Sunday, February 3, 2013

News National Census 2011 irregularities: Top officials 'bullied'

Without Fear or Favour - The Truth will OUT........

he results of the census 2011 are already causing concern.
Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj's sister-in-law has spoken to the M&G about her knowledge of a secret Swiss account.

Documents show President Jacob Zuma was aware of the upgrades being made at his private residence. (Gallo)

02 FEB 2013 10:46 - PHILLIP DE WET

A former senior StatsSA official has broken cover to reveal deep internal divisions in the audit process for Census 2011.

Three months after the release of the results of the 2011 census – and just weeks before the national government announces how provinces will split more than R300-billion based on its numbers – a former high-ranking official in Statistics SA (StatsSA) has raised new questions about the integrity of the count.
With strange anomalies in the data already causing concern, the new revelations (involving a tattle-tale SMS to planning minister Trevor Manuel, arguments about results and disciplinary action) may further undermine trust in the veracity of the R3.4-billion project.
But StatsSA says the numbers are good, even if it did have internal trouble in getting to them, and even if it chose to keep that internal trouble secret, and that the man blowing the whistle is simply trying to cover up his own shockingly inadequate job performance.
At the centre of the tale is Jairo Arrow, until recently the deputy director-general in charge of methodology and standards at StatsSA. The Mail & Guardian has been trying to reach Arrow since early November, when questions around his area of responsibility in the census first emerged, but he had been resolutely unavailable. Late on Friday afternoon, however, he issued a statement that stopped just short of accusing Statistician-General (SG) Pali Lehohla of persecuting census officials who did not come up with the numbers he wanted.
The argument revolves around the post-enumeration survey (PES), a crucial component of the census. In order to check the veracity of the actual national count, estimate how many people had been missed in that count, and correct the final figures, the PES revisited a relatively small sample of households. The integrity of the PES is central to the integrity of the final census outcome.
Lehohla had expected the PES to show that less than 10% of people in South Africa had not been counted, an expectation he had expressed publicly, and he says his target was actually 2%. Instead, the official immediately in charge of the PES, Marlize Pistorius, and her superior, Jairo, presented him a report recording an undercount of 18.3%. That would have meant some ten million people had been missed in the census.
In his statement, Arrow says he and Pistorius stuck to their guns. But when they refused to rework the numbers “to achieve results closer to the SG’s expectated (sic) outcome [this] prompted the SG to remove both from the project.”
The implications are all the more worrying in light of anomalies in the census data. As the Mail & Guardianhas previously reported these include an implausible 17% surge in fertility, a sudden increase in the number of younger white women, and a massive outflow of foreigners born in Europe and North America.
The census results could have significant impact on the more than R320-billion in allocations to provincialgovernments from the national treasury. How that money is split between provinces depends on a complex formula, but population numbers lie at the heart of it. The census data could see hundreds of millions of rands added to the budgets of Gauteng and the Western Cape, money that would be denied the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
Arrow would not express himself on the veracity of either the census or PES. “We didn’t have access to the data after we were removed, so I have not been able to form an opinion,” he said on Saturday morning. He had only emerged to give his side of the story, he said, to defend his reputation after Lehohla last week told Media24 Investigations that he and Pistorius had been in dereliction of duty and grossly incompetent.
But Lehohla himself says it is critical for StatsSA to have a culture of robust debate, and that shutting down internal dissent would be the death-knell of the organisation. Which is why he disputes much of Arrow’s version of events.
The two men agree that Arrow is now retired, and outside the scope of a disciplinary action launched in December. They also agree that Arrow sent an SMS to Manuel in July, to alert the minister about Arrow’s concerns. There is little else they agree on, including whether Arrow retired early after 16 years with StatsSA, or whether he retired normally in January, after reaching age 65.
Fundamentally flawed
They also disagree on whether Arrow apologised for his behaviour before he left.
The “crap” that Arrow and Pistorius first presented to him would have implied that South Africa is home to more than 53-million people, Lehola said late on Friday night. It was clear to him, right from the start, that the PES results were fundamentally flawed, and subsequent investigations proved just that.
“They hadn’t done the work. It was just gross incompetence, gross dereliction of duty.
In Lehohla’s version of events, Arrow and Pistorius failed to complete a sub-project of the PES, a third visit to households known as reconciliation visits, for all but three provinces. That, he says, is why the initial numbers they presented did not stack up. Once they were removed from the project, once those visits were conducted and once the data was processed, the PES (and thus the census) was correct.
“At no point did I say it is high or low, I just said there is a serious problem here, that the algebra doesn’t work… Of course the under-count looked very high, but I was not worried about that, I was worried about the methods.”
A strange reality
Lehohla also said he had failed to answer questions from the Mail & Guardian in November on whether there had been internal concerns around the PES because it involved confidential matters of staff. “There was no need to call your attention to this. My responsibility is to give you a final figure.”
Lehola has consistently insisted that the census numbers are accurate, and that any strange results reflect a strange reality in South Africa. The PES, and therefor the census, he said on Friday, is likewise accurate, even if it shows a final under-count of 14.6%, a disappointingly high number.
The Statistics Council, an oversight body for StatsSA, as well as consultants brought in to verify the census results had been aware of Arrow’s concerns, Lehola said, and had signed off on the final count regardless.
Two of those consultants, demographers Tom Moultrie and Rob Dorrington of the University of Cape Town, first sounded the alarm about the census inconsistencies in November. After they had aired their concerns,StatsSA called an emergency press conference. “We still stand by our decision that the census results are accurate” said Howard Gabriels, who chairs the Statistics Council, an oversight body. It is in fact very timely, and it is fit for use in policy making and decision making.”

