Holy Father, phone home now

Holy Father, phone home now

The End of Days or a lot of papal bull? Read all about the Alien Agenda.

He may or may not be the Antichrist, but the Pope will almost certainly be the one to reveal the existence of alien life, embrace and pray for it, baptise it and herald Extra Terrestrials as mankind’s creators and saviours. And it could well happen in the next 12 months.

It’s as exciting as it is scary, but at least the Large Hadron Collider has given us another reference for Switzerland besides overpriced chocolate and Heidi.

The blurring of secular conspiracy and the Fringe’s interpretation of biblical prophecy has led to an increase in the Internet orgy of predictophiles from religious and secular sources.

Often with a PhD in physics, microbiology, genetics, Semitic languages, Apologetics or economics, individuals on the Fringe have in common a hunger for eschatology. 

They are devourers of science, science fiction and global conspiracies; they know Crowley, Blake, Asimov and Lovecraft, and have transferred secular occult fascination to their Christian lives. Their Bible knowledge is astounding, as is their understanding of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek; they are often adherents of the King James Version because of its textually pure translation. 

And then there’s the Vatican Observatory and the LBT Near Infrared Spectroscopic Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research (LUCIFER) in Arizona. 

LUCIFER is touted as belonging to the Vatican Observatory by conspiraphiles, but it is the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics that built and operates it. Both organisations, and others, are part of the consortium of the Mount Graham International Observatory. This falls on deaf ears when a quick Google search will tell conspiraphiles that Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit (!) and MIT-educated research astronomer, planetary scientist and president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, is on record as saying he would baptise an alien. 

White moms, black tots

White moms, black tots

How racist officials stall and red tape strangles adoption hopes as needy babies are trapped in bureaucratic nightmare.

The first instalment (Black like me,” nose191) relating my experiences as a white South African who has adopted black kids, noted my encounters with American transrace-adoptive parents via a Facebook group. I discovered there the extent to which South Africans and north Americans truly do live in different worlds. So let’s look at some South African realities of the situation.

The last census predicted that the number of orphans and vulnerable children in this country would increase from 3.37 million to 5.5 million by 2015 (see “Child alone”, nose184). Adoption isn’t keeping up – in fact we’re looking at a sharp decline in adoption over the past few years. Some 14,803 adoptions were registered between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2010 – roughly 2,400 per year. However, the 2004 figure was 2,840; by 2013 it had dropped to 1,699.

Let’s recall here that among the reasons for introducing the 2005 Child Act was, apparently, government acceptance of the idea that whites were attempting to “steal” black children. Somehow, transracial adoption was looking sinister, as if it were the latest tactic to restore colonisation.

Blame for the decline has been laid at various doors, lack of financial aid to adoptive parents being another. Let it be noted though, that while adoption is not a cultural norm nor frequent among black communities, orphaned or unwanted children are very often absorbed into the larger family, for which the family receives a foster grant.

Capitec's devil in the detail

Capitec's devil in the detail

Before you rush to sign up with Capitec, read the small print…

Capitec, the fast-spawning high-street microlender that has pulled in more than six million mostly first-time bank clients with the lure of peanut admin charges of just R5 per month, has some far-reaching small-print conditions that would-be customers might want to note.

When Terry J. Theunissen of Bellville joined the six million with his R100 deposit to open a savings account in July, Capitec consultant Luke Adonis assured him the only requirements were his ID book and proof of permanent residence.

The bank card had already been issued when Adonis presented him with the small technicality of having to “just quickly sign this savings account agreement here and here and here” – after which it was whisked away. Some insistence was necessary before a copy was provided for Theunissen to study at his leisure.

That evening he was appalled when he read what he had signed up for.

Digging into the South Deep scam

Digging into the South Deep scam

The bosses will probably pocket around R1 billion in the world’s second greatest mining scandal.

Major corporate scandals have a habit of remaining undetected for years. When the fat lady finally sings, the overwhelming question is invariably “why didn’t anyone say anything, long ago?”

This 27 September marked the ten-year anniversary of the death of Brett Kebble. His greatest legacy – besides the biggest unprosecuted fraud in South African history – is South Deep gold mine, west of Johannesburg.

