable of
being discharged, at any other person, without good reason to do so; or
b) anything which is likely to lead a person to believe that it is a firearm, an antique
firearm or an airgun at any other person, without good reason to do so.’
Second, on the narrow interpretation it would not always be possible, to prove
that the bullet, if discharged, would have struck the person at whom the
firearm was pointed. Erasmus J in Hans, recognised the impracticality of this
approach:
‘Op dié uitleg sal die artikel weinig impak hê. Eerstens: dit beperk die teoretiese trefwydte
van die bepaling tot 'n mate wat die Wetgewer na my oordeel nooit bedoel het nie. Op dié
uitleg sal 'n persoon wat op 'n teiken aanlê, maar dan mis skiet, of sou mis geskiet het
indien hy die sneller getrek het, nie sy geweer “op” die teiken “gerig” het nie − al is hy 'n
geoefende skut wat met noukeurige doelgerigtheid gekorrel het. Gesonde verstand sê vir
jou dat so 'n gevolg indruis teen die Wetgewer se bedoeling soos uitgespreek in die
bewoording van art 39(1)(i). Tweedens: die betekenis wat die Van Zyl-uitspraak aan die
begrip “rig op” toesê, sal die toepassing van die artikel erg aan bande lê. Probleme met
bewys sal die verbod in die praktyk beperk tot gevalle waar 'n persoon direk deur 'n
afgevuurde koeël getref is, óf waar die wapen trompop gerig is. In alle ander situasies sal
dit bykans onmoontlik wees om te bewys dat die koeël 'n persoon sou getref het indien dit
gevuur was; of, as die wapen nie gelaai was nie, dat 'n denkbeeldige koeël 'n persoon sou 6
getref het indien dit afgevuur was. Die uiters eng vertolking van die artikel sal gevolglik,
na my oordeel, die oogmerke van die Wet grootliks verydel.’
5

Third, I endorse the view expressed by C R Snyman that the specific harm
sought to be combated by the legislature, namely, inducing fear in the mind of
the person at whom the firearm is directed, would exist irrespective of proof
that the bullet, if discharged, would have struck or missed him or her.
6
[8] Every case must ultimately be determined with reference to its facts. I
turn now to the facts of this matter. The police officers were travelling close
behind and in pursuit of the bakkie in which the appellant and his former coaccused were travelling. The police officers had fired shots at the bakkie. The
occupants of the bakkie were, or must have been aware that they were being
pursued by the police. The police officers noticed the appellant pointing a
firearm at them. They were uncertain whether they would have been struck by
a bullet fired by the appellant. Sergeant du Toit testified that that possibility
existed. Sergeant Beesley said in evidence that he could not express an
opinion on whether any bullet fired would have struck them or their vehicle.
What is clear, however, is that the appellant’s pointing of the firearm in their
direction induced the belief in their minds that they were going to be shot at.
The police officers retaliated by shooting at the appellant. The appellant’s
motive in pointing the firearm at the police officers could only have been to
impede their pursuit of him and his companion and to evade arrest. In the
circumstances, the appellant’s conviction is supported by the evidence.

5
S v Hans 1998 (2) SACR 406 (E) at 411D-G.
‘This interpretation will severely limit the impact of the section. First: it limits the theoretical effect of the
section in a manner which the Legislature, to my mind, could never have intended. On this interpretation a
person who aimed at a target but then missed or would have missed the target if he had pulled the trigger,
would never have "pointed" his firearm "at" the target. – even if he was an expert marksman who had taken
careful aim. Common sense dictates that such a result would go against the intention of the Legislature as
expressed in the wording of s 39(1)(i). Second: the meaning ascribed to the term "pointed at" in Van Zyl
would seriously limit the application of the section. Evidentiary problems would, in practical terms, limit the
prohibition to incidences where a person was hit by a bullet fired directly at him, or where the firearm was
pointed at point-blank range. In all other situations it would be virtually impossible to prove that the bullet
would have struck the person if it had been fired, or, where the firearm had not been loaded, that an
imaginary bullet would have struck the person had it been fired. This extremely narrow interpretation of the
section would, in my mind, frustrate the intention of the Legislature.’
6
C R Snyman Criminal Law 5ed (2002) p 467. 7
[9] The appeal is dismissed.
_______________
L V THERON
JUDGE OF APPEAL

COMMENTS BY Sonny

From this judgement it is perfectly clear that, when an assailant/perpetrator or criminal points a firearm at you in a threatening manner your live is in imminent or immediate danger.

At this stage you have the right to defend yourself from mortal or possible mortal death or consequences!

This judgement strengthens Sec 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act No 51 / 1977.

WE HOPE THAT LESS POLICEMEN/WOMEN ARE FATALLY WOUNDED BY CRIMINALS IN FUTURE!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pyramid scheme? No, it's my pyramid cake May 29, 2011 3:08 AM | By BONGANI MTHETHWA











May 29, 2011 3:08 AM | By BONGANI MTHETHWA
Businessman parties like there's no tomorrow as Reserve Bank probes his get-rich scheme


Share
3

FLUSH WITH CASH: Jabulani Ngcobo had the huge birthday cake on the right specially made so that he could jump out of it at his R1-million birthday bash this weekend Pictures: THEMBINKOSI DWAYISA
'I'll be a billionaire through this company'


The Reserve Bank is investigating an alleged pyramid scheme run by Durban businessman Jabulani Ngcobo - who last night invited a host of celebrities to his 26th birthday bash at a top city hotel.

Ngcobo, dressed in a designer outfit, intended to leap out of a giant cake.

And the R1-million party, where more than 300 celebrities and business executives were treated to champagne and caviar, continues today on board a chartered yacht.

On the guest list were Generations actors Dumisani Mbebe and Winnie Ntshaba, socialites Khanyi Mbau and Sizwe Dhlomo and President Jacob Zuma's Mabheleni Ntuli. A ctors Zolisa Xaluva, Thato Molamu, Khabonina Qubeka and Mutodi Neshehe were also there.

