Go McCain - Palin
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Come now, you’ve been thinking the same thing for a very long time.
Hell – even if you are a black man I am willing to bet one rigged Zimbabwean election that the same thought has crossed your mind on more than one occasion, maybe even today.
Make no mistake, this flagrant generalisation is not limited to men only, the ladies are just as bloody awful.
“It’s called an indicator and yes, you can use it.”
Taxis, new BEE millionaire 4X4’s, driven by the (apparently blind) wives of South Africa’s bubbling elite, rich dads, poor dads, students and spoilt brats – laws of the road? Ever heard of them?
How about some courtesy, manners and order?
Apparently any spot on any road is a drop off point, who cares about the rush of traffic behind you – if you want to stop you can, and should – all you need to do is flash your emergency lights and the rest of the planet will sing to your tune. You own the road, after all.
In danger of missing the offramp? No worries. Accepted practice is to swerve from the right-hand-lane straight across the highway and shove your way in at the front of the queue. You then give the hooting imbecile (oblivious to your importance) behind you the obligatory middle finger… “stupid umlungu, no manners”.
It is also common practice to never-ever-ever say thanks when given space by another driver. You don’t have to. Politeness is a province in Guam and, in case you haven’t noticed, we don’t live there. Aikôna, this is Africa my friend and here we don’t have to acknowledge acts of civility.
Here we drive onwards, forward, on our never-ending quest to celebrate the phenomenal creations that we are. Why look before changing lanes? Others have eyes too you know and, frankly, we are now in that time where those others must bloody-well look where you are going, anticipate every erratic turn, stop, swerve.
People should also accept the fact that you are not a person of half-measures. It’s all or nothing when your royal highness hits the tarmac… What will it be today? Breakneck speed or practically standing still? Why drive 70 in a 60 zone if you can do 130 or 35? It just makes no sense.
When YOU are in a rush seas should part, traffic lights considered green and stop signs recognised as figments of the imagination. When you are chilling, grooving to the tunes and kicking back, the rest of the world should damn-well follow suit – and be grateful for it. Yes people, black men can’t drive.
If you take offence to this statement then I suppose you also take offence to the notion that whites are generally racist, refugees are generally criminal and that western governments generally want the rob the African people of their rights.
Corruption emerged after the ruling party invested billions on arms and weaponry, leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Bantu Holomisa said.
Holomisa said it was unclear who was in charge of the country; "Is it the party in government or their head office outside government," he asked "
There have been attacks and manipulation of the Scorpions, the public broadcaster and the judiciary," he said.
He added, the main reason for all of this was due to access to state power and the opportunity to loot the nation's resources.
Holomisa said, comrades 'who ate' from the table of the arms deal and oilgate were fighting with their backs against the wall, even demanding that their cases must be struck off the court rolls.
"The judges of the Constitutional Court have been dubbed as a bunch of counter-revolutionaries."
"This campaign is characterised by war-talk with the clear intention of blackmailing the courts, the government and the country, with the message: You dare to charge us, and we will cause havoc," he said.
According to the UDM it was for this reason there were calls for a so-called 'political solution' to save Zuma from his dilemma.
"The people who are arguing about a deal fail to acknowledge that this person claims to be innocent." Why a deal if he is innocent? Why should we convert the whole country into a kangaroo court with ad hoc rules to suit one person, when we have established democratic institutions to deal with such matters," he said.
Return where? This man needs a smack with the reality bat.
There's the small matter of BEE and affirmative action which his party introduced and maintains that tells departments NOT to hire whites and NOT to promote whites.
So, what he is saying is this; we fucked up, we chased away the brains, we put morons in their place and now we want whitey to come back and bail us out of our shit.
Ok, say whites do that, return to fix things. What happens when things are running smoothly again? Get rid of them?
Seeing is believing. Remove affirmative action and BEE legislation first. Outlaw any racism in the workplace. Do that and then watch people return. It won't happen otherwise except among the desperate.
If the Chinese experience recently with BEE is anything to go by, where blacks threatened violence if Chinese were employed instead of them, the chances of closing the Pandora's Box of reverse racism has a snowball's chance in hell of succeeding.
No, my two-faced ANC friend, you made your bed so lie in it. Your party has been calling for whites to return for years without success because whites just simply aren't as stupid and gullible as your followers.
- - - - -
Parliament's decision to put the controversial Expropriation Bill on ice was correct because it would have undermined property values in the country, ANC Treasurer-General, Mathews Phosa, said in Centurion.
Phosa was addressing a conference on poverty organised by the Freedom Front Plus and he also said ways had to be found to attract "mainly white" skilled people back to the public sector.
Welfare organisations and NGOs met to discuss the increasing levels of poverty, in particular, among the Afrikaner community.
The bill, which has been called unconstitutional by critics, gave Public Works Minister Thoko Didiza's powers to expropriate property "in the public interest". It prompted an outcry from landowners, particularly farmers.
"As you know we thought deeply about the Expropriation Bill and we, after serious considerations, felt that it would not be the correct instrument to speed up the acquisition of land. It became clear for us that market values and the encouragement of co-operation, help and advice from the state would be a better way of promoting the acquisition of land," said Phosa.
