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Category Archives: World happenings

Death in Darkest Africa


 

The uprising in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the subsequent loss of life of South African troops deployed there has raised many questions as to what they were really doing there and if there were ulterior motives of having them there.

It seems that once again our government is not telling us everything and are trying their best to shut everybody up by claiming it isn’t national interest and that it in the interest of national security not to disclose details of what really happened.

The snippets of news that we managed to get indicated that our troops had vacated their base in Bangui in such haste that they had left their uniforms and equipment lying on the parade ground. Pictures showed the victorious rebels standing around amongst items left behind by the South African parachute soldiers (parabats). Now as far as my memory serves me, I don’t recall any soldiers in the SADF (South African Defense Force) ever vacating a base and leaving any equipment to fall into enemy hands. On the contrary the SADF took over plenty of enemy bases, where they had just dropped everything and run. Sometimes even before our troops had reached them!

An unconfirmed bit of news was that the SA troops had fled Bangui and taken shelter at the airport under the protection of French troops.  Now if this is true, South Africa as a nation that prided itself as being one of the best armies in Africa, no longer exists. The French news agency has reported that the number of SA troops killed was actually between 36 and 50 and not the 13 as claimed by the South African government.

International Relations Minister Nkoane-Mashabane said that the South African government would investigate international reports querying the death toll of South African soldiers in Bangui. If this is being investigated then there may be some truth in the higher figures.

The excuse of not knowing exactly what the number of killed is that the situation in the CAR is still chaotic. Quoting the minister “What I can say is that what was confirmed by United Nations [UN] and African Union representatives based in the Central African Republic is that in a coup situation there will be chaos, loss of life, and other unforeseen circumstances”. Apparently the government is waiting for confirmation of what is actually happening in CAR which brings me to our esteemed minister of defense in parliament today:

Minister Mapisa-Nqakula sat in parliament and stated to the world that our troops were not equipped or prepared to deal with an attack by the rebels in the Central African Republic.

A further matter of concern is that the minister hinted that there are questions regarding quality of military intelligence provided to the SA troops in Bangui.

The clash with Seleka rebel fighters in Bangui on 23 March was not really a surprise as our troops were aware of the fact that the rebels were on the outskirts of the town and were advancing to take over power in a coup.

Then the minister came up with some statements that in any other country would have had her looking for a new job tomorrow:

Quote 1:

“I’m still wondering how we lost it there, what happened.”

Now when a minister of defense sit back comfortably in her leather chair in parliament and states that she is wondering how and why we lost troops it just tells me that she has no idea of what happened and that she doesn’t deserve to be a minister of defense. From what I have heard she has never even been in the military and has no idea of what really goes on in her portfolio.

Quote 2:

I think that is what we did not anticipate, that the kind of rebel you would end up protecting yourself from is the kind of rebel which will come in heavy vehicles and will have high-calibre machinery, I think that’s what happened here.

Now if reports from Bangui are anything to go by it would seem that the SA National Defense Force (SANDF) troops were equipped and had the necessary armoury to deal with the rebels they expected to encounter. But suddenly the rebels were armed with mortars and heavy-calibre weapons when they attacked the SA troops.

Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi then went on to say that military intelligence had showed that the rebels were poorly trained and that they really didn’t have any heavy firepower at their disposal. He then went on to insinuate that the troops that attacked the SA troops weren’t actually Seleka rebels but came from one of the neighboring countries.

Now even if they were, how did they manage to move from this neighboring country all the way to the capital without being noticed by the UN or the African Union or the French troops stationed in CAR? Where was our own military intelligence during all of this?

 

On Wednesday (3 April 2013) President Jacob Zuma announced South Africa would withdraw its troops from the country. Wonder if we will once again be exposed to yet another cover up? And the withdrawal won’t make it any easier for the families that lost loved ones in some foreign country for who knows what reason.

 
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Posted by on 05/04/2013 in South Africa, World happenings

 

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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.

 
 

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Doesn’t the government look after the people first then themselves?


For those who don’t want to read anything long, skip down to the bottom for a bit that sums up the situation as it currently is.

I was under the impression that most governments that are voted in democratically, are there to govern the country/people on behalf of the people, that voted them into power in the first place

Since the ANC came into power here in South Africa they have built up a culture of spending money as if there is no tomorrow. Prior to coming into power they had to depend on the rest of the world to fund them as they claimed not to have any funds to keep operating.

The Mangaung conference (Bloemfontein to us older folk) cost the ruling party’s conference more than R100m. Most of this had to be paid upfront in full as many businesses had not been paid for the ANC’s centenary celebrations held there earlier in the year.

The spending on the Mangaung conference was equal to what the party had spent on its year-long centenary celebrations which means that a total of R200m had been spent purely on the ANC and not on the people they are meant to be representing.

Apparently the following vehicles were seen at the parking lot for the conference (this could not be confirmed but comes from a source normally pretty reliable)
106 BMW X5’s,

28 RANGE ROVER SPORTS,

211 BMW 5 or 7 series sedans,

11 MASERATI’s,

103 MERCEDES BENZ sedans,

6 HUMMERS,

9 FERRARI’s.

Now using the low side of averaging prices for these vehicles it comes to a staggering R351m!! Not bad going for the previously disadvantaged is it? I wasn’t previously disadvantaged according to the government, yet I couldn’t afford most of the cars that were there. Not even a second hand one!

