Our African Al Capone – His Excellency, The Right honorable, The President of South Africa!

Al Capone is one of the most notorious American gangsters of the 20th century. I believe that our Right Honourable Mr President Zuma is even stronger than feather weight Al Capone. However what is common between both men is the fact that they both got stuck at the taxes. For Al Capone it was his personal unpaid taxes; but who can trump our very own heavy-weight Champion of the World, His Excellency, the President of South Africa for he took the people’s taxes and spent it on himself!
His previous winnings included the fight of approximately some seven hundred charges, he survived the Gupta scandal, he overcame the non-confidence vote. He is a fighter and now the Highest Court in South Africa has ruled that he violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money spent on his private residence. This ruling is believed to be a victory for the opposition, who said they would push for His Excellency’s impeachment. Nonsense!! 

Zuma is untouchable and the Cabinet is all behind this Champion – who dares to touch him will result in a cabinet shuffle. Not surprising that in the Government statement it said the President would “reflect” on the judgement and take “appropriate action”.

A spokeswoman for the governing African National Congress said the party’s top six officials, who include Mr Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, would meet to discuss the implications of the ruling. Of course Zuma’s henchmen know how to show that they are dealing with the issue – instead our African Al Capone is possibly saying, “Come on guys, don’t quit now… Just one more deal and we will let them see the rainbows while we retire with the Guptas!”
It took a court hearing to discover that our President had “unduly benefited” from the renovations and should repay a portion of the government money, the Public Prosecutor said however we all knew years back that there was a heist.
He then went on to say that Mr Zuma’s failure to repay the money was “inconsistent” with the constitution, he added, “The president failed to uphold, defend and respect the constitution.” We all know that who will be looking for a new job soon… Any opening for Public Prosecutor in Syria?

Mr Mogoeng further dug his grave by adding that public officials ignored the constitution at their peril, and should remember that the rule of law was the “sharp and mighty sword that stands ready to chop the ugly head of impunity from its stiffened neck”.

This ain’t over yet! Zuma Will be Back!!!

Good “traits” of South Africans

I’m certain my readers will agree with me – that being negative, pessimistic and whingeing are traits South Africans do not portray. Spending most of my time abroad I possibly have become accustomed to things working and processes running smoothly. It will be unfair to judge a country such as South Africa that has gone through, and still going through tremendous development, in comparison to other developed countries. So I’m intending on being positive with this blog.
Let me share some of the advancements of South Africa which I have not yet seen in the United Kingdom. As I’m the person sharing, sadly you would need to see through my experiences and my “lenses”. Living literally half my life abroad I would like to share some of my insight… (remember it’s only my perception).

Well, for starters – today I walked into a Nedbank branch (Campus Square, Melville). I showed them my Identity Card and they asked me to place my thumb on a device which confirms who I am. Now that’s technology! I didn’t have that sophistication in the UK. I signed a document and the lady said, “Mr Naicker please sign properly just like the one I have on file.” So I did, and hey presto!

She then had to listen to me complaining about her lousy, lazy manager who hid in her office when their systems were down. Instead of being honest with the clients, whom all waiting patiently in queue, she made up some excuses for not being able to do certain functions (don’t worry, I’m not being negative). You see, the people waiting in queue, some were labourers in uniform and others elderly mamas. They were using their lunch breaks to get their errands done. Yet with all the sophistication of Nedbank at Campus Square, Melville, the people stood persevering hoping that the system will work again. They were patient and courteous as the line grew longer and longer with only one teller able to serve from 10:30am -13:45pm whilst the other staff “looked” busy.

Now that is admirable! In the UK someone would have called Ms Lucy (if that is actually her real name) out of hiding to explain to her clients what is going on. The people of South Africa are positive about life in general and everything that is in it – they don’t like to make a fuss. As these poor souls stood in line as their lunch time fast passing by, the staff yet showed no empathy… the positive trait here is that South Africans don’t look for sympathy.

The glass counter is quite thick and possibly for good reasons too! As if this was the UK, leave alone the riff-raffs, an elderly pensioner will possibly swing their cane or Zimmer frame on the incompetent staff led by an incompetent branch manager.

But hey, this is not the UK, for in the land of the Rainbow nation we have all manners of colours and it may not be your favourite but hey-ho, who cares.

