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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Nazi Regime!


Lekota telling the ANC they act like a Nazi regime


I really enjoyed the outburst in Parliament yesterday when Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota accused President Jacob Zuma of violating his oath of office.

I agree that the president had not upheld his Constitutional obligation to protect the rights of artist Brett Murray, or City Press editor Ferial Haffajee. When Zuma assumed the office he solemnly swore to “protect and promote the rights of all South Africans”, “do justice to all” and devote himself “to the well-being of the Republic and all of its people”.

But what really tickled my fancy was when Lekota referred to the tactics being used by various party leaders and Cabinet members who were now resorting to Nazi style measures and tactics to ‘ ‘threaten those who were exercising their rights to express themselves’. He went on to say that the tactics reminded him of the use of storm troopers by Hitler to crush all opposition.

When I sat back and thought about it, he made a lot of sense. Here we have the ANC protesting that the dignity of the president has been besmirched and that they needed to rise up (no pun intended) en mass, to show just how unhappy they are. The protesters didn’t just arrive at a gathering point; most of them were bussed in from various areas. Once again brand new T-shirts were dished out as well as neatly printed placards. Watching the leaders of the march and the unruly crowd following them had me having flashbacks to previous marches in support of something or someone that they felt hard done by. Julius Malema comes to mind.

If President Zuma was acting in the best interest of the country he would have repudiated Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, who is also general secretary of the SA Communist Party, for “acting in direct contravention of the Constitution”. Will there be an investigation into this serious breach of the Constitution? I doubt it!
Of course President Zuma won’t even mention the hard handed tactics of one of his senior ministers, quoting Lekota again, “the fascist action”, of Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, “who literally frog marched Goodman Gallery owner Lisa Esser to make a public apology before the media”.

Hitler also used crowds of his followers to sweep up the masses to the point where they erupted into a frenzy of nationalistic pride that bordered on hysteria. If you watched the crowds of ANC supporters marching on the Goodman Gallery you saw exactly the same as when the Nazi supporters marched to burn down Jewish shops.

Hiltler also chipped away at the constitution until he could finally discard it in its entirety. Lekota actually made a very good point when he said, and I quote from his speech, “The President has made clear that in the exercise of his cultural rights, he is not constrained by the Constitution. A parallel constitution, it would seem, has come into effect”.

Now if we suddenly have everybody claiming that their cultural rights are above the Constitution we end up with a very serious problem in our country. Who’s cultural rights would then supersede who’s? Will a Zulu’s rights be higher than a Xhosa or a Tswane or a Basotho…..

Obviously the cultural rights of Whites, Coloureds and Indians would be right at the bottom of the pile.

 
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Posted by on 31/05/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Suffer the children…


reputed to be from Houla but has not been authenticated.

While reading the Washington Post today I came across a report which stated that the United States and 10 other countries had expelled Syrian diplomats  on Tuesday for the massacre last week of more than 100 villagers in central Syria. But even in the light of all the violence now taking place in Syria, there still is no call for more aggressive action to end the useless killing of the opposition by government forces.

All that has been happening is that everybody still wants to rely on diplomatic, political and economic pressure against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And this while there are people dying out there.

The massacre in the village of Houla, just outside Homs, Syria, where it is reported that most of the 108 people killed were executed by government sponsored thugs, is once again showing that the UN and all its members are just a bunch of toothless bulldogs. Here we have reports of  victims being summarily executed. Entire families were wiped while hiding in their houses. It is reported that nearly 50% of those executed were younger than 10 years old.

Only 20 people in the entire village had been killed by the government forces blasting the village with artillery fire and tanks.

It is now stated that the regime-sponsored thugs who went into the village and killed the children at point-blank range along with their parents, are using the same tactics as what was used by the Iranians to put down the political uprising in 2009. It is suggested that Assad was acting on Iran’s advice and assistance.

What is happening in Syria has now turned into more of a sectarian cleansing than anything else. The UN representative who is supposed to be doing some peacekeeping in Syria agrees that the government was responsible for the shelling and puts the blame for the massacre on members of the shabiha. This is the pro-government militias which belongs Assad’s Alawite sect. The village which was attacked is mainly of the Sunni sect.

