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Sunday, 31 August 2008

White mother paid R390,000 after son was murdered by black cops

From SAS

Theresa van der Merwe (53) of Nigel on the East Rand was awarded R 390 000 in damages after black police beat her son to death in police holding cells. Her son Christopher Van Rensburg (33) was arrested along with a friend on charges of being "drunk in public." While in the holding cells, black police savagely assaulted Van Rensburg's friend. Van Rensburg intervened to save his friend, but was beaten and kicked to death by a gang of frenzied black cops.

Mrs van der Merwe brought the claim against the Minister of Safety & Security who admitted liability. According to evidence given in court, Van der Merwe testified that the assault against her son was committed by uniformed police, in front of several other officers. They had a legal obligation to prevent the assault from happening and had to ensure that Van Rensburg received medical attention timeously, which they failed to do.

Van der Merwe, a nursing assistant at the Life Suikerbos Clinic in Heidelberg testified that her son financially supported her and other family members. Her daughter Theresa (24) suffered severe head injuries in a car accident and is disabled. As a result of the criminal actions of police leading to the death of van Rensburg, Theresa is denied the maintenance she would have received from the deceased.

No inquest or disciplinary action was taken against any of the police involved and they are still on duty at the Nigel police station.

Friday, 29 August 2008

The REAL South Africa

from South Africa Sucks

November 25, 2007
By John Morse

A stunning article appeared in the Daily Mail of October 30th. Written by Ross Benson, reporting first-hand from Johannesburg, it lifts the lid on the near-collapse of South Africa since white rule ended a few years ago.

And how may one measure that catastrophe? South Africa's regression towards primeval barbarism, which Benson details, is quite neatly summarised at the head of his article: A woman is raped every 28 seconds, qualified doctors are leaving in droves, while beggars and goats have set up home in the marble foyers of derelict banks. South Africa today has become a nation on the edge of self-destruction.

Law and order have to all intents and purposes broken down in South Africa. Any sense of security no longer exists. Says Benson of the countries crime: Farmers are butchered in their fields. The parks and beaches have become killing fields. Car-jackings with mind-numbing violence are a daily occurrence. The murder rate is running at 27,000 a year.

Benson then repeats the horrifying statistics for rape, of which more will be said. These figures, he comments, breed the kind of fear that has you leaping at shadows, jumping red lights and climbing out of bed in the middle of the night to check, yet again, that you have double-locked the doors.

For you to protect your home even halfway adequately, it now seems that you need to pay an armed response security firm. But whatever you do is never enough. One black businessman told Benson that he had lost count of the numbers of his friends who had been mugged.

Everyone is in the firing line. No social gathering can take place without horror stories being exchanged. But at this point we get some hint of the censorship that hitherto has been mobilised to keep as much as possible of the truth from the public gaze (presumably an increasingly difficult task in the ever-worsening crisis engulfing the country). A white security man commented on the criminal mayhem: It's happening to your friends, your brother, his wife, your sister, your mother, but, it isn't something you read in the papers or hear about on the television news any more.

Adds Benson: He carried a gun, but he wasn't fooling himself. He knew it could happen to him. In Mandela's ˜Rainbow Nation" the dream is running blood red. Clearly, South Africa's new ANC (African National Congress) Government is almost neurotically aware that the legitimacy of its rule is at stake here.

Decline of a city

Nowhere is the situation worse than in Johannesburg, where it is exemplified in all its worst manifestations. Benson gives a graphic description of how that unhappy city has declined. Here too, he comes courageously close to modern-day heresy in giving the White Man his historic due as the true creator of South Africa's original productive infra-structure (a subject today largely taboo in a world sold on the˜politically correct" elevation of the non-European at the expense of the European), and also focusing on the White Man's predicament now.

In a striking characterisation of the city, Benson writes: Built on the largest seam of gold ever discovered, this was once the richest city in Africa, a gleaming steel-and-glass citadel rising out of the brown ocean of the Veld, a testament to the economic power (and perhaps the innate character of the white community that built it, but also an example of what can be achieved by hard work and individual enterprise.

And now? the skyscrapers are still there, he continues, but the people who gave them life and prosperity have gone, driven out by hordes of squatters, beggars and illegal traders who bought Mandela's promise of a ˜better life for all" and demanded instant delivery.

He continues: Barbecues made of old oil cans blaze in the marble foyers of what used to be the headquarters of banks and airlines. There are goats tethered in hallways. Corrugated iron huts have sprung up on the once manicured lawns. This is not an environment in which any respectable business person, be they black or white, can live or work - and most have fled.

Benson next proceeds to a grim and frightening account of what has been very rapid urban and social decay in the centre of a city in which I once lived and worked myself. Now, even big business is quitting a metropolis of which it was once the raison tre.

The country's flag carrier, South African Airlines, has taken refuge in the distant outer suburbs. The big mining houses (which practically built the town) and even the Stock Exchange are to follow suit. It is evident they can hardly remain in a city centre in which it is unsafe for their employees to travel to and from work. Benson also reports that the Carlton Hotel has closed and sold all its contents, and the Holiday Inn is a deserted fortress, its 800 empty rooms protected by reinforced steel shutters. It is as if the London Hilton, the Dorchester and our other luxury hotels were to close down because order had totally collapsed, and the city had become uninhabitable! All this is the tale of one of the world's major cities crumbling into chaos and dereliction, perhaps one day in the not too distant future to become as defunct as ancient Babylon.

It is now impossible even to walk in any degree of safety to the South African Supreme Court building to get one's case heard. The alleyways leading to it are prowled by muggers who, says Benson, are not open to appeal. Although the court still goes through the motions of administering the law, this has, comments Benson, helped ease the backlog of cases in a country where, as other commentators have noted,˜affirmative action" has led to the colonisation of the bench by magistrates who are illiterate, incompetent, corrupt and racially and politically biased, and routinely bail murderers and rapists back into the community to re-offend. Cases are never dealt with, crime explodes - no law, no order!

Fear at night

No wonder Central Johannesburg is now so much a place to avoid, especially at night. As dusk falls, says Benson: the streets start filling with prostitutes and criminals pushing drugs, and pills that turn a black skin white - before eventually killing you (if AIDS hasn't claimed you first; up to 10 per cent of the population is carrying the virus and three quarters of the entire health budget will soon be spent on treating the incurable).

"You can hear the occasional sound of gunfire rolling down from Hillbrow, by cruel coincidence Johannesburg's first integrated neighbourhood. To many, including me (who once lived in that very high-rise district), this does not seem so much of a coincidence.

Implicitly referring to the consequences of ˜affirmative action", Benson describes how the police keep promising to move in and clean the place up; they never do, and if they did it probably wouldn't make any difference: the Minister in charge of so-called security recently admitted to parliament that a policeman is three times more likely to commit a serious crime than an average member of the public.