Mail & Guardian


Mac Maharaj: The 'foul secret' that has torn sister from sister


New evidence has emerged to support the claim that Mac ­Maharaj and his wife, Zarina, took kickbacks on a 1990s contract for new drivers' licences – and it comes from the heart of the presidential spokesperson's family: Zarina's sister, who has chosen to go public with what she says is her knowledge of the origins of the Swiss account into which the money was paid.
The payments, in 1996, flowed allegedly from a subsidiary of French multinational Thales, via a Swiss account controlled by Schabir Shaik, to an adjacent account opened by Zarina Maharaj.

Shirene Carim: In her own words
Maharaj's lawyer Rudi Krause and Schabir Shaik's repsonses

Shaik's dealings with Thales are best known from his corruption conviction in part for facilitating an agreement for the company to pay Jacob Zuma in return for his "protection and support" as the arms deal scandal broke.
During 1996, however, Thales subsidiary IDMatics was in a consortium with Shaik, bidding for the contract to produce the new credit card-style drivers' licences. Mac Maharaj was minister of transport at the time and Zarina's sister, Shirene Carim, an uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) veteran, was living in London.
Maharaj has always refused to answer media questions about the payments. And when the Mail & Guardian sought to publish details of an in-camera interview under oath with the Scorpions in which he gave answers at odds with the facts, he laid a criminal complaint. He is also opposing a court application for permission to publish details of the interview.
Now, in a move that appears driven in equal measure by courage and bitterness, anger and principle, Shirene Carim has come forward to recount the details of Zarina's trip to Geneva in October 1996 to open a Swiss account and to lay bare what she knew about Shaik's involvement.
The existence of the bank account has been known for some time, but Carim has provided fresh details corroborating the forensic record and adding her view of the attitude of the Maharajs at the time.
Documents obtained by the Scorpions during its investigation of Maharaj showed that Zarina opened an account with Banque SCS Alliance in Geneva on October 14 1996. It was into this account that more than $210 000 was transferred, cash which originated from Thales subsidiary IDMatics.
Case withdrawn
The Scorpions case against Maharaj was withdrawn in 2009 by acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe for reasons that remain unexplained.
Shirene Carim, who served with MK's special operations division from 1984 to 1987, took the initiative to contact the M&G during a visit to South Africa from her home in London.
She told the M&G she struggled with the decision to make disclosures that would brand her as disloyal to her family and forever cement the rift with her elder sister and possibly the wider family.
But it is also evident that Zarina's alleged disclosure to her sister that she was going to Geneva to open a bank account to receive money from Shaik injected a poisonous secret into their already difficult relationship from which it never recovered.
Shirene set out the allegations in an initial email to the M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism without at first disclosing her identity.
"I'd hoped that by now, justice would prevail.
"In 1996 or 1997, Mac's wife stayed with me in London UK on her way to Geneva to open a bank account, as she could only have been boasting to me.
'In shock'
"I was given the details of the provider of the funds – Shaik – and the reason why. I was in shock until she left, to be back the following evening.
"She called the next afternoon, having missed her flight due to the time difference in Switzerland of which she was unaware.
"I asked her if I should call my friends in Geneva who would collect her and give her a bed for the night. She declined, saying she'd take a hotel room and Schabir would 'have to' pay for it.
"When she should have been back, a call came and I insisted on knowing who was speaking. 'Schabir' came the answer. I told him she wasn't back from Geneva where she'd gone to open a bank account for the proceeds of bribery and corruption.
