RSS

Monthly Archives: March 2013

South Africa versus the United Nations


 

As a follow up to my blog of yesterday:

It seems that the South African National Defence Force has been rapped over the finger as to the troops that are being sent into combat zones in Africa by the United Nations.

A senior member of the UN has raised a concern about the discipline and preparedness of the South African troops in countries such as Sudan. This follows various incidents which cumulated in the raising of these concerns by the United Nations. The United Nations suggested that they would be willing to send instructors to help get the troops battle ready.

In response to this offer it seems that Lt-Col T Mashalaba has sent a very strongly worded letter (tirade) to the senior members of the United Nations troops  indicating that nobody other than South Africans would be allowed to train his troops (Battalion 10) and that if anybody was sent to train them they would receive no co-operation from the SA troops.

Now once again we are seeing the total arrogance of our leaders who under the circumstances should be more than happy to receive any help that they can. Or are they more interested in ceremonies such as the one where 10 ceremonial swords were presented to the North Vietnamese army?

Sadly this attitude of Lt-Col T Mashalaba cost the life of Rifleman Vincent van der Walt (23) when they were sent into a dangerous area where they walked straight into an ambush.

Brig-Gen Xolani Mabanga seems to think our 2500 troops deployed in Sudan, DRC, and Mozambique (why?) are very well trained and claims to have no knowledge of the correspondence by the United Nations or the reply by Lt-Col T Mashalaba, which apart from being sent to members of UNAMID, was also sent to senior member of the United Nations in New York.

For his edification I have included an extract of the letter that Lt-Col T Mashalaba penned.

sudan

(Source Beeld – my apology for the bad copy but at least it is readable 🙂 )

Just a pity that this arrogance is costing the lives of our troops who in all truth should be protecting our own borders.

Advertisements
 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Trust the Military to look after your kids?


 

Quite some time ago I did a blog about a general in the South African National Defence Force who was caught cheating during promotion exams. He had copied answers from a fellow candidate.

At the time he had the rank of a general and after being found guilty of cheating he was demoted to the rank of major. This on its own was enough to raise some eyebrows as the expectation in military circles was that Sithabiso Mahlobo should have been cashiered from the army without any benefits.

But after his demotion in 2002, Sithabiso Mahlobo was once again promoted up through the ranks and in 2008 was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. Not bad for a cheat!

As Brig-General he was put in command of 46 Brigade who will soon be deployed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to fight against the infamous M23 rebels. He is responsible for the training of these troops under his command and yet according to military expert, Helmoed-Rӧmer Heitman, no officer that has been found guilty of a crime such as cheating in exams should be allowed to lead or train troops.

I did a quick check on both the American and British armies to see how they would apply military laws. Well, even a rumour of a bit of hanky-panky could be enough to ruin your career. Any sniff of anything irregular or contrary to military law was enough to get you kicked out, without even a pension to help you get through the rest of your life.

So why did Sithabso Mahlobo get to stay on in the army, and how did he move up in the ranks when he, previously all on his own, displayed adequate reason that he wasn’t fit to even lead a platoon on garden duty?

Unsinkable_South_African_admiral_Litchfield_Tshabalala[5]

Actually while musing about Mahlobo and his shenanigans I got to thinking about Rear-Admiral Kyanysile Litchfield-Tsabalala  who just happened to falsely claim for a stolen government laptop after a conference she was attending in Sandton, and for lodging a false claim for accommodation at a guesthouse, and for assaulting a junior naval staffer who wanted to search her car when leaving a military base.

She was found guilty of 2 criminal charges (see above) for defrauding the State in 2007 in a military court instead of a civilian court. The excuse at the time was that it due to her high rank. Yet even after being found guilty she still remains the Navy’s director of transformation (department set up to move more blacks into the navy according to BEE (Black Equity Empowerment) even though most of them cannot swim.) Even though the Military Court of Appeals confirmed her convictions, she has continued to be paid her monthly lucrative salary.

By all accounts she has some very powerful friends all the way up to the minister of defence and seems to have some hold over them to ensure that she isn’t kicked out in disgrace.

Now taking both stories into consideration it seems that the message that is being sent out to the rest of the defence force is that corrupt behaviour by senior officers is most certainly being rewarded instead of being condemned with all the suitable negative repercussions that should be applied.

I feel sorry for those members who are trying to make a success of the defence force yet are being thwarted by the very people who are supposed to lead them.

tomorrow I need to do some serious musing about kids getting killed because of inadequate training and how the UN has even told us so.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Future happenings?


 

ANC Election sticker

ANC Election sticker

 

Dear Employees:

As the CEO of this organization, I have resigned myself to the fact that

Jacob Zuma is our President and that our taxes and government fees will

increase in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, our prices would have to increase by

about 10%.

 

But, since we cannot increase our prices right now due to the dismal state

of the economy, we will have to lay off sixty of our employees instead.

This has really been bothering me since I believe we are family here and I

didn ‘t know how to choose who would have to go. So, this is what I did.

I walked through our parking lots and found sixty ‘ANC ‘ bumper stickers on

our employees ‘ cars and have decided these folks will be the ones to let

go.

I can ‘t think of a more fair way to approach this problem. They voted for

change… I gave it to them.