"We (ANC) said in Polokwane we are a caring organisation. We don't want to move forward like a guerrilla and say we know it all and our word is final. The ANC is listening to more voices on this matter to find a solution which does not unnecessarily undermine the property values of this country", said Phosa.
The ANC treasurer-general reiterated that there had been an exodus of skilled white public servants after the ANC took over in 1994, leaving government short of essential expertise.
"During the whole process of entering government there are a lot of skills which left the public sector and mainly white skills. You have to tell the inconvenient truth if you want to lead this country.
It's a fact that we need to find a way of attracting those skills back to the administration and the public sector. Those skills are very important to ensure that as government we work together and have a non-racial public sector.
We need an efficient and effective government that delivers.
"At the moment we have the money but we have a problem with the skills levels in the public sector. We need to increase the capacity of the state to deliver", said Phosa.
On the issue of Afrikaner poverty - which the FF-Plus said had increased by almost 400 percent - Phosa said "poverty is colourless". "There's no such thing as white poverty.
The problem of poverty and unemployment must be addressed holistically by government working with the private sector and NGOs and other stakeholders. Together we must find ways of ensuring that when land moves from white hands to black hands that there's skills transfer to the new owners so that productivity continues," said Phosa.
FF-Plus leader Pieter Mulder called for a re-think on affirmative action. "The fact that the ANC is brave enough to say these things about skills lost and the Expropriation Bill is positive. This is not a racial argument it's a management argument. Up until now it has also been politically incorrect to talk about white poverty because people think it doesn't exist."
Ah yes, how to run a country - ANC style. Run into the ground, that is.
While 40%+ of people live below the poverty line, the ANC gubbermunt has no problem wasting tens of millions paying people to sit at home for years.
- - - - -
Suspended civil servants are costing the fiscus millions of rands each month - and some have been sitting at home on full-pay for more than a year.
Others have been placed on special leave because they are facing criminal charges or because there are internal inquiries taking place.
These public servants come from all tiers of government: from office cleaners to law enforcement officials to executives of parastatals. Yet, the exact number is unknown.
Professor Stan Sangweni, chairperson of the Public Service Commission, said the commission did not keep statistics on how many civil servants fell into this category. The Department of Public Service and Administration, too, could not provide a figure for national departments, never mind provincial counterparts and municipalities.
With no accurate statistics available, the price tag for the taxpayer is unknown - rather like a blank cheque. But, one thing is for sure, the sum is considerable.
Senior officials, who command annual salaries ranging in the region of R1-million, are among those suspended.
Top law enforcement officials drawing salaries while they remain outside the office include National Prosecuting Authority head Vusi Pikoli, who was suspended last year and now awaits the decision of the Ginwala inquiry, and Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi, who will be on paid leave for some time because he has had his contract renewed - even though he is facing corruption charges.
Ekurhuleni police chief Robert McBride has been on special leave with full pay for more than a year while on trial on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, defeating the ends of justice and fraud.
In Cape Town, his counterpart, Bongani Jonas, has been suspended on full pay while the City of Cape Town conducts an internal investigation. Jonas is facing a charge of illegally changing his driver's licence.
Meanwhile, corruption-prone government departments are footing the bill for thousands of suspended officials.
The Department of Correctional Services suspended more than 500 officials during 2007/08, at a total cost of R15-million - and some cases took more than a year to resolve.
The Department of Home Affairs suspended more than 100 officials in the first half of the year.
Last year, Home Affairs suspended 189 officials in a six-month period. A third of these officials were dismissed.
The department has in the past struggled to conclude such cases, with some dragging on for years in certain provinces. Meanwhile, Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula has revealed that over the past three years his department spent R90-million on paying the salaries of suspended cops for a total of 12 723 working days.
Some suspensions dragged on for more than a year, such as that of a senior superintendent in visible policing who was suspended for 638 days. A police inspector in Cleveland, Johannesburg, was suspended for 788 days on full pay.
In the Western metropole of Cape Town, 29 senior police officers were suspended while five inspectors were suspended for 233 days in Kwazulu-Natal.
The situation is no better in the military. Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota recently revealed that some defence employees had been suspended for almost six years and that suspensions over the past three years cost R10,9-million. Lekota said 42 South African National Defence Force members were currently suspended on full pay and that the average length of time for such suspensions was more than two years.
A senior Land Affairs official sat at home drawing his full salary for more than three years.
Parastatals suffer similar problems.
At Armscor, a top official has been drawing a salary of over R1-million while the organisation sorts out her conflict with the CEO, who she says harassed her.
Earlier this month, the media reported that in the impoverished Eastern Cape the provincial education department spent more than R5-million on the salaries and legal costs of senior staff who had been suspended for 18 months.
They included a director who was suspended for booking former MEC Johnny Makhato on an economy flight instead of on a business-class international flight.
Ghost employees are also still drawing salaries - including in the city of Cape Town. An employee of the solid waste department was admitted to Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital two years ago, but stayed on the payroll because nobody noticed he had not been at work.