Last night socialite Khanyi Mbau, who was paid an undisclosed fee to attend, said she did not know Ngcobo personally. "I was invited and paid an appearance fee. They flew us down ... and they've treated us nicely," she said.



However, the Sunday Times can reveal that Ngcobo, the owner of Cash Flow Properties, is suspected of running a sophisticated multimillion-rand pyramid scheme.

The company apparently has more than 1000 investors and regularly places adverts in local newspapers and radio stations promoting its investments opportunities. On its website it promises investors "daily returns of between 10 and 30% on investments".

On Friday Reserve Bank spokesman Hlengani Mathebula confirmed that Cash Flow Properties was being probed for contravening the Banks Act of 1990 (Act 94 of 1990). "We don't have a record of this company . . . it's not registered with the Reserve Bank," said Mathebula.

However, Ngcobo was yesterday adamant that his company was operating legally and was, in fact, registered with the Reserve Bank. He owns other companies, including Cash Flow Equities, which he co-owns with Prince Misuzulu Zulu, one of King Goodwill Zwelithini's sons.

Party co-ordinator, Sindi Dube, meanwhile, said guests at the "cocktail bling party" last night were treated to overflowing champagne flutes and "ample servings of caviar and fresh oysters".

Also on offer was a selection of Chivas Royal Salute and Johnnie Walker Blue whiskies and Remy Martin and Hennessy brandy. The main menu featured salt and peppered skewered prawns, Thai katafi fish, spicy lamb and garlic skewers and lamb on a spit.

Guests were entertained by kwaito artist L'vovo Derrango and comedian Felix Hlophe, among others.

Today they will be treated to more champagne on board a yacht, followed by an afternoon braai at his R2.5-million, five-bedroom home in New Germany in Pinetown, west of Durban.

Ngcobo, whose highest educational qualification is a grade 12 certificate, started his business empire with a debt-collecting operation. In 2009 he opened Cash Flow Properties, described on its website as a stock market investment company, with 12 branches.

"I'll be a billionaire through this company ... I (eventually) want government to lend (sic) money from us," he said earlier this week.

On Thursday, Ngcobo - who also owns seven exotic cars worth about R4.2-million - said: "People may think I'm crazy by spending so much money on a party. It's my birthday and I have a right to celebrate it in the way I wish."

The SA Institute of Stockbrokers (SAIS) said there were strict requirements needed before an individual could trade investors' money on the stock exchange.

"No one can just open up a company and trade ... there are certain criteria that you have to pass. To trade with other people's money, you need to have an SA Stockbroker licence," said Erica Bruce, SAIS spokesman.

Ngcobo insisted that he had all the necessary qualifications. "I've got everything."

- mthethwab@sundaytimes.co.za

Times Live

Comments by Sonny

Funny how the ANC gets drawn to crime & corruption!

From Sushi, to Flashy cars to Property to Tender fraud!!

BEE really serves the criminals who want to become famous!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Midvaal: ANC ‘very disappointed’










May 19 2011 at 10:28am

SAPA
African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe.
The ANC was “very disappointed” over losing Midvaal in Gauteng to the DA and needed to work harder in minority areas, the party's secretary-general said at the IEC's results centre in Pretoria on Thursday.

“The ANC must work harder, we are not doing well in the minority areas,” Gwede Mantashe said as election results started coming in. “We are sorry we didn't take it … we really wanted it.”

He said the ANC needed to “invest more time” in areas such as Eldorado Park, southern Johannesburg, which had “shifted” its vote.

It was too early for the Democratic Alliance to say it had won Cape Town by a “landslide”. According to initial results the ANC however improved its support in the Western Cape, in areas such as Mitchells Plain.

A number of municipalities were also doing well in KwaZulu-Natal. There was “nothing to worry about” in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Mantashe said the party needed new campaigns in areas in which it was weak. - Sapa

the Star

Comments by Sonny

Even with their underhanded tactics, the ANC could not take which was never theirs in the fist place, to take - MIDVAAL!

CRIME, FRAUD & CORRUPTION DOESN'T PAY, THEY SHOULD LEARN TO BE HONEST!

NOW THE ANC SUPPORTERS WANT TO BURN DOWN OPPOSITION HOUSES!!

WHAT SAVAGES!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Land Invasion - Cape Town warns on land invasions



Land Invasion Cape Town warns on land invasions
2011-05-16 22:40


Cape Town - Land invasions in Mitchell's Plain could delay the provision of formal housing in the area, Cape Town authorities warned on Monday.

"Portions of land in the Kapteinsklip and Swartklip areas, which were invaded over the weekend, are earmarked for formal housing," the city said in a statement.

The statement follows two days of clashes between police and about 150 so-called backyard dwellers, who had built shacks on the land, and reacted violently to attempts to remove the structures.

According to media reports, 18 people, including six police officers, have been injured in the violence. Police reacted by firing rubber bullets and using a water cannon after being pelted with stones.

The city said while it was sympathetic to the fact that some people had been waiting a long time for housing, and were impatient, it could not allow them to illegally occupy vacant land, or build structures.

"The city has plans for formal houses in the Kapteinsklip area. Unfortunately this will take time, as roads, water, electricity and sanitation have to be put in first.

"People will be allocated housing according to the official housing waiting list. This will ensure that people cannot jump the queue. Invading land will not result in being given preference over someone else on the waiting list."

It further warned that if people continued to attempt to occupy the land and erect illegal structures, the city would consider approaching the High Court for an eviction order and to break the structures down.

"It will also ask the court to grant an interdict to stop any further structures and unlawful occupation. This is being done to safeguard land, ensure proper planning and provision of services, as well as to ensure fairness to all who have waited for houses for a long time."

According to the statement, the SA Police Service and city law enforcement agencies were monitoring and assessing the situation on Monday, after the weekend clashes.

"The SAPS is in command, with city staff playing a supporting role," it said.


