Sunday, March 31, 2013

Is this a CASE FOR IMPEACHMENT

No Fear No Favours No Democratic Governance.........



'We were killing kids'



GRAEME HOSKEN and ISAAC MAHLANGU | 31 March, 2013 08:22




A young Seleka coalition rebel poses near the presidential palace in Bangui this week. Seleka coalition rebels seized the capital Bangui last Sunday after the collapse of a two-month-old peace deal with Bozize's regime




'They hit us in waves ... wave upon wave ... they knew how to advance, put down suppressing fire, withdraw, use camouflage.














"They were not stupid ... they knew we had no support ... they had intelligence on us ... they knew our movements, our numbers, our capabilities ... everything about us.
"It was only after the firing stopped that we saw we had killed kids.
"We did not come here for this ... to kill kids. It makes you sick. They were crying, calling for help ... calling for [their] moms."
These are the stories survivors of the battle of Bangui told the Sunday Times. They are among the first on-the-ground accounts to emerge from the war zone in a city where 13 South African soldiers died last Saturday in a brutal skirmish with rebel fighters determined to wrest control of the Central African Republic and overthrow its president, François Bozizé.
The ousted leader had visited South Africa the previous Thursday evening, begging President Jacob Zuma for more soldiers to protect him - more than the 298 sent in January to join a small training group already there. But Zuma sent him packing, telling him it was a "political issue" that needed to be dealt with by Central Africa regional leaders.
A day later, the rebel assault started. By Saturday noon, the South African base 1.5km outside Bangui was under attack.
Battle-scarred and traumatised soldiers have since returned to South Africa, speaking with a sense of betrayal about being attacked by those who had been provided to protect them.
"We were not supposed to be here. We did not come here to do this. We were told we were here to serve and protect, to ensure peace," said a South African paratrooper.
Another soldier, who was flown to South Africa early on Wednesday evening, spoke hauntingly of hundreds of bodies lying on the ground, of limbs missing, gaping wounds, of the dying moaning and screaming for help.
"We were told these rebels were amateurs. We were told there was nothing to worry about - that the thousands of Central African regional troops along with CAR government soldiers would help us," he said.
"But they were the first to run ... when those first shots were fired they disappeared ... when the sh*t really hit the fan the very okes we trained started killing us," he said, referring to the CAR soldiers. Reports have emerged that government soldiers mutinied after the fighting broke out.
"Our men were deployed to various parts of the city, protecting belongings of South Africans. They were the first to be attacked. Everyone thought it was those who were ambushed, but it was the guys outside the different buildings - the ones which belong to businesses in Jo'burg."
The Mail & Guardian reported this week on South Africa's extensive business interests in the CAR.
Describing the panic as the soldiers on patrol in Bangui called for back-up - and the nonexistent medical evacuation support and the contingent's sole medic - the soldier said the South Africans started forming defensive lines outside the base several kilometres away.
"We thought we could hold them there. All along we were told they were a bunch of rag-tags, nothing to worry about.
"We were lied to straight out. They were well armed."
Most alarming during the 13-hour firefight with the rebels was the presence of child soldiers who called for their mothers in their hour of death.
"We didn't know it was going to be like that," said a paratrooper.
"We killed little boys ... teenagers who should have been in school."
Another survivor, back home in South Africa, said the soldiers had known from the day they arrived in Bangui that they were not welcome. Although he never saw it, he said that many of them were aware of a memo written by rebels in January criticising their presence.
A third soldier said there could have been about 3000 rebels, some looking like they belonged in Grade 4.
The first attack lasted about three hours as rebels, armed mainly with AK-47s, attacked the South African base.
"Our first roll call revealed that three of our men had been shot by rebels. But when it starting becoming dark on Saturday, the rebels returned and intensified their attack on us ... that is where most of our men were shot and killed."
The fight lasted until early on Sunday morning. Just when the South African soldiers began to run out of ammunition, the rebels surrendered and came forward under a white flag to ask for medical help.
The soldiers' stories are in stark contrast to bland official versions by South African National Defence Force generals and government officials.
Yesterday the Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the 13 had died for "a worthy cause".
But the presence of South African soldiers in the CAR was this week questioned, particularly because it did not have international backing. The defence ministry said, however, that the South African presence in the CAR had been at the urging of the African Union and the United Nations. The statement said the AU had directed member states "in the name of African solidarity" to support peace and stability in the CAR and that the UN representative in that country, Margaret Vogt , had called for South Africa, France and the CAR's neighbouring states not to abandon their mandates and leave the country.
In January, South Africa reinforced its military training mission of 26, which had been there since 2007, with a "protection force" of 298 soldiers. The 298 bore the brunt of the fighting last weekend.
Also in January, the government extended its agreement with the Bozizé regime until March 2018. Zuma told parliament that this would cost an estimated R21-million a month - a total of R1.28-billion over the term of the deployment.
Today, only about 25 South African soldiers remain in the CAR, holed up at the airport with about 200 French troops, according to reports from Bangui. A senior officer in Fomac, the Central African multinational force, said from Bangui that the South Africans were "making plans to leave as soon as possible".
Sonwabo Mbanaga, spokesman for Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said there was no intention to leave the CAR, but that this would be "determined by a political process that will be unfolding".
Meanwhile, there have been reports of a South African military build-up in the Ugandan city of Entebbe, close to the CAR border, where South African Air Force transport aeroplanes have arrived. There has been no official explanation for this South African presence.
Yesterday, Zuma's office said the president would lead a South African delegation to an Economic Community of Central African States meeting in Chad, at which a final decision about South African troops in the CAR will be taken.