House robberies have become as highly organised as cash-in-transit heists, and up to 95 percent of hits on homes are organised to the finest detail.
The criminal gangs collect information on their targets, often soliciting information from domestic workers or private security companies.
Then they observe the residents' movements, which can take them days or even weeks.
And finally they choose a time of day in which they are pretty certain they can attack successfully.
Some strike in the early evening when people are coming home and those inside the house will be preoccupied with supper or watching television.
Others attack in the early hours of the morning when people are asleep and their alarms are not yet set.
But the most highly organised robbers know exactly what time will be the best to pounce. Institute for Security Studies crime expert Dr Johan Burger says that while the odd house robbery is opportunistic, most are well organised.
"We can't say they are all carried out by a syndicate in terms of the police's definition of a syndicate, but they are definitely organised."
Looking at crime figures in the past financial year, Burger says there were about 14 000 house robberies, and such robberies had been on the increase since they were first being recorded separately in 2002.
In comparison, house burglaries that take place when owners are not home or are sleeping have been on the decrease - but there has still been about a quarter of a million incidents in the past year.
"The fact that house burglaries are on the decrease and robberies are on the increase shows that criminals are becoming more brazen and willing to attack when people could confront them. "Even though house burglaries have decreased over the past six years, they are still a huge concern.
"There is evidence of target-hardening," adds Burger. "We have seen it with ATM bombings. In 2006 there was a surge in cash-in- transit heists, but as soon as the police target-hardened and put huge support behind beating the crime with intelligence and security improvements, the criminals changed their focus to ATMs."
Similarly with house robberies, the more people protect themselves, the more the criminals will change their modus operandi.
"In the past, criminals would steal big things, like clothing and bedding. "Now criminals are stealing valuable items that they can easily get rid of and that will fetch them a high price and attract the least attention," says Burger.
"As people protect their homes more, it has motivated criminals to change how they carry out the attacks. "It is easy to surprise you in your house and force you to switch off the alarm and hand over the valuables and your bank PINs. It is more lucrative."
Barbara Holtman, from Action for a Safer South Africa and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's crime prevention programme, agrees. "We have allowed criminals to take the lead in crime. We respond to what criminals do, and they innovate based on that.
"The more we spend on private security, the more they innovate. "They expect resistance, they come in groups and they organise. They are prepared to meet fire with fire."
Holtman adds that as criminals innovate, the crimes become more and more violent. "Before we had armed responses, they could break in when we were not there. Now that we have private security, they have to come when we are there. "People who would have indulged in opportunistic crime now arrive armed and expecting a violent confrontation."
Holtman says it has become harder to commit opportunistic crime and therefore criminals have turned to organised crime, which is naturally more brazen. But she says the issue is not the brazenness of criminals but the way the community responds to them.
South Africans spent R46-billion on private security annually. "Private security can only reduce crime, it can only displace it.
"We should be thinking of constructive crime prevention methods and community-building interventions," Holtman believes.
With the 2008 Beijing Olympics now over it is very interesting to look at the medal tally - for there we will see that the "new" South Africa finished up with a grand total of one medal (a silver, for what it's worth). This put South Africa level with such other sporting super-powers as the Sudan and Vietnam, and below such other sporting giants as Bahrain and Kyrgyzstan.
At much the same time, of course, South Africa is being humbled in the Tri-nation rugby tournament and is being whipped by England in the One-Day International Cricket series. In the days of civilised rule of course, even during the era of sanctions, South Africa consistently produced world class sportsmen and sportswomen in practically every sporting discipline, with the Springbok rugby and cricket sides being consistently recognised as among the best in the world.
Even during the early few years of ANC rule South African sportsmen and sportswomen (who of course had matured during the days before the ANC terrorists came to power) more than held their own in Olympic competitions - particularly in swimming, lawn tennis and the vertical jumps.
But what is the reason for this so dramatic decline? Many argue that it is all the fault of the iniquitous "quota system", but there are undoubtedly other far more fundamental reasons than this. South Africa is already universally recognised as being the crime capital of the world, but it is not just a matter of crime - the whole infrastructure of the state is collapsing. How can any country expect to produce sporting superstars when even to attend an evening's training session means taking one's life in one's hands?
Add to this, of course, the fact that an escalating number of top South Africans (of all races) are now leaving the disintegrating country as fast as they can.
Although there are still many ostriches with their heads in the sand who simply refuse to accept the fact, South Africa has long since ceased to be a first-world country, and has become yet another third-world disaster - indeed South Africa would now seem to be heading rapidly towards becoming a Zimbabwe writ large. The rapid decline of Olympic success is yet another
clear example of this.
But talking of Zimbabwe, a further quick look at the Olympic medal tally produces a big surprise, for this basket-case of all basket-cases finished up with four medals (one gold and three silvers). A closer analysis, however, reveals that they were all won by one person - the US-based swimmer Kirsty Coventry. In last month's SCN we observed that it would probably be best for a post-ZANU-PF government to change Zimbabwe's name, and a couple of suggestions were made. Perhaps now the most obvious choice would be to rename the country Coventry!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Never one to disappoint, I bring you another end-of-week tiding to ponder.
