UPDATE: Mantashe plays Game of Thrones

UPDATE: Mantashe plays Game of Thrones

Judge John Murphy has granted Princess Wezizwe Sigcau and her mother Queen Regent Lombekiso MaSobhuza Sigcau leave to appeal his December 2015 judgment  (nose200), which ruled that President Jacob Zu ...

SA's impending social grant meltdown

SA's impending social grant meltdown

The company that distributes millions of state social security grants, has not only the government but all South Africa hanging from a cliff by a proverbial computer cable.

This year Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), a subsidiary of the US-based Net1 Group will distribute R130 billion (close on R11bn a month) to 17 million South Africans (30% of the population) who are dependent on social security for their survival. But on 30 March next year, the company’s contract comes to an end. The Department of Social Development – by way of its division known as the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) – proposes to take back that mammoth responsibility. 

It wasn't doing the job too well last time – when far fewer people received grants – which is why the job was contracted out to a major cash-distribution company in the first place.

 

Heads roll and bullets fly in KZN

Heads roll and bullets fly in KZN

As ANC factions go to war, it’s back to the killing fields of 1990.

Three days after councillor Zodwa Sibiya was shot dead in front of her children in April, eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo lashed out at the police for “not coming to the party” to protect politicians and officials. 

Nxumalo was speaking at the municipality’s executive council, and in a rare moment of solidarity, councillors from all parties expressed horror and sadness at the killing. They called for the police to do their part, saying eThekwini’s power was limited when it came to providing safety. 

Sibiya, an ANC PR councillor, was shot multiple times, allegedly at point blank range, at Glebelands in Umlazi, a notorious, crime-riddled hostel complex where 62 people have been killed since 2014. Sibiya was reported to have been intent on rooting out corruption, rampant in the complex.

A visibly shaken Nxumalo would have understood the need for the police to step up their efforts better than most. In January, while at his Inchanga home, he heard what he described as “about 50 bullets” being fired from a nearby sportsground where an SACP rally was taking place. Nxumalo, as chairman of the provincial SACP, was supposed to be giving a speech there at the time, but had been delayed by guests.

Kangaroo cowboys go wild on the West Coast

Kangaroo cowboys go wild on the West Coast

Murder and menaces ignored as Oz mining outfit trashes SA environment laws. 

Sikhosiphi Bazooka Rhadebe, a leader among anti-mining activists in the Amadiba area of Pondoland on the Wild Coast, was murdered on 22 March this year. He had led opposition to attempts by Australian company Mineral (Resource) Commodities Ltd (MRC) to extract the titanium-rich mineral sands that lie at the heart of his people’s Wild Coast territory.

While MRC strenuously denied any connection with Rhadebe’s as-yet unsolved murder – he was shot eight times outside his Xolobeni home – at least three other MRC opponents in the area have died or been killed under suspicious circumstances.

Locals recall that Patrick Caruso, brother of MRC’s CEO Mark Caruso, said in 2007, “…there is always blood where there are these types of projects and in my experience, you cannot have development without blood”.

Property moguls continue to fleece Limpopo government

Property moguls continue to fleece Limpopo government

Observers say rich Jimmy the Greek is the Life Honorary Premier of poverty-stricken province.

Limpopo is considered to be one of the smaller provinces in South Africa in terms of contribution to GDP but it ranks high when it comes to corruption.

Government officials and service providers with political connections have long been reaping the benefits of inflated or irregular tenders, while the majority of the people, especially those living in rural communities, have had to suffer poor service delivery.

Most of Limpopo’s municipalities continue to rate poor financial audits; likewise, some government departments that deal with issues like infrastructure development, education and health – resulting in the need for national government intervention a few years ago. Not that it mattered much; the problem remains.

Dead Man's Chest

Dead Man's Chest

When Johannesburg businessman Imtiaz Mohammed was murdered in 2010, it fell to his widow Hajira to wrap up his estate. Only years later she discovered a family conspiracy to keep her late husband’s assets out of her hands.

Imtiaz Mohammed ran a successful hardware and property business in the east of Johannesburg until he was shot dead by a disgruntled employee in July 2010. He left four young children and his wife, Hajira, who was executor and sole heir of his estate. The extended family rallied around with comfort and support.

Hajira Mohammed had little knowledge of business, and entrusted her brother-in-law, Mahomed Akoon, a former ANC councillor in Ekurhuleni, with her late husband’s business affairs. In terms of the will, Hajira inherited her husband’s entire estate comprising the hardware business (trading as Hire World & Hardware) and 50% of I&I Properties (which owned three properties in the east of Johannesburg that brought in a monthly rental income of about R50,000 – of which she was entitled to half). The other 50% of the company was owned by Hajira’s father-in-law, Ismail Mohammed, although she left the day-to-day management of the business to Akoon.

Mahomed Akoon, alleges Hajira, could scarcely wait for the requisite Islamic mourning period of four months and 10 days after her husband’s death before proposing marriage to her.

Bitter battle over multi-million rand estate of Polokwane accountant

Bitter battle over multi-million rand estate of Polokwane accountant

Forged signatures and fraud alleged as Hawks and NPA probe disputed will.

The late Akbar Ali Ayob was a respected accountant and business advisor in Polokwane, the sort of man one would expect to leave his affairs in impeccable order. But his sudden death from a heartattack on 4 July 2013 triggered a bitter court battle over his estate which continues to this day – in the process, putting the reputations of several pillars of the local establishment on the line.