Times Live





COMMENTS BY SONNY

IF THESE ARE NOT REASONS FOR IMPEACHMENT, THEN REASON DON'T EXIST.
He has destroyed South Africa.
Now he intends destroying the rest of Africa and the World.
GREED HAS NO PLACE IN DEMOCRACY OR POLITICS.
THE NEXT ROBERT MUGABE OF AFRICA?



Saturday, March 30, 2013

Don't discard SA soldiers they are of the BEST

No Fear No Favours Against all odds........





The three things that CAR taught us


Bangui: Helde teen oormag

2013-03-29 22:35



Soldate van 1 Valskermbataljon dra eergister die kiste van hul 13 makkers, wat in die Sentraal-Afrika Republiek dood is, op die Waterkloof-lugmagbasis na wagtende lykswaens toe. Die families sal nou elk hul eie begrafnisse hou. Foto's: Alet Pretorius


By now much of the dust has settled around the battle which waged for roughly 13 hours a few kilometres outside Bangui at checkpoint PK12.


There is a lot of finger-pointing and many questions around why the hell we were there in the first place. Before larger allegations of uranium and oil deals emerge between South Africa, CAR, France, and god knows who else, we should take stock of three important points that can be learned regardless of how the forthcoming weeks proceed.
Our soldiers fought well
There is a longstanding misconception that our soldiers cannot fight: that they’re all HIV-positive layabouts incapable of doing any actual soldiering. Naturally this might be true for certain portions of the military, as it would be for virtually any defence force around the world, but Saturday’s fire fight proved, above everything else, that our soldiers are not only capable of defending themselves, they are able to fight back with a tempo that rivals most international forces of the same calibre.
That 200 paratroopers and Special Forces troops faced off against 3 000 advancing rebels, according to the chief of the SANDF, General Solly Shoke, on a 1km-wide front is no laughing matter. That our soldiers were able to hold their ground against a numerically-superior force armed with large-calibre machine guns, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and all other manner of weapons, is an impressive feat. That we were able to inflict an estimated 500 casualties on the enemy is an excellent outcome. The loss of 13 SANDF soldiers is tragic, but those lives were not given easily.
No matter what criticism is levelled at higher command, the South African government, the media, or any other outlet, the South Africans fighting for their lives this past weekend fought bravely and fought well, and that should put to rest any questions on the ability of our elite soldiers. Allegations and rumours of a hurried and panicked retreat in the face of the rebels are by all official and credible accounts false. Our soldiers did not cut and run when the bullets started to fly, but rather held their ground, returned fire, coordinated mortar strikes (according to the SANDF), organised their lines, and ultimately fought like one would expect a well-trained and disciplined force to. Amid the cloud of allegations hanging over the state, that our soldiers fought well must remain a paramount fact.
The military learned a big lesson relatively cheaply
Although the 13 casualties represent the largest loss of South African soldiers’ lives since the border war, the military will emerge from this having learnt several major lessons. Yes, the casualties are tragic, but the reality that sending lightly-armed and poorly-supported troops into volatile countries with zero heavy weapons or support is a bad idea has become obvious without the loss of hundreds of troops. In war, lessons are generally learned at the expense of lost lives, but in the CAR the loss was comparatively minor.
What is crucial now is for the SANDF to take a long hard look at its deployments and make an honest assessment of the equipment and support needed. Up until now the SANDF’s operations abroad have gone smoothly, with only minor skirmishes or ambushes – in the case of the late 2012 African Union/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) fire fight – to concern commanders. This was a false sense of security. What happened in the CAR can happen in Sudan, and it has happened elsewhere in the DRC, both places where we have troops on deployment, and of a lesser quality than our paratroopers and Special Forces. In all these deployments our troops are armed with their personal weapons, light mortars, thin-skinned vehicles or at best an armoured Casspir, and with zero additional support. This is a recipe for future disaster, and it materialised in the CAR as a nightmare. Yes, our soldiers fought well, but they should never have been placed in that situation in the first place.
The reality is that the SANDF has been stripped to the bone in budgetary terms. With year-on-year spending at about 1.2% of GDP, the SANDF has virtually no money to send the support our soldiers need on deployment. The cost of medium and strategic airlift capability, newer infantry combat vehicles, sending artillery on deployment, and better logistics vehicles is high, but is necessary if the South African government wishes to continue demanding similar deployments.
Current budget levels are set according to a 15-year-old Defence Review document which explicitly states the expectation that South Africa will not send its soldiers abroad. That document has been replaced with a 2012 version, which envisions a two-division military, well-armed and equipped to handle deployments abroad in whatever capacity required. The only problem? It assumed that the budget would be increased to match the revised vision (to anywhere from 1.5-2% of GDP), based on promises from the former minister of defence, Lindiwe Sisulu. This has not happened, and our soldiers must pay for the government’s thriftiness in blood.
The lack of heavy weapons support for our soldiers in the CAR is criminally short-sighted. A single Rooivalk attack helicopter, for example, would have made a dramatic difference in the battle. Its ability to not only identify rebel movements from the air and provide surveillance, but to fire directly on strong-points of enemy forces with high-calibre precision weapons would have resulted in many more lives saved. The SANDF has a Rooivalk Squadron, tucked safely away within its borders. The cost of sending them to the CAR would be large, but it would also quite literally have made the difference between life and death for some of our soldiers fighting on the ground.
Assuming a large rebel force, hardened from years of fighting in the CAR, Sudan and Chad, would not sweep right past checkpoint PK12 is either criminally stupid or reflective of the hubris we have cultivated from years of low-casualty deployments abroad. Regardless, the SANDF is being tasked with performing serious military operations abroad but has not been given adequate funding to do so.
A common criticism of large defence spending is “who are we defending against?” The CAR, DRC and Sudan are on-going reminders that our responsibilities as African peacemakers do not stop at our borders. Regardless of the motive for deployment, our soldiers ought to have all the required equipment and tools at their disposal. Failing this, we are going to continue to experience incidents like last Saturday’s battle.
South Africa needs a foreign policy – yesterday
Monday morning’s television started with the department of international relations and co-operation’s minister prattling on about the importance of Brics partnerships and economic togetherness. What she should have been doing was explaining to South African viewers just why on earth we don’t have a codified, legislated foreign policy. The lack of a clear foreign policy means that deployments such as the one to the CAR could either be justified under its banner, or criticised heavily because it contradicts it. Instead we employ a haphazard, scatter-gun approach that invokes our national interest when convenient, and simply ignores it when it’s not.
The inability to articulate our goals for Africa overall, means that deploying troops to far-flung central African countries to be shot at by rebels is never going to be resisted wholeheartedly. That we have nothing like a foreign policy is ridiculous, but that its absence results in the deployment of our soldiers on ill-conceived missions abroad borders on criminal. – Daily Maverick
John Stupart is the editor and founder of Africanscene.co.za and holds a Masters in International Relations from Wits University. He writes a lot about piracy (the maritime kind), post-conflict peace-things, and general defence-related affairs. John also works for a monthly defence magazine in Johannesburg.