A problem the UN has is that both Russia and China will veto any military action being taken against Syria. So no matter in what terms the West denunciates what happened in Syria, nothing more seems to be on the cards to help the people of Syria.

It has been reported that Moscow has come out in condemnation of the massacre and agrees that tanks and artillery were used but want an investigation into what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Duh?

This incident once again shows that within all the internal deliberations taking place the international community is so divided that they suffer from total paralysis as to what action is needed.  And the Unites States won’t do anything while they are getting ready for presidential elections. Presidential candidate, Romney has been quoted as saying that the administration should “increase pressure on Russia” to stop arming Syria and blocking stronger U.N. action and should start arming the Syrian opposition. But here is the kicker, a senior European diplomat is saying that they don’t want any tough bilateral decisions taken against Russia as they need Russia for ‘other things’ including nuclear negotiations with both North Korea and Iran.

It is good to see that some regional powers, led by Saudi Arabia, are funding arms shipments to the rebels and have called for outside military intervention. Saudi Arabia obviously would like to see Assad deposed which in turn would damage to their arch enemy, Iran.

But on the other hand we have Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon who are scared of the possible regional chaos and sectarian strife that could follow a Syrian collapse. Is it more a case of knowing that the same could happen in their countries?

My blog is based on the report by Sly reporting from Beirut and staff writer Colum Lynch in New York. Both from the Washington Post.

Also go check out the following:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/syria_will_the_world_look_away_db/?ccjsnbb

 

 

 
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Posted by on 30/05/2012 in World happenings

 

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Hold it straight


While going through some photographs on my hard drive I came across this one of a very old fountain which is situated in the Pretoria Zoological gardens. It had been donated by a very wealthy business man Sammy Marks in the late 1800’s.

The subsequent photograph I took was nice and straight with the fountain set more to the side using all the normal rule of thirds and is a keeper.

But what if there was only this photograph, and I wasn’t blessed with having software that could straighten it? Would I be happy having to turn my head at angles to see what my photographs looks like in real life?

It is all a case of getting right back to the basics we all learn when we first pick up a camera. Hold it straight and make sure that when you press the shutter button you don’t move the camera. This is so basic, but after a while we become so complacent, that we become ‘sloppy’ and actually forget to apply all we have learnt.

When I started out using a digital camera I was told that the best thing for me to learn, was that every time I picked up a camera I must go through a routine of checking what settings I had last left the camera on, and if everything was okay, then check if I was holding the camera right, and IS THE PICTURE IN MY VIEWFINDER STRAIGHT!

As can be seen in the above picture I didn’t apply what I have done thousands of times before. The end result is not what I expected, and not something that is worth keeping any  more.

Here’s to your pictures being straight, and the light just right!

 

 

 
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Posted by on 25/05/2012 in Photo

 

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Farmer is white, so I don’t pay him.


The actual blog I wanted to write about is right down at the bottom – needed to get a bit of the background upfront for those that want to see how things like are happening.

In South Africa we are a mixture of various tribes thrown together in a country with a history of racial conflict going back to even before whites and blacks squared up to each other.

As the various African tribes moved down in the southern tip of Africa they had some very serious clashes with some of the smaller tribes being annihilated totally. Then we had the Dutch and British landing in Africa when they set up refreshment stations for their fleets on the way to the Far East.

One thing led to another and the whites moved out of the Cape and Natal (now KwaZulu Natal) heading inland. Of course there were marauding black tribes who saw a great opportunity to attack these whites and take their cattle as their own. All the black tribes counted their wealth by the number of cattle they owned, and this is still very relevant out in the rural areas today. It is still an accepted practice to have to pay for a bride with cattle today. But I digress. With all the battles fought between the blacks and whites it was the whites who came out victorious even though they were the minority. This was never forgiven by the black tribes. When the previous white government (National Party) tried to apply a policy of separate development, based on what had been passed down over the years by the British and Dutch,  they passed some terribly draconian laws to enforce their ideas it just made matters worse for all citizens of South Africa. It united the various black tribes, and the Indians and Coloureds (when it suited the blacks), in a united opposition to the government. Hell, even the English speaking population was excluded in certain cases!

The battle for South Africa was not lost or won on the battlefields, but politically round the world.