Summarising his observations of Johannesburg, Benson comments: So much for the dream. This is the reality - and it is a shocking one, worse than I had anticipated. I have seen cities abandoned in war. This is the first city I have ever seen abandoned to the barbarians in time of peace.

So what of the luckless Whites, themselves abandoned amid this chaos to the consequences of ˜multiracial democracy"? This, Benson makes clear, is not only a tale of de facto displacement by conditions of social chaos which white people find utterly intolerable; this in itself has caused mass white migrations. In Johannesburg those who opt to remain in proximity to the city have retreated to its northern outer suburbs. But there is a mass movement, in effect recoiling on the old pioneer routes, back to Cape Province, the region of South Africa in which Europeans first touched land. It is estimated that in five years 80 per cent of the country's Whites will be clustered towards the Cape.

Even in the Cape there is now a project to establish at least one urban area, some miles into the interior outside Cape Town, which will in practice be a fortified settlement. With property priced beyond what most Blacks, and quite a few poor Whites, could possibly afford, it is, at the size of Monaco, to be protected by a 33,000-volt fence and patrolled by armed guards.

But in addition, fearful of lawlessness, the white population is also being harassed and persecuted by the law. As Benson comments: The government has lost the battle of the streets but they have control of parliament, and they have used their power to pass legislation aimed specifically at one ethnic group.

Instead of apartheid, there is now ˜affirmative action", whereby Whites are de jure displaced from their jobs and deprived of their incomes to make way for Blacks, without regard for the latter's qualifications or abilities, but purely on racial grounds in order to redress past imbalances.

The result? Air traffic controllers are now being appointed who cannot read their instruments. According to Commissioner of Police George Fivaz, 30,000 of his officers are functionally illiterate. To supplement the facts quoted by Benson, one may add the purging of the health services over two years ago (as also reported at the time in the Daily Mail, by Peter Younghusband, the paper's then South African correspondent) by the Minister of Health Nkosazana Zuma, who replaced district surgeons and doctors with Cuban recruits competent neither in the English language nor as medical practitioners.

Working class whites thrown on scrapheap

Working class Whites are now being dumped and paid a miserable dole to make way for Africans. Benson quotes the example of a bus driver sacked after 17 years service. For blue-collar Whites, the economic trap-door has opened beneath them and dropped them below the poverty line. Unemployed and never likely to be employed, their children ragged and barefoot, dependent on benefits of 150 a month each, which is often not paid (the social services are being re-organised - and there's a sinister phrase!. Some families can no longer afford to feed themselves.These now rely on church soup kitchens.

Apparently, whilst the violently racist, anti-white politician Patricia De Lille says that Tony Blair has donated £20,000 to the home for sick children for which she works, no-one says Benson, is digging in their pockets to help poor Whites. They are off the end of Mandela's rainbow, without a pot of gold in sight.

The Government in the new South Africa is intolerant of opposition. According to white Democratic Party opposition leader Tony Leon, they want everyone to be ˜on side". If you criticise them - and we do vigorously - they call you neo-nazi racists (a strange epithet considering that Leon is Jewish). It seems that even Patricia De Lille - whose Pan-Africanist Party's slogan is One settler [i.e. white person], one bullet - has been battered by this accusation. The cause? She has been taking the ANC Government and its Ministers to task for the stupendous corruption whereby they have turned themselves and their most privileged supporters into a new class of fat cats (all very typical of post-colonial Africa).

Free school lunches promised by Mandela fail to reach the children; family allowances are not paid; council houses are so jerry-built they are virtually uninhabitable. But when these failures come under criticism as in the case of de Lille the response of the Government under the new president Mbeki is to threaten her with expulsion from parliament for being ˜racist, and bring in legislation to outlaw criticism of a persons ˜private life" which might impair their dignity. De Lille asks where the money for these public projects went, and answers into someone's pocket.

There was corruption under South Africa's ancien regime, as there is any country in the world under any government. But it was never, as it is today, on a scale sufficient to cause the collapse of whole areas of public administration.

In a nutshell, then, thanks to Ross Benson, we now have an overview of the ˜New South Africa" from which to take stock. What we see is a picture of vicious and exploding crime, of chaos verging on anarchy, of corruption and incompetence way beyond anything in the country's past, and of the racial harassment and persecution of the white minority - the people who actually built the country in the first place, and without whom there would have been literally nothing for their successors to take over and bring to ruin.

It is not a picture which those with their heads screwed on the right way did not predict, decades ago, as the likely outcome of majority rule - though such people were then, and would still now be, vilified as right-wing, racist reactionaries or worse. Such a fate has come upon Ross Benson, who has been roundly denounced in sections of the South African media, according to a second article by correspondent David Jones, also writing from Johannesburg, published in the Mail two weeks after his own.


The Mail's own letters page witnessed a similar backlash of censorious intolerance in the week following the publication of Benson's report. This response looked a little like a co-ordinated ˜write-in" against Benson by aggrieved ANC supporters in Britain. This was in spite of Jones's characterisation of his piece as a painfully accurate article about the demise of post-apartheid South Africa. It is worth pointing out that neither Benson nor Jones have any record of being ˜racists" or supporters of apartheid - something that ought to be self-evident, to those in the know, by the fact that they have access to the columns of a major national newspaper like the Daily Mail.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

World's greatest cops...

From SAS

Kimberley - A woman has told how she "screamed and screamed" while she was allegedly being raped by four men after she was locked up in a police cell with them early on Sunday morning.

The rape ordeal lasted about three hours, Monica Kanyane, 19, from Galeshewe, said on Monday.

"Police arrested me on Sunday morning and then locked me up in a cell with the four men. The men were at the back of the cell."

Kanyane was apparently arrested and locked up for being drunk in public. "There was a bed in the cell and I went to lie down on it. One man kicked me awake. I screamed for help, but nobody came to help me."

'The men took turns'

She said she was then repeatedly raped by all four men. "I was crying. The men took turns. At about 06:00 the police arrived and I told them what had happened. I had to make a statement and was taken to the Kimberley hospital. I also saw a counsellor this morning (Monday)."

She said the policemen had apologised to her, but she was angry at the officials who had locked her up with the men. "My stomach felt like it was turning inside out. They must lock up men like that in a separate cell."

Dan Morema, provincial head of the Independent Complaints Directorate, said on Monday the case had been reported to them.


"The complainant said police had called her a tomboy and said she had to be locked up with the four men in the cell. She was then raped."

Morema said the Independent Complaints Directorate's preliminary investigation had indicated that police had helped the woman to open a case of rape.
"They also helped her get medical care. The case file has been given back to police for further investigation. The official who locked up the woman with the men will be dealt with by the department."

Police spokesperson Constable Sergio Kock said police were investigating the allegations against the respective police members. "The investigation is continuing."
Kanyane gave permission for her name to be used.