Mail and Guardian













“As ons nie lewend hier uitkom nie, sê vir die mense by die huis hierdie is die dapperste troepe saam met wie ek nog ooit geveg het.”

Dit was een van die gesoute offisiere se boodskap per telefoon aan sy kollegas toe die geveg om Bangui in die Sentraal-Afrika Republiek (SAR) verlede naweek op sy felste was.

Hoewel die weermag dit nog nie bevestig het nie, word ge­reken die Suid-Afrikaners het 55 rebelle gedood vir elk van hul makkers wat gesneuwel het.

Dit beteken dat meer as 700 lede van die rebellemag van meer as 3 000 waarskynlik omgekom het.

Daar was na raming sowat 15 rebelle vir elke Suid-Afrikaanse soldaat.

Tonne patrone is geskiet, terwyl die soldate van die SAR, wat veronderstel was om saam met die Suid-Afrikaners te baklei, die hasepad gekies het.

Ook die soldate van Fomac, die multinasionale streekstabiliseringsmag in die SAR, was skoonveld.

Die Suid-Afrikaners het alleen teen ’n oormag geveg.

Vandeesweek het Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, minister van verdediging, beaam dat Suid-Afrika sy gestorwe soldate as helde moet onthou, want hulle het tot die bitter einde toe aanhou veg.

Al die soldate wat in die Slag van Bangui betrokke was, sal eersdaags spesiale medaljes ontvang. Dié wat verlede week buitengewone heldedade verrig het, sal met die nodige dapperheidsmedaljes vereer word, het Beeld verneem.

Mapisa-Nqakula het vandeesweek aan die families van die gesneuweldes gesê hulle moet ondanks die pyn in hul harte gerus wees.

“Julle het jul kinders verloor, maar onthou waarvoor hulle gestaan het. Hulle was oorgehaal en gewillig.

“Hulle het gedoen wat soldate geroepe is om te doen. Dit sal nie die eerste of die laaste keer wees dat soldate die hoogste prys betaal nie.

“Hulle was vasberade om te veg totdat die laaste koeël op was.

