Easy pickings

Easy pickings

Money does grow on trees in the upper boughs of timber parastatal Safcol, where the bosses have plucked whopping bonuses while poisoning the industry.

Something is rotten in the state of South Africa’s timber industry. Over the past few years the soaring price of saw logs has squeezed more than 150 of the country’s 200 formal sawmills out of business. The furniture-manufacturing sector has shrunk by over 60%. Thousands of skilled and semi-skilled workers have lost their jobs. The only business doing well out of the situation is the state-owned forestry giant Safcol.

Dissatisfaction guaranteed

Dissatisfaction guaranteed

The US federal government guarantees loans in order to induce banks to lend money to credit-risky borrowers. If the borrower defaults, the government reimburses the lender for either the entire loss, or a large fraction of it. With this guarantee behind them, banks are willing to lend money to high-risk borrowers, and are also able grant more favourable terms to normal-risk customers.

UPDATES: Doubts over Mowbray maternity inquest

The long-awaited inquest into circumstances surrounding the death of Thembela Matiwane at Mowbray Maternity Hospital finally took place last December, with Magistrate Ingrid Freitag clearing MMH staff of  culpability. 

Sadly, noseweek has a last word – not least in response to Dr David Bass’s crowing that the conduct of MMH staff was found to be “faultless”. And the word is: the inquest did not address the issues repeatedly raised in these pages – inter alia that no postmortem was held, and that this fact has been covered up by MMH.

Fraud at Fairbridges

Fraud at Fairbridges

Fairbridge Arderne and Lawton is not the sort of law firm where one would expect to find the staff so poorly supervised that they’ve been able to nick money out of inheritance or family trusts – R20,000 here, a million there.

Even less would one expect to learn that, when the firm eventually did discover (a year after the guilty party had left them, with a glowing testimonial) that they’d harboured a serial thief in their estates department for three years, the worthy partners decided to “let sleeping dogs lie”.

Broker - n: someone who makes you broke

Broker - n: someone who makes you broke

What is it about insurance brokers and attorneys that so often puts them in bed together? Perhaps it isn’t about easy money – maybe it’s about... uh... yes – well, you tell us. 

As Marge watched her precious investment shrinking, month after month she began to fear something was terribly wrong. She'd have been better off had she simply tucked her cash under her mattress and taken R3000 from it each month.

Trouble in Paradise

Trouble in Paradise

European Royalty and some top international financiers are furious about goings-on at their exclusive hideaway on a stretch of pristine Mozambican coastline. South Africans, with their perceived generally brutish ways, are not welcomed by the international set at Machangulo.

At the centre of the uproar is our old friend Dave Dahlmann, whose exploits in 2003 are recorded in nose70.

Dark side of taxi finance

Dark side of taxi finance

When SATF was building up its huge client base in record time – which itself raised suspicions – new taxi owners were being charged credit-related interest on their loans, but were actually signing leases. Unless they realised that they had to apply to convert the lease agreement to a credit (i.e. hire purchase) agreement, they never got to own the vehicle.

Bill Venter ties the knot for the fifth time

At the ripe old age of 74, Altron chairman Bill Venter has embarked on his fifth marriage – to long-time inamorato Penny Gerrard.

The lovers tied the knot in a recent secret wedding attended by family and close friends, friends in the know tell noseweek.  

Mugabe's billionaire fag king

Mugabe's billionaire fag king

Robert Mugabe’s next best friend, sanctions buster, tobacco broker, arms dealer and “investor in many different sectors”, John Bredenkamp is in the spotlight yet again. This time the South African Revenue Service is after him ...
 
Easy pickings

Easy pickings

Money does grow on trees in the upper boughs of timber parastatal Safcol, where the bosses have plucked whopping bonuses while poisoning the industry. Something is rotten in the state of South Africa’s timber industry. Over ...

Dissatisfaction guaranteed

Dissatisfaction guaranteed

The US federal government guarantees loans in order to induce banks to lend money to credit-risky borrowers. If the borrower defaults, the government reimburses the lender for either the entire loss, or a large fraction ...

Fraud at Fairbridges

Fraud at Fairbridges

Fairbridge Arderne and Lawton is not the sort of law firm where one would expect to find the staff so poorly supervised that they’ve been able to nick money out of inheritance or family trusts ...

Broker - n: someone who makes you broke

Broker - n: someone who makes you broke

What is it about insurance brokers and attorneys that so often puts them in bed together? Perhaps it isn’t about easy money – maybe it’s about... uh... yes – well, you tell us.  As Marge watched ...

Trouble in Paradise

Trouble in Paradise

European Royalty and some top international financiers are furious about goings-on at their exclusive hideaway on a stretch of pristine Mozambican coastline. South Africans, with their perceived generally brutish ways, are not welcomed by the ...

Dark side of taxi finance

Dark side of taxi finance

When SATF was building up its huge client base in record time – which itself raised suspicions – new taxi owners were being charged credit-related interest on their loans, but were actually signing leases. Unless ...