Walking on thin ice

Walking on thin ice

Readers will have noticed that, when it comes to “winging it”, caffeine-laced drink manufacturers Red Bull have been less than angelic of late with their television advertising. So desperate have ...

Don't bank on the ombudsman

Don't bank on the ombudsman

In a dispute with a bank, can the ombudsman be relied on to be truly independent?

It’s a curious thing: we’ve been led to believe that if we have a problem with a company we can simply take the matter to the industry ombudsman, where we’ll get a fair hearing and an independent adjudication. But industry ombudsmen are paid by the industry, so how on earth can they be truly independent?

As this story shows, the Banking Ombudsman, Clive Pillay, is certainly neither fair nor independent.

Dem Bones

Dem Bones

The skeletons continue to come rattling out of the Oasis group’s cupboard, which raises the question: how did the Financial Services Board ever see fit to issue the Ebrahim brothers with a licence to handle other people’s funds?

The latest skeleton is the culmination of a chain of events that began in 1988 when two bothers, Abdul and Istiaq Badroodien, took over their father’s various businesses that included Lady Bee Supermarket (Pty) Ltd and Budd Property Investment cc. Abdul, who had a butchery at Ottery Hypermarket, Cape Town, was in charge of the administration of the supermarket business – a responsibility that led him in 1989 to retain attorney Nazeem Ebrahim to undertake some legal work.

Yes, the “I-am-not-uncle” Nazeem of the “I would fuck him over” fame, the Oasis group’s company secretary who also doubles as the manager and executive director of Oasis Crescent Property Fund and its management company.

Lawyers prey on victim of crime

Lawyers prey on victim of crime

The protracted and tortuous legal journey of road accident victim Iman Dharsey,  who was injured on a Sibanye bus in 2002, has worsened.

Out of Dharsey’s R295 000 Glenrand MIB settlement, her attorney, Nico Humphries of Michalowsky Gelden­­huys & Hum­­phries, collected nearly 70% – spoils which he shared out among various “experts” he’d consulted, the advocate he’d briefed, and himself. He then demanded another R24 369 for an earlier legal debt he had committed his client to paying after he failed to submit her papers to court on time

Fast and Loose

Fast and Loose

Getting justice in South Africa is difficult and expensive – everyone knows that. But what’s equally worrying is that, even if you do get a court order in your favour, you may have great difficulty enforcing it. That’s because the sheriffs tasked with the job of demanding payment and, if necessary, attaching and removing property – are often useless, if not downright corrupt.

Good money after bad

Good money after bad

A legal system that fails to meet  the needs of the common man requires urgent repair – as does the attorneys’ profession. While at one stage, the man-in-the street may have equated attorneys with used-car salesmen and estate agents, they’re now right down there with the auctioneers!

It would be nice to think this story of how a lawyer’s fee of R25 000 grew to R322 000 – to recover a debt of a mere R100 000 might persuade someone to do something about the problem. 

Graft busters

Graft busters

In his two years as Director General of Health, Pillay has forced the resignation and/or disciplinary hearings or criminal charging of more than 1 200 people – most are health department staff accused of helping themselves to money for intended patient care.

Strict controls are now saving billions as a slick national pilot programme for ethical – plain honest – procurement and monitoring, kicked off last month in the Eastern Cape health department.  Backed by a high-tech group of national government agencies,  proponents of the project claim it will cut fraud and wastage by up to 80%.

Broken

Broken

A shattered marriage, a fraudulent divorce and a rotten legal system really do have something in common.

There’s a reason why the details of most divorces are not permitted to be published: they’re intensely private af­­­fairs, and there’s really no need for the public to know all. But every now and then there’s one where there is public interest. This story involves not just a broken marriage but a broken legal system too.

 

Ducking out

Ducking out

Yves Vanderhaeghen gaps it after a lifetime helping keep the presses running at The Witness.

The secret is to let go completely, to ditch the indespensables, the subscriptions, the insurance. No more DStv Premium, no dining out, no casual cappuccinos, goodbye Woolies, hallo Cash 'n Carry, goodbye gym and hallo road-running.

Spooked

Spooked

The lunacy at the SAPS Crime Intelligence Division continued last month with top policemen being locked out of their offices for no apparent reason, and an allegedly drunken and debt-ridden colonel tasked with ...
 
Walking on thin ice

Walking on thin ice

Readers will have noticed that, when it comes to “winging it”, caffeine-laced drink manufacturers Red Bull have been less than angelic of late with their television advertising. So desperate have they been to sell the ...

Don't bank on the ombudsman

Don't bank on the ombudsman

In a dispute with a bank, can the ombudsman be relied on to be truly independent? It’s a curious thing: we’ve been led to believe that if we have a problem with a company we ...

Dem Bones

Dem Bones

The skeletons continue to come rattling out of the Oasis group’s cupboard, which raises the question: how did the Financial Services Board ever see fit to issue the Ebrahim brothers with a licence ...

Lawyers prey on victim of crime

Lawyers prey on victim of crime

The protracted and tortuous legal journey of road accident victim Iman Dharsey,  who was injured on a Sibanye bus in 2002, has worsened. Out of Dharsey’s R295 000 Glenrand MIB settlement, her attorney, Nico Humphries of Michalowsky ...

Fast and Loose

Fast and Loose

Getting justice in South Africa is difficult and expensive – everyone knows that. But what’s equally worrying is that, even if you do get a court order in your favour, you may have ...

Good money after bad

Good money after bad

A legal system that fails to meet  the needs of the common man requires urgent repair – as does the attorneys’ profession. While at one stage, the man-in-the street may have equated attorneys ...

Graft busters

Graft busters

In his two years as Director General of Health, Pillay has forced the resignation and/or disciplinary hearings or criminal charging of more than 1 200 people – most are health department staff accused of ...

Broken

Broken

A shattered marriage, a fraudulent divorce and a rotten legal system really do have something in common. There’s a reason why the details of most divorces are not permitted to be published: they’re intensely private ...

Books:Elephant in the room

Books:Elephant in the room

Len Ashton reviews THE DESCENDANTS (Vintage Random House) by Kaui Hart Hemmings ...

Ducking out

Ducking out

Yves Vanderhaeghen gaps it after a lifetime helping keep the presses running at The Witness. The secret is to let go completely, to ditch the indespensables, the subscriptions, the insurance. No more DStv Premium, no ...