“Hulle het vasgestaan om tot elke prys te verdedig wat hulle s’n was,” het Mapisa-Nqakula by die Waterkloof-lugmagbasis in Pretoria gesê.

Volgens haar het sy die soldate in die SAR in Januarie besoek.

Hulle het haar met hul bekende oorlogskreet gegroet, wat haar oortuig het dat hulle reg is vir wat ook al hulle tref.

Kort voor haar toespraak het soldate van 1 Valskermbataljon in Bloemfontein fier en regop die 13 kiste met hul gestorwe makkers se oorskot, gedrapeer in landsvlae, na wagtende lykswaens begelei.

Hul stewels het die stadige pas van die dodemars gevolg. Hul gesigte was somber terwyl twee tromslaners die pas aangegee het.

Dit was een van die ergste verliese in ’n lang tyd wat dié bataljon in ’n enkele skermutseling beleef het.


Beeld


COMMENTS BY SONNY

Don't ever discard a South African Soldier.

We breed the best.

Out numbered - out gunned - overrun....

ALWAYS ALERT, ALWAYS READY TO DEFEND!!

ZUMA SOLD OUT OUR "BOYZ IN BROWNS" FOR ULTERIOR MOTIVES. 

BETRAYAL, GREED, ULTERIOR MOTIVES, INFLATED EGO'S, BLOOD DIAMONDS, OIL, GOLD, ALL

 INGREDIENTS FOR TOTAL DESTRUCTION!

DON'T EVER SELL OUR SA SOLDIERS CHEAP AGAIN!

JY SAL MET JOU LEWE MOET BOET!!






Friday, March 29, 2013

'ANC not in the diamond business'

No Fear No Favour No False statements please..........




28-MAR-2013 | SAPA


The ANC is not in the diamond business and does not know why South African troops were sent to the Central African Republic (CAR), the party said.



"We are not in the business of business; we are in business of politics, and our business of politics has been done in South Africa," spokesman Jackson Mthembu said.
"We are not in the business of diamonds, we are in the business of politics."
Mthembu was responding to an article in the Mail & Guardian, according to which the South African military's involvement in the CAR had been entwined with ANC-linked deals.
It reported that Didier Pereira, a special adviser to ousted CAR president Francois Bozize, partnered with "ANC hard man" Joshua Nxumalo and the ANC's funding arm, Chancellor House, to secure a diamond export monopoly from in the CAR.
In 2006 Pereira signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the CAR mining ministry. It was intended to create a public-private partnership, Inala Centrafrique. A South African company, Serengeti Group, which was majority-owned by Nxumalo, had a 65 percent stake in it.
Inala's attempts to control diamond mining in the CAR failed by March 2008, the M&G said.
Mthembu said the ANC was not a signatory to the MOU.
"This matter started in 2006... To my knowledge, the ANC is not a signatory," he said.
"Secondly the ANC has no interest in the CAR... We don't know what was uploaded in the MOU. The ANC cannot comment on why troops were deployed to the CAR, only government can comment on that."
He said the MOU was signed long before Jacob Zuma became president.
"That was under comrade Thabo Mbeki's time. We think people who can explain why our troops were there [in the CAR] is our government and the SA National Defence Force."
Mthembu said the ANC did not get involved in government matters.
"We don't interfere on issues of government. As the ANC we have no business interests. It is very disingenuous for the ANC's name to be dragged [into this]."
Last weekend, 13 SANDF soldiers were killed and 27 wounded in the CAR during an attack by rebels.
Bozize came to power in 2003 when he toppled his predecessor, Ange-Felix Patasse, in a coup.

Sowetan news

Deploy soldiers only when asked to do so: Cosatu


26-MAR-2013 | KATLEGO MOENG


SOUTH Africa should deploy soldiers only when asked to do so by the African Union (AU) instead of making bilateral agreements to make the continent as a whole responsible for the safety and support of troops, said Cosatu.


The union was reacting to the death of 13 soldiers, and the injury of 27 others, after Seleka rebels attacked their base in the Central African Republic's capital Bangui on Saturday. One soldier is still unaccounted for.
"Cosatu demands that the SANDF leadership do everything possible to protect the safety of the remaining soldiers and withdraw them at the earliest opportunity, especially now that President (Francois) Bozize, the leader they were supposed to be defending, has fled the scene, and the rebels have taken control of the capital city," spokesman Patrick Craven said.
"The federation has always argued that South Africa should be willing to send military forces to defend democratically elected governments and their sovereignty and protect human rights, or on the other hand to oppose imperialist interventions or foreign invaders, or free people from dictatorships.
"South Africa must also only deploy troops when asked to do so by the AU, so that the AU as a whole can take responsibility in such cases," Craven said.
He said an investigation should be launched to determine the SANDF's role in the CAR rebellion, adding that SANDF soldiers should be careful not to get "sucked into internal civil wars or factional battles".
The ANC also expressed sadness at the killings and conveyed its condolences to the families of the deceased.
"To us these soldiers were true sons of the continent who were willing to give up their lives in the interest of ensuring peace in the continent.
"Their selfless commitment has left an indelible mark in the relations between South Africa and the Central African Republic," ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said.
He called on the AU and other world bodies to be resolute in rejecting "the forceful removal of the government of the Central African Republic".

