It's a giant international scam

It's a giant international scam

Brits are losing millions to UK’s biggest con while the government stands by.

By Abigail Fielding-Smith and Jack Serle of The Bureau for Investigative Journalism, London

Thousands of British people have lost millions of pounds to an international scheme sold as an investment opportunity which, in reality, is a wild gamble if not an outright scam. Many countries have outlawed these operations. However, in the UK, a regulatory loophole has left victims completely unprotected – despite police saying it is now the biggest fraud in Britain. South African victims are similarly unprotected.

The sale of what is known as binary options involves betting on whether financial assets such as shares, currencies or commodities will rise or fall over a specific period. Even when the bets are legitimately placed, it’s a hugely risky enterprise – but for many companies binary options primarily act as a vehicle for scamming people.

Victims are targeted by salespeople in call centres abroad.

Angry patients sue hospitals for billions

Angry patients sue hospitals for billions

Grief and trauma as over-worked and under-qualified medics struggle to cope.

Angry hospital patients are suing Provincial hospitals for R24.5-billion - an indication of just how risky it is to seek treatment at South Africa's public hospitals.

That is just the money side of this horrifying story. The cost in grief and trauma caused and the shattered confidence of under-resourced, under-supervised, under-qualified and over-worked doctors is immeasurable.

The killing cost of insurance cover for doctors

The killing cost of insurance cover for doctors

Claims against the state for bungled medical procedures in state hospitals have reached  the point where legal reforms are needed urgently, say experts. They warn that the runaway cost of obligatory insurance cover for doctors threatens higher-risk clinical specialities in South Africa.

The matter has been the subject of two medico-legal crisis summits – one in March last year, convened by Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, and the other, eight months later, held by the private-sector-supporting Medical Protection Society (MPS), which underwrites the bulk of private practice risk insurance in South Africa.

Sky-diving tenderpreneurs risk crash-landings

Sky-diving tenderpreneurs risk crash-landings

Airports executives flailing in a welter of bribery and graft.

The controversy flying around the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) is likely to suck into its vortex some major corporate players. They are alleged to have participated in its elaborate tender-rigging scams and general culture of bribery and corruption over the past decade. On the chopping block is CEO Bongani Maseko and swathes of his fellow executives.

Private business fingered as helpful enablers include airport shopping entrepreneur Gerald Hertzenberg, City Lodge Hotel executives and their empowerment partner Bulelani Ngcuka, former head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), as well as a host of businesses operating at airports. 

Leading the attack to expose this latest alleged iniquity is the former chairman of Chevron South Africa, Vincent Raseroka, who told Noseweek “the system sucks”. He’s an aggrieved BEE partner in a decade-old hotel bid that he lost by a hair because of dodgy dealing at the airports authority. He is determined to sue the Acsa executives individually as he’s “tired of being treated like shit”.  

Follow the money

Follow the money

On the trail of South Africa’s political assassins.

It was a peaceful evening in the township KwaNdengezi, near Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal in September 2014. Thuli Ndlovu’s year-old son Freedom was in his grandmother’s arms. It was good to be alive. Thuli was glad she had drawn attention to, and taken a stand against, the corruption that was robbing poor people in the area. Also there was neighbour Siphehlise Madlala who was helping Thuli’s 17-year-old daughter, Slindile, with her matric studies.

It was a warm and cosy domestic scene in the tiny RDP house, a cramped dwelling, but an improvement on the shack the Ndlovu family had occupied previously. For the people in the room the evening could have gone on forever. If it was a good time to be alive, it was perhaps not the best time to die.

SA at the tipping point

SA at the tipping point

The coming year will be one of unprecedented protest, unrest and chaos as the ANC government fails to provide leadership, says William Gumede. But it will also be a year of great opportunity. 

If you thought the Fees Must Fall and Save South Africa protests were big, just wait: in the coming year, South Africa will enter an era of rising public protests like we’ve not seen before. So says William Gumede, respected writer, political commentator, and now also Associate Professor at the School of Governance at the University of the Witwatersrand.