 

I will see the REST of you at the annual company picnic…….which WE can

now afford….!!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on 07/03/2013 in Black and White, Humour, South Africa

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Kitchen Dutch


thanks to Google

thanks to Google

Now my bitch is aimed directly at those immigrants who come into South Africa from various European countries (for this dissertation let’s just say they came from Serbia, although it may as well be any other country, I’m not thinking of country specifically! J) and even after being in the country for more than 20 years they still do not want to assimilate with the rest of the population. They have their own circle of friends, own churches (not that many of them attend anymore), own social clubs.

On the odd occasion that we have visited there for family responsibility reasons, they speak to each other in their mother tongue, without any consideration for their English or Afrikaans speaking visitors.

What irks me the most is that most of them fled their original countries due to various reasons and came to South Africa to start a new life amongst the local population.  They arrived with nothing more than what they carried in a suitcase and accepted help from either English or Afrikaans speaking South African who helped with jobs and training. Those who had children of school going ages ended up sending them English speaking schools as they could in most cases speak a smattering of English. It is conveniently forgotten that their education was paid for by both English and Afrikaans taxes.

During all the years that they have been in the country they want to create the impression that they don’t understand any Afrikaans at all. Through the years they seem to have perfected this blank almost catatonic look the minute any Afrikaans is spoken in their presence. When they are addressed in Afrikaans they just pull up their shoulders and give this sheepish smile (sneer?) and in a well cultivated apologetic accent say something to the effect of “Jammer, but I does not speaks Afrikaans”. Now as far as I’m concerned all these visitors to our country had to learn to speak Afrikaans at school, as in those years it was the second official language and we were forced to learn it if we wanted to pass. Suddenly when school and further learning is behind them, they seem to all have gone for a lobotomy which resulted in Afrikaans now becoming an alien language to which they have never been exposed!

When these very people have been invited to mix and speak with people who have Afrikaans as a home language, they seem to get this very self-righteous attitude and say “I would rather not waste my time trying to speak this kitchen Dutch!” Now please understand that I am very slow to anger, but here my blood rapidly approaches boiling point in a very short period of time. Not even in my days spent in uniform doing the best to keep myself alive (which I obviously managed well enough) have I felt this anger building up inside of me.

I really felt like trying to explain that many, many years ago when the Dutch first arrived here in South Africa they spoke a variety of dialects of Dutch even though they came from the same country. In keeping with languages all over the world, people adapt a language to suit the circumstances and environment that they find themselves in. At the same time the French and English showed an interest in South Africa thus bringing their own languages to add to the caldron that would finally give birth to Afrikaans as an official language. So even if Afrikaans did evolve from people sitting around the kitchen table talking to each other , as good friend seem to do in our household,  I see no reason for these non-Afrikaans speaking immigrants (who cling to their foreign passports tighter than a burr to a horse blanket) to use the term of “kitchen Dutch” in a decoratively manner. I had to learn to speak Afrikaans when I was of school going age, and over the years have learnt to love the language. Today I don’t think in terms of being either English or Afrikaans and think of myself as being a South African.  My one regret, is that I never learnt to speak one of the local Black languages fluently which would have been the ideal situation for those of us living here in South Africa.

So to all those folk out there who don’t want to speak Afrikaans or don’t understand it for whatever reason after all these years of being in the country:

Mag jou arms korter word, en mag die vlooie van ‘n duisend honde en katte jou privaat dele investeer!  

Seeing as they won’t understand that, I suppose they can’t take exception to it !  🙂

And by the way – I’m actually English speaking

 
7 Comments

Posted by on 01/03/2013 in Uncategorized

 

Killing Fields of Africa


100_1054

 

While riding to work I do a lot of musing about so many things I hear, read or see that by the time I get to work I have worked out an entire blog. The only problem is that once I am at work I barely touch sides with meetings and JAD sessions taking up most of my time thus leaving me very little time to prepare a blog and upload it. But I suppose I owe my soul to the company and need to give them their pound of flesh J

In the past South Africa was in the forefront of conservation of our wildlife. Nature reserves were established all around the country and the management thereof was of such high quality that South Africa was one of only a handful of countries where the number of animals increased to a very healthy population.

And it is this that now turned our country into a target for poachers. The current focus has been on the slaughter of Rhinos for their horns. The retail price for a large Rhino horn can easily turn a person into an instant millionaire and there is a ready market out there to ensure that a network is set up to smuggle the horns out of Africa to the Far East. The concern now is that as the price of ivory keep increasing that the poachers will increasingly start focusing on slaughtering the herds of Elephants in South Africa.

photo by Ross Warner

photo by Ross Warner

 

In an article by Sheree Bega (Star newspaper) mention is made of between 25 000 and 50 000 elephants being slaughtered in 2011. In 2012 the conflict in various African countries has been the excuse for wholesale slaughter of thousands of Elephants.

As the Elephant population is decimated in the rest of Africa for the tusks that they carry, the poachers are increasingly starting to move south. There has been an increase in poaching in Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and soon it will spill into South Africa.

Ivory is already being called “white gold” because of the high prices being paid for it.

Poaching used to be done by various populations purely as a means of surviving but those days are now gone. The estimated value of animal trafficking now exceeds R80 billion (R1 = approx. $8) which makes it a thriving business.

Once our population of Elephants has been wiped out the next animal on the list will the Lion population. No amounts of educating people that the various dried parts of a Lion are not of any medicinal value, will the killing of Lions stop.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on 01/03/2013 in Envioronment, Game reserve, Photo, South Africa

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,