South Deep, frequently punted as the deepest and potentially richest gold mine in the world – it isn’t – has developed a unique life of its own on the stockmarket. That, and its new ownership and management, call for closer examination. For a start, it’s time to ask what the managers and board of Gold Fields, proud owners of the mine, have done to deserve remuneration of more than R700 million in the five years since Nick Holland took the CEO’s seat in May 2008.

At that rate, in a few years from now, Gold Fields’s bosses would have pocketed around R1 billion, in reward for what more and more people suspect might turn out to be the world’s second greatest mining scandal.

 

Breaking the rules

Breaking the rules

Cape Town Club members in furious wrangle.

When the chairman of the Cape Town Club told her the knives were out for her, Susanne Faussner-Ringer should have known her fate had already been sealed by the ageing white Old Boy junta (yes, there was a coup – see nose162) which now runs that once-prestigious “duly registered public benefit organisation”.

When Leinster Hall, old premises of the Cape Town Club, went up in smoke in June, many saw it as symbolic – in more ways than one. Burned-out or not, a warring spirit undoubtedly lives on among the remnant of its membership, now ensconced in a Herbert Baker pile right next door to the Western Cape High Court.

The Victorian gentlemen’s club has in recent years come to accept women among its numbers. Reluctantly so, in the case of Faussner-Ringer, owner of the luxury Greenways Hotel in Claremont, who, after seven years of membership, was given a dismissal notice by the club in May last year.

“You’re not welcome”, warned club chairman Philip Engelen, evidently unhappy to see her darken the doorstep of the Queen Victoria Street premises, and asked her to leave forthwith. With that, Faussner-Ringer slipped away from the do in the billiard room and went downstairs to the bar, where she ordered a drink to mull over her predicament. 

Nearby, huddled in agitated conversation, were two other club VIPs, club manager Eugene van der Westhuizen and board chairman James Sedgwick. Unwilling to boot her out themselves, they summoned security company ADT to do the deed.

The tender trap

The tender trap

Billion-rand grey money dispute offends Supreme Court of Appeal.

In South Africa, it’s arguable that the biggest source of easy grey money – money earned by corrupt means not easily detected or provable – is the multi-billion rand state tender sector. Examples range from the notorious 1999 Arms Deal to the more recent Nkandla debacle.

In a benchmark 2007 tender case involving Phoenix Cash & Carry, heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), the Court observed that  “Unfortunately, as experience in this court proves, the high standards that the Constitution sets seem to be more honoured in the breach than in the observance”. Since then, little, if any, reform has been formulated, never mind implemented, to counter the insidious process.

But what about the situation where a losing tender party goes berserk after a genuine winner has emerged?

Post-mortem for Post Office?

Post-mortem for Post Office?

Let the private sector get on with it.

Imagine SAA had a legislated monopoly on flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town, but suddenly had neither aircraft nor fuel to fly between the two cities. The public outcry would be deafening. The media would get hysterical. As the economy ground to a halt, aviation authorities and government would take action.

So why is it that, when the SA Post Office  – as essential to the economy as any transport link – doesn’t collect or deliver mail, nothing is done?

It is almost a year since the strike that brought the Post Office to its knees ended with the forced resignation of its Board of Directors in November 2014. An administrator, Dr Simo Lushaba, was appointed and tasked with turning its fortunes around. So where is this essential service today?

The spy who came into the freeze

The spy who came into the freeze

Former friends find it hard to forgive Olivia Forsyth’s betrayal.

Bridget Hilton-Barber was one of Olivia Forsyth’s best friends on Rhodes University campus in the early 1980s. “Bridgy” as Olivia called her, now dismisses the woman who betrayed the student left – and scores of black activists – and the book she has written, in a single phrase: “A sad reflection on the futility of her life.”

Controversy still dogs Forsyth, 30 years after she was exposed as a wannabe double agent, offering to spy for the ANC on her original masters, the notorious security branch. It turned out the ANC did not believe her and threw her in detention barracks in their Quatro camp in Angola.

Goal oriented. Beware ANC Premier League

Goal oriented. Beware ANC Premier League

The election of a relatively unknown North-West provincial leader of the African National Congress Youth League  (ANCYL) as its national president has again highlighted the growing influence of an ANC lobby group known as the “Premier League”. This group, which also saw its candidate, Bathabile Dlamini, elected as president of the ANC Women’s League last month, is consolidating its influence in the governing party before the 2017 elective conference.


