Dear Editor

Wake up, Woker

I read the letter from Professor Tanya Woker (nose41) with utter disgust. How can she justify covering up the government’s enforcement of the Usury Act?
Is she supportive of the coverup at Saambou for any particular reason? Just asking, you know.
All the Saambou bondholders are asking for is their money back; money that was stolen from them. Is that really so unreasonable?
Meanwhile, Professor Woker, may you continue to collect your monthly pay packet from the DTI, sleep well and dream of homeless people.
Ron Assad
via email

Dugard still dangling

Thank you for your report on the SA government’s failure to support my bid for the International Court of Justice (“Dangling Dugard”, nose42).
I have now received a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Dlamini Zuma, in response to my complaint about the matter.
The minister states that “a sense of fair play and rotation” required SA to support another African candidate, particularly when he had the backing of the African Union. This meant SA “could not nominate and support its own candidate”.
This shows a complete misunderstanding of the situation, which was not that the government did not nominate me (it did – on 23 May 2002!) but that, having nominated me, it refused to support me. I am still waiting for a proper explanation.
John Dugard

Worldwide reputation

Your report (nose42) on Ansbacher’s “smelly” reputation rang a bell.
Two years back a US reporter went to find out how America’s rich and criminal set about hiding their fortunes offshore, out of reach of the cops and the taxman. (It was noted that US authorities estimate that US$5-trillion belonging to US citizens is hidden in offshore accounts.) His report appeared in the December 2000 edition of Mother Jones, America’s closest equivalent to noseweek.
The journalist’s first stop was a firm of attorneys in the Bahamas, Pyfrom & Co, who specialise in setting up secret bank accounts.
The firm’s representative, Colin Honess, explained to the reporter – who posed as a wealthy US trader “sick and tired of being taxed to death by the US government” – that setting up an “International Business Company” in the Bahamas costs only US$1000 and can be done in 48 hours.
In terms of Bahamas law, such a company need not file any public notice of who its directors are, need not identify its shareholders, and need not file financial statements or keep accounts. And it can open a bank account.
In conclusion, Honess suggested one extra precaution: avoid placing your money in the local branch of a US bank. Instead he suggested opening an account at Ansbacher, “a South African financial firm that is a little easier to work with”.
Yes indeed, Ansbacher have had an international reputation for quite some time.
Old Hand

FirstRand will announce Ansbacher’s change of name before the month is out. Now see p16 for more ill winds blowing from offshore. – Ed.

Legal upliftment

Your article (nose42) about a court file going missing [in the Ansbacher case] raises an interesting point.
I am involved in a case where attorneys Deneys Reitz are also acting for a defendant, in this case Mutual & Federal, who face a claim of R1.3m. At the last court hearing the court file went missing. This file contains affidavits and documents detailing how the insurance company allegedly committed fraud and forgery to repudiate a claim. Do Deneys Reitz routinely lift court files?
Steve Hornsey

The hole truth

After reading nose41 & 42, I’m still not clear: who does Bunker Hills 329 belong to, and does BH329 own a Zimbabwe bolthole?
Your first of a series about meaningful relationships I found very interesting, and now look forward to reading Sampie Terreblanche’s book, The History of Inequality in South Africa, 1652 – 2002. But why start at 1652? Was there no inequality before that?
Tony Wilson

Listen carefully: It transpires there is no bolthole in Zimbabwe. At present it’s just a hole. But Bunker Hills 329 (Pty) Ltd does exist; it is owned by Johnnic’s property manager Russell Jackson, and BH329 owns a R1.2m bolthole in Jo’burg – a gift from Johnnic’s unsuspecting shareholders, although Johnnic chairman Paul Edwards now claims he knew nothing about it. – Ed.

Way off the Marcus

Following on your excellent article on the doings at Regal Bank in nose42: Why did Reserve Bank deputy governor Gill Marcus state that most of the people who suffered losses were wealthy, when a lot of pensioners, domestics and average citizens were victims? Was she just being her normal arrogant self, or was she hiding something?
Victims of greed

Law unto themselves

I could not help but relate the comments regarding the Public Accountants and Auditors’ Board in your article on SA Breweries (nose42) to other bodies set up for the protection of the public. Some years back, I reported a matter to the Natal Law Society. My case was clear and concise. The “investigation” dragged on for months.
Many people warned me I was wasting my time, as these societies will protect their members.
Needless to say, the society ruled against me.

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