Sowetan News





COMMENTS BY SONNY 

The ANC must now realise that not all South Africans or the rest of the world is illiterate.
THEIR COMMUNIST RHETORIC AND PROPAGANDA IS NOT ACCEPTED BY ALL!
Most people can and do think for themselves.
We know of the Zuma and Mandela investments/interests in most of the African countries.
GADDAFI ALSO THOUGHT HE WAS KING OF AFRICA UNTIL HIS DEMISE.
Our troops were rendering VIP protection to a despot in the CAR when they were massacred!
Jackson Mthembu is walking a tight rope at the moment.
Mthembu must not open himself up to double dealings.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Parliament's rules on the table in ConCourt

No Fear No Favours No double standards.......



The IFP’s Mangosuthu Buthelezi, DA’s Lindiwe Mazibuko, COPE’s Mosiuoa Lekota and ACDP’s Kenneth Meshoe at a briefing where they announced their intention to raise a motion of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.









 | 2 hours ago
CAPE TOWN - Parliament's rules will come under scrutiny in the Constitutional Court on Thursday.
In November last year, several opposition parties tabled a motion of no-confidence against President Jacob Zuma but the African National Congress (ANC) blocked the debate in the National Assembly.
The opposition leaders cited the Marikana killings, the Nkandla upgrade and the Limpopo textbook saga as reasons why they had lost faith in Zuma's ability to lead the country.
When Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko failed to convince the Western Cape High Court to intervene she filed papers in the Constitutional Court.
The matter will be argued today.
Mazibuko said she wanted a concrete decision on the validity of Parliament's rules as it relates to the motion.
“Ultimately the rules of Parliament have fallen short in this respect. What they should do is enable a member from any party, whether it’s a majority or a minority [party], to bring a motion of no-confidence and have it tabled and debated as a matter of urgency.”
In 2012, the Western Cape High Court identified a loophole in the National Assembly's rules regarding motions of no-confidence.
Since then political parties have met to try to establish new procedures to handle motions of no-confidence, but they have been unable to reach consensus.
Mazibuko believes Parliament failed to uphold its constitutional obligation to schedule her motion for debate within a reasonable time.

But the ANC claims opposition parties wanted to stir trouble ahead of the party's Mangaung conference in December.
The ANC’s Moloto Mothapo said: “Parliament was required to submit a progress report with regards to the efforts being made in order to address what the judge of the Western Cape High Court has regarded as a lacuna in the current rules.”

National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu and ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga are both respondents in the Constitutional Court case.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

EWNews


COMMENTS BY SONNY

Let us see how the cards are loaded in favour of Democracy in SA.

Will SA move forward or stagnate NOW.

The people shall rule SOUTH AFRICA.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Central African Republic: Is this what our soldiers died for?

No Fear No Favours Only VIP guards for hire...............................





28 MAR 2013 00:00 - AMABHUNGANE REPORTERS


The lure of arms deals and diamonds – and possibly other mineral resources – sucked the ANC into the Central African Republic.




South African military involvement in the Central African Republic has from the start been entwined with ANC-linked deals, raising questions about the motivation for the disastrous deployment of South African troops to the troubled country.
The figure at the centre of the web is the politically connected businessperson and fixer Didier Pereira.
Pereira is currently partnered to the ANC security supremo and fundraiser, Paul Langa, and former spy chief Billy Masetlha. Their group has initiated several business projects in CAR, including some involving diamonds