Affirmative reaction

from South Africa Sucks
By Michael Coulson (Sent in by IMD)

HEAVEN knows what sort of economic and financial policies we can expect from the next ANC administration. Its supporters range from a bunch of hardline Marxists to billionaire businessmen, who have nothing in common except a detestation of current president Thabo Mbeki.

There's nothing wrong with that, as Mbeki's disastrous term in office is being crowned with the realisation that he from the outset deliberately concealed his true objective as a so-called "mediator" in Zimbabwe, which was not to help implement the will of the people, but to prolong the term in office of the mass murderer Robert Mugabe.

I know one must beware of the sin of relativism, but if we add that to his Aids denialism and reversion to a new racism it's difficult to avoid feeling that any change must be for the better, even if his putative successor is a man of dubious sexual and financial morality.

While it's hard to see how that disparate collection of interests can forge a consistent policy framework, there are encouraging signs that in at least one of these three areas we just may see a welcome return to sanity. The past week has brought statements from two of the ANC's new power brokers that suggest that the follies of affirmative action (AA) may have finally sunk home.

First, new ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa conceded at an Investec Historic Schools (whatever that may be) breakfast in Cape Town that AA led to an exodus of (white) "skilled patriotic experts" from the public sector, creating a "skills vacuum" in some areas.

Then the increasingly impressive Kgalema Motlanthe - a more than adequate substitute for Jacob Zuma should that worthy's legal problems supervene - told a meeting in Stellenbosch with what were reported in the media as "Afrikaner elites" that the new government will consider phasing out AA.

This statement was reportedly welcomed even by the egregious Jimmy Manyi, chairperson of the Commission for Employment Equity and president of the Black Management Foundation -positions that can't leave him much time for his nominal day job as group executive, corporate affairs, at Tiger Brands.

But don't throw your hat over the windmill just yet. Both Phosa and Motlanthe heavily qualified their remarks.

In Phosa's case, it's alarming that he reportedly called for whites who'd left the public service to be "allowed" to return and "make the contribution they were trained for".

"Allowed"? "Begged" would be a more appropriate term. These are people who were made to feel unwelcome and given every encouragement to take packages to leave. Many have since made successful second careers in the private sector.

Why should they want to return? Certainly not out of any sense of loyalty to organisations where they were treated as second-class citizens. And the implication of "the contribution they were trained for" that they are under some sort of obligation is simply fatuous.

If Phosa is sincere, he needs to adopt a more welcoming tone.

As for Motlanthe, he stressed that an end date will be considered in certain aspects and only after "careful scientific consideration." That's just gobbledygook. What's needed is not any sort of "scientific consideration" of "certain aspects": just a policy decision that in future all jobs should go to the best qualified candidates.

And Manyi's apparent endorsement means nothing. He added that only when designated targets for the various groups "race and gender-based" - have been reached will the need for legislative teeth fall away. In practical terms, that means not in the lifetime of anybody now over the age of 40.

It may also be significant that both Motlanthe and Phosa were talking in the Western Cape, an area where a deeply divided and vulnerable ANC is desperate to attract white - and particularly Afrikaans-speaking - voters to keep it in power in the upcoming provincial elections. We can't attach too much reliance to such statements until they're made in areas like rural Transkei - or even Mpumalanga, where Phosa was provincial premier until he fell foul of Mbeki.

Still, even the slightest toenadering with reality is refreshing in the fantasy world of ANC politics.

Incidentally, you mustn't think that this column is any sort of recantation of anything I've written in the past. It's still a truism for me that effective, broad black economic empowerment is a precondition of a stable democratic SA. But those who disagree should please fill in entry forms for the resuscitated National Party rather than respond here, as it's too soon to re-open that debate.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Africans marvel, fret at China's hard workers

from Verbal Enema


An influx of workers from China is receiving a mixed reception in Africa, where people both admire and resent the hard-working newcomers' pursuit of wealth.

Awe at the efficiency with which Chinese build roads, run shops and manage factories is matched by unease at a growing Chinese presence in Africa's fragile labour markets.

Delight at cheap shirts, toys and shoes sits aside concern at the undercutting of local retailers, Africans told Reuters correspondents around the continent.

The ambivalent response poses a potential risk to China's push to win hearts and minds in Africa, a priority for Beijing amid Western accusations that it is cutting corners on labour and human rights' safeguards in its African investment drive.

Keen to address foreign investment sensitivities, African finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Mauritania on August 1 pledged greater transparency in their dealings with China and other new investors pouring money into the continent.

They stressed the importance of developing local skills and industries beyond the extraction of raw materials.

However, most African leaders show no reservations in welcoming the billions of dollars spent by China to gain African oil and minerals for its growing economy.

Algerian bricklayer Djamel Laari marvels at China's growing links to his country, once shunned by foreign investors due to an impenetrable bureaucracy and past political violence.

But he wonders about the Chinese practice of flying planeloads of labourers into a war-weary, politically fragile society where seven out of 10 adults under 30 has no job.

"Many Algerians are not happy with this, because those companies bring Chinese workers with them. This doesn't help us cope with unemployment," Laari said.

Algerian officials say the country had 19 000 Chinese workers in 2007, mostly builders and craftsmen implementing parts of a $200-billion national economic development plan. Some Algerians believe the real number is several times that.

'You might as well commit suicide'

Two-way trade rose to $3,8-billion in 2007 from less than a billion in 2002, driven by a rise in Chinese exports to Algeria, which has won an estimated $1-billion in Chinese investment.

In neighbouring Morocco, respect among retailers for Chinese mercantile determination is tainted with dismay over a slump in profit margins due to Chinese price competition, and over the willingness of Chinese to work for low pay.

Azzeddine Lahlou, who runs a boutique in Casablanca's Derb Omar district, said: "Many traders here can no longer afford even to pay for their children's education."

"A Chinese worker gets about 300 dirhams ($41) a month. A Moroccan wants around 2 000 dirhams. For 300 dirhams, you might as well commit suicide."

Many Chinese workers in Africa earn much more than that, often several hundred dollars a month. Those earning less may have support from family members, also working in Africa.

Chinese migration to Africa has surged since 2000, according to a joint study by Barry Sautman, a political scientist at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and social scientist Yan Hairong of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Sautman told Reuters a 2007 Chinese media estimate of 750 000 Chinese expatriates in Africa was "not unreasonable", making them one of Africa's largest foreign communities.

The array of Chinese skills in Africa grows by the month: from doctors and fish farmers to barbers and beauticians. In Gabon, Chinese hairstylists attract a demanding clientele.

More than 800 Chinese state-owned firms are active in the African economy, plus an unknown number of private concerns.

Hu Zhirong, vice-president of the China-Africa Development Fund, a private equity fund, told Reuters in June that Chinese foreign direct investment soared to $13,7-billion in 2007 from $500-million in 2000.

This wide swathe of Chinese activity has helped Africa to its strongest growth since the 1960s. But in sub-Saharan Africa, the advance has not put a dent in unemployment, which remained at about 10% in 2006, according to the United Nations.

