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Category Archives: South Africa

Jacob’s reply to the Nkandla scandal


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In the last few weeks we have had the report issued by the Public Prosecutor’s office regarding the excessive amount of work done to Jacob Zuma’s private dwelling in KZN.
Apart from the ground not even belonging to the president, and being leased from the local tribal chief, it seems that an amount of over R260 million was spent on upgrading.
The president now claims he didn’t know what was being done to his private residence and therefore why should he have to pay any of the money back!
During my musings while travelling to and from work, I began to wonder how can it be that the person chosen by his political party to run the country, for the good of all citizens, cannot even keep track of what goes on at his own house?

I also thought it was pretty nifty of the president to state in Parliament that his family had paid for their own homes to be built. This is very noble of him. Yet it doesn’t explain how come the tax payers have had to pay for a visitors centre, cattle kraal and chicken run, swimming pool, amphitheatre plus a tuck shop for one of his wives. So the president makes a mistake and addresses parliament “in good faith” and conveniently forgets about all the other items that were being built.

The ANC as a liberation party was against the forceful removal of people from where they had lived for years. District Six is an example of this. Yet when Nkandla needed to be upgraded there were at least three neighbouring families that had to be relocated. The costs of relocating these families ran to R7.9 million!! For that type of money the State could have built a couple of houses for other needy people or even a much needed clinic.
And above all the relocation and setting up of some of the installations involved unlawful actions and constituted improper conduct and maladministration. These did not comply with section 237 of the Constitution.

Will the president stand up and with hand on heart declare that he was once again totally unaware that the very constitution that he swore to uphold, was being flaunted?

Now the president is saying that he should not be held responsible for the upgrade even though he tacitly accepted the implementation of all measures at his residence.

So, if the president doesn’t want to repay just over R240 million as “he didn’t ask for it”, why are we the motorists in Gauteng, expected to repay the funds that were wasted on the e-Toll system linking Pretoria and Johannesburg? The upgrade to the roads should have easily been covered by the BILLIONS that are made from the fuel levies for the purpose of funding road maintenance. The public has from the very start stated that they did not want the e-Toll system as it was not properly thought out and would hurt a lot of people when implemented. The Government has to get money from the e-Toll system as they need to pay back the pension fund the money that was used without obtaining the required permission to do so.

Another bit of my musing had to do with trying to reconcile how Zuma’s architect, Minenhle Makhanya, was paid R16.5 million. I cannot see anything that would justify being charged such a large amount of money. And now I hear he has got another government contract to do some more work for them !! This gravy train just keeps on steaming ahead with no sign of letting up.

 
 

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President Zuma Behind Bars


Visiting Soweto - News24 photo

Visiting Soweto – News24 photo

Not really but when I saw the photo my wicked sense of humour took a turn for the better!
But now that I have your attention here is my most favourite person in the news again.
After failing to take charge of Pretoria’s Metro Police after getting kicked out of Ekurhuleni Metro Police he is once again at it..

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; (thanks to William Shakespeare – As You Like It: Act 2 Scene 7)
As I stand in the wings watching the play unfold in South Africa the often used quote by Shakespeare comes to mind.
We have a comedy in the making with the appointment of Robert McBride to be the next head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).
In a time when the South African Police has such a tarnished image of corruption, brutality and a total disregard of basic policing, one is left to wonder why this appointment is being made.
I find it totally laughable that the ANC’s Western Cape chairman, Marius Fransman, has the gumption to state that McBride is “a hero, patriot and committed civil servant to the people of South Africa”. As far as my memory serves me, once upon a time, civil servants and especially those representing the government had to be beyond reproach with no criminal records, strong morals and impeccable ethics.
Our incumbent president Jacob Zuma has in the last while stated most categorically that he is trying to clean up the government (can he start with himself, I wonder?) and then we hear about McBride, once again surfacing like a rotten smell which just doesn’t want to go away.
When completing your application for employment in the government you are asked if you have ever been found guilty of any criminal act. Now even if we discount the Magoo Bar bombing in which civilians were killed because it was politically motivated (shouldn’t this ruling then also be applied to the Boeremag who accidentally killed a women while blowing up train lines?).
McBride and others members of his terror cell were granted amnesty for the attack. The Truth and Reconciliation commission actually stated that this act was a “gross violation of human rights”.
Or even if we by some long stretch of the imagination should agree that McBride was totally sober after his Christmas party celebrations when he crashed his car on the way home. And we would then also have to wonder how he was found not guilty of trying to defeat the ends of justice while the doctor who issued the results of the blood test without even seeing McBride was found guilty of misconduct. We would also have to ignore the bullying of witnesses by his security minions to a point where they and their families were to terrified to state anything in court. Mcbride was found guilty and sentenced to five years imprisonment. This was later set aside leaving many wondering who was pulling the strings.
Then we have a small incident of being arrested in Mozambique while doing some gun running. Was he just trying to smuggle arms and ammunition into places such as KZN where innocent victims were being slaughtered just to try destabilising the area? He was found guilty and sentenced to jail time but once again his powerful friends in the ANC pulled some strings and he was sent back to South Africa.
What about being involved in an assault case while in the company of underworld bosses at some escort agency? Wonder if he and the previous head of the police and Interpol, Jackie Selebi, were house friends?
In looking at the farce of appointing heads of police we must include Bheki Cele and Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega in this illustrious gathering of players. None of the previous appointments made any positive impact on crime in South Africa and it may be stated that crime actually got worse. Police brutality by far exceeds anything that the previous government did. Corruption is seen as an additional source of income to some police.
SO HOW DOES MCBRIDE EVEN COME INTO CONTENTION FOR THIS POSITION WHERE HE WILL BE INVESTIGATING PEOPLE FOR THE VERY SAME THINGS HE IS GUILTY OF?
1) President Zuma’s ANC are not serious about fighting crime or corruption. Is it far more lucrative to have it continue while they are in power?
2) Why did Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa support the nomination of McBride. Was pressure put on him by higher powers?
3) Does President Zuma want to avoid the possibility of having someone appointed from outside the ANC who would be independent of politics? Maybe Zuma learnt his lesson when he appointed Thuli Madonsela as public prosecutor!
4) According to the (Democratic Alliance) DA the advertisement for the post seems to have been tailored to McBride’s CV. Makes me wonder who was responsible for authorising the changes…
In a recent survey people were asked about problems in South Africa and it is not surprising that fear and mistrust of the police came second to being murdered during a robbery!!