Read more CAR coverage


Previously, he partnered with ANC hard man Joshua "General" Nxumalo and the ANC funding front, Chancellor House, in an initiative that involved security and attempts to gain a diamond export monopoly in the CAR.
Pereira, originally from Congo-Brazzaville, is a special adviser to the recently toppled CAR president, François Bozizé.
He has maintained business ties with powerful ANC security and intelligence figures during both the Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma presidencies.
Although the ANC figures who Pereira does business with has changed between presidencies, the nature of his dealings have remained consistent.
Quid pro quo?
As the security situation in the CAR deteriorated in October last year, Pereira brokered direct access to Zuma for Bozizé's son and CAR defence minister, Francis Bozizé, in a bid to "unlock a sensitive weapons delivery issue", the specialist publication Intelligence Online reported recently.
Bozizé Jnr does not appear to have got what he came for because of South Africa's statutory weapons trade controls, but Pereira's reported role as a facilitator of this key meeting is noteworthy.
A CAR diplomat in Pretoria, who did want to be named because of the fluid political situation back home, said that Pereira had lived in South Africa for "more than 20 years" and that he was a recognisable figure among embassy staff.
He also previously partnered with a notorious Zimbabwean arms dealer, John Bredenkamp, according to sources with a detailed knowledge of the central African region and company searches in South Africa.
Other South African-linked interests in the CAR include the Canadian-based gold exploration and mining company, Axmin. Its president and chief executive, George Roach, was also associated with UraMin, a politically well-connected uranium prospecting company, which is said to have enjoyed Thabo Mbeki's backing when it won a concession in the CAR.
The concession was later sold to the French nuclear multinational, Areva.
The oil exploration company, DIG Oil, which also enjoyed Mbeki-era political support, has an oil concession in the south west of the country.
To the rescue
Bozizé's rule of the CAR has been precarious after he toppled his predecessor, Ange-Félix Patassé, in a coup in 2003, which was condemned at the time by both Mbeki and his then-deputy, Zuma.
Bozizé won an election in 2005 that excluded Patassé from the ballot, but his grip on power was soon threatened by Patassé-linked rebels. As Bozizé's military situation worsened, he sought help from South Africa.
A joint South African Defence Force (SANDF) and defence department "fact-finding mission" went to the CAR in January 2006. A flurry of diplomacy between Pretoria and Bangui in April that year culminated in the then-defence minister, Terror Lekota, signing a co-operation agreement in defence, minerals and energy at the end of that month, which he followed up with an "onsite assessment" trip to the CAR in May.


Troops and civilians still in the country are in danger of revenge attacks. (AFP)

Pereira was quick off the mark. On May 18, a week after Lekota's return, he signed a memorandum of understanding with the CAR mining ministry. It envisaged the creation of a public-private partnership, Inala Centrafrique, according to documents of Inala and its business partners, which were obtained by the Mail & Guardian.
ANC stake
Inala Centrafrique was formally registered in August 2006. Over time, its shareholding was settled at a 35% stake for the CAR government and 65% going to a South African company, Serengeti Group Holdings. The latter was majority-owned by Nxumalo, whose notoriety during the ANC underground days was underscored by his part in the Virodene vitamins-for-Aids scandal.
Significant stakes also belonged to Pereira and the Chancellor House Trust, share registers show.
An Inala Centrafrique business proposal to the CAR government, dated July 6 2007, retrospectively confirmed that "the joint venture is a culmination of the accord signed by both … Mbeki … and Bozizé … during the meeting of the governments in South Africa in … 2006 for the two countries to work together."
It identified Nxumalo as chief executive and Pereira as chief operations officer.
While this deal was being hammered out behind the scenes, South Africa signed a formal, five-year defence co-operation agreement with the CAR on February 11 2007, involving both the deployment of South African troops and the provision of military equipment.
Zuma renewed the agreement in December last year, on the grounds of which, in the face of the growing crisis, he ordered a reinforcement of troops to the CAR in January this year.
Diamonds and arms
The Inala Centrafrique joint venture between the CAR government and Pereira, Nxumalo and the Chancellor House Trust was primarily a mechanism to buy diamonds from the CAR's small-scale miners.
But the plan had two other elements, which, if implemented, would give Inala and its ANC-linked shareholders total dominance of the CAR's diamond market.
The first was an initiative to create and equip, on behalf of the state, a police des mines, or mining police, to combat illegal diamond dealing.



Seleka troops hold their position near the presidential ­palace in Bangui soon after the coup. (AFP)

The second element, it appears from the documents and an interview with a would-be Inala business partner, was for Inala to be granted an export monopoly by the CAR government.
In other words, although its majority shareholding was privately held, Inala would have been endowed with part of the form and function of a state agency: a national diamond exporter with an associated police enforcement arm.
Dividends of more than $800-million over 10 years were envisaged.
In a further example of the conflation of South African state and ANC party interests, a Serengeti subsidiary partnered with a South African armoured vehicle business, Mechanology, in September 2007 to revamp decommissioned armoured vehicles that the SANDF had offered to donate to Bozizé.
The armoured vehicle deal broke down, apparently because there was a dispute over who would pay for the refurbishment.
Inala's attempts to control the CAR diamond mining industry fizzled out by March 2008.
New ANC partners
By then, the Zuma-linked faction of the ANC's security and intelligence apparatus appears to have inherited the relationship with Pereira from Serengeti.
At about the same time that Serengeti dropped the ball on the armoured vehicles and the Inala diamond deal collapsed, a company called Bagamoyo Investment Holdings was formed with Pereira as a founding director.
Chief among Pereira's co-directors in Bagamoyo is Langa who, like Nxumalo before him, comes with a heavy-hitting ANC security and intelligence pedigree, but also with strong whiffs of controversy.
He was suspended and later dismissed as chief executive of the Robben Island Museum after a forensic audit found a R25-million hole in the company accounts back in 2008.
Langa was head of security co-ordination at ANC headquarters in the late 1990s. His Zonkizizwe group of companies appear to perform both security and fundraising functions for the ANC.
Other directors in Bagamoyo included:
  • Fabien Singaye, a former Rwandan diplomat who served as Bozize's personal adviser and is alleged to have played a central role in the purchase of CAR uranium assets by UraMin, a company with a number of South African links; and
  • John Robertson, an IT specialist who works with Langa in the Zonkizizwe controlled Tsohle Technology Holdings.
Masetlha confirmed that Baga­moyo was set up to exploit opportunities in CAR.
Masetlha said: "Our role was to try and engage South African business persons to invest in the area. Pereira happened to be one of the people who knew CAR well. I agreed to get involved and spoke to Paul []."
Masetlha, who is recovering from a long illness, said he was hazy about the details but added that Lazarus Mbethe was brought in as well, because of his business acumen.
Masetlha, Pereira, Langa and Mbethe appear as directors in two other shelf companies, Evening Star Trading 665 and Universal Pulse Trading 117, both set up in November 2006.
Mbethe is heavily involved in mining. He was part of the Pitsa ya Sechaba consortium that partnered with Chancellor House and the Russian company, Renova, to form United Manganese of Kalahari, which controversially got manganese rights in Northern Cape.