It was your and my taxes that ultimately paid for these cars as well as the luxury accommodation, decadently luxurious and excessive food and drinks (all free!!), wives, spouses, lovers, friends and family.

And only a peep is heard from the people that they are unhappy.

So we continue with the old refrain that the government doesn’t have money for  RDP (matchbox houses at R50 000 each) houses, proper medical facilities where patients don’t die due to lack of care/medicine, an education system that has failed the pupils where the pass mark is artificially manipulated to ensure a good pass rate, a police force that is rife with corruption due to low salaries and improper training, subsidies for old age homes and other care facilities no longer happens, sewerage plants round the country no longer working, water and electricity supplies erratic due to no funds for maintenance. We have people dying in the rural areas due to lack of food/water. The number unemployed has long ago passed the 25% danger point.  And the list goes on……

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“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”  — Margaret Thatcher

The folks who are getting free stuff, don’t like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.
The folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop, and the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting!
Now…  The people who are forcing the people to pay for the free stuff have told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff, that the people who are PAYING for the free stuff, are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.
So…  The people who are GETTING the free stuff have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people who are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff, and giving them the free stuff in the first place.
We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.
Now understand this: all great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded.  The reason?  The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange for electing them.  Thomas Jefferson said it best:  “Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not”.
The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for the free stuff.

 We have one chance to change that at the next election will we?  

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The following was received from a black colleague of mine who I considered very pro-ANC.

A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!
Zuma:     Gone!
Schooling: A decent pass rate not a manufactured one!
Culture:  Western Standards not 40 wives cared for by the tax payers!
Corruption Free; No one with a criminal record has a position in Government! (and that includes most of those now warming the benches in Parliament!)
We the people are coming. Let’s take a stand!!!

Now it is becoming very interesting.

 

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Oscar Pistorius (Blade Runner)


Image:Beeld

Image:Beeld

Johannesburg – Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend in the early hours of Thursday morning, apparently after thinking she was an intruder.

The police’s Captain Sarah Mcira confirmed the woman had been shot in the head and arm.

She died at the scene.

Pistorius is apparently in police custody.

Unconfirmed reports from residents living in the area say the woman was shot four times but we will wait for official confirmation.

It is really a sad day in the history of a man that became a role model for so many people.

 
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Posted by on 14/02/2013 in South Africa, World happenings

 

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Constitution


 

 

SA FLAGAMERICAN FLAG

Currently the Americans are embroiled in difference of opinion regarding the second amendment and the right to bear arms. The Americans take what is said in their constitution very seriously and don’t take any changes or misinterpretations to it very lightly.

Now here in South Africa we have a so-called constitution that the rest of the world raved about as it was drafted in such a way that it would protect the citizens of South Africa as well as foreign nationals within our borders. It was hailed as one of the most progressive in the world and enjoyed high acclaim internationally.

Following the repeal of apartheid legislation, South Africa held its first fully democratic national election in 1994. The final Constitution was adopted in 1996 and phased in between 1997 and 1999. South Africa’s Constitution states that South Africa is “founded on a commitment to achieve equality, to promote and protect human dignity and to advance human rights and freedoms”. The Constitution enshrines the principles of supremacy of the rule of law, universal adult suffrage, regular elections and multi-party democracy. The Bill of Rights contained in Chapter 2 of the Constitution is one of the world’s broadest, guaranteeing freedom of speech, movement and political activity, and providing persons accused of crimes with many legal protections including the right to a speedy trial and the right to remain silent. (Victims of crimes seems to have less rights  J )

The Bill of Rights also enshrines the right to access to adequate housing, food, water, education and healthcare, and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy or marital status.

NOW IF THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND THE GOVERNMENT IS SUPPOSED TO ADHERE TO THE CONSTITUTION WHY DO WE STILL HAVE PEOPLE WITHOUT ADEQUATE HOUSING, COMUNITIES WITHOUT WATER, PEOPLE DYING OF HUNGER, SHODDY EDUCATION AND A HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT IS FAILING THE VERY PEOPLE IT IS SUPPOSED TO HELP?

NEARLY 20 YEARS ON, WHY DO WE STILL HAVE “BLACK EMPLOYMENT EQUITY” (BEE) WHICH IS TOTALLY RACE ORIENTATED? THESE LAWS ARE CONTRADICTORY TO OUR CONSTITUTION AND EXCLUDES ALL OTHER RACES OTHER THAN BLACK, FROM BEING ABLE TO COMPETE IN THE WORKPLACE FOR JOBS OR WORK.

HOW COME THE REST OF THE WORLD JUST SITS BACK AND ALLOWS IT? WHEN THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT APPLIED DISCRIMINATORY LAWS, THE WORLD WAS QUICK TO APPLY SANCTIONS.

OR IS IT NOW A CASE OF TURNING A BLIND EYE SO THAT THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT   CAN SELL SOUTH AFRICA TO THE COUNTRY WILLING TO BUY IT CHEAPLY?