Miner wobbles

Two international mining giants are in dire straits – Glencore and Lonmin – and taking parts of the economies of Congo-Kinshasa, South Africa and Zambia with them. Even before the crisis both carried political baggage. Glencore has been run for the past 15 years by South African Ivan Glasenberg, who is remembered by African National Congress (ANC) leaders as a protégé of company-founder Marc Rich, the pioneering commodity trader who broke sanctions to sell to the apartheid regime. Lonmin, once the minerals division of Roland “Tiny” Rowland’s Lonrho, later had Cyril Ramaphosa, current SA Deputy President, on its board, and is now indelibly linked to the 2012 massacre by police at its Marikana mine.

Litschen sink. Oz excesses.

Litschen sink. Oz excesses.

Australians were transfixed last month by the staggering kitsch in a “pre-wedding” video of the story of the meeting of Salim Mehajar (his persona a composite of Vin Diesel, Kanye West, Tupac Shakur and Jay Gatsby) and his new wife Aysha on YouTube. Words cannot describe the seven-minute 16-second real life fairy-tale. The 29-year-old multi-millionaire property developer and deputy mayor of the Sydney suburb of Auburn came to national attention when his $1.4 million wedding, complete with fighter helicopters, a fleet of Ferraris and 100 motorbikes, closed down a couple of streets and caused traffic chaos. There’s also the actual wedding video, the wedding bloopers video and a Photoshopped mock-up of bride and groom growing old together.

The missing page 27

The missing page 27

So sorry that a gremlin crept into the print copy. Here is what should be page 27.

 


 
How ruthless SAA grounded rival airlines

How ruthless SAA grounded rival airlines

Elaborate dirty tricks campaign alleged. As told last month (nose191) national carrier SAA, amidst ongoing senior managerial disorganisation, is currently facing two massive claims, amounting to around R6bn after tax, one for ...
 
Holy Father, phone home now

Holy Father, phone home now

The End of Days or a lot of papal bull? Read all about the Alien Agenda. He may or may not be the Antichrist, but the Pope will almost certainly be the one to reveal ...

White moms, black tots

White moms, black tots

How racist officials stall and red tape strangles adoption hopes as needy babies are trapped in bureaucratic nightmare. The first instalment (“Black like me,” nose191) relating my experiences as a white South African who ...

Capitec's devil in the detail

Capitec's devil in the detail

Before you rush to sign up with Capitec, read the small print… Capitec, the fast-spawning high-street microlender that has pulled in more than six million mostly first-time bank clients with the lure of peanut ...

Digging into the South Deep scam

Digging into the South Deep scam

The bosses will probably pocket around R1 billion in the world’s second greatest mining scandal. Major corporate scandals have a habit of remaining undetected for years. When the fat lady finally sings, the overwhelming ...

Breaking the rules

Breaking the rules

Cape Town Club members in furious wrangle. When the chairman of the Cape Town Club told her the knives were out for her, Susanne Faussner-Ringer should have known her fate had already been ...

The tender trap

The tender trap

Billion-rand grey money dispute offends Supreme Court of Appeal. In South Africa, it’s arguable that the biggest source of easy grey money – money earned by corrupt means not easily detected or provable – ...

Post-mortem for Post Office?

Post-mortem for Post Office?

Let the private sector get on with it. Imagine SAA had a legislated monopoly on flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town, but suddenly had neither aircraft nor fuel to fly between the two ...

The spy who came into the freeze

The spy who came into the freeze

Former friends find it hard to forgive Olivia Forsyth’s betrayal. Bridget Hilton-Barber was one of Olivia Forsyth’s best friends on Rhodes University campus in the early 1980s. “Bridgy” as Olivia called her, now ...

Goal oriented. Beware ANC Premier League

Goal oriented. Beware ANC Premier League

The election of a relatively unknown North-West provincial leader of the African National Congress Youth League  (ANCYL) as its national president has again highlighted the growing influence of an ANC lobby ...

Litschen sink. Oz excesses.

Litschen sink. Oz excesses.

Australians were transfixed last month by the staggering kitsch in a “pre-wedding” video of the story of the meeting of Salim Mehajar (his persona a composite of Vin Diesel, Kanye West, Tupac Shakur ...