(Photo: AFP)

Masetlha said he and his partners were trying to get involved in stabilising the country through development. Projects he recalled included the refurbishment of a hotel, which is understood to have been the Oubangui Hotel, with which Pereira has also been associated.
He confirmed Langa had been "there on the ground" frequently – "he's been in and out" – and had concerned himself particularly with security issues.
Most significantly, Masetlha confirmed the group had an interest in diamonds from the region and had owned a barge to be used for alluvial diamond mining somewhere upstream on the Ubangi River where the group had a diamond concession.
He said the group had also discussed upgrading some of the main roads and the airport, but little progress had been made because of the instability in the country.
"The problem was security … the SA government got involved in trying to help Bozizé at least beef up his personal protection," said Masetlha.
No comment
Masetlha and another South African businessperson who has contact with Pereira independently supplied the same cell number for him.
When the M&G contacted the number and asked for Pereira, the man who answered the phone said he was Pereira. But when the M&G identified itself and indicated it wished to talk about the CAR, the person who answered said it was a wrong number. He refused to give his name and hung up.
Mbethe said he was in a meeting and then hung up the second time the M&G phoned him.
Robertson said he was not involved in Bagamoyo and referred questions to Langa.
Attempts to contact Langa by phone were unsuccessful. Written questions faxed to him at his request were unanswered at the time of going to press.
A spokesperson for the presidency was unavailable to comment.
* Got a tip-off for us about this story? Email amabhungane@mg.co.za

The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources.



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COMMENTS BY SONNY



What Thabo Mbeki started Zuma perfected.

Money greed and ANC expansion were the only considerations here.

Now Putin also has Zuma in his pocket.

DID OUR TROOPS DIE BECAUSE OF SOMEONE'S GREED FOR BLOOD DIAMONDS?







SCA upholds Cash Paymaster Services' grants tender

No Fear No Favour Only money and greed..........................








27 MAR 2013 18:49 - CRAIG MCKUNE


Supreme Court of Appeals judges have unanimously overturned a high court ruling that a R10-billion social grant tender was "illegal and invalid".