After 1994, we were hailed as the Rainbow Nation, and a shining example of how all the tribes living here could co-exist in peaceful harmony. We had a constitution, which laid out how everybody was to be nice to each other, and what not to do to hurt each other’s feelings. We were told that if we all worked together in perfect harmony the economy will soar and we would all be good friends.

Then the rainbow started to fade….

The new black government  (ANC) started enforcing new laws which forced companies to employ blacks instead of whites, companies which were run by whites were no longer considered for applying for tenders, white pupils were no longer considered for bursaries. The list goes on and on..

Then the government started expropriating land from the whites. If any black claimed their forefather had stopped on a piece of ground to bury a relative, then they could claim that it was suddenly ancestral ground and the current owner would have to give it up. Strangely enough, claims seemed to have mostly been made on very productive farms built up over the years by white farmers.  This process was certainly abused by various black tribes that could not in all fairness prove that they had any legitimate claim. And where no claim could be proved they just moved onto the farm and kicked the white farmer off. The murder of white farmers in South Africa has resulted in far more deaths than in Zimbabwe, yet it has not received the same international coverage as Zimbabwe.

So taking all of the above into consideration, the undercurrent of feelings and emotions in South Africa doesn’t really reflect this rosy picture that the rest of the world keeps trying to paint. Stories of corruption abound from the lowest government employee to the highest office in the country. Theft of money allocated from our taxes to help uplift the poorest communities gets highlighted by commissions set up to investigate it, yet those responsible just don’t seem to end up in jail because they were previously part of the armed struggle against the previous government. The way the members of Umkhonto we Siswe, the ANC’s armed wing, go on about their part in the struggle, one would get the impression that they were victorious in battles against the SA Defence Force. Yet I cant find record of even one battle they won. ‘But once again I digress. Our economy has gone for a ball of chalk. The number of businesses that have closed down because of  Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment, Black Economic Empowerment (BEE), and a host of other empowerment laws is horrific. Our unemployment figure now stands at nearly 73%!

An interesting fact is that BEE was instituted by the ANC government as a direct intervention for the distribution of assets and opportunities to resolve the economic disparities created by Apartheid policies which had favoured white business owners. It was supposed to transform the economy to be representative of the race demographics of the country. The implementers of BEE thought the rest of the world would be knocking at their door to do business with these black empowered companies and this in turn would be the means to create some serious economic growth in South Africa.

Guess what? It never happened.

We had some large tenders which were awarded to some overseas companies, and they all seem to be under investigation for bribery and corruption. Other major players in the business domain out there in the rest of the world don’t want to do business with us here in South Africa. Businesses previously owned and run by whites that were taken over by black partners were bled dry before closing down. Quality of items to be exported went down and many companies overseas returned container after container of sub-standards goods. So job losses due to closure or non –performance of businesses suddenly start to affect the very people BEE was supposed to empower.

The application of BEE is contrary to what is in our constitution where it is stated all people are to be treated as equals. Yet the ANC ruling party does not consider that the laws which redistribute white assets, white jobs, or opportunities being blocked for whites to be discrimination.  The leaders within the ANC have noted that that their close friend, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, has managed to get away with murder while the rest of the world just stands by shaking their heads in condemnation.

All it takes is for the government to make small changes at a time. Each one is taken as an irritation, but when all lumped together it is a far worse discrimination than what was applied by the previous government in South Africa.

Todays actual blog:’

thanks Wiki

One of the directors in the department of water affairs, Patience Mangotlo,  has refused to pay a farmer, P. Haasbroek of the Limpopo province, for sand which was expropriated from his farm, “because he is white”.

The file for authorising payment has apparently been lying on her table for the past few weeks. She has openly stated to fellow government employees that she refuses to authorise the payment because of his skin colour.

Strangely enough the sand is being used to build a water pipeline from a nearby dam to a black township near Louis Trichardt.

Now my musing while ducking death and destruction on the hi-way between Johannesburg and Pretoria is as follows: Here we have a black senior manager in a government department openly being racist because the recipient of funds due just happens to be a “white farmer”. Will she be removed from her well paid job due to not adhering to the constitution? Will the social media make a fuss of her racial comments? Will she make a public apology? Is this attitude indicative of what the average black feels against whites in general?