Not only are we forking out millions for LaZooma the Corrupt One, you will be pleased to know that we are also laying out ONE MILLION RAND a month to protect a private individual, someone who is not in government or public office.
I bet that bit the government keeps every month from your paycheque suddenly seems harder to part with, huh?
- - - - -A reply to a Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary question [see below] shows that the state has paid almost R10 million to date for ANC President Jacob Zuma's legal fees.
This figure only reflects the state's latest expenditure on his corruption trial and is likely to grow exponentially if and when his criminal trial proceeds.
The DA has always maintained that the state should not be liable for the enormous legal costs associated with the corruption charges levelled against Zuma. While it is common practice in countries around the world to pay such costs when charges relate to the carrying out of official duties, it is certainly not so when as in this case, the charges relate to possible criminal misconduct and are wholly unrelated to the work of the state.
The state's decision to foot this growing legal bill therefore seems to imply that allegedly soliciting bribes is a normal part of the duties of the Deputy President, a clearly nonsensical and highly problematic position.
The millions being spent on Mr Zuma's legal fees must also be seen against the backdrop of the over R1 million a month that is being spent on his ever-expanding security detail.
These expenses combined seem entirely out of step with what should be provided to someone who is no longer a public representative or government official.
Yet it is still shocking to learn that a third of South Africa’s municipal councillors are functionally illiterate.
The SA Local Government Association (Salga) defends this, saying the councillors have other qualities such as leadership and community support.
In addition a R32-million training programme is under way to teach them reading, writing and, for some, budgeting and revenue management.
We do not mean to disparage the limitations of those who have suffered apartheid deprivations but the philosophy “liberation before education” also contributed to this parlous state.
Illiterates are over-represented in local government. Councillors cannot make informed decisions about municipal matters if they are unable to read any of the plethora of documents which it is their duty to understand.
No wonder so many of the 284 municipalities are floundering, unable to manage their finances or to deliver basic services.
Bring on the power tools. How does a corrupt, stinking organisation like the ANC change its image? It’s like asking people to see Bin Laden as the nice man with a fetish for bombs. Not gonna happen.
Short of a chisel job using explosives, the image of the ANC is that of a selfish, useless, fascist, intolerant grouping of racist buffoons. The only solution for the ANC is to disband and for all South Africans to restart the ‘democracy’ we thought began 14+ years ago. A clean slate. A do-over.
It’s uncanny how the ANC starts to ‘fix’ its image just around the time of elections. People, don’t be fooled. The black heart (pardon pun) of the ANC still pumps evil voodoo through its veins. Until it is gone, like Zanu-PF in Zim, we are doomed to wallow in misery.
- - - - -
The new leaders of the ANC are scrambling to fix the party's image ahead of elections next year, but a clash of views shows it faces a battle to speak with one voice, analysts said.
A flurry of activity recently has seen African National Congress heavyweights hold frank meetings about its policies with minority groups and businessmen, with a rare acknowledgment of shortcomings in the party.
However, the personality of the former liberation movement appears to have split as it sends out conflicting statements, analysts said.
"The problem is they are speaking in so many different voices, all the various components are expressing their own views and these are contradictory. It's really more a confusion than any kind of strategy," said Robert Schrire, the head of the political science department at the University of Cape Town.
Killing for Jacob Zuma
In recent weeks some leaders have defended the independence of the judiciary, while others attacked it in defence of their graft-accused party chief Jacob Zuma, who faces a trial next year as the country heads to the polls.
There has been scant condemnation from party leaders on fiery statements from staunch Zuma backers declaring they would "kill" for him and that nothing will stand in the way of their man becoming the country's next president.
"While you have these positive messages you also have the negative messages coming from leaders who feel the party, their leader — Jacob Zuma — is under siege."
The new leadership of the ANC was elected at a conference last December where the populist Zuma toppled the current head of State, Thabo Mbeki, in an acrimonious battle.
The ANC, which has ruled the country since coming to power after the demise of apartheid in 1994, recently dispatched new party deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe to smooth relations with the business community.
Reassuring industry leaders
In a meeting with white Afrikaans-speaking businessmen and industry leaders last week, Motlanthe addressed key issues, attempting to explain ANC policy which he said "doesn't change simply because there has been a change of leadership".
He said an independent judiciary was key, contradicting party secretary general Gwede Mantashe and others who recently called the country's top judges "counter-revolutionary".
"Of course there are individuals who are very angry about this and that who then make statements — this is not ANC policy." Motlanthe also said the ANC would not amend the country's Constitution for "nefarious reasons", amid speculation the party may do so to prevent a sitting president from being prosecuted to protect Zuma once he is elected.
Motlanthe caused excitement by suggesting the policy of affirmative action — seen as responsible for a massive skills shortage in a country where a vast majority still don't have access to proper education — may be phased out.
