Echoes of Murder

Echoes of Murder

A recent advertisiement on the front page of the Cape Times offering a R300 000 reward for the return of a stolen Cartier fob watch stirred memories of hired killers and a skeleton in the cupboard (or wherever else it is buried).

The man advertising the generous reward was David Jenkins, aged multi-millionaire owner of Franschhoek wine estate La Roche. (He had been robbed at knifepoint on June 29 by a four-man balaclava gang who kindly fetched his oxygen tank before making off with his grandfather's pre-WWI gold Cartier fob watch and other items of value.

On July 10, the IOL news site commented on the advertised reward and went on to remind readers that Jenkins and his company, Multistar Tank Containers had first made news decades ago, when embroiled in a murder and foreign currency investigation. (Someone at Independent Newspapers obviously subscribes to Noseweek, and made good use of our excellent online search facility.)  But ...

KZN's Teflon Club

KZN's Teflon Club

The ANC patronage system in Durban has created a wealthy elite whose performance is subject to ridicule.

Willy Govender, owner of eValuations, the company that endeared itself to Johannesburg’s wealthiest residents by massively under-valuing their properties to ensure they paid little or nothing in rates and taxes, is a member of KwaZulu-Natal’s esteemed Teflon Club (chief patron: J. Zuma).

Govender is one of that select group of Durban tenderpreneurs who have made their fortunes from state contracts, despite having been the subject of several scandalous exposés – none of which stuck.

Prince Buthelezi back on his KZN throne

Prince Buthelezi back on his KZN throne

The IFP claims there is no truth in the rumour that their leader is reluctant to relinquish power.

The Inkatha Freedom Party’s resurgence in KwaZulu-Natal in local government elections may have come as a surprise to some, but the IFP’s earlier by-election successes and the chaos in the breakaway National Freedom Party (NFP) offered a fair indication of where things were headed. 

Although the IFP remains a small and mostly stagnant force in the eThekwini Metro – with voter support at just 4.2%, giving it 10 seats and fractional increase on its 2011 local elections results – if voter support in the northern, rural areas of the province are a reflection of voting trends for the national/provincial elections in 2019, it could again become the official opposition in the province after losing that position to the DA in 2014. (Most of the IFP’s eThekwini vote is garnered from hostel dwellers who have left the party’s traditional stronghold in the Zululand area to find work in the metro.) 

Spotlighting SA's invisible illicit industries

Spotlighting SA's invisible illicit industries

Organised theft of gold, platinum, copper and diamonds has taken on alarming proportions within the mining industry.

Did you hear the howling protests from various heavyweight South Africans uniting against a report on mis-invoicing, released in mid-July by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad)?

SARS, the Chamber of Mines, and Statistician-General Pali Lehohla, completely rejected Unctad’s finding that mis-invoicing of gold exports to South Africa’s leading trading partners totalled US$113 billion over the 15-year period to 2014.

Unctad was saying, in other words, that the vast majority of South Africa’s gold exports are unofficial. The Unctad report put the massive “gap” down to smuggling: most gold that leaves the country does so on an unreported basis. The real question, and it is an intriguing one, is whether Unctad could have been right (in principle), but for the wrong reasons.

Taxing day for the wallet doctor

Taxing day for the wallet doctor

An eyewitness account by journalist Tony Beamish.

A significant media victory was scored in July when I, as a representative of investigative television programme Carte Blanche, gained access to the taxation (vetting) of an attorney-client bill of costs at the Palace of Justice in Pretoria. Taxation is usually a fairly informal procedure that takes place in a back office where members of the public don’t venture – but it has consequences that can bankrupt most of us, putting us out of our homes and onto the street. (Contra: It can also establish the extent of theft committed by an attorney.)

In this case, open justice and common sense prevailed when Taxing Master Anusha Chetty allowed me to attend when Ronald Bobroff & Partners (RBP) sought to claim R2.1 million in fees from their former client, road accident victim Etienne Rübbers.

The road to open justice in this instance was not an easy one.

Who are the racists?

Who are the racists?

History will judge those who practise discrimination under the guise of democracy, says author Wessel Ebersohn.

South Africa, which already has a probably unequalled phalanx of laws prohibiting discrimination, is about to get a new one to punish racist behaviour. The ruling party says the purpose of the new law is to take action against those “glorifying apartheid”. If the ANC is correct, the creators of this piece of legislation are aiming it at racist whites only: the Penny Sparrows of our ken.

According to their view, black students wearing T-shirts with the wording “Kill all whites” and ANC politicians singing songs about mowing down boers with machine guns apparently do not fall into the same category.

Sadly the racist laws of the apartheid regime have resulted in a reaction, in the face of which the current government, seems helpless.

How to save South Africa

How to save South Africa

Moeletsi Mbeki says we need to take dramatic action to avoid social and political chaos. His new book postulates four possible outcomes. 