The International Labour Organisation says about 55% of working people in sub-Saharan Africa do not earn enough to lift themselves and their families above the dollar-a-day poverty line, and that about 86% subsist on $2 a day.

This abiding poverty means Africa's workplace can be highly sensitive territory for all foreign investors.

In April, China withdrew more than 400 of its workers from Equatorial Guinea after two Chinese labourers were killed in a clash with security forces during a strike by local employees.

While details were sketchy, it was believed to be the first case of Chinese workers being killed in a labour protest in Africa, and appeared to be one of the most serious disputes to affect a Chinese project in the world's poorest continent.

Some Chinese have become targets for crime or rebels. Separatist Ogaden rebels killed nine Chinese in a raid on an Ethiopian oilfield last year and Chinese employees have been taken hostage in other incidents in Nigeria and Niger.

'Low wages, long hours'
In March, workers at Zambia's Chinese-owned Chambishi smelter went on strike and rioted over pay, slightly injuring a Chinese manager and damaging property.

In South Africa, textile sector job losses in recent years created concern about South African imports of cheap Chinese textiles that "spanned the usually fractious ties between the country's trade unions, businessmen and government officials", wrote Chris Alden, London School of Economics lecturer.

Africans cite low wages, long hours and language and culture barriers as problems in working for the Chinese, Alden wrote.

"The biggest problem we face now is the language barrier and the different customs and culture between Zambians and the Chinese," Goodwell Kaluba, general secretary of Zambia's National Union of Mining and Allied Workers, told Reuters.

One way of circumventing such problems has been simply to minimise African employment in Chinese ventures.

In Sudan, increasingly wealthy thanks to growing exports of oil to China, thousands of Chinese are working on major projects in energy, roads, dams and telecoms.

They tend to live apart from Sudanese, with their own accommodation, restaurants and shops in a practice often adopted by large Chinese companies elsewhere in Africa.

As a result, most encounters between Africans and Chinese tend to be in the Chinese shops that are springing up around the continent, often in remote areas, to sell basic household goods.

Illegal immigrants
"For most ordinary Africans, it is these Chinese small-scale entrepreneurs, and most especially retail traders, who have had the greatest impact on their lives," Alden wrote.

While prices are attractive, pleasure can vanish if Africans perceive a rip-off.

"In Namibia, the rather positive image of Chinese shop owners as energetic people who bring affordable foods to the poor has been supplanted by the negative image of greedy business people profiting from selling worthless junk," wrote Basel University academic Gregor Dobler in a study of Chinese in northern Namibia.

An unknown proportion of Chinese workers flout African law by staying on after their contracts expire in order to seek their fortune in Africa, Africans and experts say.

There are also other illegal immigrants, most of whom come on tourist visas with the intention of scouting out opportunities, and then stay when they find them. South Africa appears to be the only country where there are a significant number of Chinese actually smuggled in, Sautman says.

He expects more workplace integration as African managers are appointed in Chinese firms. African-Chinese marriages have taken place, but reliable statistics are hard to find.

"There are some examples of Chinese bosses of small and medium enterprises having good relations with their employees, but more of Chinese and African workers socialising, despite the lack of full comprehension of each others' languages," he said. - Reuters

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Trevor Manuel accused of lying and money laundering

from South Africa Sucks

Finance minister lied to court because he knew of corruption, says activist

‘The only conclusion is that ... huge bribes were being paid by the arms deal companies’

Perjury and money-laundering charges are expected to be laid against minister of finance Trevor Manuel this week, relating to a document from South Africa’s notorious arms deal.

The move is the latest in a nine-year battle between arms activist and former banker Terry Crawford-Browne and the country’s finance chief. Crawford-Browne claims Manuel lied to court twice and says he now has the documents to prove it. Crawford-Browne is expected to lay charges at a Cape Town police station this week.

The money-laundering charge relates to Crawford-Browne’s claim that Manuel knew about possible bribes when he signed the loan agreements to finance the arms deal in January 2000. An affidavit filed in court in June this year suggests that Manuel suspected bribes may have been paid.

But Manuel’s lawyer, Liuba Baldjiev, yesterday said the minister denied the allegations, adding: “We don’t have details on either charge yet, and we haven’t been presented with Crawford-Browne’s evidence. So we can’t comment further at this stage.”

Central to Crawford-Browne’s accusation of perjury is the 1999 affordability study drawn up to guide President Thabo Mbeki on the financial and economic risks associated with spending billions of rands on arms.

This document was part of a Sunday Times exposé this month which revealed that the government gambled with the economy and ignored warnings that steel offset projects, worth billions, were likely to fail. The articles led Crawford-Browne to discover that a 51-page document that the High Court ordered Manuel to hand over to him in 2003 was a draft and not the final 57-page report.

On Tuesday Crawford-Browne sent Manuel’s lawyers a letter demanding that the minister:

* Make a public statement that he had withdrawn a defamation case against him and an application for a permanent gagging order; and

* Reimburse him the R5-million plus interest that he has spent since August 1999 fighting to expose arms-deal corruption in the public interest

Manuel was given until 1pm on Friday to comply or criminal charges would be laid this week. On Thursday his lawyers responded, denying the allegations but reserving Manuel’s rights.

In February this year, Manuel sued Crawford-Browne for defamation after the activist claimed that he should be charged with Zuma for corruption. A month later Manuel won an interim gagging order and has since also asked the courts to declare him a vexatious litigant.

Crawford-Browne said significant information had been excluded from the version of the affordability study given to him. “The draft in my possession was already damning. But the version obtained by the Sunday Times is even more scathing,” he said.

“Large chunks regarding warnings of the risks involved are even more explicit than the warnings contained in the draft. “The only logical conclusion to be drawn is that cabinet deliberately ignored the warnings because huge bribes were being paid by the arms-deal companies.”

Crawford-Browne became involved in the arms deal when he represented the Anglican Church at the parliamentary Defence Review during 1996 and 1998. He said Manuel ignored his appeals early in 2000 not to go ahead with the signing of the loan agreements because the deal was mired in controversy.

Crawford-Browne then accused the minister of failing in his constitutional duties. Two years later, he tried to overturn the agreements in court, accusing Manuel of signing them fraudulently. He lost the case in 2004 and was ordered to pay R1-million in costs. It was during this first court battle that Manuel was ordered to hand over arms-deal papers related to the government’s International Offers Negotiating Team and Financial Working Group.

The documents were produced only months later and, according to Crawford-Browne, fell far short of what he was due. When Manuel began litigation for defamation this year, Crawford-Browne filed an urgent application demanding the minister hand over all the documents originally awarded to him. Manuel affirmed he had complied with the 2003 order. This was accepted by court.

SAA shortage ups accident fears

from News24
Aug 18 2008 3:38PM
Jan de Lange

Johannesburg - A skills shortage at SAA Technical, which for decades was one of the most outstanding technical centres in Africa, has increased to the extent that its aviation safety standards have been brought into question.