Political analyst Adam Habib of the Human Sciences Research Council said the ANC's efforts to appear more open and inclusive was partly a charm offensive to placate investors about the prospects of a Zuma presidency.
"They are sending a signal to the markets, saying 'don't panic'. The last thing they want is to come into political office and suddenly you have a complete collapse in the markets."
But the ANC's new leadership has been elected "on the basis of the promise that it would be more responsive to the rank and file of the party", said Aubrey Matshiqi, political analyst with the Centre for Policy Studies.
They have to answer to 43 percent of the population living under the poverty threshold, the 40 percent who are jobless and the millions without decent housing.
In the face of these obvious contradictions, "foreign investors, domestic investors, people who are concerned about the future, are not going to be able to distinguish who speaks for whom", said Schrire.
The government's exorbitant multibillion-rand arms deal has crippled the South African Navy.
And, according to one of the country's leading arms deals experts, the navy does not even have the money "to fully or properly operate or support" the costly frigates or submarines that has devastated its budget.
The navy wants to spend billions more of taxpayers' money on patrol ships, primarily because the hugely expensive corvettes they bought to monitor the country's seas are not ready or up for the job.
According to a June 2008 Defence Force Legal Services staff paper for Chief of the Navy Vice-Adm Johannes Mudimu, the state's controversial purchases - "which absorb most of the South African Navy's financial resources" - have left the navy incapable of:
# Tracking the vessels that travel around the South African coast;
# Conducting patrols aimed at protecting and defending "the maritime sovereignty of the republic";
# Fulfilling its "collateral responsibilities" of "maritime safety, pollution response, search-and-rescue, protection of maritime resources and interdiction of maritime offenders"; and
# Conducting patrols of South Africa's resource and fossil fuel-rich economic exclusion zone.
Trained advocate Captain DK Gillespie, whose mandated report the Defence Force has attempted to dismiss as an "academic study" created by a "student", further states: "With the transformation of the South African National Defence Force, severe budget cuts (and) downsizing, the SA Navy has become a shadow of its original force structure with a number of 'gaps' apparent in its capacity."
Richard Young, the overlooked arms deal bidder who was awarded a R15-million settlement from the government after he sued it for damages, said it was "fact" that the navy was unable to afford operating the frigates and submarines it had purchased.
Referring to research that found one frigate cost €720 000 (about R8,2-million) a day to operate, he said the navy's mooted purchase of eight to 12 new 85m multipurpose hull patrol boats "would make economic sense".
"These vessels cost between R250-million and R300-million each, as opposed to the R4 billion cost of the frigates.
The reality is that, if the government had not forced the navy to buy the frigates and submarines, it would have been able to purchase the patrol boats. . . which get the work done."
Young said the South African Navy had elected to purchase the Spanish Bazan 590B light frigate and an Italian coastal submarine, but had been overridden by the government's desire to buy German MEKO 200AS light frigates and German Type 209 coastal submarines.
"At least regarding the frigates, the South African Navy would have saved about R1 billion in 1999 rands, which would have gone a long way in operational and support costs," he said. Young, who had seen Gillespie's report, said it appeared that the work had started its life as a "joint staff course" document, but was "resurrected for a very specific reason".
"It seems it was resurrected and edited very recently to justify the purchase (of the patrol vessels)," he said.
At the time defence department spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi claimed that Gillespie had written the report, in 2003, he was a senior staff officer of operational law support.
Why is it that every time the government does something positive to ensure our safety and security, you lot start moaning and bitching about crime, schools, hospitals and all the other unnecessary crap that we don’t need? I mean what is the point of their making the effort if this is the thanks they’re going to get?
Let’s backtrack a bit:
“South Africa placed a contract for three Type 209/1400 submarines in July 2000 on Howaldtswerke-Deutche Werft (HDW) and Thyssen Nordseewerke. The Type 209/1400 displaces 1 450t surfaced and 1 600t dived. The Type 209/1400 submarines replace the French-built Daphne Class submarines, SAS Spear, SAS Assegai and SAS Umkhonto which were decommissioned in 2003. (Crew 30 Length 62m Hull Height 5.8m Displacement 1 450t (surfaced) 1 600t (dived) Diving Depth 250m Maximum Surface Speed10kt Maximum Dived Speed 22kt)” — (naval-technology.com)
“According to ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems spokesperson Stephen Laufer, the total cost of the three submarines is E660-million, a price that includes the intensive training of the submariners and ongoing logistical support.
With a coastline that stretches around 3 000 kilometres, Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said that the primary role of the submarines was to defend South Africa’s interests and territorial integrity. However, their role was “far greater”, he said, as they brought “to the region and the African continent a significant strategic deterrent capability”. He added that the submarines, together with the four new MEKO-class frigates already present at Simonstown, had strengthened the capabilities of the navy, enhancing South Africa’s regional reach and providing security for the entire Southern African Development Community.” — (SouthAfrica.info)
Have you got it so far?
We ordered three submarines to replace the aging Daphne Class submarines because should there be an invasion from the sea by let’s say Puerto Rica, we will now be able to defend ourselves.