- SAPA

Read more on: crime | housing

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


SATURDAY 14 OCTOBER 2006

Zimbabwe-style Land Invasion happens in S.Africa!
Date Posted: Saturday 14-Oct-2006
Our Govt has been saying for years that Zimbabwe-style land invasions would never happen here because it would be done legally. Of course that does not mean our farmers won't be CHEATED out of their land. They will be. The Govt has already abandoned the "willing buyer, willing seller principle". So already, inch by inch, we're following the same path as Zimbabwe where the farmers just get a rawer deal as time goes by.

However it is true that MASS land invasions Zimbabwe-style have not happened - not yet anyway. Maybe when Jacob Zuma becomes our President they will.

Some years back, 40,000 blacks did invade a farm here in S.Africa. To my knowledge they never got rid of them.

But the other day, we were treated to another impromptu, Zimbabwe-style land invasion. This one has a very murky background - with some shades of Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe the so-called "War Veterans" were the main culprits in the land invasions (or so Mugabe claimed).

In KwaZulu-Natal, we were treated to a land invasion by "former MK soldiers" and former IFP troops. The IFP are supposedly pro-Western. But all these "former soldiers" say they invaded this farm because they want to be integrated into the South African Defence Force! Huh?

Well, the Govt says that former MK (ANC Armed wing) soldiers had been integrated into the SANDF years ago and there was no further integration going on.

In the news report it is claimed that 350 of this group were arrested because they were sneaking into Mozambique in order to get military training!?!?

The news report did not mention exactly how many had invaded this white farm, but the white farm manager had decided to flee because he felt his life was in danger.

This story sounds strange and disjointed and to me it makes no sense. They want to join the army so they invade a white man's farm? And what's all this talk of military training? Do these guys want to start a war... against whom?? Lots of unanswered and strange questions here... This bizarre one will be worth watching. I am curious to see what now happens on this farm and whether our crime-loving, farm-murder-loving Govt will actually do anything about them.

The following TvNews footage is from eTV.

Here we see that they settled on this farm in Pongola, in KwaZulu-Natal.


( African Crisis )

Youngest billionaire’ case postponed




Youngest billionaire’ case postponed
May 16 2011 at 05:01pm


Mandla Lamba may be the country"s youngest mining magnate a billionaire at 25 but the spectre of crime hangs over him which, he says, is all a plot to discredit him. Photo: Courtesy of the Sunday World.

The court case of a man claiming to be South Africa's “youngest billionaire” was postponed in the Orlando Magistrate's Court on Monday, Gauteng police said.

Mandla Lamba, who stands accused of fraud and theft, would appear before the court again next Tuesday for a formal bail application, Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

Lamba was arrested last Tuesday at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 15 charges, including theft, fraud and culpable homicide.

He claimed to a have become a billionaire at age 25 from interests in gold, diamond and manganese mining. - Sapa

'Shoot the boer' incitement to murder - judge


'Shoot the boer' incitement to murder - judge
2011-05-16 11:41




Read more stories about
Hate speech
'Shoot the boer' incitement to murder - judge - 16 May
Link between Terre'Blanche death, song disputed - 06 May
AfriForum hits back at ANCYL - 04 May
AfriForum lying about settlement: ANCYL - 04 May
AfriForum, Malema deal on the cards? - 03 May
Malema trial to continue after elections - 03 May
Malema: AfriForum prepared to settle - 24 Apr
Malema wraps up with 'if', 'but' - 21 Apr
Malema: Our land plan not like Mugabe’s - 21 Apr


Johannesburg - The words "dubula ibhunu" (shoot the boer) were declared incitement to murder in a judgment handed down in the South Gauteng High Court on Monday.

In his order, Judge Leon Halgryn said "... the publication and chanting of the words 'dubula ibhunu', prima facie satisfies the crime of incitement to murder".

This judgment is separate to the ongoing hate speech case by AfriForum against ANC Youth League president Julius Malema after he sang the words several times last year. This case relates to two members of the Society for the Protection of Your Constitution.

One member Mahomed Vawda planned to sing it at an anti-crime march in Mpumalanga last year. The other member Willem Harmse was opposed to this.

ANC intervention

Eventually the two reached an agreement and without much press fanfare secured a settlement order prohibiting the singing of the words.

The ANC then applied for leave to appeal and to intervene, hence Monday's judgment.

In Halgryn's latest judgment he turned down the ANC's application for leave to appeal against his order on March 26 last year, amends the order adding the words "to commit murder" after his original finding that it was incitement, and ordered that a copy of his judgment be forwarded to the Law Society for it to investigate the conduct of the lawyer who represented the two men.

Willie Spies, a lawyer for AfriForum who had also applied to intervene in the appeal application, told Sapa this effectively prohibits the singing of these lyrics by anybody and makes it a crime.



- SAPA

Read more on: hate speech | afriforum | julius malema

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Millions blown in corrupt IT tender


Millions blown in corrupt IT tender
May 14 2011 at 11:42am
By Kashiefa Ajam


Police are about to swoop on the Ekurhuleni municipality - perhaps even before Wednesday’s election - and arrest five senior officials for an elaborate tender fraud that has cost hundreds of millions of rands for a computer system that does not work.

The Saturday Star can reveal that a special investigating team has finalised its probe and will meet with the National Prosecuting Authority next week to have the arrest warrants issued.

Specialist forensic investigators Aurco were called in to the East Rand metropolis when the scope of the fraud proved to be too big for the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality’s (EMM) internal auditors.

The auditors themselves were tipped off by anonymous whistleblowers.

The investigation discovered massive fraud and mismanagement in the EMM Information and Communication Technology (ICT) department involving suppliers in collusion with the municipality’s own staff.

The fraud began when Ekurhuleni looked for a company to design and implement a new computer network infrastructure for the municipality.

An internal audit report rang alarm bells when it found the winner of the tender had bypassed the municipality’s supply chain management policy.

International computer giant IBM bid unsuccessfully for the tender. It could have done the work for a third less than the original quote in a third less time. IBM quoted R35 million to have the project completed in 42 weeks, while TCM - the company that “won” the tender - quoted R90m to finish the job in 156 weeks.