Or will it all just quietly be swept under the carpet and ignored due to the fact that it a black person being racist and not the other way round?   

Have a nice day!

Some interesting reading on MK:  http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol115rw.html

 
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Posted by on 23/05/2012 in South Africa, Uncategorized

 

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Can you use Zuma and respect in same sentence?


President Zuma
Zapiro has once again added a new twist to the famous shower head cartoon which appeared after the president had slept with a friends daughter knowing full well that she was HIV positive. The president who did not use a condom said he wasn’t worried, as he had a shower after having sex and this would stop him getting the HIV virus!
Now we have an artist, Brett Murray, who did a painting with the presidents penis hanging out of his pants causing a total meltdown in the ANC camp.
Zapiro has modified a picture of Zuma and replaced the presidents penis with a shower head! The words ‘Sex Scandal, Corruption, Nepotism, Cronyism” seem to be coming from the shower. These are all things that president Zuma has been accused of in the past yet he is still clinging onto the office of president of South Africa.
If we are trying to become a second world country, how come we still have a president that the rest of the world sees as a liability and a joke?

Spear of the nation

http://mg.co.za/article/2012-05-17-anc-irate-over-spear-of-the-nation-artwork

 
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Posted by on 21/05/2012 in Humour, South Africa

 

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What waste?


I heard on the news this week that unemployment here in sunny South Africa is currently running at 72% which means that my tax is supporting a hell of a lot of people!

But in all this we still manage to create a sizable workforce which doesn’t really contribute to the productivity of our economy.

The current government/municipal authorities are still hell bent on changing street names so that they reflect names of those that were involved in the “struggle”. I have included a list of street names changing in Pretoria for those that live there or need to travel to the other side of the Boerewors Curtain. Personally I don’t know the majority of the names and when I asked my Black colleagues to help me they actually did worse than what I had done!

The bottom line here is that the changing of the names is costing the ratepayers of Pretoria more than R26 million! On the one hand we have the council complaining that they don’t have any funds available for upgrading some of the essential services that are desperately needed in some of the previously disadvantaged communities yet they have funds to waste on a street name change exercise. 

  I would rather have running water, sewerage that works and doesn’t flood the street on a daily basis, the garbage being collected, removal of road kill etc, than knowing I now live in Kgosi Mampuru street and no longer in Potgieter street.

The picture below shows how the municipality is doing there part against unemployment. A quick count seems to have at least 25 (yes twenty five!!) laborer’s involved with the placing of red tape over the old street name. There is also one truck in the background for transporting this crowd to the next street name pole. So the council should be commended for doing their part, and putting food on the tables of all the families. They mustn’t lose any sleep over the fact that my monthly contribution to their coffers to pay for the street name change and a very productive work force, is removing food from my table, and that I must now explain to the kids why they are hungry when going to bed.  (Not yet, but if we carry on it will be so 🙂 )

 

 

 

 

OLD NAME NEW NAME
Andries Street Thabo Sehume
Beatrix Street Steve Biko
Charles Street Justice Mohammed
Church Street – From Nelson Mandela Church Square Helen Joseph
Church Street – From Nelson Mandela to R511 WF Nkomo
Church Street – From Nelson Mandela to the East Stanza Bopape
Church Street – From R511 to West Elias Motswaledi
DF Malan Drive E’skia Mphahlele
Duncan Street Jan Shoba
Esselen Street Robert Sobukwe
Genl Louis Botha Drive January Masilela
Hans Strijdom Drive Solomon Mahlangu
Hendrik Verwoerd Drive Johan Heyns
Jacob Mare Street Jeff Masemola
Leah Mangope Street Peter Mogano
Lucas Mangope Street Molefe Makinta
Mears Street Steve Biko
Michael Brink Street Nico Smith
Mitchell Street Charlotte Maxeke
Potgieter Street Kgosi Mampuru
Prinsloo Street Sisulu
Proes Street Johannes Ramokhoase
Queen Wilhelmina Drive Florence Ribeiro
Schoeman Street Frances Baard
Schubart Street Sophie de Bruyn
Skinner Street Nana Sita
Van der Walt Street Lilian Ngoyi
Vermeulen Street Madiba
Voortrekker Street Steve Biko
Walker Street Justice Mohammed
Zambezi Drive Sefako Makgatho

With these changes I wonder who decided to split Church Street into 4 different names?

