The men behind the world's biggest get-even-richer plan

The men behind the world's biggest get-even-richer plan

"In March 2006 a group of analysts at Citigroup in New York did something mind-blowing: they recommended to their top clients that they treat coming global inequality not as a problem, but as a business opportunity to be exploited and widened. This seismic widening problem was a gift-horse like no other," writes BBC documentary writerJacques Peretti in his recently published book, Done.

Lucy Mangan, in the UK Guardian, describes Peretti’s book, and the BBC documentary series that accompanied it, as ‘So brilliant you want to take notes’.  Peretti explains the human ‘global warming’ the world is experiencing; why in recent years the rich everywhere – and excruciatingly so in South Africa – have been getting vastly richer, while the number of poor grows exponentially ... and the middle class drowns in debt on its way to extinction.

The real surprise: it’s all part of a perfectly logical plan – the biggest get-even-richer plan or  ‘profit opportunity’ the world has ever known. Peretti is no conspiracist. A graduate of the London School of Economics, and an investigative journalist and documentary film maker of note, the research is meticulous and his writing often gripping. Once you've read this extract, it’s a book all Noseweek readers will want to read ...

Fishy business

Fishy business

Judge finds Cape Town attorney and property developer, Richard Goudvis, to be a poor witness, evasive and a liar.

In June 2009 Noseweek reported on a meeting of panicked Johannesburg investors in Barry Tannenbaum’s billion rand pyramid scheme, which was held at the offices of attorneys Routledge Modise in Sandton days after they learned, via the grapevine, that the pyramid had collapsed.

Noseweek noted that a whole clutch of Cape investors, who between them had invested over R100m, were represented at the meeting by attorneys Craig Delport (see past noses about him) – and Richard Goudvis. Delport and Goudvis (full names Richard Anthony Leigh) were classmates at UCT law school.

It is Goudvis who has most recently again attracted Noseweek’s attention.

Standing up and fighting

Standing up and fighting

Magda Wierzycka most recently made headlines when hers was the first private sector company to fire audit firm KPMG for its role in state capture. She has also weighed in on the social grants fiasco and urged public servants to resist Treasury’s plans to raid their pension fund to finance hopelessly bankrupt state-owned enterprises.

She’s travelled the world – Antarctica, Galapagos, “everywhere” – with her adventurer husband and their two sons, but Magda Wierzycka, CEO of asset management company Sygnia, finds Cape Town the most beautiful place in the world and South Africa the “most incredible” country.

UPDATE: KZN Bar brawl spreads the dirt

UPDATE: KZN Bar brawl spreads the dirt

In a recent judgment suspending KwaZulu-Natal Advocate Penny Hunt for six months, for spying on her colleagues, the same judgement rebuked the KwaZulu-Natal Bar of Advocates for embarking on a dirty tricks campaign to destroy Hunt’s credibility.

The strike-off application was brought by the KZN Bar and heard in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. In a trial spanning 20 days over 18 months, many of the salacious details that spilled into the open in court, emanated from the Pietermaritzburg Bar. They included accounts of extra-marital affairs, swearing, drunkenness, backstabbing and a childish dispute over how many cups of tea the tea-lady was allowed to make for each staff member.

JSE investigators assess Bonamour's offshore frolic

JSE investigators assess Bonamour's offshore frolic

Which way will Tiso Blackstar chairman David Adomakoh and the Concert Party jump? 

The investigations unit at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange has been assessing Noseweek’s revelations (nose216) that an unconventional offshore money-spinner enriched media giant Tiso Blackstar’s chief executive Andrew Bonamour and his asset-stripping mentor Julian Treger by up to R295m.The London Stock Exchange has launched its own investigation.

Our story told how, for more than three years, Bonamour used his British Virgin Islands-registered company, Blackstar Managers, to identify Black Economic Empowerment investment opportunities in South Africa, and billed his own newly-listed Blackstar Investors Plc for millions in performance and advisory fees.  

Spouses on the scrapheap

Spouses on the scrapheap

Medical aid benefits for spouses of media pensioners at Tiso Blackstar Group will be eliminated from next January, chief executive Andrew Bonamour has ordered. The shock development has enraged retired journalists at Blackstar publications, which include Sunday Times, Business Day, Sowetan and Financial Mail.

And that’s not all. At present, when pensioners die their spouses take over as principal members, and continue to receive the company’s medical aid subsidy. But under Bonamour’s new policy, after January 1 surviving partners and any other dependants will lose the subsidy and be scrubbed from the books.

Fog of jaw over KZN land claim

Fog of jaw over KZN land claim

For 103-year-old Pietermaritzburg labour tenant Zabalaza Mshengu, the road to getting title deeds to the land he has occupied his entire life has no end in sight.