Wednesday’s finding authored by Judge Robert Nugent upheld a lucrative contract to Cash Paymaster Services for the payment of grants to 15-million South Africans.
  • Read the full judgment here
Losing bidder Absa-owned AllPay had challenged the award in the North Gauteng High Court early last year, arguing that the process, run by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) was “fundamentally flawed”.
High court judge Elias Matojane ruled that the process was indeed flawed, but he did not have the contract cancelled. This was appealed and cross-appealed by Sassa, Cash Paymaster and AllPay.
In the ruling, Nugent wrote that the alleged irregularities were nothing more than “inconsequential” and so not unlawful.
He hammered AllPay, accusing it of using “innuendo and suggestion” to “evoke suspicion of corruption” in the trial.
“When all is said and done there is no escape from the facts I referred to earlier: Sassa was entitled to have the solution it required if that solution was available. Cash Paymaster was able to provide that solution. AllPay could not.”
While Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said the ruling “vindicates” the department, AllPay said it was considering appealing to the Constitutional Court.
Corruption claims
Sassa awarded the contract to Cash Paymaster early last year. While AllPay challenged the validity of the tender process in the high court, several allegations of corruption were also levelled at Sassa and Cash Paymaster.
The Mail & Guardian highlighted questions over the role of President Jacob Zuma’s legal advisor and personal lawyer Michael Hulley, who the agency hired as a “strategic advisor” on the bid.
The M&G also showed extensive links between a new BEE partner of Cash Paymaster’s parent company Net 1 UEPS and Human Settlement Minister Tokyo Sexwale’s Mvelaphanda Holdings. Sexwale, in turn, was linked to a member of the bid committee, and his partners in Mvelaphanda are also close to Hulley.
Deemed by Matojane to be “hearsay”, no corruption allegations were heard in court.
However, such claims have sparked investigations by the FBI and the Securities Exchange Commission in the US, where Net 1 is listed. South Africa’s Hawks are also investigating.
'Innuendo and suggestion'
Early this month, in a last ditch attempt to have the supreme court consider some of the allegations, AllPay applied to introduce a clandestine 2012 recording of Sassa official John Tsalamandris describing how he believed the process had been rigged.
Tsalamandris had minuted the bid committee meetings as they deliberated on the bids.
The judges blocked AllPay’s attempt at the time and opened Wednesday’s judgment with a discussion of this, “to clear the atmosphere”.
According to them, Tsalamandris’s account “carries no weight at all”, and his chief allegations of dishonesty and bribery “were all inferences” drawn from facts already before the court.
Nugent wrote: “Whatever place mere suspicion of malfeasance or moral turpitude might have in other discourse, it has no place in the courts – neither in the evidence nor in the atmosphere in which cases are conducted.
“It is extraordinary that AllPay should disavow dishonesty [as the company’s arguments before the court had excluded corruption] and then think to place inferences before us through the mouth of Mr Tsalamandris.”
Of this, Cash Paymaster last week accused AllPay of running a “smear campaign” against it: “We have already initiated court action against AllPay for damages that will certainly exceed R1-billion. It is sad that Absa’s Allpay has resorted to desperate measures to discredit us, seemingly because it is unable to accept that it was beaten by a better company with a better product.”
Core argument
At the centre of AllPay’s application to the high court was a complaint that bid requirements were changed by an 11th hour notice – “Bidders Notice 2” – which stated that bidders would only be considered if they could biometrically verify the identity of grant beneficiaries before every grant payment.
This effectively knocked AllPay from the running.
Nugent wrote: “There was much debate on whether Bidders Notice 2 'amended' the RFP [request for proposals] – which AllPay said it did – or whether it merely 'clarified' the RFP – which Sassa said it did.”
After this notice was issued, AllPay and Cash Paymaster were called to give technical presentations, where AllPay admitted it could not yet provide biometric verification.
Following the presentations, the evaluation committee members altered the company’s bid scores: AllPay’s were reduced to below a prescribed threshold; Cash Paymaster’s were raised.
AllPay argued that the scores were changed on technical issues unrelated to those discussed in the presentation. In his high court ruling, Matojane supported this, ruling the scores were changed “irrationally and unfairly”.
'Red herring'
The supreme court panel did not agree.
The judges ruled that an extension to the bid deadline had given AllPay enough time – 17 days – to fix its bid following Bidders Notice 2.
And in any event, according to its own bid specifications, the agency was “bound to accept the Cash Paymaster solution in preference to that of AllPay even without Bidders Notice 2”.
Nugent said: “Bidders Notice 2 is a red herring in this case.”
He was scathing of the finding that the scores were “irrationally” lowered: “If there is anything remarkable in the scores it is only that those of [tender project manager Raphaahle] Ramokgopa remained much the same.”
In a broad comment that is likely to raise questions, Nugent wrote: “Irrationality means the absence of reason. The fact alone that the scores were lowered, even substantially, does not infer that they were not founded on reason.”
Dismissive
The supreme court also waved away a number of other concerns that had been supported by the high court:
  • On the finding that Sassa “irrationally” overlooked Cash Paymaster’s failure to follow certain bid specifications, the panel ruled there was “no merit” to this.
  • On alleged irregularities in the make up of the bid committees, which the high court ruled had “fundamentally” undermined the process, Nugent wrote: “Perhaps it was an internal 'irregularity' but it was not an unlawful irregularity.”
  • The high court had also found against Sassa for failing to properly assess Cash Paymaster’s BEE component and agreeing to manage this through a subsequent contract. Of this, Nugent wrote: “One might question the wisdom of its decision but the evaluation of the bid was its prerogative and a court cannot interfere only because it thinks its decision was unwise.”
'Vindicated'
A department of social development spokesperson said Minister Dlamini “believes that Social Development and government have been vindicated by the supreme court, and Sassa can concentrate on making the system function well.
“Several Cabinet ministers and senior government officials endured damaging negative publicity and the integrity of the ANC-led government was questioned.
“It was clear from the onset that this case was never about the alleged corruption but about money and greed. We are grateful that all efforts to destabilise the system were unsuccessful and we want to stress to our beneficiaries to use the extended time to come and reregister.”
* Got a tip-off for us about this story? Email amabhungane@mg.co.za
The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources.





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COMMENTS BY SONNY



Will this case be "appealed" in the ConCourt?

Confucius say   .................................."Man with big tool; Make big impression!".....

LET'S SEE WHO CUTS THE BIGGEST SLICE OF THIS CAKE!

Will this money trail take the route as SANRAL's E-tolls?