Of course judging by the brilliance of the SANDF in the “Lesotho debacle” it might turn out to be a great buy. If we get attacked on land by a military giant such as Namibia, we can all sprint to the harbour to make sure we get a spot on the submarines ferrying survivors to safety.
But wait there’s more!
Because we purchased these items during the week they were running a special on submarines, they threw in a condom factory absolutely free and which they agreed to build in the Eastern Cape. Surely a tangible example of “when you are being screwed always make sure they bring the condoms”.
Now some of you may be asking yourselves how these submarines can ever be used in the war on crime. Surely all that money could have been better spent on uplifting the masses or upgrading areas such as schools, hospitals or even the police.
That is where you are being short-sighted.
What the navy can do is arm these submarines with nuclear warheads. Then if the police get a call to say that there is major drug deal going down in Welkom, instead of risking policemen’s lives they can simply radio the coordinates to one of our subs who can then nuke Welkom.
No more nonsense about drug dealers getting bail, bribing cops or giving the Scorpions affidavits, this is one push of the button instant-justice-time.
And let’s face it; would any of us really miss Welkom?
Of course we’ll have to nominate places that qualify for our nuke-rather-than-police policy. Those spots that we can all quite frankly live without.
In my case I did two years national service in Potch so you can mark me down for putting their name forward. You might have others that you believe are more deserving although in the case of Potch, I doubt it.
For my money they don’t even have to wait for a drug deal; just put in the pre-emptive strike.
And you thought the arms deal was a waste of money!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Crime and violence remain obstacles in the way of rectifying the socio-economic climate essential for allowing a better life for all, a convention on safety has found.
"Crime and violence have already caused untold hardship, disruption and loss of life in our country," said Action for a Safe South Africa project leader Roelf Meyer.
He was reading from a charter developed during the four-day convention in Midrand. "It jeopardises the foundations of our democracy and undermines the principles that formed the basis of our transition to democracy as embodied in our Constitution.
"Millions of our citizens live in continuous fear as a result of the climate of crime and violence," he said.
Meyer said the 300 organisations represented at the convention recognise that the social and economic transformation of the country is not nearly complete, and that South Africans are still suffering economic depravation.
"Fixing the criminal justice system is obviously an important goal for any society, yet we realise that it alone will not make us a safe society, and that unless we significantly reduce the demand on the criminal justice system, it will never be able to deliver justice for all.
"We recognise the need for a practical and an achievable vision of a safe South Africa -- a vision that encapsulates an ideal safe society. "We know that realising this ideal will be a lengthy process and commit to working innovatively, cleverly and with resilience to realise the capacity, funding and structures to achieve this," Meyer said.
Among the dignitaries throwing their weight behind the initiative are former president Nelson Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa.
Role of alcohol
Earlier in the week at the conference, alcohol-free public spaces and the idea of businesses not selling alcohol on payday were suggested.
"Make the 24 hours around payday an alcohol-free day," said Barbara Holtmann, a research director at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Holtmann said that this, combined with retailers providing substantial discounts on things like basic foods or school shoes around payday, could help rechannel the approximately R41-billion a year that was spent on alcohol and alcohol marketing.
After a combination of applause and nervous shuffling had subsided, she said about R16 of every R100 was spent on alcohol. She believed this figure could be higher, with portions of social grants also going to alcohol.
A figure of 47% of murder victims tested positive for alcohol at the time of death, as did 66% of trauma victims, while 50% of rape victims were found to be either drunk or high at the time of their incident, particularly young girls.
"That R41-billion is a voluntary spend -- we don't need to spend it."
Questioning the perception that gun ownership could lead to personal safety, she said about 65 firearms were lost or stolen from their owners each day -- often in careless ways, like leaving them on a toilet cistern in a public space or having them stolen in public because they were visible. Police believed that each of these firearms was then used to commit at least eight crimes.
IT IS the worst kind of failure that any parent can feel – the inability to feed their children.
But this is what Nowinner K ululekile had to admit when she kept her 16-year-old daughter Nolubabalo out of school for four days.
She wrote: “I would like to express my sincere apology for her failure to come to school on Friday. She didn’t have strength to go to school because there was no food because it was the fourth day they slept on empty stomachs. They were just drinking water. I then decided that all my children will not go to school. I really apologise ... it’s just that I didn’t know what to do.”
K ululekile and her family do not live in a far-flung village in the Eastern Cape’s hinterland, but on the doorstep of East London’s city centre. Her home is not to be found on a hilltop, but rather in the sprawling township of Mdantsane.
K ululekile, 59, who is unemployed and her 72-year-old husband maintain their six children on his R940 old age pension.
When our journalists visited their home, the K ululekiles’ cupboards were bare and their fridge empty.
But this is no exceptional case of extreme poverty. When the teachers at Nolubabalo’s school were alerted to her circumstances, they began an investigation at Philemon Ngcelwane High in Mdantsane’s NU9. They found that five other starving children had collapsed at school this year.
Admirably, the teachers chose to act. They collected money, received a donation of vegetables and started a soup kitchen.