We already have a Nelson Mandela so why now have a Madiba street? And Madiba isn’t the real name for Nelson Mandela either!

 

 
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Posted by on 16/05/2012 in South Africa

 

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Political war on the horizon


 

Picture by JERM.

Last night while catching up on some South African news on the local TV channel there was an interview with one of our stand-up comedians, Julius Malema (joke!), at an event arranged by the National Press Club. What caught my attention was the fact that although he has been expelled from the ANC (current ruling party in South Africa) he still wears his beret with an ANC badge and was keeping the cold out with a track suit top with various ANC badges and logos. Wonder if he will wear a DA (opposition party) T-shirt if I sent him one, even though he isn’t a member of the DA either?  

But joking aside, here we had Julius Malema on public TV throwing down the gauntlet to president Zuma and supporters of the president that he, Julius Malema, would become the leader of the ANC!

To quote Julius – “I will lead this ANC. You must put it on the archive. I am going to be a leader of the African National Congress, It doesn’t matter what time it takes, I will lead the African National Congress,” he said.

My musings on being expelled or not were side tracked for a few minutes when Julius mentioned he had been summoned by the youth league from Limpopo (province in northern part of South Africa) where he had been tending cattle. Just can’t imagine Julius sitting on a rock watching over a few head of cattle while aspiring to be the leader of the biggest political party in South Africa!

Further musings got me wondering why the National Press Club would actually invite Julius and former ANCYL secretary general Sindiso Magaqa, who is also suspended from the ANC, to come talk to them? Could it be that the Press Club is punting for Julius and wants to keep him in the limelight?

But.

If you want to aspire to the top positions in politics you need to make sure that you get all your facts in a row and keep your side clean.

Enter the current Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale who at one stage partly owned Mvelaphanda Holdings  which is reported as paying R1000 000 to Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust which is currently under investigation.

Now it seems to me that Sexwale is seriously considering moving on to become ANC president. And being friendly to Julius Malema could help him with this aspiration. If memory serves me correctly, Sexwale was the one who pleaded for mercy for him during the firebrand’s ANC disciplinary hearing.      If Julius helps Sexwale, it can be expected that Sexwale will be grateful, and ensure that Julius get his wishes as well. That is the nature of politics.

 

I then got to thinking about a new acronym that is doing the rounds, ABZ (“Anything But Zuma”), which would be what Sexwale is hoping for in the next few months. Certain provinces in South Africa, particularly the Eastern Cape, Limpopo (Juilius’s home province), Western Cape and Gauteng want to get rid of president Zuma.

Another person who has been reported as being an ally of Julius is our esteemed  Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe who suddenly seems a bit reluctant to take up the challenge of lifting Zuma from being president. But if Julius gets to be leader of the ANC, why not help Motlanthe get what he wants?

But.

What will happen if Sexwale and Motlanthe are both hoping for backing from Julius and it falls apart? The donations made to Julius via his Trust account have now come under investigation and we also have SARS (SA Revenue Services) allegedly wanting  quite a few million from Malema. Figures being bandied about range from R10 million to R27 million with Julius himself claiming it could be closer to R120 million (SMS to City Press by Julius himself). Not that I believe Julius, I think he is throwing that type of figure around for sensationalism.

So anything can happen in the run up to the ANC conference in Bloemfontein (re-named to Mangaung).

 

It is also reported that Sexwale was deployed by the ANC to appear on stage last Friday with Zuma at the ANC’s ­KwaZulu-Natal provincial conference in Newcastle.  Here Sexwale had to participate in singing some pro-Zuma songs.

 Among the songs sung was “Washis’ iskipa sikaZuma sakufak’ amavolovolo wema!” (loosely translated as, “You burn a Zuma T-shirt, we’ll shoot you!”). Nice to know that from our president to his followers the first option is to shoot anybody burning a T-shirt to show opposition to the president! Is this a democracy?

So from my view it would seem that last Fridays charade of Zuma and Sexwale being united is just that, a charade.

I will be following the on-going saga with great interest.

