Dear Editor

Letters to the editor should be sent by email to editor@noseweek.co.za

Mandela too must have known about Arms Deal shenanigans

In your lead article “We told you 16 years ago” (nose241), you mention the involvement of Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki in the Arms Deal concluded in 1999.

One must not forget that negotiations for the Arms Deal started long before the deal was signed by Thabo Mbeki in 1999, but rather during the tenure of his predecessor, Nelson Mandela, which means that Mandela, too, ought to have known about the shenanigans which surrounded the deal.

And if he did nothing about it, then he was as guilty as any of the others involved in the negotiations. If he did not know anything about the shenanigans, then that’s just poor leadership, not to mention gross incompetence!

Nick McConnell

You know the rule: be cautious of speaking ill of the dead. For a start, they are not there to defend themselves. It is, however, clear that, early on, Jacob Zuma became aware that some around him had benefitted handsomely, so promptly set about ensuring that he was not left out.Ed.

Old Mutual’s looking like an SOE

The Old Mutual Chairman is arrogant and thinks he knows all, so what we see happening now: “Rainmaker gets his bonus, but the R4bn mystery deepens” (nose241), should not be a shock to anyone. A once-proud company is beginning to look (and behave) like a State-Owned Enterprise.
Noseweek’s report on those killer Toyota Quantum ambulances is as disturbing.

I implore you to follow up on the Minister of Transport’s action in this matter.

Andre Crause

- I read your story about the unhappy goings-on at Old Mutual with growing interest. When I got to the bit about AngloAmerican Platinum’s unexplained long delay in transferring the capital of its pension funds to OM, I realised why: it all has a familiar ring.

Read my letter to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority with regard to the Nedbank Group’s strategems to extract a massive “surplus” for itself from its employees’ pension funds [See Editorial in this issue. – Ed], then cast your eye over Amplats' Annual Financials  from 2006 to date and you will get my drift. The members of Amplats’ pension funds should waste no time in demanding access to all the relevant information.

Aubrey Bezuidenhout
Cape Town

Noseweek cast a quick eye over those Amplats Annual Financial Statements and the first thing we noticed is that every year since 2007 the notes record: “The Amplats Officials Pension Fund, Amplats Employees Pension Fund and the MRR Pension Fund are in the process of being wound up [so far, for 13 years, and counting]. The administration of pensioners has already been outsourced.” Noseweek would be interested to hear from them. In the meantime, watch this space.Ed.

Unclaimed pension funds

As quoted in Daily Maverick on 7 November 2019, there is about R42 billion in unclaimed Pension Funds in South Africa.

It would appear that most of the members or their survivors cannot be traced – or possibly not much effort goes into tracing them.

In the meantime the Fund Managers are scoring big time with annual fees.

Surely there is a way for the fees to be shared with the needy members of our population – the homeless, the hungry, rather than hanging on to it to further enrich the rich? Or to build more schools, improve the facilities at existing schools and set up facilities for skills development?

Another situation is when a member of a living annuity has emigrated, no longer has a bank account in South Africa and has a small balance remaining in the contract. As things stand, that balance has to remain there. Even if he states that it can go to a charity, that is not permitted. There must surely be a way to overcome this?

Iona Sacks
Century City

Wonderboom Airport

In nose241 you reported that Tshwane Transport MMC Sheila Senkubuge (DA) had said “We’re going to commercialise Wonderboom Airport – that’s our long-term plan”. But then you also noted that her colleagues were mystified where she got this information, as she hasn’t attended a single oversight meeting in 18 months.

Which prompts my question: Hey, @Our_DA, what is happening under your watch?

Via Twitter

- Why couldn’t they just maintain a world-class airport? Like the schools, hospitals etc?

Rina Jansen van Rensburg

Via Twitter

You’re being sarcastic, right? Ed.

Marcel Golding

Another Marcel Golding story for you, this one from attorney Richard Spoor. On 11 November he tweeted: “We represented the zama zamas and forced Petra Diamonds and Ekapa Mining to the table.
They then, with government help, pressured our clients to enter into a deal without our support.
The result was a bad deal that has now collapsed. Nice one Marcel Golding.”

David Phillip Kramer
Via email

Tactical advice on the ‘snotklap

About that triple snotklap in Viv’s Germiston pub story (nose241).
I grew up in Springs where, when threatened with a “snotklap” you either hit first – or run!

Etienne Theron

SABC owes Samro

Samro is not solely to blame for the short-payment of music rights. The SABC is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to royalty payments.

How can an organisation that just received another bailout of R2.1 billion from the government, still not pay the artists who have made them advertising revenue through playtime on their TV and radio stations?

To date the SABC owes the following to collection agencies: Samro: R125.8 million, Sampra: R104.2m, Airco: R8.8m, RiSA: R3.3m and Capasso: R6m.

This should be followed up by the government before they throw more money down the drain.Big respect to people like David Scott (The Kiffness) for standing up for the industry.

Cape Town

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