Cato Manor: Sunday Times places its final bet

Cato Manor: Sunday Times places its final bet

If we were played, then we were not alone, says newspaper’s legal editor.

In a recent defence of the Sunday Times investigative unit, the newspaper’s legal editor Susan Smuts sought the consolation of company in their dilemma: “If you claim we were played, then you have to ask that same question of the well-respected journalist Fred Kockott who was short-listed for the Taco Kuiper award in 2010 for his piece about one of the main tenets of the case against Cato Manor, the killing of taxi driver Bongani Mkhize. [It appeared in the Sunday Tribune.] Mkhize went to court to get an interdict stopping the police from killing him, and he was still killed by the Cato Manor unit members…”

The trouble is, he wasn’t killed by members of the Cato Manor unit. But that comes at the end of our story. We need to begin at the beginning.

A farewell to arms

A farewell to arms

He's a fighter, but he's had enough of blood and guts. Jacques Pauw, fearless journalist, has decided to give himself a break from headline horrors. He's opened a country restaurant.

Investigative journalist and author Jaques Pauw relates with deadpan hilarity the trials of the past few weeks during which he has reinvented himself as a restaurateur and guesthouse owner: “Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Things are still going wrong. The thing is, we know absolutely f-all about this business,” he says, sipping a Savannah.

We are sitting in the shady courtyard of Red Tin Roof, the restaurant in Riebeek Kasteel which Pauw and his partner Sam Rogers, also a prominent journalist, started in December.

Pauw does the kitchen and Rogers does “everything else”. “You have to try to separate the functions,” he says,“there’s obviously lots of friction and glaring at one another...”

Pauw is at a bit of a loss when we meet as he’s recently been kicked out of the kitchen. Last week the staff begged the visiting kitchen consultant to keep him out of the kitchen as much as possible as he makes them “so nervous”

New wall of shame

New wall of shame

Never mind the Berlin barrier – now historic Reichenau’s very own palisade has split the KZN community.

When 19th Century Trappist monk Francis Pfanner set about establishing the Reichenau Mission in 1886 as a satellite to the Mariannhill Monastery he’d built outside Pinetown, he could not have imagined that it would one day provoke furious argument. But 128 years later it is the centre of a controversy packed with all the ingredients of a Tom Sharpe novel – and all because of a wall. A pistol-packing priest; a few million rand up for grabs; two feuding trusts; an inept municipality; and a host of outraged academics, historians and bureaucrats all get to feature in the story.

Trust me

Trust me

Mr Treoc offers tempting get-rich-quick schemes – but legal troubles loom.

It appears glitzy and glamorous at first sight. All you have to do is put a hundred-thousand rand-or-so into the scheme and you will become fabulously rich “the Treoc Way”.

The scheme is operated by the Treoc Trust and the Treoc website waxes lyrical about the club: “Being part of our club is important. This is where you will meet your fellow Treocians. This is where you will hear motivational success stories.”

Investors are kept up to date with the latest Treoc investment news in the Treoc Times, which is written by the Treoc Ltd Chief Executive Officer, Coert Coetzee – a former Rapport financial journalist.

Surely one is on to a good thing when the CEO of a property investment company says: “Man has been involved in property since he stumbled into the first cave. If I lived in those days I would have had a few caves myself.”

“The Treoc principle is that business success is based on reverse logic like its name.” Coert, in reverse.

The Bobroffs' Plan B

The Bobroffs' Plan B

When the court ordered an inspection, the firm’s computer server was struck by lightning.

Noseweek is in possession of documents that suggest the beleaguered Gauteng law firm of Ronald Bobroff & Partners  Inc (RBP) – notorious for its exploitation of Road Accident Fund claimants – has been quietly preparing since late 2013 for the possibility that two of its directors might have their names struck off the Roll of Attorneys.

Former RBP clients Jennifer and Matthew Graham hauled Ronald Bobroff, his son Darren, and their firm to the Pretoria High Court this time last year demanding that they justify the fees that they charged Matthew, who had claimed damages after sustaining brain damage in a road accident.

Latest reports from Africa Confidential

Latest reports from Africa Confidential

Mnangagwa gets thumbs up and Zimbabwe's leadership transition begins.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly assuming some of the duties of the head of state, it looks as though the transition of power from President Robert Mugabe could at last be under way. Mnangagwa has decisively supplanted former Vice-President Joice Mujuru as heir apparent, but it came at a cost of giving Mugabe almost full power over the Zanu-PF party machine. This power could be turned just as easily on the new heir apparent, should he step out of line.

Meanwhile in Mozambique a new broom sweeps clean.

President Filipe Nyusi is expected to bring many new and younger faces to the cabinet now that the dust has settled on the controversial general elections. His first steps have been to try to unify the governing Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Frelimo). He still has some influential opponents in the partybut even Luísa Dias Diogo, his biggest rival for the presidential nomination and a former prime minister, has pledged her backing, as has ex-President Joaquim Chissano.

There are early signs that Nyusi is gaining respect for statesmanlike behaviour and could turn out a stronger leader than many had expected.

Child alone

Child alone

Of the 18.5 million South African children under 18, an astonishing 21% are orphans, 25% do not live with their parents and 60% live in poverty. Did you even think it possible? All this endless debate ...
 
Cato Manor: Sunday Times places its final bet

Cato Manor: Sunday Times places its final bet

If we were played, then we were not alone, says newspaper’s legal editor. In a recent defence of the Sunday Times investigative unit, the newspaper’s legal editor Susan Smuts sought the consolation of company in ...

A farewell to arms

A farewell to arms

He's a fighter, but he's had enough of blood and guts. Jacques Pauw, fearless journalist, has decided to give himself a break from headline horrors. He's opened a country restaurant. Investigative journalist and author Jaques Pauw ...

New wall of shame

New wall of shame

Never mind the Berlin barrier – now historic Reichenau’s very own palisade has split the KZN community. When 19th Century Trappist monk Francis Pfanner set about establishing the Reichenau Mission in 1886 as a ...

Trust me

Trust me

Mr Treoc offers tempting get-rich-quick schemes – but legal troubles loom. It appears glitzy and glamorous at first sight. All you have to do is put a hundred-thousand rand-or-so into the scheme and you will ...

The Bobroffs' Plan B

The Bobroffs' Plan B

When the court ordered an inspection, the firm’s computer server was struck by lightning. Noseweek is in possession of documents that suggest the beleaguered Gauteng law firm of Ronald Bobroff & Partners  Inc (RBP) ...

Latest reports from Africa Confidential

Latest reports from Africa Confidential

Mnangagwa gets thumbs up and Zimbabwe's leadership transition begins. Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly assuming some of the duties of the head of state, it looks as though the transition of power from President ...