At least we can say that politics in Africa are not dull!!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on 15/05/2012 in South Africa

 

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Quick, use your camera


On our way through the Orange Free State (one of the 9 provinces in South Africa) we suddenly came across a small lake with Flamingo’s in the middle of nowhere.

This is where carrying your camera is an added bonus to your road trip. I know my photography of birds in motion still needs some serious practice but at least I have a record of what I saw out on the road.

I also took some pictures of some pollution next to the dam where a peanut farmer was dumping his waste in the bushes, but until I have contacted the relevant authorities and the peanut farmer I cannot publish these.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 13/05/2012 in Photo

 

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Dirty Tricks and Politics


What is it that allows our government here in South Africa to have our crime intelligence boss to firstly be suspended while there were investigations against him for murder and corruption, then to be re-instated, and then removed from his position?

The plot could not have been thought out by any mini-series script writer as it is just too far-fetched.

My personal musings about the character of the person who is in charge of national intelligence is that the person must be above reproach in all aspects of their lives. But here we have a person who was under investigation for murdering his lover’s husband,  Oupa Ramogibe in 1999. Now most other countries would have had him out of his position so quickly that he wouldn’t even had time to wipe his nose!

Then charges of murder and fraud are controversially withdrawn in February even though the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) seemed to have a good case at the time.

Then there are the investigations of corruption (more below) and nepotism that just cloud the water even more.

BUT, it is a matter of record that crime intelligence boss Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli then writes a very strange letter to our very esteemed president Zuma in which he mentions that if he is allowed back to work as crime intelligence boss he will would “assist the president to succeed next year” meaning that he would ensure that Zuma is re-elected as president at the next election. Now if that isn’t trying to pull strings I just don’t know! But never the less, suddenly Mdluli is back in his office as if nothing was being investigated against him.

Then suddenly,  Mdluli is removed from his office and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s makes a statement to Parliament showing that Mdluli was removed to allow state law adviser Enver Daniels the opportunity to investigate claims made by Mdluli that senior police officers were plotting against him. These allegations were also included in the letter to president Zuma but were very strangely phrased.

ANC insiders and securocrats have been puzzled by Mdluli’s perceived closeness to Zuma, since he has no struggle record. And this seems to be a pre-requisite to be in the inner circles which will ensure you have a top job no matter what your sins are!

Now Mdluli is saying that his sudden removal from office has nothing to do with the serious allegations of corruption and nepotism against him.  Yet from another source we get to hear that he and other senior high-ranking officers were involved in the looting of an R200m secret service account for their own personal benefit.

This secret fund was pumped into a front company which by a strange twist of fate was started by the apartheid-era police. Universal Technical Enterprises (UTE) was established in 1988 by the security branch and used by its bomb-making unit to buy equipment to blow up anti-apartheid activists. (see below)

The current investigations against Mdluli has allegedly uncovered that crime intelligence ha sbeen using UTE as a front to siphon of funds, buy luxury vehicles, cover personal debts and pay for private flights all over the place.

During the investigations by the Hawks (Special Investigation Branch) it found that Mdluli employed at least seven family members within crime intelligence, kitted them out with luxury cars and rented houses he owned to his own division. (How did he get to own houses that could be rented out?)

———————————————————————————————————————————————————

Below is a history of the front company being used by intelligence which I found in the City Press newspaper. It makes for interesting reading!

 Johannesburg – The front company allegedly used by crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and other agents to plunder a secret “slush fund”, was started by the apartheid-era police.

Universal Technical Enterprises (UTE) – a police front company – was established in 1988 by the security branch and used by its bomb-making unit to buy equipment to blow up anti-apartheid activists.

UTE was set up by former security policemen and co-owned by, among, others a ­notorious apartheid bomb-planter and killer until 2004.

The existence and abuse of UTE and other crime intelligence front companies are ­exposed in affidavits made by two top Hawks investigators and in a top-secret report to acting police commissioner Lieutenant­ General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

The directors of UTE are chief financial officer of crime intelligence Solly Lazarus and former crime intelligence boss Mulangi Mphego, who resigned from the police but is still listed as a director.

Company records show that UTE was set up in May 1988 and that its original directors were Wybrand du Toit, Christoffel Breytenbach and Adam Helberg.