Johannesburg – The City of Two Standards

This just shows you that where you live also determines the services you receive; such is life, or is it?!

Johannesburg, City Offices. I waited to be served at the Johannesburg City Offices, I headed out to attempt to be early in line to resolve my dispute and then leave. I comfortably drove to the offices and parked within close proximity to the building. On getting to know those around me in the queue, I learnt that some walked, some had taken taxis and some brought their children along. Rich, intellectual or poor we all had one thing in common, that was sitting in line as we progressed to the front.

On my previous occasion I was offered to jump the queue in exchange for some money. Well, being the South African I am, I refused categorically and explained that some old ladies were also waiting and that it will not be fair.

However, I’m not kidding but after waiting one and a half hour and it was my turn to be seen… the load shedding happened! Yes, the power was out! (Second thought about that bribe reappeared). Under these conditions the staff, as usual, leave their desks and begin chatting at the furthest corner of the room. Ten minutes later – takeaway orders are being delivered. Had it not been for the kind manager to inform us, however there was nothing he could do.

I found this odd, surely those we needed advice such as myself could still be assisted without a computer for general queries. I found most to be so over worked and tired. Many with short attention span unable to say or do more than what is on the screen of their computer.

Well, back to my experience as I waited to be served, the person dealing with my enquiry had no idea of how to resolve the matter, on calling her supervisor – she too gave me some story which simply made no sense.

That was downtown Johannesburg, majority of the people can be seen as working class and the queues are long and the staff are unhelpful.

After wasting my time there with coming away with both no advice and contradicting information, I then headed for Sandton City.

Sandton City. The offices are situated conveniently accessible by car without parking cost. The interior of the building is brightly furnished and modern. The chairs are all intact and it took twenty minutes to be seen and their adviser immediately picked up on the problem and rectified it within another twenty minutes.

This just shows you that where you live also determines the services you receive; such is life, or is it?!

Did the “snake pastor” really ascend to heaven in-front of his congregation?

I read from an unsubstantiated source that the pastor ascended into heaven this morning, some as far as Pretoria say that they witnessed a flash of light and others confirm the light and assumed it to be a UFO. Is pastor Mnguni still on earth?

On 29 January 2016, it was reported on the eNCA website that the controversial pastor whose congregants ate snakes has failed to appear before the Commission for the Protection of Cultural and Religious Rights pertaining to the Chapter 9 institution is investigating the alleged commercialisation of religion and the abuse of beliefs.

Another article mentions that the “Snake pastor vanishes into thick green grass” – Like you, I was bewildered…it went on to say Mnguni, who gained notoriety after feeding his congregants snakes, rats and weaves, is being sought by the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Rights Communities.

ministryMnguni, who operated his church in Extension 13 in Soshanguve, Pretoria, was exposed in July for feeding his followers snakes. As weeks went by, he started feeding them rats, pieces of cloth and human hair. Mnguni then moved to Ayanda Primary School hall, where community members also chased him away.

However the Times Live mentions on 11 February 2016 that Mnguni appeared before the cultural, religious and linguistic community rights watchdog to answer complaints that his church had brought Christianity into disrepute.

According to a Daily Sun report, chairperson of the commission, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva “congratulated the pastor on his vast knowledge of the Bible and told him to use it to benefit others.”

Mnguni’s church made headlines in July last year after pictures went viral showing him feeding a live snake to his congregation. He was subsequently arrested and released on charges of animal cruelty.

I read from an unsubstantiated source that the pastor ascended into heaven this morning, some as far as Pretoria say that they witnessed a flash of light and others confirm the light and assumed it to be a UFO. Is pastor Mnguni still on earth?

 

 

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 source:(1)http://www.enca.com/south-africa/snake-pastor-slithers-thin-air(2)http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2016/02/11/Snake-Pastor-congratulated-for-his-vast-knowledge-of-Bible(3)http://www.sott.net/article/299455-South-African-pastor-commands-congregation-to-eat-live-snake-that-allegedly-turns-into-chocolate-gets-arrested-for-animal-cruelty

“South Africans should brace themselves for tougher economic times”

An economist warns that South Africans should brace themselves for tougher economic times as the government waivers on the implementation of its National Development Plan (NDP).