Moeletsi Mbeki, political analyst, thought-leader, entrepreneur and brother of the more famous Thabo, has made some powerful assertions: he says speculation that Jacob Zuma will fall from the presidency is “exaggerated” and he’ll serve his full term until 2019 because there’s no real will within the ANC to recall him; South Africa is experiencing a hidden civil war, as a result of endemic poverty that will eventually boil to the surface; and South Africa’s “Tunisia Day” when the masses take on those in power, will come in 2020 “when China concludes its minerals-intensive industrialisation phase,” forcing up the price of South African minerals… the prices will drop and the ANC will be forced to cut back on social grants, causing the masses to rise up against the powers that be.

Whatever the case, people should stop obsessing about the ANC, because it is “not the future of South Africa”.

In May, Mbeki found himself at the centre of a Twitter controversy after saying (at the Franschhoek Literary Festival) it was a myth that white people control the South African economy.

Opinion: JSEblunder. Monopoly gone nuts

Opinion: JSEblunder. Monopoly gone nuts

Monopolists have a way of occasionally losing touch with reality, and proceed to dig holes where previously there was smooth-running roadway. This largely captures the near catastrophic situation that emerged at the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) – a monopoly for more than a century – towards the end of July.

To be precise, it happened on 21 July, when a stockbroker, in an email to its clients, asked: “Record foreign buying of SA equities has been widely reported in the press the last few weeks – but is the data reported by the JSE correct?”

Down & Out: Tangled. Politics and other shark tales

Down & Out: Tangled. Politics and other shark tales

After eight days on tenterhooks while votes were counted, PM Malcolm Turnbull declared:  “It’s always a good time to deliver a victory speech”. His coalition was left with a majority of only one, while the Labor opposition was strengthened. Among an assortment of independents and fringe parties elected was One Nation, headed by Queensland’s Pauline Hanson. Her platform: Australia is being “swamped by Asians” and she also wants a ban on the construction of new mosques. One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts, a climate-change denier, says there is “political fabrication of global warming alarm” and that climate science is controlled “by some of the major banking families in the world” who are colluding “in a tight-knit cabal with the UN”.

“I started finding out things about the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation of Australia) and the Bureau of Meteorology. That led me to the UN, which has been driving this. Then I started following the money trails.” These, he said, could be traced back to a few families making “trillions” of dollars.

The Tshwane Papers

The Tshwane Papers

Swarms of middlemen are profiting from outrageous mark-ups on municipal deals. Leaked documents reveal ANC patronage network of 50,000 scam suppliers of goods at outrageous markups. The coalition governments that will run South Africa’s municipalities ...
 
Echoes of Murder

Echoes of Murder

A recent advertisiement on the front page of the Cape Times offering a R300 000 reward for the return of a stolen Cartier fob watch stirred memories of hired killers and a skeleton in the ...

KZN's Teflon Club

KZN's Teflon Club

The ANC patronage system in Durban has created a wealthy elite whose performance is subject to ridicule. Willy Govender, owner of eValuations, the company that endeared itself to Johannesburg’s wealthiest residents by massively under-valuing ...

Prince Buthelezi back on his KZN throne

Prince Buthelezi back on his KZN throne

The IFP claims there is no truth in the rumour that their leader is reluctant to relinquish power. The Inkatha Freedom Party’s resurgence in KwaZulu-Natal in local government elections may have come as a ...

Spotlighting SA's invisible illicit industries

Spotlighting SA's invisible illicit industries

Organised theft of gold, platinum, copper and diamonds has taken on alarming proportions within the mining industry. Did you hear the howling protests from various heavyweight South Africans uniting against a report on mis-invoicing, ...

Taxing day for the wallet doctor

Taxing day for the wallet doctor

An eyewitness account by journalist Tony Beamish. A significant media victory was scored in July when I, as a representative of investigative television programme Carte Blanche, gained access to the taxation (vetting) of an attorney-client ...

Who are the racists?

Who are the racists?

History will judge those who practise discrimination under the guise of democracy, says author Wessel Ebersohn. South Africa, which already has a probably unequalled phalanx of laws prohibiting discrimination, is about to get a new ...

How to save South Africa

How to save South Africa

Moeletsi Mbeki says we need to take dramatic action to avoid social and political chaos. His new book postulates four possible outcomes.  Moeletsi Mbeki, political analyst, thought-leader, entrepreneur and brother of the ...

Opinion: JSEblunder. Monopoly gone nuts

Opinion: JSEblunder. Monopoly gone nuts

Monopolists have a way of occasionally losing touch with reality, and proceed to dig holes where previously there was smooth-running roadway. This largely captures the near catastrophic situation that emerged at the ...

Down & Out: Tangled. Politics and other shark tales

Down & Out: Tangled. Politics and other shark tales

After eight days on tenterhooks while votes were counted, PM Malcolm Turnbull declared:  “It’s always a good time to deliver a victory speech”. His coalition was left with a majority of only one, ...