"She arrived, left for South Africa and the next communication was a call from her husband, Mac, who told me they were writing their wills and would I stand as executor should anything happen to them.
"I reminded him that I'd do anything for the welfare of their children who I loved as my own. He thanked me and told me he'd be in touch. I've never heard from him or seen his wife and children to this day.
"I have been in a state of confusion ever since."
Graphic: John McCann.
Legacy of a 'foul secret'
In a subsequent interview with the M&G, Shirene expanded on this account and her reasons for coming forward now.
Shirene alleged that in the 16 years since 1996, on five trips to South Africa, she had attempted to see her sister face to face in order to deal with the legacy of what she called this "foul secret".
Each time she was rebuffed, she claimed.
Shirene's story is consistent with the known facts. The M&G has discovered, among the evidence submitted at the Shaik trial, previously unreported information suggestive of a link between Shaik, Thales and the account. Among the documents seized by the Scorpions from Thales' offices in South Africa were business cards and handwritten numbers for a director of Banque SCS and a fax found during the raids on Shaik featured a business card for the same director.
In addition, details of the build-up to and aftermath of the breakdown in her relationship with Zarina also provide some corroboration for Shirene's account.
First came a visit by Mac and Zarina to London earlier in 1996, when Nelson Mandela made a triumphant state visit as president of a newly democratic South Africa.
Mandela, with Mac and family in tow, arrived on July 9 1996, Shirene's 50th birthday.
Shirene's celebration
Mandela's visit ended on July 13, but Mac and Zarina could not stay for Shirene's celebration, set to take place on Sunday July 14, despite having been invited long in advance.
One of the reasons they stood her up is telling.
On July 2, Schabir Shaik had written to engineering firm Brown & Root, Shaik's intended partners in another project under the department of transport, the planned new La Mercy airport outside Durban, now known as King Shaka.
Shaik asked the American company to make arrangements for a Disney World holiday by the Maharaj family. The intended travel dates were July 13 to 16.
In his letter, Shaik noted that this assistance to the minister was "strategically important to ourselves".
The family duly skipped the birthday party and Brown & Root picked up the R15 000-plus tab for accommodation and airport transfer and invoiced Shaik. It is not clear whether Maharaj ever repaid Shaik.

Schabir Shaik. (Media 24)
During this time, Shaik also addressed a letter to Mac at the Dorchester Hotel in London, where he was staying as part of Mandela's entourage.
The letter confirmed the booking at Disney World and included the following note to Mac: "Brown & Root people, my partner and colleagues in South Africa, were expecting you to call them. Kindly advise Dr Anwar Wissa when that would be possible given your more relaxed schedule in the States.
Zarina's bitterness
"Special message. I understand from my warehouse that the expected documents had reached your desk in the UK. Kindly confirm at your soonest."
Mac and Zarina did see Shirene during that London trip, however. Shirene and her partner Ted joined them for a meal at a restaurant on the Thames.
After dinner, despite the glow of South Africa's democratic transition and the glittering setting, some of Zarina's bitterness burst through, Shirene alleged.
"We went out for a coffee on the balcony. Zarina stood there and said, in front of everyone, in front of my daughters, in front of their partners, in front of her children, she said: 'If it wasn't for you, Mac would be minister of defence'."
The background to that comment was, according to Shirene, her perceived political unreliability: "According to them, I was a renegade."
She believes this stemmed partly from a report she made to Mac about conditions in ANC camps in Angola following the 1984 Pango mutiny, which was brutally put down.
"I was in the camps in Pango and I was listening to the people complaining [about conditions] and I was saying to them, 'I will take your complaints back to HQ.'