The internal auditors found that TCM had never complied with the bid requirements and that their bid application documents should have been rejected. IBM has gold partner status, which means it has the broadest range of expertise, while TCM had but a third rating and was not as competent as IBM. This rating was only awarded to TCM after the tender was awarded.

The audit also found that EMM’s staff allowed TCM to start the project without having insurance risk cover, should they fail to complete the project. Over and above this, TCM won the tender without a project or a design plan.

Ekurhuleni paid TCM a maintenance contract before the system and products were installed and implemented.

Eight months after the tender was awarded to TCM, someone in the municipality asked about the company’s project plan only to be told none existed. The project manager said a meeting would be held to draw one up and would be e-mailed to EMM’s internal audit department. From June 2007 until June 2009, EMM paid TCM nearly R279m without the project being completed.

The audit report also found that EMM had awarded a tender for the supply, delivery installation, implementation of computers and its components to a company called Meropa.

But Meropa was only registered as a company less than a year before the contract was awarded and it has only one member. That person is related to an EMM employee.

Meropa in turn is inexplicably linked to four other companies that have been awarded tenders to render a service as part of the municipality’s ICT system. In total, Aurco has found that Ekurhuleni paid at least R386m on its ICT needs to these six linked companies that might well have been set up as shell companies or “post box” vendors, to channel council funds.

Each company by-passed tender procedures and Aurco believes that there was “bid-rigging” too, where the shell companies were able to tender for work with inside knowledge of what reputable companies had already bid.

- Last week, the Saturday Star reported how the EMM’s 2010 office, set up to implement world cup initiatives, wasted R22m between popular DJ S’bu and the greening of non-existent sports fields.

In the process, they flouted tender regulations, according to a secret forensic report.

The council requested a probe into the validity of its 2010 office’s spending and appointed Indyebo Consulting to probe the fields and DJ S’bu’s record company. Indyebo recommended that the Special Investigations Unit get involved. - Saturday Star

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


By SAPA, 2011/05/13
DA: ANC Candidate Is A Fraudster
The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday alleged that an ANC local government candidate for Stellenbosch was convicted last year of defrauding the municipality of more than a quarter of a million rand.

But the ANC leadership in the Western Cape said the DA was crudely distorting the facts and the candidate, Jacobus Davids, was consulting his lawyer about suing for defamation.

It added that the DA was trying to retaliate after the ANC claimed last week that it stole control of Stellenbosch two years ago.

DA spokesman Bokkie Geyer said the Bellville Specialised Commercial Court had found Davids guilty of 14 counts of corruption pertaining to fraud involving R254,180 between 2005 and 2006.

Davids was listed third on the ANC's proportional representation list for Stellenbosch for the May 18 municipal elections.

"He is clearly not fit for purpose," Geyer said.

"The ANC has proven that they are totally uncommitted to clear governance by appointing Jacobus Davids to the number three position," he said

The ANC said Davids pleaded guilty to one charge -- of using R14,000 in council funds to buy travel tickets for colleagues -- and was acquitted on the 13 other charges.

The deal did not cause the council any financial loss as the tickets prices were reimbursed.

Davids paid a R30,000 fine, which the party said did not disqualify him from running for election.

Allegations have been flying in the battle for the DA-held municipality with ANC Western Cape chairman Marius Fransman last week saying it was "fraudulently" wrested from the ANC in 2009.

Fransman said the meeting at which the DA displaced the ANC was not properly constituted because a DA councillor forged a signature in a document setting up the meeting.

He said he would ask the minister of co-operative governance to investigate the matter.

Control of Stellenbosch has been contentious since the local government elections of 2006 in which the ANC won 16 seats and the DA won 15.

UN Al-Qaeda committee coming to SA


UN Al-Qaeda committee coming to SA
May 14, 2011 12:21 PM | By Sapa


The United Nations Security Council 1267 Committee, also known as the Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee, is visiting South Africa this week, the Department of International Relations said on Saturday.


Members of a group rallying for the freedom of the two France 3 television journalists who are being held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Photograph by: CHARLES PLATIAU
Credit: Reuters However, spokesman Clayson Monyela said the committee was not visiting the country on issues related to their core mandate of Al-Qaeda and Taliban related individuals and entities.

He said the committee had a "broader mandate" than that stated on the UN security council's official website.

"They are here to discuss general issues," Manyela said, but declined to reveal what these issues were.

He said that the committee had arrived in South Africa and would be leaving later this week.

Zuma warns Mandela Bay voters on ancestors















May 13 2011 at 04:39pm

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS
President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu
The ancestors will be upset if the ANC loses control of Nelson Mandela Bay in the local government elections on May 18, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

"The ancestors will be upset if Nelson Mandela Bay is lost because this is the home of the ANC," Zuma told a crowd of about 25,000 at Dan Qeqe Stadium.

Zuma, who was accompanied by Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi, was greeted by singing and dancing before he spoke.

Earlier Zuma said there had been a big debate before the general election in 2009 about whether the Congress of the People would win the metro from the ANC, but this had never happened.

"This is the home of the ANC. No one will take the ANC and no one feels threatened," he said.

Before the rally Zuma handed a new wheelchair to a woman he had met on a previous visit to Zwide. She had complained of struggling to operate her previous wheelchair. Zuma had promised to return with a new one.

The Democratic Alliance and Cope expect to win control of the metro from the ANC in a coalition after the election.

The rally on Friday was Zuma's last bid at winning over the cash-strapped metro's voters before voting on Wednesday. His campaign visit comes amidst widespread unhappiness in the Eastern Cape ANC over the party's lists of mayoral and ward candidates for the elections.

Party members in the province have complained about flaws in the candidate selection process, leading to court cases and even alleged assassination plots.

In Mthatha, King Sabatha Dalindyebo municipality mayor Siyakholwa Mlamli is under a cloud after his bodyguard and driver were arrested for allegedly soliciting a hitman to kill five prominent provincial ANC leaders.