 
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Posted by on 31/01/2014 in Musings, South Africa, Uncategorized

 

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here we go again


Lion

Lion

It is now 2014 and it is going to be a year filled with changes and challenges for the entire planet. Some will be good and then there will be those that aren’t so good as well.

As far as blogging goes I did have quite a long break last year which was mainly attributable to some serious work pressure. We are finally coming to the end of a multi-million rand project which has been running for the last five years. Last year just got progressively worse as time went by. Towards the end of the year it was a case of meetings, change specifications, more meetings, more changes to a point where days just seemed to blend into one long procession of work, sleep and eat.
I did try keep up with reading those blogs that I follow, and even if I didn’t post anything on your blogs, I took note of what was happening in your lives. This year I am really going to try my utmost to be far more active on my blog and in replying to yours as well.
So to all my blogging buddies may the next year be all you hope for and may you receive all you need.

 
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Posted by on 15/01/2014 in Photo, South Africa

 

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Black Education


A bridge too far?

On Thursday last week there was an interesting article in News 24 in which Rabelani Dagada, a lecturer at Wits Business School, and a Programme Director for ICT Governance and Risk Management, told a debate on affirmative action that the apartheid-era Bantu (Black) education was far better than what is now being taught under the new post-apartheid government (ANC).

I went to my good friend Google and Linkin to see who this Wits academic is and from what base he is making these statements. Needless to say I found a man who has walked the walk and is in a position to make this assertion without fear of contradiction or favour.
I have quoted from the news article by News 24 and added some of my own comments in italics.
“It was far better in terms of quality than the education that our kids are receiving nowadays. That is where the problem is”.

And we now have these children finishing school and university with an education that is not up to standard. Pass rates have been dropped to such low levels that you only need to know less than a third of a subject and that okay to pass you. Here in the workplace we have graduates who can barely put a paragraph together in a coherent manner that have English as a subject that was passed in Matric.

“Affirmative action should be about empowerment. The best way to empower is not to take from those who have and give to those who don’t have. It won’t work.”

This statement in various guises has been bandied around for a long time and in various countries. Yet the ANC has seen it fit to ignore this warning and taken as much as they possible could from those who had and kept it for themselves. They didn’t even take the time to consider that there many who had worked very hard to get where they were without the help of the previous government. By giving those who didn’t have, a push through the education system, we have skewed the education which is necessary to take our country into the future.

Dagada said South Africans could only be empowered through proper education.
“After 20 years of democracy, the education levels have plunged. It’s worse than the so-called Bantu education. The best way to do transformation, empowerment is to provide quality education.”

And from Pik Botha at the same function:
Former foreign affairs minister Pik Botha said South Africa, under the ANC’s leadership, had moved away from former president Nelson Mandela’s principles. He said the country’s affirmative action policies were mainly hurting the black majority.

“How much further down must all of us go before we say this is enough now? Our education is far behind, it is the worst in Africa, [but] it has the highest per capita expenditure.”

Botha said Zimbabwe’s education system was better than South Africa’s.

“When is this going to change? At state hospitals black patients must wait for three years for an operation.”
Botha said when Mandela became president, he was careful not to lose skilled white people.
“He said we must not lose the proficiency of the whites. They must not leave the public service, but they should help us to train people to achieve that same proficiency,” said Botha.
“They have now removed all those people.”

 
 

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photo mix


With winter approching it is now the time to get out there and take photos of the changing seasons.

This morning I passed a lane of trees with some brilliant colours but due to running late I had not taken my camera and missed that perfect moment when the light and everything just seemed to come together. I totally forgot that in an emergency I could have wipped out my cell phone (mobile) and hopefully have at least got something to show.

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peace

Tomorrow morning I want to go out and try get some shots in black and white. Could be interesting!

 
 

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Image

Waiting for children


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Posted by on 11/05/2013 in Photo, South Africa, Uncategorized, Welfare

 

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Photos at Union Building


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Posted by on 11/05/2013 in Photo, South Africa

 

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