An economist warns that South Africans should brace themselves for tougher economic times as the government waivers on the implementation of its National Development Plan. Cees Bruggemans of Bruggemans & Associates, Consulting Economists said in a note on Tuesday, that to suggest 0.9% growth ‘appears unrealistic, though perhaps still politically useful as we approach local elections’.”Recession is such an ugly word, yet it rules the roost practically everywhere now,” the economist said. The economist said that confidence is needed to support risk-taking, fixed investment and job creation in the country.

“Under these challenging circumstances to steadily raise interest rates and impose R18 billion of tax increases while constraining government spending – cutting the budget deficit from 4% last year to 3.2% of GDP this year – is to hammer yet more nails into the collective coffin.” So what could hold us up? Bruggemans said that confidence would fire private businesses to do more.

He called for sustainable breakout policies, as intended by the National Development Plan, but so far cynically abandoned ‘while hailed with wild abandon’. “If it is still to be a while, expect further sinking a la Brazil,” the economist said.

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source:http://businesstech.co.za/news/business/117638/on-south-africas-economy-worse-is-coming-says-economist/accessed 23/03/2016

South Africa Examines Possible Extremist Threat – Jeff Builta

I found this article by Jeff Builta particularly profound as it discusses key issues despite being published in 1996… “According to the report, 11 “extremist fundamentalist” organizations are known to have received training in Afghanistan, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, and/or Pakistan. The report also claims that some of these cells are heavily armed, and most are concentrated in the Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth areas. The report expressed concern with at least five suspected covert cells of foreign-trained militants around Cape Town and Durban.”

Since the end of apartheid, South Africa has had a difficult transition to popular democracy. It has one of the highest crime rates per capita in the world, and corruption is thought to be rampant among politicians and police. Adding to these problems, law enforcement officials announced this August that they believe militant extremist Islamic cells have been established throughout the country and may eventually pose a risk to national security. The announcement came after a secret intelligence report on the matter was leaked and reprinted in the Johannesburg daily Beeld.

According to the report, 11 “extremist fundamentalist” organizations are known to have received training in Afghanistan, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, and/or Pakistan. The report also claims that some of these cells are heavily armed, and most are concentrated in the Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth areas. The report expressed concern with at least five suspected covert cells of foreign-trained militants around Cape Town and Durban.

A group from Western Cape province of South Africa called Qibla was singled out in the report as the most extreme of the Islamic fundamentalist cells operating in the country. According to the government, members have been trained in Libya and Pakistan, and some members have fought with Hizbollah in Lebanon. Its leader, Achmed Cassiem, is a former political prisoner during the apartheid era. Cassiem is also leader of the Islamic Unity Convention (IUC), an umbrella group of 254 Muslim groups from around the nation.

Ironically, the same month the report was leaked to the media, violence featuring Muslim citizens was highlighted in South Africa by the acts of an Islamic community-protection, anti-crime group called People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD). During a PAGAD march protesting organized crime, drugs, and prostitution, PAGAD members trampled, shot and burned Rashaad Staggie, a reputed drug baron and co-leader of the Hard Livings gang in Cape Flats outside Cape Town. The killing occurred in front of police and television cameras, receiving international airplay. At the march, PAGAD publicly declared a “holy war” against gangsters in Cape Flats.

A few days after the incident, PAGAD coordinator Moegamat Nadthmie Edries was arrested on charges of sedition and murder. Army troops were called into the Cape Town region after continuing threats and periodic gunfights between police, PAGAD supporters, and gangs. During one particularly raucous melee involving 5,000 PAGAD supporters and police, nine people were injured and tensions become so high that politicians called for a state of emergency in the region. Mosques are guarded with armored personnel carriers and South Africa’s Justice Minister Dullah Omar moved out of his Cape Flats home for his family’s protection.

PAGAD, formed early this year, claims it is not an exclusively Islamic movement, although no non-Moslem members are known to exist and the group is known to maintain contacts throughout the Moslem world. The group readily admits to receiving financial assistance from unnamed foreign donors. Local media report that PAGAD has received training in Libya, that the group maintains a paramilitary training base in Western Cape province and is thought to maintain regular contact with Qibla.

