Major fraud probe suppressed

Major fraud probe suppressed

The board of Durban's TradePort will not hear, see or speak evil of President Zuma's favoured Nkandla contractor who Noseweek can show has defrauded the TradePort of many millions. You can guess why.

Reckless scheme aimed at pushing millions to front companies.

In June 2014, The Star newspaper revealed that a company involved in the Nkandla scandal and officials at Durban’s Dube TradePort had fraudulently introduced token BEE partners into a construction contract, in order to inflate the cost of an office block there by several millions of rands.

The 3,000m², two-storey office block was to be occupied by Air Chefs, SAA’s in-house catering service.

The Star reporters appear not to have realised that the so-called “Air Chefs” contract was only one of several incidents of corruption identified by Paul O’Sullivan in a damning series of reports now seen by Noseweek.

Animal Frankenscience

Animal Frankenscience

Apart from being cruel, experiments on living creatures are a pretty crude research tool. 

I regularly tune in to radio stations around the world via my laptop – mostly for jazz, and news when I’m feeling strong. On the morning of Monday, 8 February, I found myself listening to BBC Radio 4’s current affairs programme and quickly began to feel like I’d entered the dystopian fallout endured by Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984.

The horror began with an announcement by science and environment editor Tom Feilden, that the next insert would be exploring the field of “human/animal hybrids”. He sounded chipper, as if he were announcing the presence of a new gastropub in Wales. For a half an instant, the term “human/animal hybrids” captured my imagination. Have we entered the fantastical terrain of super heroes like Spiderman and Batman? Mix a bit of cat with a bit of boy and what do we get? Cat Boy! But oh no, it’s not half as symmetrical as that…

Kafka in Africa - Part 2

Kafka in Africa - Part 2

Distinguished German academic knotted in still more SA red tape.

Noseweek reecently reported on the seemingly endless bureaucratic nightmare faced by Professor Ulrich van der Heyden of Humboldt University in Berlin after his arrival in South Africa as an official guest of the University of South Africa (Unisa) in Pretoria.

As a professor in the theology faculty of his home university – with a particular interest in the history of the German missionary societies in 19th Century South Africa – he had been delighted to receive an invitation from Unisa’s department of Biblical and Ancient Studies to join them for 14 months as a paid visiting researcher. But Unisa’s research management department failed to advise him of all the red tape awaiting him before he could be received by his hosts.

Guptas dig mining power

Guptas dig mining power

When does coal become a dirty business? Much of the mainstream media howled like banshees after news emerged in January that Cosatu and SACP leaders had raised concerns about  “Zupta” during ...

SA medical students turn messianic in Havana

SA medical students turn messianic in Havana

Hugely expensive training of young would-be doctors in Cuba is crumbling.

A diplomatic row is boiling over between South Africa and the communist state of Cuba where South African medical students are taking to the streets of Havana and proclaiming the Gospel.

It may all seem a bit archaic, but in Cuba, where permission was given in 2014 to build the first new church since the 1959 Cuban Revolution, it is a touchy subject.

And the same students who are spreading the word are apparently illegally exporting Cuban cigars to make some cash on the side while earning themselves a reputation for heavy drinking and brawling.

Signs that something was amiss first emerged in September last year when the SABC reported that the Cuban Embassy in South Africa had expressed “concern to the government in Pretoria” that South Africans studying medicine in Havana had “resorted to faith to cure ailments”.

Travelling conman talks the walk

Travelling conman talks the walk

Faith pilgrimage turns out to be ruse for free ride.

Ordinary people wonder what motivates adventurers to attempt feats that are extraordinary. In the case of Jurie Pieters, his two-year “Geloof Loop” (Faith Walk) turned out to be a ruse for the proverbial free ride.

Pieters invented an elaborate, heart-breaking story that he touted as his motive for embarking on the pilgrimage – including a pact with God. For two years he was able to rely on a weathered look and his bulky 40kg backpack to tap into the goodwill and gullibility of friendly South Africans from North to South, East to West.

During his years on the road spinning his tale of woe, he got to visit some interesting little towns, bedded down in some choice guest houses, hotels and game lodges and even spent some time on a boathouse on the Vaal.