Earlier this week an Eastern Cape chief, Mwelo Nonkonyana, claimed former ANC president Oliver Tambo spoke to him in a vision about candidate lists in the OR Tambo region. The party's Eastern Cape spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane dismissed it as an act of desperation.

Vavi warned that the ANC faced losing the Nelson Mandela Bay metro due to individualism and greed.

“You may find a very embarrassing situation: Nelson Mandela Bay under a Democratic Alliance leadership,” he said at a meeting in Johannesburg earlier.

“There is real danger that our people, who are sick and tired of all that is continuing to happen in that metro? may decide to stay away instead of voting for anybody else."

Losing control of Nelson Mandela Bay would be a major blow to Zuma as he neared the end of his first term as party president. In the past weeks he had visited the Eastern Cape and Nelson Mandela Bay several times, trying to reassure voters the ANC was still working for the people.

He told a rally in Graaff-Reinet in April the ANC needed to regain its two-thirds majority to be able to govern without the “interruption of opposition parties”, and that voting for the opposition was a waste of time.

The ANC-run municipality in Nelson Mandela Bay had had a difficult time delivering services due to a severe shortage of funds, drained by the building and maintaining of infrastructure for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The Democratic Alliance's caucus leader in Nelson Mandela Bay, Leon de Villiers, believed mayor Zanoxolo Wayile failed residents of the metro by mismanaging the municipality's finances.

"The current cash crisis has seen an amount of R790 million being slashed from what was already a very depleted budget, as a result of the cost of hosting the World Cup."

Ratepayers in the municipality, unhappy about the city's "fruitless and wasteful" spending, have promised to take councillors to court every time they made a poor decision.

Nelson Mandela Bay ratepayer chairman Kobus Gerber cited R9

million spent on a city jazz festival while 22,000 poor people still used bucket toilets, as an example.

The city dismissed the criticism, saying its auto-industry-fed economy had been hit by the "great recession". One of the municipality's biggest successes, its spokesmen said, was the 22,000 houses built for the poor since 2008. The DA believed a lower turnout of ANC voters could sway things in its favour in the metro.

The party won 25 percent of the vote in 2006, taking 30 out of 120 council seats. In the 2009 general election support for the ANC dropped from 69 percent of the city to 49.6 percent, while Cope won 17 percent of the vote.

DA leader Helen Zille, who had also been wooing voters in the city, had been selling the party's success at governing Cape Town, Baviaans in the Eastern Cape and Midvaal in Gauteng.

Planning Minister Trevor Manuel said Zille had "lost her marbles" when ,after a rally in Nelson Mandela Bay earlier in May, she alluded to ANC heroes and said the DA was taking the "struggle forward".

“We must never forget our heroes," Zille said.

"Nelson Mandela is the father of our nation. We think of heroes like Oliver Tambo and Helen Suzman. Our heroes struggled for a better life for all. Which party is actually delivering a better life for all?" - Sapa

The Star

Comments by Sonny

Look around you and tell us what has really improved since 1994?

Only racism, affirmative action, hate, corruption and greed!!

We do not live in Wonderland and we certainly don't believe 'Alice Zuma!'


‘Shiceka is off sick’

May 14 2011 at 09:36am

Independent Newspapers
Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka.
The co-operative governance and traditional affairs ministry was unable to confirm on Friday whether Minister Sicelo Shiceka was in hospital.

“What I know is that he is recuperating at home. We have not heard that he has been admitted to hospital,” his spokeswoman Vuyelwa Qinga Vika said.

She added the ministry was not going to give “running commentary” on his condition.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa was appointed to act in Shiceka's position on February 24 “until further notice”, after Shiceka was given time off to “attend to his recovery following illness”.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, answering questions for the ANC in a live Twitter interview, said: “Minister Shiceka is off sick. We will not continue while he is in hospital, but he (sic) outcome will be determined.” He was referring to progress on a probe into Shiceka's alleged abuse of state funds.

According to ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu: “All I know is that he's sick... I don't know if he 1/8Mantashe 3/8 meant he's in hospital in a literal sense.”

Mantashe could not immediately be reached for comment.

Shiceka allegedly used taxpayers' money for flights and luxury hotel accommodation, and state resources to build his private home in the Eastern Cape. The Sunday Times reported that municipal trucks were used to ferry water to the building site at Ingquza village in the Eastern Cape, while no water was being delivered to most of the surrounding community.

A R32 million tarred road was allegedly being routed past Shiceka's house, while residents in the area used dirt roads to reach their villages. It was claimed Shiceka's house would be among the first to get electricity.

He became the first minister since 1994 to be probed by Parliament's ethics committee. The public protector was asked to investigate his alleged spending of R335,000 on a trip to Switzerland to visit his girlfriend in prison, R640 000 in one year to stay at the One&Only hotel in Cape Town, and R160,000 in eight months flying his extended family around the country.

President Jacob Zuma had earlier said action would be taken against Shiceka if he was found guilty. - Sapa

The Star

Comments by Sonny

This thief is only off sick pending the elections on 18 May 2011.

He has embarrassed the ANC 'Big Time!'

‘Shoot the Boer’ appeal: judgment on Monday

May 13 2011 at 06:18pm

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela outside the Johannesburg High Court during his trial on charges of hate speech. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng
Judgment is expected to be handed down next week in an application by the ANC for leave to appeal an order that the lyric “shoot the boer” was incitement to crime, AfriForum said on Friday.

Judge Leon Halgryn was expected to hand down his ruling on Monday after judgment was reserved in the High Court in Johannesburg in November last year.

In March Mpumalanga farmer Willem Harmse successfully applied for an order that the words ANC Youth League president Julius Malema sang be banned. He and a businessman in the area, Mohammed Vawda, belong to a group called The Society for the Protection of our Constitution and they had planned a protest march against crime and farm murders.

Vawda wanted to put the words on a poster because he interpreted them to mean “shoot apartheid”. Harmse and Vawda argued about this, which led to Harmse taking it to the High Court in Johannesburg.

Halgryn, in the March application, declared the song illegal and unconstitutional.

