Dear Editor

Recovering Arms Deal cash futile

Corruption soaks up lots of money. So did the Arms Deal, the World Cup stadiums and a host of other things – money that could have gone to upliftment of housing, health and education. Even with all the wastage, the government still has billions to spend on housing, health and education, yet what is achieved? Poorly built houses, and health and education systems that are a disgrace. Therefore, it’s not the amount of money that counts, it’s how effectively you spend it.

There is thus no point in recovering the Arms Deal money if it is simply going to be returned to the same people who misspent it in the first place. Regardless of how much money becomes available, ostriches won’t fly, apples won’t fall upwards, and governments without the right qualifications and attitude won’t ever be able to uplift their citizens.

Ron McGregor
Cape Town

Moonshine’s magic

The shutting down of Kate Carlyle’s Mustardseed and Moonshine pottery (nose156) has to be Cape Town’s saddest tragedy of 2012. Kate’s heart and soul have been poured into her creations for 25 years. One can hardly imagine the utter disappointment she has endured. And her staff of 40 also took a hard knock when retrenched.

Take heart, nobody can take your knowledge away from you. One day soon, the sun will shine on your creations again.

Rob Atkinson

Bar Council: Land Time Forgot

As reported in nose153, in January last year I lodged a complaint with the Johannesburg Bar Council concerning the alleged misconduct of both the advocate that appeared for me as the plaintiff, Advocate Nigel Riley, and the advocate who represented the defendant, Advocate G D Wickens, in a case heard in the South Gauteng High Court. (Both advocates claimed to have acted on the advice of senior colleagues at the Bar.) More than a year-and-a-half later, I sent the Bar Council a note asking about the outcome of their enquiry. This is their response:

A letter has been addressed to the Chairperson of the panel from the Secretary of the Professional sub-committee, requesting certain information. Once this comes to hand I am sure that you will be notified of the outcome. I will forward this email to the Secretary.

Kind regards
Pam Irvine
Johannesburg Bar Council

What do I do now?

J Tobias
Highlands North

The game’s called pass-the-parcel. Played by lawyers, it can go on for years. We’ll be counting down the months as a barometer of just how lax the Johannesburg Bar is when it comes to professional ethics
. – Ed.

Stranded by Transnet gravy train

I am a pensioner member of the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund. The real value of my current monthly pension is just 22% of the real value of my pension in 1996.

S A van der Spuy

In December 2006 Noseweek reported that in her first 29 months as CEO of Transnet, Maria Ramos’s earnings were R12.2 million. A 53% salary increase that year, plus a performance bonus of R2.9m, took her annual earnings to R6.9m. That fat bonus had a great deal to do with her skill at helping Transnet slither out of its debt to its pensioners. Lest we forget. – Ed.

For the record

Last month Karen Loseby of Rondebosch asked Noseweek to follow up on pension fund administrator Aubrey Wynne-Jones  who, she believed, had defrauded the Catholic Pension Fund. She was mistaken. Although the SA Catholic Schools Pension Fund was once administered by Wynne-Jones, it was a “defined contribution” scheme and could not, therefore, have had a surplus which might have been “stolen”.

Peter Ross, principal of Christian Brothers College, Pretoria and a trustee of the fund, confirms there was no fraud and that Loseby receives the full pension to which she is entitled.

Wynne-Jones is among those who were arrested in 2006 on charges related to the alleged misappropriation of “surpluses” from various pension funds. Since then, the regulators and prosecutors involved in the cases have been as surrounded by scandal as the accused. His trial is set to commence only in July 2013. He has denied culpability on all charges.

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Submitted by : R YOUNG of RONDEBOSCH on 2012-10-25 09:14:38
If it were possible, returning the equipment to the governments of the suppliers for a refund plus interest, would be very good.

Then the Treasury could allocate the necessary back to the DoD which could then purchase the right equipment with the right acquisition processes under the beady eyes of the Fourth Estate and Civic Society.

The DoD could ensure that not only the correct equipment was purchased , but that there were allocations for system support including ammunition, spares, fuel and training out of the Special Defence Account and not the SANDF Arms of Service annual running budgets.

So it's actually not so futile.

But is it possible?

But other than the money, the crooked natural and corporate personae, especially the latter, should be sanctioned as severely as the laws allow: natural persons get a minimum of 15 years in the slammer with a daily ration of hypertension medication while juristic persons get blacklisted from any government contracts for a minimum of 20 years, plus a report to the OECD.


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