The US' Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) silently warned SAA about the issue in February and March this year.

Its technical division has not met the skills prerequisites for the maintenance work on the passenger jets that it is responsible for.

Last week, two former senior managers at SAA Technical's two most strategic workshops told Sake24 that they resigned following decades of service as they could no longer "live with their consciences".

The decline in technical standards owing to the shortage of trained staff had become "too serious" for them.

According to CAA CEO Colin Jordaan, the FAA and CAA's warnings resulted in SAA giving an undertaking that it will embark on an intensive drive to find technicians.

"SAA undertook to rather outsource work than compromise safety," said Jordaan.

Since then, however, standards have worsened rather than improved.

For the first time ever, SAA in June outsourced maintenance work on an Airbus A340-200 to Taeco, a company based in Xiamen on the east coast of China.

The aircraft returned to South Africa two weeks ago with 41 maintenance points which Taeco could not repair.

One of these was a rusted cross-beam on the aircraft frame under the kitchen and toilet passages.

Deon Wessels, a former manager of non-destructive inspections (NDI), resigned in November last year as he felt he could no longer be held accountable for the work done by that division.

SAA Technical is expected to have 19 senior NDI inspectors on its staff but currently, there are only six.

Of these, only three have the minimum requirement of six years practical experience, although all six passed their theoretical courses.

"An aircraft will fall owing to this. I guarantee this," Wessels told Sake24 last week."

He was previously the most experienced and most highly qualified NDI inspector at SAA Technical and worked for the airline for 26 years.

Monday, 18 August 2008

SA Police: Convicted murderers and rapists in uniform

from South Africa Sucks

JOHANNESBURG - The South African police are allowing convicted murderers, rapists, armed robbers and corrupt officials to run around with guns and police uniforms.

Responding to a parliamentary question by the opposition Democratic Alliance, the Minister of Safety and Security revealed that despite being found guilty of serious and violent crimes, at least 31 police officers were returned to active duty.

Out of 13 officers found guilty of murder, one received a written warning and six received fines.The rest were fined with suspended sentences. Three police officers with rape convictions were fined, while another got a suspended sentence.

The disciplinary hearings of fourteen other officers convicted on corruption and armed robbery charges resulted in them being returning to the police service. They received written warnings and fines. Police spokesman Superintendent Eugene Opperman said members of the SAPS faced automatic dismissal if they were found guilty of crimes outside the department and were then sentenced to serve jail time.

He added that internal hearings determined whether officers found guilty of an offence, but not sentenced to jail time, should retain their position or not. “You must remember that the Labour Relations Act is also applicable in the police service,” he said.

But this stance does not sit well with opposition politicians. “It is horrendous that South Africa has police members (who are) found guilty of crimes for which you and I would be jailed,” said the DA’s Dianne Kohler-Barnard.

The DA has called it ironic that criminal activity within the SAPS, proven in court, has not drawn the attention of the African National Congress as has the alleged corruption within the Scorpions. This while hard-pressed taxpayers are footing the bill for the salaries of criminally convicted policemen and women.

A total of R90 million in taxpayers’ money has been paid out to suspended members of the South African Police Service in the last three years, said the Democratic Alliance. According to the party, the amount covered 12 723 working days.

One of the worst cases involved the case of a Senior Superintendent in the visible policing division who was suspended for 638 days on full pay. The DA has said it would demand answers from the Minister of Safety and Security, Charles Nqakula, on the matter. “It is inexplicable that dirty cops should stay in service on full pay,” the DA said. The DA also criticised the SAPS’s disciplinary processes, saying that the inability of the police service to deal appropriately with conduct issues could damage public faith in the police.

“If the SAPS is seen to let people off, then it serves as a disincentive for members of the public to lodge complaints against SAPS members, or even report crimes. “If the SAPS want to fight crime, they must get their own house in order first,” said the DA.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

The Roots of Apartheid

from South Africa Sucks - click on title to view full article

Popular myth as propounded by the vexatious Mass Media has it that Apartheid started in 1948, when the Afrikaner-dominated National Party won that year's General Elections. This revisionist fantasy holds that prior to the evil racist Nats assuming power, South Africa was this wondrous multi-racial, multi-cultural Utopia under righteous, benevolent Brit rule, where White, black and all hues in betwixt & between sat around the campfire hand around waist singing kumbajaa in everlasting peace & harmony.

Alas. until these hateful, racist, jackbooted dutchmen came goose-stepping along in 1948 and changed this wondrous multiracial fairyland into a seething cauldron of racial animus. Err, well, not exactly.

The basic truth is that the Nats simply perpetuated racial policy & legislation as implemented by the British. Consider the following laws, generally considered to be the pillars of Grand Apartheid:

• The Native Pass Law (1809) of the British Government compelled Black people to carry pass books;

• In 1865 Sir Theophilus Shepstone made it impossible for Black people to vote in Natal;

• Cecil John Rhodes in 1894 stopped a Brown man, Krom Hendriks, from taking part in a South African cricket tour to England;

• Rhodes and Milner in 1905 introduced compulsory division between Black and White scholars in Cape schools;

• The Native Land Act 2(1913) prohibited land ownership by Blacks;

• Min. H.W. Sampson (1925) introduced job reservation as regards the Law pertaining to Mines and related industries;

• The Immorality Act in Natal (1927) prohibits sexual relations between people of different race and colour. (This was confirmed by Law 23 of 1957);

• Gen. J.C. Smuts in 1936 introduced separate representation in Parliament;

• The Native Urban Area Act 25 (1945) stated that Blacks may not, without a permit, remain for 72 hours in an urban area;

• The National Party in 1948, defeating the SA Party at the ballot box, respected all land- and provincial legislation, and stuck to existing entry and non-entry signs at all state departments, public places and businesses which indicated where the various races would be served.

Click on title of this post to read the full article by Uhuru Guru on South Africa Sucks blog

Theft 'covered up' at Land Bank

Julian Rademeyer, Beeld, South Africa

Johannesburg - Land Bank bosses tried to cover up the theft of promissory notes and bills of exchange worth millions that were stolen from the bank's treasury last year.

They also allegedly failed to report the robbery to police.

A Beeld investigation has discovered that promissory notes and bills with an estimated value of R28m disappeared without trace in October or November last year from the bank's treasury which could not be locked because the security door was malfunctioning.

The bank only discovered the theft of the 25 promissory notes and three bills - printed in denominations of R1m each - when they were contacted by First National Bank on November 20 2007 after one of the bills was tendered for payment at an FNB branch in Standerton.

An FNB spokesperson, Steve Higgins, yesterday confirmed the incident.

"A vigilant supervisor prevented the payment of the bill and alerted our internal fraud unit. They in turn contacted the Land Bank."

Urgent matter

An internal memorandum about the incident was drawn up the same day by the Land Bank's then head of treasury, Makgale Gwangwa, and directed to senior management. "During the month of October 2007, the security door leading to the (treasury) dealing room was malfunctioning," it noted.