 

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South African banks are also corrupt.


Now that Jacob Zuma has been elected to run the country for the next five years one has to wonder if the banks helped fund his election campaign? If he had been kicked out, would they have to call up all the money he owes them.

Some interesting reading in an article published by Stephan Mulholland which makes one wonder about banks who are supposed to be pillars of moral standing – and they deal with our money…..

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Stephen

business day logo

THIS IS THE BUSINESS: Our banks sink into a pit of corruption

by Stephen Mulholland, 16 December 2012, 08:53

BANKS have three basic sources of cash: shareholders’ funds, depositors’ funds and other loans and the revenue they earn on these.

This is aided and abetted, of course, by those endless, complicated schedules of exorbitant fees which no one, including those who design them, appears to understand.

Banks are licensed by the state to accept, and safeguard, our deposits and are expected to abide by high standards of probity and responsibility.

Theirs is a sacred obligation, one which is a pillar of any modern economy and whose balanced and moral behaviour is essential if society is to function efficiently.

It was thus disturbing to learn in the brilliant Mail & Guardian report on the KMPG investigation into the financial affairs of President Jacob Zuma and others how some of our major banks played fast and loose with shareholders’ and depositors’ money to curry favour with our political elite.

These bankers ladled out millions to a proven and reckless spendthrift with an appalling credit record, a known defaulter notorious for spending well in excess of his means on properties, cars and so forth while consistently dishonouring his obligations, like any common schlenter.

They advanced him money for one reason only: to buy political capital.

Those banks – Standard, Absa and FNB – are as guilty as sin of influence peddling, a crime in the US and other jurisdictions.

In the full knowledge that Zuma was a totally unreliable borrower, this is what Absa business centre manager Raymond O’Neil put in writing to his colleagues and superiors: “[Zuma’s] bank balance was the last item on his mind, with more important matters regarding the country and the province to deal with.”

O’Neil went on: “We recommend the opening of the Unique package account for Minister Zuma based on his strategic positioning and importance to the group.” This was after O’Neil acknowledged that he was aware of Zuma’s bad credit record with Standard and Nedbank.

It gets worse. O’Neil then told his bank that Zuma was likely to be elected deputy president and that Nelson Mandela was going to settle his debts. Mandela did come to the party with R2-million for Zuma, which then disappeared into various corners but for a paltry R100000 left in the permanently overdrawn Zuma account.

Absa went further and signed Zuma up as a “private client”, a status then reserved for those with at least R1-million spare for investment. Zuma never had R1 to spare, never mind R1-million.

His private client status was noted in the bank’s records as a political decision, which the M&G says was “seemingly in line with [then] chief executive Nallie Bosman’s view, stated in bank records, that ‘in terms of all financial matters’ Zuma was considered a strategic client”.

This “strategic” client immediately plunged into a huge overdraft which elicited this comment: “The conduct leaves much to be desired, but we have little option but to live with this client in view of his position.”

Standard Bank, which apparently escaped unscathed from Zuma’s shenanigans, cancelled his much- abused credit card and obtained a court order against him.

This did not deter FNB from approving a R900000 bond against the fabled Nkandla compound, chicken feed, of course against the R240-million odd of taxpayers’ money now sunk into that remote hideaway.

In support of this bond an FNB official wrote: “I am sure that the powers that be will assist where we need to bend the rules a little.”

Asked for comment last week FNB responded: “When evaluating risk in a loan application there are cases where we apply management discretion and judgment to determine lending decisions.

There are some loan applications that require discretion and our objective remains to ensure we are making the correct decision in determining the likelihood of repayment of the loan. Reference to bending the rules should be interpreted as management applying its discretion.”

It is sad to see our great institutions sinking into that stinking pit of corruption that many of our ruling political elite inhabit. What a sad example they have set.

* This article was first published in Sunday Times: Business Times

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Just a passing thought – what do the banks tell their shareholders when the arrears figures go up, and it is due to the high profile political players not paying what they owe?  And 10 out of 10 to Standard Bank for cancelling his credit card and taking it to court!!

O’ yes, I was told to include a bit about the above views being expressed are those of the author / blogger and that is is not the view of the banks mentioned, and that although it may be acceptable to me it does not represent the views and policies of my employer.

 

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 20/12/2012 in South Africa, World happenings

 

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Cloak and Dagger


535″>Srdja Popovic

Occasionally one receives an email that has a link to some other site. This link is sent to you by someone who thinks you may possibly find the content interesting.

I enjoy trying to gather information about how things fit together and what the possible causes and reactions are to things happening around us. The link below is very pertinent to what is happening around the world presently.

Far too many people don’t realise that things don’t ‘just’ happen and that there must be a catalyst to kick it off.

Just a pity it hasn’t quite worked out in Zimbabwe. And I don’t think it is going to happen again here in South Africa.

But it is a good article to read to gain a better insight of how the current protests in the Middle East are, and can be, manipulated.

http://moreintelligentlife.com/content/ideas/a-velvet-fist?page=full

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 12/12/2012 in Musings, World happenings

 

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