The ANC applied for leave to appeal, feeling that Halgryn did not take into consideration the historic context of the song and that his order was too broad. It would, for example, ban academic discussion of the song, or prevent a group of anti-apartheid veterans from singing the song at a private gathering.

AfriForum's legal representative, Willie Spies, in a statement said it was important to distinguish between the case being heard on Monday and the hate speech case brought by his organisation against Malema for singing the struggle song containing the words “shoot the Boer”.

“It is further also important to note that Monday's ruling is no indication of the merits of the controversial order, but only whether the ANC on the one hand, and AfriForum on the other will be allowed to become parties to the case and lastly, whether leave to appeal will be granted to the ANC,” he said.

“The ruling will nevertheless be followed with great interest.”

The hate speech case continues on May 19. -

Sapa

The Star

Comments by Sonny

The above article is 'traditional' of the ANC ruling party!!

They hate the 'whites with a vengeance' and find it hard to hide the fact!

There aspirations are greed, power and money!

DEMOCRACY SHALL OVERCOME!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

U.S. has Mandela on terrorist list


U.S. has Mandela on terrorist list
Updated 4/30/2008 8:10 PM |

Enlarge AFP/Getty Images file photo



By Mimi Hall, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Nobel Peace Prize winner and international symbol of freedom Nelson Mandela is flagged on U.S. terrorist watch lists and needs special permission to visit the USA. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calls the situation "embarrassing," and some members of Congress vow to fix it.
The requirement applies to former South African leader Mandela and other members of South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC), the once-banned anti-Apartheid organization. In the 1970s and '80s, the ANC was officially designated a terrorist group by the country's ruling white minority. Other countries, including the United States, followed suit.

Because of this, Rice told a Senate committee recently, her department has to issue waivers for ANC members to travel to the USA.

"This is a country with which we now have excellent relations, South Africa, but it's frankly a rather embarrassing matter that I still have to waive in my own counterpart, the foreign minister of South Africa, not to mention the great leader Nelson Mandela," Rice said.

Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., chairman of the House International Relations Committee, is pushing a bill that would remove current and former ANC leaders from the watch lists. Supporters hope to get it passed before Mandela's 90th birthday July 18.

"What an indignity," Berman said. "The ANC set an important example: It successfully made the change from armed struggle to peace. We should celebrate the transformation."

In 1990, Mandela was freed after 27 years in prison for crimes committed during the struggle against Apartheid, a repressive regime that subjugated black South Africans. In 1994, he was elected South Africa's first black president.

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., called ANC members' inclusion on watch lists a "bureaucratic snafu" and pledged to fix the problem.

Members of other groups deemed a terrorist threat, such as Hamas, also are on the watch lists.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says "common sense" suggests Mandela should be removed. He says the issue "raises a troubling and difficult debate about what groups are considered terrorists and which are not."

When ANC members apply for visas to the USA, they are flagged for questioning and need a waiver to be allowed in the country. In 2002, former ANC chairman Tokyo Sexwale was denied a visa. In 2007, Barbara Masekela, South Africa's ambassador to the United States from 2002 to 2006, was denied a visa to visit her ailing cousin and didn't get a waiver until after the cousin had died, Berman's legislation says.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Rivonia Trial & Lilliesleaf Farm
Introduction


Liliesleaf farm raid.
© Alf Kumalo, Baileys African History Archives
After the ANC was banned, its leaders decided to form an underground wing of the ANC called Umkhonto we Sizwe or the MK (meaning spear of the Nation). The MK was formed to ‘be at the front line of the people's defence…’ and to ‘be the fighting arm of the people against the government and its policies of race oppression’ (taken from the MK manifesto).

Between December 1961 and July 1963, MK units undertook just over 200 operations, which were mainly home-made incendiary bomb attacks intended to damage public facilities. On the whole these were undertaken in such a way as to minimise the risk of hurting or killing people though MK members were also accused and convicted of attacking policemen and suspected informers. In addition, the organisation despatched more than 300 recruits abroad for military training.

The Lilliesleaf Farm Raid and Operation Mayibuye

Although the bustling suburb of Rivonia has since grown up around the old Lilliesleaf farm house, in the early 1960s it was an isolated farm location, and proved perfect for a time for banned members of the ANC to hide-out from the ubiquitous and highly efficient police and security services. It was also a meeting place for most of the luminaries of the struggle, and many of the defining policies that ultimately saw the overthrow of apartheid were devised on the Farm.

To view a list of the people involved in the trial with links to their biographies, click on the 'people' tab
In the early 1960s a security officer of the Nationalist era, Johan Coetzee, had infiltrated one of his agents, Gerard Ludi, into Umkhonto we Sizwe. Acting on his information, police surrounded Lilliesleaf Farm in Rivonia on 11 July 1963. When the police burst in, they found virtually the entire leadership of the MK: Walter Sisulu, who had skipped bail after facing a six-year jail term; Govan Mbeki; Raymond Mahlaba; Ahmed Kathrada; Lionel Bernstein, of the Congress of Democrats; and Bob Hepple, a lawyer.

At the moment the police came through the door, the six men were studying Operation Mayibuye, an Umkhonto proposal for guerrilla war, insurrection and revolution. Hundreds of incriminating documents were found. They were arrested immediately.

After the raid more arrests followed, including that of Dennis Goldberg, a Cape Town engineer and Congress of Democrats leader; Arthur Goldreich, who lived on the farm; Harold Wolpe, the lawyer who had used SACP funds to buy the farm; and others. Goldreich and Wolpe later bribed their prison guards and made a spectacular escape.

At the time of their arrest, MK's commanders had met to discuss Operation Mayibuye, a proposal prepared by Joe Slovo and Mbeki for a guerrilla insurgency. The unfolding of the scheme depended on the 'simultaneous landing ... by ship or by air of four groups of 40 highly trained combatants in four different rural areas of South Africa’. In each of these locations these external forces would assume control over a much larger body of several thousand recruits whom they would then arm and train.