But yesterday, the money ran out and they served just over 160 of the 800 pupils their last meal of vegetable soup and bread. In desperation, they called our newspaper, believing that we were their last resort.
The government’s school nutrition programme only applies to primary schools and the pupils of Philemon Ngcelwane therefore fall outside of this already precarious social support network.
The child support grant only applies to children under 14 years of age which means that teenagers are expected to fend for themselves.
The ANC’s Polokwane resolutions, guiding the ruling party into next year’s elections, accept that “beyond poverty alleviation, interventions must seek to develop exit programmes that capacitate households and communities to empower themselves. It is the duty of the developmental state to achieve this”.
They also undertake to “progressively expand the school nutrition programme to include high school learners in poorer communities”.But while the new ANC government-in- waiting prepares itself for next year’s elections, there is no relief for children like Nolubabalo K ululekile. They will just have to starve.
Part of the reason for the high crime rate can be blamed on the abuse of alcohol. Besides the immediate effects that alcohol brings to people abusing the drug, the social ramifications are far more wide ranging.
Money spent on booze is money not spent on food, clothing, housing and education. Victims of alcohol abusers are often children who are neglected and doomed to emulate their parents, passing on the social ill on society, a circle seemingly without end. We need to change the culture.
We may even need to restrict access (total bans would not work) during certain hours but certainly, as the person below states the money being spent/wasted on alcohol equates to an incredible figure, equal to almost one billion rand for every person in the country.
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South Africans spend a whopping R41bn in alcohol and alcohol related marketing per year (read the statement again).
Just to clear it out for you, this is no Zimbabwean Dollar, it is ZAR. To make it clearer, Barbara Holmann of the CSIR (courtesy of the Star Newspaper) says that we spend R16 of every R100 on alcohol. Wow!
Can you imagine what could be done with that money if it was put to good use? That's the Gautrain or four Soweto monorails at R12m each.
We could be a very rich and sophisticated nation if we invested that money into something that yielded good returns. I swear I am reconsidering my drinking habits.
I tried to make sense of this shocking number by using my meagre salary; you see, I earn a little bit over the minimum wage and owe my credit card three times my salary. I also have an Edgars account and a Woolies one, just in case I have to attend a funeral (you know how it goes). But R16 of every R100!?
Holmann was talking about possible solutions for our state of drunkenness. Measures such as making paydays alcohol free are suggested. I say viva to that.
If you stay in Pretoria you may have been witness to the shenanigans going around Sunnyside on the weekends after the 15th (for us the government slaves) and the 30th for everyone else. Go to Sunnyside police station on a Sunday morning after payday; the holding cells are full with people having been arrested over the weekend for crimes ranging from drunken driving to rape.
If you go to HF Verwoerd hospital (I think it is called Pretoria Academic Hospital now) you find the emergency unit full of stab victims, rape victims and accident victims, all because of drunken episodes. That's what R16 in every R100 brings to this nation; a sorry state.
The value of human life just seems to get less each day.
A man was stabbed to death after he got into an argument with an acquaintance over a hat. Captain Lingisile Magama said the two men were having drinks at a local shebeen in Nqamakwe on Wednesday night when they started arguing.
“The victim had a hat that his acquaintance wanted.
The two got into a quarrel.
During the quarrel the man took out a knife and stabbed the owner of the hat.
He died at the scene.
” The man was arrested and will appear in the Nqamakwe Magistrate’s Court soon on a charge of murder.
Here we go again. Three points to be made.
One: South Africa’s crime scourge is no longer a secret. It is an accepted fact around the world. This article comes from an Indian news outlet.
Two: I’ve mentioned this previously. Notice how the mainstream peecee media mentions the ethnicity of the victim but not that of the perpetrators. Why? Are they trying to spare the feelings of the killers? Since they started it, I’ve taken the trouble of filling in the missing information.
Three: “A crime wave sweeping South Africa?” It’s been ‘sweeping’ SA for 14 years. Ah well, better late than never. The last sentence makes up for the slip up, “According to statistics, South Africa has the highest incidents of violent crime in the world.”
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A prominent Indian-origin jeweller was gunned down by two (black) armed men in Durban in a robbery bid, making him the latest victim of a violent crime wave sweeping South Africa.
Pat Pather (64) died after being wounded in a shoot-out with two armed (black) gunmen who stormed his shop, Pyrammid Jewellers, in the centre of Durban. Marlan Padaychee, a family friend said that Pather, whose family have been in the jewellery business for more than 80 years, was confronted by two (black) gunmen who held up his workers and demanded jewellery and money.
"Mr Pather pulled out his gun and defended himself. A shoot out took place and one (black) intruder was shot dead at the scene. Pather suffered wounds and was rushed to hospital but was declared dead on arrival," said Padaychee.
"He has been robbed a number of times recently and had acquired a gun to defend himself. He was getting fed up with the crime wave," he added.
Pather's death follows the hijack and murder of a 36-year-old Indian-origin father of two, Reggie Pillay, in the nearby town of Verulam.