He has been waiting for his land to be transferred to his name for 16 years, but a series of delays, most of them unexplained, haved dogged the process.

However, it would seem articles in Noseweek may have spurred some of those responsible for the delays into (slow) action. The director-general of the Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs in KZN, Jomo Ntuli, is finally taking a personal interest in the matter. Whether that will make a difference is yet to be seen.

KPMG  whitewash report

KPMG whitewash report

The one they hoped we’d forgotten.

KPMG’s dodgy business dealings on behalf of the Guptas have rightly dominated the news in recent months.

But, Noseweek, having had a beady eye on KPMG for years, has questions about another matter entirely: the small matter of the audit firm’s social grants re-registration whitewash.

Last year amaBhungane journalist Craig McKune had a closer look at claims by Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) that it had done “extra work” for the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) entitling it to an extra payment of R316m.

Plastiki. Taxing a choking hazard

Plastiki. Taxing a choking hazard

The nice lady at the till with caked make-up and barely-detectable smile greets me with a “Plastiki?” after she finishes scanning my loaf of bread and the recent issue of Noseweek, at my local Pick n Pay.

Funny – as a child, plastic shopping bags  were called ushekhasi, after the Checkers chain of supermarkets our parents frequented. Back then I imagined the name came from the sound a bag made when vigorously handled.

Guns and butter. Glad of the nanny state

Guns and butter. Glad of the nanny state

Australia is congratulating itself on its gun control laws, ‘post Las Vegas’, and American commentators are looking for Australia-style solutions. There has not been a mass killing (defined as fiv ...

Bidvest boss to sue Vodacom over fees scam

Bidvest boss to sue Vodacom over fees scam

Fed-up executive plans class action against cellphone provider over fraudulent charges. A senior Bidvest car hire executive has instructed his lawyers to launch a class action against Vodacom for the tens of millions in unauthorised ...
 
The men behind the world's biggest get-even-richer plan

The men behind the world's biggest get-even-richer plan

"In March 2006 a group of analysts at Citigroup in New York did something mind-blowing: they recommended to their top clients that they treat coming global inequality not as a problem, but as a business ...

Fishy business

Fishy business

Judge finds Cape Town attorney and property developer, Richard Goudvis, to be a poor witness, evasive and a liar. In June 2009 Noseweek reported on a meeting of panicked Johannesburg investors in Barry Tannenbaum’s ...

Standing up and fighting

Standing up and fighting

Magda Wierzycka most recently made headlines when hers was the first private sector company to fire audit firm KPMG for its role in state capture. She has also weighed in on the ...

UPDATE: KZN Bar brawl spreads the dirt

UPDATE: KZN Bar brawl spreads the dirt

In a recent judgment suspending KwaZulu-Natal Advocate Penny Hunt for six months, for spying on her colleagues, the same judgement rebuked the KwaZulu-Natal Bar of Advocates for embarking on a dirty tricks campaign ...

JSE investigators assess Bonamour's offshore frolic

JSE investigators assess Bonamour's offshore frolic

Which way will Tiso Blackstar chairman David Adomakoh and the Concert Party jump?  The investigations unit at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange has been assessing Noseweek’s revelations (nose216) that an unconventional offshore money-spinner enriched media ...

Spouses on the scrapheap

Spouses on the scrapheap

Medical aid benefits for spouses of media pensioners at Tiso Blackstar Group will be eliminated from next January, chief executive Andrew Bonamour has ordered. The shock development has enraged retired journalists at ...

Fog of jaw over KZN land claim

Fog of jaw over KZN land claim

For 103-year-old Pietermaritzburg labour tenant Zabalaza Mshengu, the road to getting title deeds to the land he has occupied his entire life has no end in sight. He has been waiting for his ...

KPMG  whitewash report

KPMG whitewash report

The one they hoped we’d forgotten. KPMG’s dodgy business dealings on behalf of the Guptas have rightly dominated the news in recent months. But, Noseweek, having had a beady eye on KPMG for years, has questions ...

Plastiki. Taxing a choking hazard

Plastiki. Taxing a choking hazard

The nice lady at the till with caked make-up and barely-detectable smile greets me with a “Plastiki?” after she finishes scanning my loaf of bread and the recent issue of Noseweek, at my ...

Guns and butter. Glad of the nanny state

Guns and butter. Glad of the nanny state

Australia is congratulating itself on its gun control laws, ‘post Las Vegas’, and American commentators are looking for Australia-style solutions. There has not been a mass killing (defined as five or above shot) in the ...