City Press was told last week that UTE was among a host of former security branch front companies and was utilised by the unit’s technical division to buy spy devices and equipment to assemble explosives.

Du Toit was a brigadier in the security branch and was widely known as Wal du Toit.

Motherwell Four

He was the head of the technical division of the security police and was in charge of manufacturing bombs and other explosive devices that were used to blow up activists.

Du Toit is a convicted murderer who ­appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for his complicity in killing 13 activists.

In June 1996, Du Toit was convicted of murder for blowing up four policemen – known as the Motherwell Four – with a car bomb in the Eastern Cape in December 1989.

The security police were concerned that the policemen were leaking information to the ANC, but didn’t have enough evidence to charge them.

Du Toit had to manufacture the car bomb. He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, but received amnesty.

Du Toit was also involved in the February 1991 murder of Johannesburg lawyer Bheki Mlangeni when he received a Walkman cassette player with a tape in the post.

The security police wanted to kill former Vlakplaas commander Dirk Coetzee, who was in exile with the ANC.

Du Toit and his men built explosives into the earphones of a Walkman and sent it to Coetzee. But it landed up with Mlangeni, who switched on the recorder and was instantly killed.

Equipment

Du Toit was also a mastermind behind the bombing of the ANC headquarters in London in 1982 and Khanya House, the Pretoria headquarters of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, in 1988.

A former security policeman told City Press the technical division provided the security police with phone-tapping and tracking equipment, listening devices and whatever gadgets they needed to fight their secret war against the ANC.

UTE was set up to enable the unit to purchase any equipment they needed.

Although Du Toit was suspended from the police in 1996, his resignation as a director of UTE was recorded only in April 2004.

That was also the date on which Lazarus and Mphego became directors.

Lazarus is accused of being instrumental in the looting of the secret fund and was suspended from the police with Mdluli until their controversial reinstatement last month.

also check out:   http://blogs.news24.com/paulseso1/what-constitution

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on 10/05/2012 in South Africa

 

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Why photograph?


Why take a photograph?

In response to my previous post I was asked by someone who happened to read the post what is the reason why people actually take photos? The question was quite simple, but the more I mused about it the more complex the answer seemed to becoming. So I checked a couple of photography books and the answer obtained from them suddenly made sense to me.

What I have tried to do here is put down an answer which I hope will make you also think why you are pressing that shutter release.

What most photographers want to do is communicate something. This is it in a nut shell.

The communication could be a true representation of what the photographer sees, abstract or symbolic, and is an attempt by the photographer trying to express something tangible to another person in a clear manner using visual communication. I know there are photographers doing commercial work such as fashion shoots or travel magazines who have to shoot what their clients want and this could be covered by a blog on its own so I am going to focus on individuals who do it for the fun of it.

An interesting point that was raised is that our modern society has become more interested in style than substance. We replace our normal communication with “mental candy” which is something to treat the eyes and ears rather than relaying basic information. The use of cell phones, email, Facebook and other social media’s wants us to be firstly entertained, before gaining knowledge. For most people this is an easy way out. We don’t want to work at communicating.

Photographers on the other hand only have the visual to communicate with, and should find this to be easy. But as we all find out this is not so, it often ends up being hard work.

The starting point of taking a good photograph is to have an idea of what we want to communicate. If we look at a scene and think ‘it is nice’ but have no idea of what we want to convey, it is going to be much more difficult to make a point with a stunning photograph. As an example, if I wanted to photograph an old rusted wheelbarrow it would be easy to make sure the exposure was right and hit the shutter. The picture would show an old rusty wheelbarrow, but it wouldn’t convey anything else. If I moved to the side and picked up how the light brought out the texture of the rust in comparison to some spots of peeling paint it changes everything by communicating to the viewer that I may have found the play of light and shade with the different textures being interesting to me.  By just focusing on more than just the wheelbarrow I am now communicating to the viewer that this is what took my fancy when I looked at the scene, and this is why I took the Photo.

I am sure there far more qualified people out there who could write a thesis on why people take photographs but I hope this very brief synopsis gets you thinking as to why you take a photograph.

 
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Posted by on 09/05/2012 in Photo

 

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