Mac Mahraj and his wife Zarina. (Sunday Times)
Causes of the mutiny
"So, when I went back to Lusaka, I said to Mac: 'You know people are very unhappy … and the causes of the mutiny, I've been told it was this and it was that.'
"Some of the soldiers had been [there] since the 1976 uprisings: they were not being deployed … many of them had not even been allowed to set foot outside the camp in eight years.
"And Mac said: 'Oh you're just a …' I forget the term he used – someone on the periphery."
Shirene is aware that she will be accused of drawing on this well of bitterness to make up a damaging story about her sister after the existence of the Geneva bank account was first revealed in City Press in March 2007.
Against that accusation, she said, she had raised the issue before.
Her partner, Ted Dougherty, confirmed that she long ago relayed to him the outlines of Zarina's Geneva gambit and its implications.
Shirene said she also told her brother Adam, who lives in Canada, and her daughter Magali long before the details became public.
"I told Magali because she was staunch ANC and she said, 'Mum, you've got to go to the ANC and report them.' I said, 'Magali can you imagine what would happen if we brought this up? What would happen to their children?'"
An explanation
Shirene said Adam did not want to get involved and she was worried that a wedge had been established between her and her daughter.
"Since my sister went to visit her in June last year, she hasn't communicated with me. I don't know what Zarina has told her."
Shirene said she also wrote to Mac and Zarina asking for an explanation for why they had involved her.
They never wrote back or came to see her again, in spite of passing through London on many occasions.
In about 2007, she also wrote an email about Zarina to two other people: activist and artist John Matshikiza and former M&G editor Ferial Haffajee.
Matshikiza was a friend of Shirene's when he lived in London.
Involved in corruption
When she realised he had written the foreword to Zarina's autobiography, Dancing to a Different Rhythm, published in 2006, she made contact: "I needed to warn him so he would be prepared whenever it became public knowledge that she had been involved in corruption."
She said neither Matshikiza (who died in 2008) nor Haffajee replied to her.
Haffajee said that she received the correspondence and wrote back, but did not receive a reply. She said she recalled that Swiss accounts were mentioned amid "personal stuff" about Zarina and she passed the information on to the newsroom with a caveat about the source, but it was never followed up.
Corroboration of these contacts was provided by Zarina herself. Shirene showed the M&G an SMS from her most recent communication with her sister, in December last year, in which Zarina notes: "Shirene, the ever widening chasm between us can perhaps still be narrowed – the content of your emails to Johnny when he was still alive and a journalist, notwithstanding. Drop in in the new year."
But the casualness of the invitation infuriated Shirene: "Like ... I should 'drop in' – even if you might be busy  – [when] what I wanted to say was: 'I wanted to see you only to ask you why you burdened me with your foul secret which you expect me to take to my grave'."
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The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See for our stories, activities and funding sources.



Nkandla: The letter that shows Zuma was aware of the upgrades

The M&G is publishing a letter that dispels Thulas Nxesi's insistence that Jacob Zuma knew nothing of the R200-million upgrades to his Nkandla home.

The letter, containing a detailed progress report for presentation to President Jacob Zuma, was sent on November 5 2010 by the department's minister at the time, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde. It stipulated the work done on the security installations at Zuma's private residence.
The letter forms part of a number of documents that theM&G reported on last year, which showed that Zuma was indeed provided with exhaustive details about progress on the Nkandla security project in November 2010. This was after he stated in Parliament that he was not aware of the scale of construction on the project.
On Sunday Nxesi told journalists that after a ministerial investigation into Nkandla's funding, there was no evidence that state monies were used in its upgrades. But he confirmed over R200-million had been used on security measures after the property had been deemed a national key point. He added that Zuma was not aware of any details regarding the upgrades.
The documents, which referred euphemistically to the Nkandla expansion as "prestige project A", revealed how Zuma's supposed private contribution dwindled by half from more than R20-million to slightly more than R10-million, while the total costs more than doubled.
They also showed that state funds were spent on buildings for the personal use of the Zuma family and not only for new, adjoining security infrastructure, as claimed by the department of public works when first confronted about the R250-million spent on Nkandla.
The renovations at the president's rural residence became a bone of contention in 2012, when it was reported that over R250-million of public funds would be used for the upgrades.
The report instituted by Nxesi confirmed the state paid R206-million for the security measures.
According to the report, R71-million was spent directly on security, while a further R135-million was spent on operational costs incurred by state departments involved in the upgrade.



Just before the Manaung Conference Zuma relied on Stat's SA -  CENSUS 2011 to 'allege' that all Whites were still richer than Blacks in SA?

Now he should withdraw his wild accusations and declare Census 2011 FLAWED!



The Biggest Buddy is Jacob Zuma.




The DA has now called on Zuma to sack Mac Maharaj.......



 The Biggest Bully here being ZUMA

The 2011 SA Census was flawed!!

In future the ANC will use the above print as prescribed by the State Secrets Bill.


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