Contenders for the estate are, on one hand, his life-partner of 30 years Hilda Watkins and their three children (two at university, the youngest in matric) and on the other, are the deceased’s brother and sister, Mohamed and Halima Ayob. Mohamed is the imam of a local mosque; Hilda is a shop assistant working at one of the businesses owned by Akbar.

Although Ayob and his family lived a frugal and simple lifestyle, Hilda and the three children were well taken care of and the children received a good education. During his career as an accountant, Ayob accumulated a considerable fortune through a number of astute business ventures and investments in shares, unit trusts and properties. The exact value of the estate has yet to be disclosed due to the pending civil and criminal cases but is expected to amount to several million rand.

In the mind of the EFF

In the mind of the EFF

Ndlozi says Malema is the future.

Without education there is no running of a sophisticated modern state, says Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. “But it’s not just about running the country,” he adds, “Education is good for the soul.”

Ndlozi, 31, beams broadly and orders another caffè latte. “When I say education, I am talking about that life-long relationship with questioning power; the capacity to learn and to research.  Universities give us the ability to self-educate. That’s what I love about
education.”

Our interview is taking place in the Spur at Cape Town International Airport. Ndlozi has flown in from Johannesburg, where he had taken part in an SABC election debate with ANC MP Ayanda Dlodlo and DA spokeswoman Phumzile van Damme.

Ndlozi  bemoans the fact that work on his PhD in Political Sociology through the University of the Witwatersrand has had to be put on hold. His round-the-clock work for the EFF leaves no time for any extramurals.

Lowdown. Down under

Lowdown. Down under

The superstorm on Australia’s east coast, which claimed at least six lives and saw the ocean attack Sydney beachfront properties and destroy promenades, has been classified an “insurance catastrophe”. Its intensity is a taste of things to come in a warming world, say climate scientists.

So, which way will Australia jump in the July election? It’s between the Liberals with the very wealthy PM Malcolm Turnbull at the helm, once upon a time, a Goldman Sachs banker (who recently told the media he started out life poor, sometimes with not enough food, and was the son of a single dad – generating sarcastic tweets such as #MalcolmWasSoPoor he couldn’t even afford to use a tax haven), and the Australian Labor Party with its man-of-the-people, the rather dull but apparently worthy former trade unionist Bill Shorten (who however has had the good grace to say some of Trump’s views were “barking mad”, for which he was criticised by Turnbull).

The fires beneath

The fires beneath

Monica Wilson, née Hunter, was the most prominent social anthropologist of her day in South Africa. Her groundbreaking research in African communities continues to influence anthropological and ethnographic studies. Seán Morrow’s just-published biography of this remarkable woman and her husband and fellow anthropologist Godfrey Wilson, has been described by Professor Chris Saunders as one of the great biographies of a South African, part a great love story, ultimately tragic. Noseweek is privileged to publish a short extract, with the permission of the publisher, Penguin Books.

Destroyed by SARS

Destroyed by SARS

Taxman seized his business, sold all his assets and put Jacob Dozetas on trial for eight years, despite having no evidence. Jacob Dozetas arrived in South Africa in 1981 after running a successful butchery ...
 
UPDATE: Mantashe plays Game of Thrones

UPDATE: Mantashe plays Game of Thrones

Judge John Murphy has granted Princess Wezizwe Sigcau and her mother Queen Regent Lombekiso MaSobhuza Sigcau leave to appeal his December 2015 judgment  (nose200), which ruled that President Jacob Zuma was not obliged to follow ...

SA's impending social grant meltdown

SA's impending social grant meltdown

The company that distributes millions of state social security grants, has not only the government but all South Africa hanging from a cliff by a proverbial computer cable. This year Cash Paymaster Services ...

Heads roll and bullets fly in KZN

Heads roll and bullets fly in KZN

As ANC factions go to war, it’s back to the killing fields of 1990. Three days after councillor Zodwa Sibiya was shot dead in front of her children in April, eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo ...

Kangaroo cowboys go wild on the West Coast

Kangaroo cowboys go wild on the West Coast

Murder and menaces ignored as Oz mining outfit trashes SA environment laws.  Sikhosiphi Bazooka Rhadebe, a leader among anti-mining activists in the Amadiba area of Pondoland on the Wild Coast, was murdered on ...

Property moguls continue to fleece Limpopo government

Property moguls continue to fleece Limpopo government

Observers say rich Jimmy the Greek is the Life Honorary Premier of poverty-stricken province. Limpopo is considered to be one of the smaller provinces in South Africa in terms of contribution to GDP but ...

Dead Man's Chest

Dead Man's Chest

When Johannesburg businessman Imtiaz Mohammed was murdered in 2010, it fell to his widow Hajira to wrap up his estate. Only years later she discovered a family conspiracy to keep her late ...

Bitter battle over multi-million rand estate of Polokwane accountant

Bitter battle over multi-million rand estate of Polokwane accountant

Forged signatures and fraud alleged as Hawks and NPA probe disputed will. The late Akbar Ali Ayob was a respected accountant and business advisor in Polokwane, the sort of man one would expect ...

In the mind of the EFF

In the mind of the EFF

Ndlozi says Malema is the future. Without education there is no running of a sophisticated modern state, says Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. “But it’s not just about running the country,” he ...

Lowdown. Down under

Lowdown. Down under

The superstorm on Australia’s east coast, which claimed at least six lives and saw the ocean attack Sydney beachfront properties and destroy promenades, has been classified an “insurance catastrophe”. Its intensity is ...

The fires beneath

The fires beneath

Monica Wilson, née Hunter, was the most prominent social anthropologist of her day in South Africa. Her groundbreaking research in African communities continues to influence anthropological and ethnographic studies. Seán Morrow’s just-published ...