The ANC will plunge into further chaos, President Jacob Zuma will cling ever-more-tightly to power, and the ruling party will focus on the 2019 elections – to the severe cost of delivery and accountability. South Africa’s middle class will be forced out of its comfortable complacency to join the masses in the streets, says Gumede. “Each protest will have its own particular issue, but at its heart it will be manifesting the underlying national outrage at the ANC government’s failure to account and to deliver.

Why South Africa should resist the power of Big Sugar

Why South Africa should resist the power of Big Sugar

The proposed tax on sweetened drinks will help improve public health despite overwrought opposition from industry. 

The South African government’s decision to tax sugary drinks to help cut excess sugar consumption, which is contributing to burgeoning epidemics of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, follows the lead of Mexico and the US city of Berkeley, where a “soda tax” on sugar-sweetened beverages has shown positive results.

In Mexico, research predicts a win-win outcome: it may greatly decrease disease and death from diabetes and cardiovascular disease while reducing health care costs.

What can be expected in South Africa is overwrought and highly emotive opposition from the sugary drink industry.

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa chairman Phil Gutsche denounces the sugar tax as murderous and discriminatory.

This opposition to an effective measure to protect and improve the public’s health occurs in the context of a seven-decade battle between public health (David) and unhealthy industries (Goliaths).

Not rocket science

Not rocket science

Monkey nuts.  Evolution, racism and science Sibusiso Biyela When Penny Sparrow made her break-out performance on Zu ...

New idea. Up under

New idea. Up under

A match made in heaven, a ray  of light in disheartening times. A tiny rural town on the border of New South Wales and Queensland, inhabited by mostly grey-haired white people whose children have gon ...

Binary options: Beware of the dog!

Binary options: Beware of the dog!

Ads promoting a global internet scam, now "dressed up local" to appeal to gullible  South Africans keen on making a quick buck, are popping up everywhere – even on reputable news sites  News24’s daily online news ...
 
It's a giant international scam

It's a giant international scam

Brits are losing millions to UK’s biggest con while the government stands by. By Abigail Fielding-Smith and Jack Serle of The Bureau for Investigative Journalism, London Thousands of British people have lost millions of pounds to ...

Angry patients sue hospitals for billions

Angry patients sue hospitals for billions

Grief and trauma as over-worked and under-qualified medics struggle to cope. Angry hospital patients are suing Provincial hospitals for R24.5-billion - an indication of just how risky it is to seek treatment at South Africa's ...

The killing cost of insurance cover for doctors

The killing cost of insurance cover for doctors

Claims against the state for bungled medical procedures in state hospitals have reached  the point where legal reforms are needed urgently, say experts. They warn that the runaway cost of obligatory ...

Sky-diving tenderpreneurs risk crash-landings

Sky-diving tenderpreneurs risk crash-landings

Airports executives flailing in a welter of bribery and graft. The controversy flying around the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) is likely to suck into its vortex some major corporate players. They ...

Follow the money

Follow the money

On the trail of South Africa’s political assassins. It was a peaceful evening in the township KwaNdengezi, near Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal in September 2014. Thuli Ndlovu’s year-old son Freedom was in his grandmother’s ...

SA at the tipping point

SA at the tipping point

The coming year will be one of unprecedented protest, unrest and chaos as the ANC government fails to provide leadership, says William Gumede. But it will also be a year of great opportunity.  ...

Why South Africa should resist the power of Big Sugar

Why South Africa should resist the power of Big Sugar

The proposed tax on sweetened drinks will help improve public health despite overwrought opposition from industry.  The South African government’s decision to tax sugary drinks to help cut excess sugar consumption, which is contributing ...

Not rocket science

Not rocket science

Monkey nuts.  Evolution, racism and science ...

New idea. Up under

New idea. Up under

A match made in heaven, a ray  of light in disheartening times. A tiny rural town on the border of New South Wales and Queensland, inhabited by mostly grey-haired white people whose children have gone ...