How Rhodes paved the way to apartheid

How Rhodes paved the way to apartheid

The De Beers founder  wasn’t simply a man of his time, argues  Peter Lewis, but a self-serving lone wolf who used his power to violate the human rights of South Africans and tear away at the rule of law in December, at the height of the Oxford Union debate on the Rhodes Must Fall controversy, public intellectual Will Hutton wrote a letter to The Guardian in which he commented on the call for the removal of the Rhodes statue from the façade of Rhodes’s alma mater and philanthropic beneficiary, Oxford’s Oriel College.

In his letter, Hutton approves of the fact that college authorities had instituted a six-month inquiry into the matter, but he points out that they cannot expunge Rhodes from the history of the college, or from history in general. He acknowledges Rhodes’s “flawed” liberal imperialism and racism, but against this balances his philanthropy, and the “values” which he bequeathed to South Africa and the world. These, he asserts, are “checked and balanced government, freedom of the press, presumption of innocence and the rule of law”.

Danish pastry. Croc fat and ants, anyone?

Danish pastry. Croc fat and ants, anyone?

Copenhagen chef Rene Redzepi, reputedly the world’s best – and whose Noma is four-time winner of the San Pellegrino best restaurant – has brought his Danish retinue of over 100 (staffers, spouses and children) to open a pop-up restaurant in Sydney. The result: degustation gone mad. Within four minutes, the 5,500 places, at $485 a pop, were sold out, with a wait-list of 27,000.

Redzepi is a “forager” who started out wandering the outskirts of Copenhagen collecting bark, pine needles and weeds to take back to his kitchen.

Ostrich City citizens put their heads in the sand

Ostrich City citizens put their heads in the sand

The first that Oudtshoorn residents heard of a proposed shopping mall on their doorstep in the sought-after suburb of Wesbank, was from a story published in Noseweek: “Ostrich capital is a nest of political intrigue” in November 2014.

The planned 13,113m² shopping complex was, as far as could be established, only advertised in the local free ad-rag on 14 December 2011 – when many residents were already on holiday.

Dirty washing

Dirty washing

Henry Wilkinson devised an unusual way of paying off his bad debts.  By Jack Lundin The man who introduced the waterless carwash to South Africa lives in access-controlled luxury on the upmarket Fourways Gardens lifestyle ...
 
Major fraud probe suppressed

Major fraud probe suppressed

The board of Durban's TradePort will not hear, see or speak evil of President Zuma's favoured Nkandla contractor who Noseweek can show has defrauded the TradePort of many millions. You can guess why. Reckless scheme aimed ...

Animal Frankenscience

Animal Frankenscience

Apart from being cruel, experiments on living creatures are a pretty crude research tool.  I regularly tune in to radio stations around the world via my laptop – mostly for jazz, and news when ...

Kafka in Africa - Part 2

Kafka in Africa - Part 2

Distinguished German academic knotted in still more SA red tape. Noseweek reecently reported on the seemingly endless bureaucratic nightmare faced by Professor Ulrich van der Heyden of Humboldt University in Berlin after his arrival ...

Guptas dig mining power

Guptas dig mining power

When does coal become a dirty business? Much of the mainstream media howled like banshees after news emerged in January that Cosatu and SACP leaders had raised concerns about  “Zupta” during a lekgotla meeting of ...

SA medical students turn messianic in Havana

SA medical students turn messianic in Havana

Hugely expensive training of young would-be doctors in Cuba is crumbling. A diplomatic row is boiling over between South Africa and the communist state of Cuba where South African medical students are taking to ...

Travelling conman talks the walk

Travelling conman talks the walk

Faith pilgrimage turns out to be ruse for free ride. Ordinary people wonder what motivates adventurers to attempt feats that are extraordinary. In the case of Jurie Pieters, his two-year “Geloof Loop” (Faith ...

How Rhodes paved the way to apartheid

How Rhodes paved the way to apartheid

The De Beers founder  wasn’t simply a man of his time, argues  Peter Lewis, but a self-serving lone wolf who used his power to violate the human rights of South Africans and tear ...

Danish pastry. Croc fat and ants, anyone?

Danish pastry. Croc fat and ants, anyone?

Copenhagen chef Rene Redzepi, reputedly the world’s best – and whose Noma is four-time winner of the San Pellegrino best restaurant – has brought his Danish retinue of over 100 (staffers, spouses and ...

Ostrich City citizens put their heads in the sand

Ostrich City citizens put their heads in the sand

The first that Oudtshoorn residents heard of a proposed shopping mall on their doorstep in the sought-after suburb of Wesbank, was from a story published in Noseweek: “Ostrich capital is a nest of ...