The scheme envisaged an initial stage of dispersed rural operations that would be supported by externally derived supplies. The scheme's prospects would depend on the collaboration of foreign governments capable of transporting guerrillas into South Africa by air and by sea.

At the time of the Rivonia raid both Slovo and Mbeki believed that they had already convinced their col­leagues to embrace the scheme. Slovo had left South Africa two months beforehand, travelling to the ANC's exile headquarters to brief Oliver Tambo about the plan. Tambo was enthusiastic about the project, according to Slovo, and certainly the ANC's guerrilla strategy for the next decade or so would reflect many of the strategic presumptions that were evident in Operation Mayibuye. Other important MK leaders, including Mandela, maintained that Mayibuye was just a proposal and an impractical one at that, a view shared by several SACP authorities, including Bram Fischer. Understandably, this was the line taken at the trial of the Rivonia leaders, but it may have been true. Later in prison Mandela would have a heated disagreement with Govan Mbeki over the merits of Operation Mayibuye.

When the Rivonia raid occurred Mandela was already in prison. He had been convicted in November for incitement and leaving South Africa illegally, and was sentenced to three years. During the Lilliesleaf raid the police had discovered documentation implicating Mandela in MK's activities, including notes he made from his readings about guerrilla warfare and a diary he had kept during his African trip. According to Mandela during his trial in late 1962, he had asked Joe Slovo to destroy this material but unaccountably Slovo had failed to do so. In mid-July Mandela was taken from his prison cell on Robben Island to join the group arrested at Lilliesleaf. In October 1963 ten accused, including Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki, appeared in what subsequently came to be known as the Rivonia Trial before Justice Quartus de Wet.

The Rivonia Trial

Before the trial, for nearly ninety days, the men arrested in the Rivonia cottage on Lilliesleaf Farm had been interrogated and detained in solitary confinement. Besides Mandela, Sisulu, Mbeki, the others detained under the 90-day law who became defendants the trial were: Dennis Goldberg; Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni, minor figures in Umkhonto who had been arrested some weeks earlier; Arthur Goldreich, the tenant at Rivonia, an industrial designer who had learned guerrilla tactics in Israel; Harold Wolpe, a lawyer involved in handling the Communist Party's money for purchase of the Rivonia property; and James Kantor, who was not involved in Umkhonto or in politics but was a legal colleague and brother-in-law of Wolpe. Kantor was discharged at the end of the prosecution's case.

Goldreich, Wolpe, and two Indian detainees, Moosa Moolla and A. Jassat, bribed a young guard and escaped from jail on August 11, eventually making their way to Swaziland and then to Tanzania. Probably the most dramatic escape in South African history, their exit from the country infuriated the prosecutors and police who considered Goldreich to be "the arch-conspirator."

The trial started in October 1963 in Pretoria before Justice Quartus de Wet. Ten defendants were brought to trial and charged four counts. The offenses alleged were: (1) recruiting persons for training in the preparation and use of explosives and in guerrilla warfare for the purpose of violent revolution and committing acts of sabotage, (2) conspiring to commit the aforementioned acts and to aid foreign military units when they invaded the Republic, (3) acting in these ways to further the objects of communism, and (4) soliciting and receiving money for these purposes from sympathizers in Algeria, Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria, Tunisia, and elsewhere.

All ten accused were defended by Bram Fischer, who would himself later be jailed for his role in the Communist Party and would remain in prison until he contracted cancer, and the authorities released him to die at home. The chief prosecutor was Dr. Percy Yutar, deputy attorney-general of the Transvaal, a Jew whose intense emotional involvement in the case was said to be due, in part, to his animus toward Jews who were Communists.


Crowds outside the court at the Rivonia Trial. © Bailey African History Archives
Twenty four co-conspirators were listed, including Oliver Tambo, JB Marks, Moses Kotane and Alfred Nokwe, who had all left the country. Surprisingly, Lutuli's name was not listed. One defense attorney thought the exclusion was designed to drive a wedge between Lutuli and the accused.

At the trial, Nelson Mandela chose to make a statement from the dock rather than the witness stand. It provided the scope for a clear and uninterrupted statement of principle. He, his co-accused and their lawyers may also have been worried that if he had submitted himself to cross-examination he would have faced awkward questions. For example, among the documents that the police discovered at Rivonia was his diary of his African journey, with entries indicating that the ANC's plans for guerrilla warfare were already quite advanced by early 1962. In their defence, to avoid the death penalty, the accused were going to insist that Operation Mayibuye, the guer­rilla warfare blueprint, was only a draft and that it had yet to be adopted by the Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) command.

In the opening passages of his defence, Mandela admitted much of the substance of the state's case. He had helped to form MK and he had helped to plan its sabotage campaign. 'Civil war', though, remained an optional 'last resort', one that had yet to be decided upon. The ANC had formed an alliance with the multiracial Communist Party, though the two organisations did not share 'a complete community of interests'.

In his statement, Mandela defended the ANC's alliance with the Communist Party in what was certainly the most explicit commentary on this subject by an ANC leader to date. Mandela said he had been influenced by Marxism but unlike communists he retained admiration for the Western and particularly the British parliamentary system, 'the most democratic in the world'. MK was an African movement, fighting for dignity, for decent livelihoods, and for equal rights.

Mandela ended his statement with an exposition of his personal standpoint:

'Africans want to be paid a living wage. Africans want to perform work which they are capable of ... Africans want to be allowed to live where they obtain work, and not be endorsed out of an area because they were not born there. Africans want to be allowed to own land in places where they work ... Africans want to be part of the general population and not confined to living in their own ghettoes. African men want to have their wives and children with them where they work ...

Above all, we want equal political rights ... I know it sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be African. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all...

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die'.

This eloquent testimonial was reproduced in virtually every important newspaper world wide. It would remain for decades to come the definitive expression of liberal African nationalism, cementing Mandela's iconic status in South Africa and - importantly for the ANC - internationally.