"The urgency of the matter was communicated but still it took a couple of weeks for the door to be fixed. During that period anyone had free access to the treasury."

Gwangwa further noted that "during the past couple of weeks several valuable personal items were stolen from locked cupboards in the treasury dealing room".

"The thefts were reported, but to date, no action has been taken to investigate the matter."

According to his memo, FNB faxed the bill of exchange to the Land Bank.

"Upon closer inspection, it was noted that the two authorising signatures had been forged. All blank money market instruments were checked immediately and it was found that three Land Bank bills and 25 Land Bank promissory notes were missing from the locked safe in the treasury."

Gwangwa appealed to senior Land Bank officials, including the then acting CEO, Dr Phil Mohlahlane, the acting head of internal auditing, Betty Dhlamini and chief financial officer Xolile Ncame, to "report this theft to the SAPS without delay and that all security means available be checked to determine who had access to the treasury dealing room, especially after hours".

"Please regard this investigation with the utmost urgency."

Gwangwa did not want to comment yesterday but according to Beeld's sources nothing ever happened and the "case came to a dead end".

Beeld has confirmed that the national treasury - which took over management of the Land Bank from the department of agriculture and land affairs last month - was only informed of the robbery this week.

The Land Bank has been rocked by a steady flow of corruption scandals and allegations of appalling financial mismanagement. In the 2006/2007 financial year, the bank reported a loss of R100m.

Thoraya Pandy, the national treasury's spokesperson, said yesterday that after the theft, the Land Bank "took steps and ... put in place procedures for the issuing of financial instruments which govern the overall process including an effective monitoring system where participants sign off at every stage in issuing of financial instruments. A daily record of log books is also kept."

She said the Scorpions were investigating.

Somebody will suffer losses

But Scorpions spokesperson, Tlali Tlali, said yesterday: "No such case has been reported to the Scorpions."

Later Pandy contacted Beeld to correct her earlier comment. "There will now be an investigation," she said. Beeld understands that following the newspaper's queries yesterday, Land Bank officials contacted the Scorpions to find out how they could formally register a case.

Pandy said she had been advised that "the bank didn't suffer any financial loss and dealt with the matter almost immediately, telling clearing banks not to honour any of the instruments."

But, according to one of Beeld's sources, "that means nothing".

"The public were never notified. These things are legal tender so if someone bought cows from a farmer and gave him one of these promissory notes, the guy would only find out it had been stopped when he went to the bank. By then it is too late. The cows are gone. Somebody will suffer losses."

According to Higgins, anyone who receives a promissory note, bill or cheque for services or goods should wait until the funds are credited to their bank account before handing over the goods.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Government admits: Crime is winning

Lizel Steenkamp, Rapport

Cape Town - Government has for the first time admitted it was overwhelmed by crime.

Deputy Minister of Justice, Johnny de Lange, told Parliament on Tuesday that the fight against crime was hopelessly paralysed by mistaken policy decisions, unprofessional personnel and a massive shortage of resources and accountability.

The criminal justice system was ineffectual as it was "fragmented, dysfunctional and tainted by backlogs".

He made this admission while presenting a review of the criminal justice system to the portfolio committees on justice and safety and security. "The situation is sometimes so overwhelming that we don't know what to do about crime. We have not necessarily taken the right decisions over the past 15 years or used resources efficiently. We have to brace ourselves now."

De Lange warned that the police, courts and prisons immediately had to be revamped according to a seven-point plan. A lengthy study of statistics and visits to courts and detective branches had shown shocking shortages.

Shocking stats

These included:

- A huge percentage of the two million crimes reported annually were never solved. A "significant amount" of cases were thrown out of court due to a lack of evidence or charges being withdrawn

- Half of the two million crime scenes were never visited, due to too few experts able to collect evidence. Police have 2082 experts to search for clues on crime scenes. This means every expert has to visit three scenes daily. They have too little resources: every two experts share a car, five have to share a cellphone and three share a compute.

- Police have only 1033 forensic experts to analyse evidence in labs

- There are only 54 forensic experts to analyse blood samples in drunken driving cases. The backlog is "grotesque"

- There is a huge shortage of detectives. Only 21 700 of the 130 000 police members are detectives. They too, share resources like computers, cars and phones

"This means only 15% of the police's total workforce is focused on solving crime. This system suffers of a lack of oxygen and is the result of insufficient policy decisions," said De Lange.

In courts, the situation is as bad.

- More than 700 000 cases are annually thrown out or withdrawn

- Only six cases per month are on average concluded in every court in the country

- District court are only in session for three-and-a-half hours a day

- There is a 17% vacancy in the State prosecuting department

Saturday, 9 August 2008

The nerve of Nelson Mandela

This article was written by a most interesting person - an African American psychologist. Emanuel McLittle has a Masters Degree and two decades of experience in Counseling Psychology. His keen insight, developed over 24 years, makes him qualified to deliver honest, unambiguous guidance.

September 19, 2002 NewsWithViews.com

All men are not created equal. There is but one single explanation for the 6,000 years of strife, the spilling of an ocean of blood, the sacrifice of light years of progress, and the basis for the current global power struggle. All of this is the result of at least two unalterably opposing types of souls, one vicious and animal like, the other enlightened and human, fighting. Both are wrapped in an immortal struggle to dominate one planet.

The goal of any confidence game is to create a sense of doubt about the obvious. Sociopaths, the leaders of more than three billion of the earth's people, operate through the veins of nations, its political structure. But the swindling of retirees out of their savings, or the smooth tongue needed to motivate others to commit immoral or illegal acts is child's play compared to the international drama currently being acted out on the world stage. Let there be no doubt, the draw strings that open and close the intermission curtain, the lighting to control perception (the media), the actors whose lies boggle the mind, all hang from a ventriloquist's string. They want to fool us all. Even when the plot is hidden, the international players reveal enough for us to figure out the motive, as well as who is pulling their strings.

This said, let us focus on Nelson Mandela, who recently emerged from retirement, at 85-years-old, to play a pivotal role in yet another scrimmage between the two great sides. Today the stage is set in the Middle East. The names are only coincidental. In every age there was an American viewpoint and an Iraqi viewpoint, with every man and woman in the world on one side or the other. Mandela's job is to use his reputation as a persecuted black man, freed from a dungeon in the desert, in 1990.

His very presence impugns a conviction. White people, all white people, locked him away for 26 years of his life. He was branded a hero for all the dark people of the world for opposing white domination. International brokers, his soul brothers in "high places," took control of Africa's wealthiest nation, placed a living martyr on its throne to reign over an idea far beyond the borders of South Africa. People of color, in this case, the Iraqis, are said to be the perpetual victims, Mandela implies, of nation-thieves, white, western Christians out to rule the world, a desire of their own hearts.