One PAGAD leader, Muhammad Ali Parker, known as “the Phantom,” has publicly advocated guerrilla warfare in the group’s fight against crime. Parker claims to maintain regular contact and support from HAMAS and Hizbollah, although he says these are personal connections having nothing to do with his organization. The leak of the intelligence report has raised considerable concern on behalf of Muslims in South Africa, who are worried that Islam is being hijacked for violent political reasons beyond fighting gangsters. On the other hand, some Muslims have expressed concern that they are being demonized by police exaggerating the threat posed by such groups in order to cover law enforcement failures.

While recent events have suggested that such an extremist threat may exist, it is also likely the threat is being over emphasized in comparison with the dangers posed by everyday street crime in South Africa. Moe Shaik, a national intelligence official, was quoted in a recent Washington Post article as claiming the allegations that a international Islamic extremist network exist in South Africa were baseless.

 

source: http://www.cjimagazine.com/archives/cji46ee.html?id=358-November/December - 1996 -Vol# 12 - Issue# 6/http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/another-pagad-leader-arrested-1565246

Compensation for evicted white-farmers?

Zimbabwe’s plan to win back international funding by paying compensation to white farmers forced off their land faces a major snag: the black farmers expected to stump up the cash say they don’t have it. The new occupants working the land, many of who had few farming skills when they were resettled, say they can barely make ends meet, let alone pay an extra levy.

The new occupants of the farms say they can barely make ends meet, let alone pay an extra levy. Their agricultural output is a fraction of that before 2000 – when President Robert Mugabe introduced the land reforms that led to thousands of white farmers being evicted. The new farmers are also being hammered by Zimbabwe’s worst drought in 25 years and are toiling in a stagnating economy in which banks have become reluctant to lend and cheaper food imports from the likes of South Africa are undermining them.

“Are farmers able to pay? I will say ‘No’. Is the land being productive? I will say’No’ again,” said Victor Matemadanda, secretary-general of a group representing the self-proclaimed war veterans who led the land seizures in 2000 and now farm.The president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union, Abdul Nyathi, also said that his members would not be able to pay the compensation levy.

 

source:http://news.yahoo.com/cant-pay-zimbabwe-farmers-resist-compensating-evicted-white-070233858-http://news.yahoo.com/cant-pay-zimbabwe-farmers-resist-compensating-evicted-white-070233858--business.html

Possible reasons for ANC not firing Zuma?

Never before in his seven-year reign has there been such a strong call by a wide spectrum of ANC members for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Still, he emerged seemingly strongly after the weekend meeting of the party’s top leaders. So why couldn’t the national executive committee (NEC) fire Zuma?

The first question the party would have had to ask is whether they wanted to recall Zuma from the country’s presidency, or from the party’s presidency, orbit? Some believed it would not create a right precedent for national executive committee (NEC) alone to recall Zuma from the ANCs presidency, as this would be seen to be overriding the choice the branches made at the party’s elective conferences in 2007 and 2012.

Local government elections campaign: A source who attended the meeting and who was in the lobby group that wanted to see Zuma go, told M&G Online thatches group was in the majority but consciously pulled back because it would impact negatively on the party before the local government elections.

Bad precedents: Many in the ANC still remember President Thabo Mbeki’s recalling 2008 as a bruising, painful and polarising period in the governing party. Should Zuma be recalled as ANC president too, there is always the risk that Ramaphosa would not be elected ANC president, which would again present the problem of a duplication of power centres.

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sources:http://mg.co.za/article/2016-03-23-six-reasons-the-anc-didnt-fire-zuma?accessed23/03/2016

Durban clamps down on wayward behaviour.

They peed, fixed cars, washed taxis and hung laundry on balconies. Durbanites, it seems, are not too worried about a by-law that could see them face a R40 000 fine.

The municipality’s “Nuisances and Behaviour in Public Places” by-lawwhich came into effect on Fridaymade no difference to people who continued withNuisance” behaviourThe city urged residents late last year to be “On their best behaviour” after the promulgation of the by-lawswhich the city aims to use to clamp down on wayward behaviourSome of the by laws includeNo urinating in publicno hanging of clothes offences, wallsbalconies and verandasno littering and no washing or repairing vehicles in public spaces.

The Independent on Saturday asked the city’s permission to witness the metropolises’ enforcement of the lawsbut was told by senior media liaison officer Gugu Sisilana that: “Unfortunatelydue to the nature of the workwe cannot arrange or allow for you to go out with metro police during the enforcement.” The city said last year that abusivethreatening or foul language or gestures would not be tolerated in public spacesalong with fightingurinating or defecating in public.