June 12, 1964 - The Trial Ends


The gates of the jail on Robben Island The court sentenced eight of the convicted to life imprisonment. Mandela, Sisulu, Mbeki, Motsoaledi, Mlangeni, and Goldberg were found guilty on all four counts. The defense had hoped that Mahlaba , Kathrada, and Bernstein might escape conviction because of the skimpiness of evidence that they were parties to the conspiracy, although undoubtedly they could be prosecuted on other charges. But Mhlaba too was found guilty on all counts, and Kathrada, on one charge of conspiracy. Bernstein, however, was found not guilty. He was rearrested, released on bail, and placed under house arrest. Later he fled the country.

Below is an extract from the book, From Protest to Challenge, A Documentary History of South African Politics.

‘The accused waved to the audience as they descended below the dock. Outside, as on the preceding day, large numbers of police, some with dogs, stood ready to control the crowds and avoid any embarrassing incidents or disorder. Among some 2,000 people present there were only a few hundred Africans who showed their emotions. They responded to news of the verdict with shouts of Amandla Ngawethu! and the clenched fist and upright thumb of the ANC. Some unfurled banners - "We Are Proud of Our Leaders" - which the police seized. Many sang the African anthem. On the preceding day, the singing of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika had been led by Mrs. Albertina Sisulu, resplendent in a Xhosa robe and headdress. When Mandela and the others were finally driven away, the crowd again shouted and saluted as the convicted men thrust their fists through the bars and shouted back: "Amandla!" On the same day, all except Goldberg, the one white, were flown to Robben Island, the maximum security prison some seven miles from the shores of Cape Town’.

Denis Goldberg went to Pretoria Central Prison instead of Robben Island (at that time the only security wing for white political prisoners in South Africa) where he served 22 years.

The Impact of the Trial

By imprisoning leaders of MK and the ANC, the government was able to break the strength of the ANC inside South Africa. At the same time this increased international criticism of apartheid. The United Nations condemned the trial and began taking steps to introduce sanctions. Over the next few years there were a few acts of sabotage while the ANC worked on how they could infiltrate South Africa in the absence of an internal structure.

The government's attempt to crush the resistance was effective for the time being. But the end of the 1960s, new organisations and ideas would form to challenge apartheid, and in 1976 the world's attention would be drawn to South Africa again with the June 16 uprising in Soweto.

References:

Hermann Giliomee and Bernard Mbenga. (2007). New History of South Africa. Tafelberg Publishers, Cape Town.
Bulpin, T.V. (1985). Reader’s Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa, Cape Town: Reader’s Digest Association South Africa, pg 412.
Thomas Karis and Gail M. Gerhart. From Protest to Challenge. A Documentary History of South African Politics in South Africa, 1882-1964. Volume 3, Challenge and Violence, 1953-1964, pp. 673-684, Hoover Institution Press, 1977.
.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A former CIA officer recalls the almost decade-long search for Osama bin Laden








I had bin Laden somewhere on my mind every day for the last 10 years, at least in some small way,” Hurley says. “Maybe now I won’t have to.”

Like so many others in Washington, he found his career was forever altered during the course of one horrific September morning. He was already an 18-year veteran of the CIA, busy managing a staff of about 200 people in the basement of the agency’s building when the attack began. He sent his employees home — their work was not directly related to terrorism — and walked upstairs to the counterterrorism center. He knocked on the office door of an old friend who was helping coordinate the immediate response. “Do you need any help up here?” he asked.




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The Hunt for Osama bin Laden

Follow the search
.For a few months before the attacks, Hurley had been caught in a mid-career crisis, trying to make a choice. He had considered retiring and moving back to Minnesota, where he would be able to attend his nephews’ hockey games, return to his first career practicing law and seek out a serious relationship. His last one ended in a breakup over a secure phone line. Or he could immerse himself in meaningful work — like his time spent stationed in the “intervention areas” of Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo — to culminate his career. His decision became obvious on Sept. 11, he said.

“I want to be a part of this,” he told his friend in the counterterrorism center. “I want to go to Afghanistan.”

He changed jobs the next day, working first in the counterterrorism center, then for Alec Station — a CIA unit focused exclusively on bin Laden — and finally leading a team into Afghanistan late that fall. He set up a station in the eastern part of the country, near the Pakistani border, cultivating local spies, developing intelligence and meeting with warlords. He had no military training, and he went without sleep for days at a time, fueled on fear and adrenaline. “Bin Laden was everybody’s main target, and in the early days it felt like we were close,” he said.

The first deployments for the CIA were supposed to last a maximum of six weeks, but the search dragged on — and on, and on — and so did Hurley’s time abroad. He went to Afghanistan three times for at least three months each, coming home to eulogize a father, an older brother and a close friend but always returning to the search.

Even when he finally came back to the United States for good at the end of 2003, to join the 9/11 Commission as director of counterterrorism policy and later to work for the State Department, it was because he remained absorbed in bin Laden and al-Qaeda, he said. He spent the next several years digging through classified documents and interviewing dozens of government officials about the terrorists involved in the attacks on Sept. 11. “You want to know what drives these people — who they are, what underlies their actions,” he said.

He never found all the answers — never found bin Laden — but the search itself defined parts of his life. A job that was once obscure and secretive came to be glorified. He conducted interviews and offered his insights on TV, prompting ex-girlfriends to send congratulatory text messages and a brother to send a six-pack of Minnesota beer. He was inducted into his high school’s hall of fame. He retired from the CIA in his mid-50s and now has a thriving consulting business that deals with counterterrorism strategy and a regular gig lecturing to audiences in London and Palo Alto, Calif. Many of his closest friends are Washingtonians who also have devoted their careers to — and made good livings from — the decade-long search for one man.

During the past week, as he continued to watch the news, Hurley thought about what he would say at his next lecture. How, he wondered, could he neatly summarize bin Laden and the world he had left behind?

“He’s gone, and that’s wonderful,” Hurley says. “But evil is still out there. If we’re looking for a respite, this isn’t it. Our world has still been changed, permanently. Our lives have still been changed, permanently.”


Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.