Mandela was strategic. South Africa was merely the staging ground for the false guilt used all around the world, for various scrimmages. Mandela's impact on the rest of the world is psychological and works like a silent weapon. When Mandela speaks, as he did recently, when he accused, "America of introducing chaos in international affairs," it is a strategic chess move. With little to no experience in politics, except the killing of whites and rival Zulu tribesmen, Mandela has no legitimate claim to greatness. There are no intelligent papers penned by Mandela. Others wrote all the speeches he delivered. His thoughts belong to others. He solved none of South Africa's internal problems. He is of average intelligence and has no money other then what was given to him for his role in South Africa's fall. So, how did he become a hero?

Mandela is called one of the world's "tallest" statesmen even before he emerged from his prison cell. Fellow Marxists around the world who created Mandela now want him to use his racial capital to influence President Bush, who is smart enough to refuse to take Mandela's telephone call. It did not take a lot of nerve for Mandela to show his face after reigning over the destruction of South Africa's prosperity. To accuse America is his true nature. Like billions of his soul brothers, Mandela is incapable of creating and building anything. His type waits for others to create and build. Then they infiltrate and take over. I believe apartheid, set aside in 1992, was a feeble, unjust and unworkable attempt, on the part of white South Africans, to separate from the dissimilar personalities obvious in the two rivaling types of humans. South Africa is now the AIDS capitol of the world, with 55 percent of its black population testing HIV positive, according to the U.N. South Africa also leads the world in violent crime.

There are more murders and rapes (per capita) in South Africa than anywhere on the globe. To cover up, Mandela and his successors have created new forms of censorship in order to hide the mess. South Africa's Jesse Jackson, Desmond Tutu, recently asked for American aid, following the mass exodus, since 1994, of more than half of South Africa's commercial farmers. This has cut food production down by 60 percent. The reason for the mass fleeing is the near 1,500 murders of small and large white farmers by black thugs carrying military weapons, possibly distributed by the ANC. The U.S. media is silent about South Africa's killings and rapes, where white women and even small white children are intentionally infected with the AIDS virus. To suppress the truth about their brethren, world wide, is their job. There are deep and vital reasons why the news is twisted by the elitists. Western liberals claim that the leopard-like carnage we see in South Africa is due to pent up rage, for years of apartheid.

But I disagree. I propose that humans are not created equal and that what we are seeing in South Africa is the evidence that at least some men are endowed with the souls of vicious animals. Like Saddam Hussein, billions of people are dark in nature, murderous without flinching and seem gratified by horror. I further propose that this is not based on race or national origin. In fact more than half the world may belong to this race. Most are not black. The real reason for the so-called third world is the mentality of the third world. The left says that education; the removal of poverty and the elimination of racism will make men equal in prosperity. But if that were so, America and England would be a heavenly paradise. This is where the most educated people in the world live, work and play. No, education is not the key. Wealth is not it, nor is racial equity. It is spirit gifted with some degree of illumination, without which one cannot see which way to go. No, it is not IQ. It is Spirit.

Entire continents like Africa, with 2,000 varieties of vegetables, roots, fruits, legumes and grains, to say nothing of the immense wealth in minerals, diamonds and gold would not have a third of population starving, continuously. Africa could be among the wealthiest continents in the world. But it is not. The spirit is not there. It is here, in America. And everyone knows it. Does that mean that we do not make terrible political misstates? Certainly we do. Nevertheless, that has not stopped heaven's gift basket from falling on us.

Mandela presided over great wealth earned by others and still he left South Africa in chaos. He helped to reduce a wealthy nation to near poverty status. He stands next to Saddam and defends Iraq not because he believes so much in Iraq's cause but because they are brothers in the truer sense that FOX, CNN or ABC can comprehend. Saddam and Mandela are of the same heart and they know it. All of the evil of this world know each other. North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, most of Europe, Asia, Syria, and the majority of the UN Security Council, are all on Saddam's side, no matter their rhetoric.

This treatise is not entirely about Mandela. It is about redefining the real nature of our current global conflict, with Iraq in the middle at this time. All the political deviants know each other. It is the people of good-will who are strangers. This is also about every other conflict we have ever had, since a man with one world view bludgeoned his brother, who had a different world view, to death. The friction is eternal. The stakes are higher than ever. No more wooden clubs. Now comes the threat of atomic weapons. Prophets predicted their use. This is the time to know for sure, what side you are on.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Demise of Scorpions 'meant to shield ANC members'

Mail & Guardian, 06/08/08

The disbandment of the Scorpions is clearly intended to shield key African National Congress (ANC) members from effective investigation and prosecution, Helen Suzman Foundation director Raenette Taljaard said on Wednesday.

In terms of the motivation for the legislation to disband the Scorpions, there is a very clear umbilical cord between the legislative intent and the ANC's Polokwane conference resolution, she said during public hearings on the draft legislation.

The hearings are being conducted by Parliament's justice and safety and security committees.

Taljaard said the inescapable conclusion, from all circumstances, is that the government is simply giving effect to a dictate of the Polokwane conference and the ANC's national executive committee, "made with a view to shielding key ANC members from effective investigation and prosecution".

The dubious rationale advanced by the ANC national policy conference, that the Scorpions' existence could not be justified in light of the constitutional imperative for a single police service, has been conclusively dismissed by the Khampepe commission and the Constitutional Court itself, she said.

The foundation's legal representative Peter Leon said there are fundamental infringements of the provisions of the Constitution brought about by the legislation.

The government's conduct leading up to the introduction of the legislation constituted a serious breach of the rule of law -- a foundational provision of the Constitution.

The legislation was initiated for an improper and ulterior purpose, it was introduced on the unlawful dictates of the ANC's Polokwane conference, and there was a failure by the government to exercise the constitutional duties that rested on the national executive independently.

Further, the legislation was not rationally connected to its stated objectives, to a legitimate government purpose, and to the recommendations of the Khampepe commission, particularly a key recommendation that the Directorate of Special Operations (the Scorpions) be retained within the National Prosecuting Authority.

"The disbanding of the DSO would amount to serious and unjustified violations of the rule of law and the Constitution and breach the state's constitutional obligations. The Bills suffer from incurable deficiencies and should not be approved by the committees," Leon said.

The Bills would disestablish and not merely relocate a highly successful and widely acclaimed organised crime-fighting unit, he said.

"Most worrying, though, is [that] the Bills concentrate an enormous amount of power in the national commissioner of the South African Police Service," Leon said.

This is not just an academic point. In terms of the draft legislation, the new directorate for priority crime investigation would have to investigate matters assigned to it by the national commissioner.

"Now members must ask and hopefully answer this question: How would Commissioner [Jackie] Selebi, now suspended ... as a result of the activities of the DSO ever have been investigated, had this legislation been implemented?

