Letters

Dear Editor


The Fifa Famiglia

If you really want to see how far back all the FIFA family activities go, read Pitch Invasion by Barbara Smit, published by Penguin Books in 2006 – it’s mind boggling.

Sally Ann Brownhill

Pretoria

Nothing has changed

If I want to stay sane I’ll have to stop reading the papers and listening to radio and TV news.

I’ve tried to be enthusiastic about the beautiful stadiums, but your reports on FIFA and the corruption at every level in government, business and legal practice (lawyers/liars – interesting how similar the words sound) exhaust me. If I see another picture of Julius bursting out of his skin, I’ll be reaching for another glass of wine and a handful of pills to ease the pain. I am quietly glad that at least I didn’t ever think to make money out of the Soccer World Cup circus. 

I shall quietly re-read Shakespeare, who wrote about it all hundreds of years ago: each age, it seems, wrestles with the same human frailties.

Janis

By email

In love with America

I was breakfasting when I came across the iconic “War of the Wall” in nose125: it interfered with proper digestion, gave me the willies and initiated a TV pitch idea, “Developer vs. Car Dealer: Battle of the Tightwads”.  A scenario in which we see the failings of modern economics/culture, viz the role of greed, the hegemony of the individual, haughty arrogance mixed with lies, deceits, even a little conceit, in this less than illustrious battle of wills, which takes up government time, wastes resources and inconveniences scores of others – all for the comfort of two beasts wallowing in aggrandisement. 

Ah, South Africa; are you so in love with America that you would steal her perversions?

aMan Bloom

Grahamstown

Protection racket

The board or executive of Nedbank should ask Brian Kennedy of Nedbank Capital to step down, until the R1.3bn Acc-Ross/Pinnacle Point case is resolved (nose126). It’s a shame that he is being protected.

Mano

By email

Nedbank is top of the pops

I hope you did your homework on the Nedbank/Acc-Ross matter. Did you see Nedbank is top of the pops in the new corporate governance rating system of the PIC? (Business Report, 21 April).

Linda Vandeverre

Cowies Hill, KZN

No surprise, considering the PIC’s own lousy corporate governance rating in our books. (See our cover story in nose125.) You might like to note that PIC boss Brian Molefe was fired subsequent to the appearance of our report. Ed.

419 Puzzle

I have always been puzzled by the way 419-scam fraudsters empty a bank account.

A recent run-in with Nedbank showed me just how easy this is.

During a routine check, I noticed that an unknown debit order was in place against a little-used money market account. Nedbank’s so-called “client care” offered no advice or assistance until I had provided full details about my address, phone numbers, date of birth, account name and number, ID number, when the account was opened, where it was opened and some transaction details. Enough to make any 419-scammer drool. All this over an ordinary telephone line with no security protection whatsoever. It is easy to fabricate a debit order given this information. But it gets worse.

I was then told that the deductions were a debit order, “over which the bank had no control”! Nedbank would not provide me with any details regarding the author of these unauthorised debits – or any other form of assistance. It was left to me to track down the originator of the debits and I am now attempting to have them reversed.

In other words, in the name of “security” Nedbank will not provide you, the account holder, with basic non-financial information about your account unless you provide all your personal information; but it will allow a foreign party unfettered access to your account without any control whatsoever. I have yet to receive a formal response from Nedbank, and trying to discuss the problem with them has the same effect as administering medicine to the dead. Their website does not even contain an email address to which such matters can be directed in writing.

Be warned.

R Silberberg

By email

Try another judge

You may recall that just before the DA took over the provincial government of the Western Cape, Pierre Uys, then Minister of Environmental Affairs and Development, took it upon himself to sign off several highly controversial developments, some of them against the advice of his own department.

I happen to be involved in efforts to reverse one of these approvals, so I am highly interested in what is happening with the other ones as well.

Five years ago I tried to get a court interdict to save a historic house in Bloubergstrand from demolition. Presiding judge Deon van Zyl ruled that neither I, a permanent resident of Bloubergstrand, nor the Blouberg Residents’ Association (of which I was chairman), had a bona fide interest in  the building, and therefore did not have locus standi in the matter.

Now historic buildings and residential developments do not fall under the same law, but the matter of bona fide interest is invariably used by developers, so I presume the principle is the same.

It therefore concerns me that all our efforts in saving those areas signed off by Minister Uys might just be a waste of time and money.

I hence made contact with the Gordons Bay Residents’ Association to find out what the situation was with Erf 2, Gordons Bay, which had also been signed off for development by Minister Uys. The chairman informed me that they were also in the process of trying to reverse the approval.