His wife, Shaan, said her husband was hijacked while on his way to work. His car was found abandoned near a shopping mall and his body was found in a suburb. "This was senseless. They didn't have to kill Reggie. He was harmless. Crime is spiraling out of control and the government needs to do something before more innocent lives are lost.
Criminals seem to have a free rein and are taking the law into their own hands", said Shaan.
According to statistics, South Africa has the highest incidents of violent crime in the world.
Refer my previous post.
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DA calls for debate on the collapsing state of local government.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to the Speaker of Parliament requesting that the collapsing state of local government in the country be discussed as a matter of public importance at the next sitting of Parliament in September.
The Minister of Provincial and Local Government, Sydney Mufamadi, needs to explain to the nation what he is doing to solve the mounting problems in municipalities which continue to undermine the provision of quality basic services where they are most needed.
These include the fact that:
* Only 5% of the 247 municipalities audited by the Auditor-General for the 2006/07 financial year received clean audit reports.
* The country's 283 municipalities are currently owed a total of R44 billion for unpaid municipal services while the six metros are jointly owed R35 billion.
* The DPLG left more than R2 billion of its capital expenditure budget for the past five years unspent.
* Municipalities did not spend more than R640 million of their Municipal Infrastructure Grants (MIG) between 2004 and 2007.
* 30% of the country's councillors who are illiterate have indicated that they are incapacitated to perform their duties with the required distinction.
This situation is aggravated by the ANC government's insistence on the political appointment of municipal officials based on their loyalty to the party rather than ability to do the job.
Local government is a key sphere of government which touches the lives of many vulnerable South Africans.
However it seems the ANC is more intent on who makes it into procurement and tender allocation committees than it is with service delivery matters.
As a result service delivery takes a distant second to the ANC's internal battles. Yet the ANC government continues to ignore the challenges that prevent municipalities from fulfilling their mandate while spending elaborately on unnecessary ceremonies and their own benefits.
The unresolved trend of underspending and mismanaging of municipal funds which must be used to finance infrastructure for basic services to poor communities undermines the government's commitment for a better life for all.
These problems are not a new issue. They have been going on for years without any improvement.
Not even the government's highly publicized Project Consolidate, which was established to help municipalities to spend their finances wisely in order to provide quality basic services to the public, has achieved this.
All the while, Sydney Mufamadi, whose inept leadership is partly responsible for the crisis in local government, remains detached from his portfolio.
It is unacceptable that the same problems that have plagued local government for the past four years are still fresh today while the Minister has not fully accounted to Parliament.
Statement by Willem Doman MP, Democratic Alliance spokesperson on local government.
Thousands of football fans and players visiting South Africa for the 2010 Fifa World Cup could be excused if they take the country’s drunken driving laws with a pinch of salt.
The man tasked with safeguarding the biggest event this country has ever hosted is himself a drunk driver who will be tried for this crime for the third time in February 2009.
The Mail & Guardian has established that Linda Mti, the beleaguered former commissioner of correctional services, has a criminal record after being convicted in 1992 by a Port Elizabeth court for driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless and negligent driving.
Mti was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment or a R400 fine. At the time he was the ANC’s Eastern Cape chairperson.
Two years later he was appointed a member of Parliament, where he chaired the portfolio committee on safety and security, and in 1996 Cabinet assigned Mti to chair the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee.
In 2001 President Thabo Mbeki appointed Mti head of prisons, a position he vacated early and under a cloud in 2006 after being linked to companies whose multimillion-rand contracts with the department of correctional service form part of a fraud investigation by the Special Investigating Unit.
Mti was subsequently appointed head of security for the 2010 Local Organising Committee, but has since kept a low profile, with police Deputy National Commissioner André Pruis being the face of South Africa’s preparations to present a crime-free football World Cup in two years’ time.
- Mti has been arrested at least three times for driving under the influence of alcohol.The M&G has seen Mti’s 1992 criminal record, which shows the convictions for drunk driving and reckless and negligent driving.
- In 2005 Mti, then prisons boss, was arrested outside Port Elizabeth’s Boardwalk Casino after being involved in an accident with another vehicle late at night. He was subsequently charged with drunk driving.The Herald reported that police at the scene of the accident claimed Mti was rude, asking whether they knew who he was. After initially withdrawing the charges, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has decided to push ahead with the case -- on Wednesday the trial was postponed to February next year.
- The Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court controversially acquitted Mti in June this year for allegedly crashing into another car while driving drunk in Johannesburg peak hour traffic in November 2006. The police officer at the scene said Mti asked him if he knew who he was. Blood tests showed that Mti was more than four times over the legal limit, but a botch-up by prosecutors, for which they were given written warnings by the NPA, led to him walking out of court a free man.
The M&G wasn’t successful in obtaining comment from Mbeki’s office, local organising committee chief executive Danny Jordaan or Mti this week. Mbeki and Jordaan were asked whether they were aware of Mti’s criminal record before appointing him and why they deemed him a suitable appointee to a security portfolio. Mti previously blamed the media for portraying him as a drunk after his 2006 Johannesburg accident.