"It seems to us that this legislation is seriously undermining equality before the law by making some people more equal than others," he said. -- Sapa

Scorpions: 'Dangerous precedent'

News24 - 06/08/08

Cape Town - The origins of the legislation to disband the Scorpions had set a very dangerous precedent, the SA Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) said on Wednesday.

It was common knowledge that the ANC's Polokwane conference had resolved that the Scorpions be dissolved, SACBC parliamentary research director Mike Pothier told Parliament's justice and safety and security committees during public hearings on the legislation.

This was inappropriate and set a very dangerous precedent.

"It's never the task of a party, even a ruling party, and even one which has won 70% of the popular vote, to set government policy at this level of detail," he said.

The party's task was to request government to address specific problems in broad terms, not to issue directives.

"Otherwise, the next step is for a party conference to say [for example] from next year the rate of corporate tax will be 27%, and then the whole ministry of finance and everything else goes out of the window because the party has spoken on the issue. That's not how it should be."

Despite the reasons given by various politicians and others, the issue became a priority only after the conference resolution in December, Pothier said.

Core question 'already been decided'

While the technicalities of the two bills involved could be debated and discussed, the core question, the future of the Scorpions, had already been decided.

This set a dangerous precedent and the process did not appear to be particularly genuine.

The Constitution stated the legislative authority of the national sphere was vested in Parliament, not in the conference of the ruling party.

Pothier said public perception was, rightly or wrongly, that the traditional crime fighting forces had not been adequately successful in their task.

On the other hand, the public had the perception that the Scorpions had been extremely successful.

While this was debatable, there was no doubt that the public saw it that way.

"And consequently, just when the Scorpions appear to be on a roll conducting high profile investigations bringing high profile criminals and suspected criminals to prosecution, there's a move to scrap them, to dissolve them and replace them with something else."

The public was understandably upset about that, and asked was there not a long, thorough, and vigorous investigation under a judge not so long ago, which determined that the reasons for bringing the Scorpions into being all those years ago still pertained today?

"So people say why is it being scrapped? People are looking for a cogent answer, and most people think there has not been a cogent reason given, and in our view they are correct in saying that," Pothier said.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Couple murdered in Kleinmond

News24 - 04/08/08

Cape Town - The bodies of an elderly married couple were found in their home in Kleinmond on Monday morning, Western Cape police said.

Superintendent Andre Traut said the bodies of Schalk and Marie van der Westhuizen, both in their seventies, were found in their Kleinmond home at 09:00.

"A neighbour made the discovery after they failed to answer calls. Both victims sustained stab wounds to the face and body," he said.

The residence was ransacked and several household appliances were stolen.

Traut said the murders apparently occurred on Sunday night.

A case of murder and robbery is being investigated.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Man killed 'like a sheep'

Virginia Keppler and Leané du Plessis, Beeld

Phalaborwa - "They slit his throat as if he were a sheep," said the neighbour of an elderly couple who were viciously attacked on Sunday morning.

Robert "Bob" Julyan, 70, and his wife Rhoda, 65, were attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning in their home in Essenhout Street.

Bob was stabbed repeatedly and his throat was slit, and Rhoda was tied up and assaulted.

Apparently the three attackers repeatedly asked the couple where their son was, said Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba.

He said Rhoda apparently had heard the dogs barking and had gone outside to see what was going on.

While she was outside, the attackers ran into the house without her seeing them.

They then overwhelmed her when she came back into the house, said Ramatseba.

"The three fled without stealing a thing from the house. The police don't know at this stage what the motive was for the attack."

She is in severe shock

Rhoda's cousin, Maude Steyl, who was comforting her on Sunday, said the couple's son, Steven, 40, had been in Pretoria for a doctor's appointment.

Maude said the son returned on Sunday when he heard about the attack.

Maude said the three attackers "slapped and slapped" Rhoda on the head.

"Rhoda is in severe shock and is not up to speaking to the media now. The doctor gave her something to let her sleep a bit," she said.

The Julyans' neighbour, Boet van Staden, said Bob had been discharged from hospital just a few days earlier, after receiving treatment for a spider bite.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Mbeki 'paid R30m arms-deal bribe'


Despite a pre-emptive strike by President Thabo Mbeki's staff to discredit it, the Sunday Times has published explosive allegations that Mbeki was paid R30-million by a German shipbuilding company to guarantee it would receive a submarine contract in South Africa's multibillion-rand arms deal.

According to the newspaper, a secret report compiled last year by a British specialist risk company revealed the deal. Mbeki allegedly gave R2-million of the money to Jacob Zuma and the rest to the African National Congress (ANC).

On Saturday, Mbeki's spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga urged anyone with evidence of corruption against the president to come forward, South African Broadcasting Corporation radio reported.

"They [the allegations] do not warrant any response. Anybody who has got a case to make against any South African, including the president of the republic, must simply approach the law-enforcement agency," Ratshitanga said.

He also told the Sunday Times that the allegations were "of such fantastical proportions as not to warrant any response", and ANC spokesperson Jesse Duarte apparently said: "Anyone can write a document and claim it is authentic."

In its exposé, the Sunday Times said the British consultancy was apparently commissioned to write the report by a leading central European manufacturer to investigate the business practices of shipbuilder MAN Ferrostaal, which had launched a hostile takeover bid against it.

MAN Ferrostaal, which led the German Submarine Consortium, won a contract worth more than R6-billion to sell three submarines to the South African Navy. In return, it apparently promised to build a R6-billion stainless-steel mill at Coega in the Eastern Cape, providing 1 000 direct jobs and 3 000 indirect jobs.

"The project, which promised billions of rands in export and local sales, has not happened," said the newspaper.

It quoted from a section of the report that alleges: "A former South African official who had access to such information informed us in confidence that Ferrostaal paid R30-million to current President Thabo Mbeki to gain the arms contract in the first place. When questioned by investigators in South Africa, Mbeki claimed that R2-million was given to his former deputy president, Jacob Zuma, and the rest went to the ANC."

The report apparently says the information was unlikely to be leaked in the near future "because Mbeki maintains a tight [rein] on the National Prosecuting Authority where this matter would be dealt with". It also alleges that South African intelligence services have proof that MAN Ferrostaal paid Mbeki the bribe.

MAN Ferrostaal has dismissed the allegations as a "fishing expedition" aimed at destroying the reputation of the company and the South African government.

The Sunday Times said a draft report into the submarine contract, drawn up by the Attorney General in May 2001, was "diluted and sanitised" before being included in the final report of the joint investigation team set up to probe the arms deal.

The draft apparently says "deviations from the approval process occurred" and that "good procurement practices were lacking" during the submarine bidding process, the newspaper said. For example, Tipp-ex correction fluid was apparently used on the evaluation working papers -- contrary to instructions -- and corrections made were not initialled by anyone.

The Sunday Times also said Mbeki allegedly ignored an August 1999 affordability study and two independent steel reports that assessed the economic and financial impact of the arms deal and apparently warned that Ferrostaal's stainless-steel offset project was "high risk and likely to fail".