People would also not be allowed to bath or wash in public unless it was part of a religious or cultural ceremony and permission had been soughtThe by-laws also forbid the consumption of liquorbeing drunk in publicgambling and the use of drugs in public.

 

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source:http://www.iol.co.za/ios/news/durbanites-flout-nuisance-by-laws-1997000-accessed12 March 2016

Is my money safe in a South African Bank?

It feels so far-fetched to imagine working so very hard to put savings away in prudence – only to go to your Bank to find out that they have gone bust or that a minimum withdrawal is allowed. One should not imagine too long, for such scenarios have happened before and I believe will have again. I believe that most people will remember one of South African’s largest unsecured lender, African Bank which collapsed in 2014 or of recent when the people of Greece was only allowed to withdraw sixty Euros a day.

It feels so far-fetched to imagine working so very hard to put savings away in prudence – only to go to your Bank to find out that they have gone bust or that a minimum withdrawal is allowed. One should not imagine too long… for such scenarios have happened before and I believe will happen again. Most people can remember South African’s largest unsecured lender, African Bank which collapsed in 2014 or of recent events when the people of Greece was only allowed to withdraw sixty Euros per day.

Most people believe that their Bank will have some sort of insurance to payout client’s for their losses but sadly there is none and many have been waiting for a while. However the reality is that for some time now the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been urged South Africa to implement a deposit insurance scheme to provide a safety-net in the event of a Bank collapse.

Deposit insurance is a safety net that bank regulatory authorities use to attempt to prevent and mitigate the costs of bank failures.  However it is true that Bank failures are rare, but they usually happen very sudden.

One would assume that the protection of clients money matters for Banks however the fact of the matter is that they don’t really care about their clients. One would assume that the Government would have the people’s interest at heart yet they are focusing on the element that having such a scheme will only hinder the growth of small up and coming Banks and that it may cause Banks to become reckless and take higher risks. However sadly the Clients of the banks are secondary for their profits are the primary customer service. The Government would not mind using Tax-payers money to bailout failing Banks but having to implement legislature so to compensate citizens for losses are also secondary.

 

SUMMARY OF SELECTED DEPOSIT INSURANCE SCHEMES

Country Maximum deposit compensation guarantee in local currency (sterling equivalent in brackets, as at 6 May 2014)
Kenya (Deposit Fund Protection Board) KS100,000 (£800)
Nigeria (Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation) NN500,000 (£1,870) for universal banks, NN200,000 (£740) for micro-finance banks and primary mortgage banks
South Africa None – currently under consideration
Ghana None – currently under consideration
Egypt None for private-sector banks, some implicit deposit insurance for public-sector banks
United Arab Emirates None – currently under review. Deposits were fully guaranteed after the global financial crisis of 2007/08, but have now lapsed.
Qatar None
Oman (Deposit Insurance Authority) RO20,000 (£31,800) or 75 per cent of net deposit, whichever is less
UK (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) £85,000. Foreign currency deposits included. Customers’ loans or debts to the failed bank will not be deducted from the compensation payment
Other European Union members (implemented through independent national deposit protection funds – sometimes more than one scheme per country) European Union rules prescribe coverage of €100,000 (£82,050). Foreign currency deposits included.
Isle of Man (Depositors’ Compensation Scheme) £50,000. Foreign currency deposits included.
Jersey (Jersey Banks Depositors’ Compensation Scheme) £50,000. Foreign currency deposits included.
Guernsey (Guernsey Banking Deposit Compensation Scheme) £50,000. Foreign currency deposits included.
Switzerland (esisuisse) CHF100,000 (£67,250). Foreign currency deposits included.
Singapore (Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation) S$50,000 (£23,700).
Hong Kong (Deposit Protection Board) HK$500,000 (£38,700). Foreign currency deposits included.
USA (Banks: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Credit Unions: National Credit Union Administration) US$250,000 (£152,950). Foreign currency deposits included. Limit applies per person per category of account, so accounts in different categories of ownership may be capped separately.

 

source: https://wealth.barclays.com/en_gb/home/international-banking/insight-research/manage-your-money/deposit-protection-how-safe-are-your-savings.htmlaccessed12/03/2016