From him I also found out that Judge Deon van Zyl, who happened to live close to Erf 2, Gordons Bay, was so strongly against the proposed development, that he indicated he would move elsewhere if the development were to proceed. He also apparently gave no indication that the Residents Association did not have a bona fide interest in the proposed development, like one would have expected him to do, given his verdict in the Bloubergstrand case.

I therefore now have a problem: Do we as citizens have a bona fide right to oppose developments in our neighbourhood, or was Judge Deon van Zyl doing a Not-In-My-Back-Yard in the Gordons Bay case? Or put differently: was Judge Deon van Zyl fair in his Bloubergstrand verdict, and if so, how does he justify his stand in Gordons Bay?

I can’t wait for someone to answer my question.

Louis Raubenheimer

Cape Town

Pierre Uys served as Western Cape environment minister for a mere 10 months – he was brought in during 2008 by Lynne Brown after Rasool saw his arse, and he left office when the DA took the Western Cape in 2009. During that time he approved some controversial developments, including Erf 2 Gordons Bay (a housing development above Gordons Bay, Roodefontein Golf Estate in Plettenberg Bay, and Dassenberg in Sun Valley. He also approved the Lagoon Bay golf estate (nose123) and several other, similarly suspect developments on his last day in office.

As for Judge van Zyl: keep in mind that he is the judge who sentenced a man to death after a trial that took, in total, a mere 48 minutes. You might also wish to note that, back in nose16 we reported – with some dismay – how Mrs Valerie Durr of Cape Town had unsuccessfully sued ABSA Bank in the Cape Supreme Court for the R600,000 she and her family lost after investing in the ill-fated company Supreme Holdings – on the advice of one of the bank’s “financial advisors”.

Judge van Zyl rejected Mrs Durr’s claim and supported the bank’s outrageous contention that, by law, she was entitled to expect no better advice from ABSA Bank than she would get from most of the 28,000 South Africans who choose, quite arbitrarily, to describe and promote themselves as “financial advisors”. The Appeal Court in Bloemfontein subsequently set aside Van Zyl’s judgment and found in Mrs Durr’s favour, ruling that the skill of a broker or financial advisor must be commensurate with the type of service he or she offers.

In short, I’d take my chances on getting a better judgment from another court.Ed.

NEWSFLASH

Last month’s story about the unpaid workers trying to avert an East Rand water pollution nightmare on a mine controlled by Aurora Empowerment Systems (whose directors include Zondwa Mandela, Khulubuse Zuma and Michael Hulley) attracted serious interest.

Latest news as noseweek was going to press was that the men of Shaft 3 at the Grootvlei mine had still not received their salaries. Water treatment chemicals had been delivered following belated legal threats from the Department of Water Affairs. However, the staff of Shaft 3 have been unable to use the chemicals because they need to be diluted in fresh water before being used to treat the contaminated mine water. Rand Water has cut off their supply of fresh water because of an outstanding R4m water bill. The result: each day, more than 100 million litres of contaminated mine water continues to be pumped into the neighbouring wetland.

Many low-paid miners are still waiting for their cash in dreadful circumstances in the hostel – with no running water, intermittent food and the mine clinic closed. Three died in the first two weeks of May.

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Submitted by : Anthony Krijger of Westville on 2010-06-09 14:12:12
In response to R Silberberg's letter dealing with Debit Orders, my advise to him is to let his account run into arrears. I had the same problem with Std Bank allowing an unauthorised debit order (instigated in error by Nedbank) debiting R4500 per month from my account for someone else's car. Neither bank would take responsibility, both citing that a "totally separate company" is in charge of debit orders. This went on for nearly a year. I then allowed the account to fall into arrears and immediately I got a very snotty phone call from Std Bank asking me "what I was going to do about my unauthorised overdraft"? Only when I said I intended to close my account with them and let them sort out the mayhem with Nedbank and the debit order company did they get into action and suspend the debit order. It did take them another 6 months to return my money and interest though.
 
Submitted by : Melanie Mcglew on 2010-05-28 13:15:48
Good afternoon.

I am extremely curious to know why the Lolly Jackson murder investigation appears to have dropped off the radar.
Do any of your journalists have any recent information?
Do you think that information is being delayed while people involved cover their tracks?
Colonel Eugene Opperman says: "We are not going to comment any further".
What kind of attitude is that? The public are entitled to information.

I went to the official SAPS.gov website to search for information & the following page was returned.
No documents found. Please try again.

If you have any information about progress on this case I would be pleased to hear about it.
Thank you.
Regards.
Melanie.

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