Constitutional Hill

E-tolling judgment illustrates failure of media and citizens

The decision by the North Gauteng High Court to dismiss the application by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) to have the decision to implement e-tolling on Gauteng freeways stopped, provides a textbook example of how the media and middle class citizens often fail our democracy. It also serves as a warning that citizens should not turn to the courts in the hope that judges will help them to solve their political problems.

It might well be that e-tolling is not the most cost-effective, fair and efficient way to pay for the major upgrading of urban roads. It might also be that middle class citizens, who will now have to pay tolls every time they speed from Johannesburg to Pretoria in their sports utility vehicles and luxury sedans, will pay more than they would have paid if a different method was implemented to pay for the upgrade. It might even come to light – who knows – that there was some corruption or nepotism involved in the awarding of the e-tolling contract.

But these are not the questions acting Judge Vorster was called upon to answer – and rightly so. Outa could not provide the court with any evidence of corruption. The other questions raised above essentially relate to policy issues, which must be determined through the political process, not the courts.

It is important to remember how this case landed in court in the first place. Back in July 2007 Cabinet approved the implementation of the e-tolling for Gauteng and in October of that year the then Minister of Transport officially announced the launch of the project. As a result of the acceptance by National Cabinet of the toll road scheme, the toll road declarations – eventually attacked in court by Outa – took place.

As the court pointed out rather wryly, the members of Outa were, and probably still are, in favour of the upgrading of the freeway road system in Gauteng. However, it was only when they learnt about the proposed toll tariffs published in the media that “they became bewildered and concerned”. This was almost 5 years after cabinet had approved the upgrade of the roads through the implementation of an e-tolling system.

In my view the important question to ask is why members of the public only became outraged when newspapers splashed alarming news of the tariffs (since reduced) on their front pages. Somehow, no one – including, as far as I can tell, no one in the media – had thought of asking back in 2007 whether e-tolling was a good idea and how high the tariffs might have to be in order to recover the huge expense incurred by making Gauteng’s roads pretty for Sepp Blatter and his fellow raiders from Fifa.

Is this a failure of the media alone? After all, at the time the media failed to ask the most difficult questions and failed to seek answers in order to keep the public informed. The cabinet announcement of a toll financed road upgrade was never going to make for a sexy story in the absence of hard investigative work into how much the whole thing was going to cost, who was going to pay and who was going to benefit.

But maybe the (mostly) middle class citizens, who ignored the original announcement as well as the physical evidence of gantries being built all across the newly upgraded freeways of Gauteng, cannot escape responsibility. Surely, if citizens want the government to listen to them, then they have to remain vigilant about government decisions affecting them and must be prepared to organise against such plans from an early stage? As the Right2Know campaign has shown, public campaigns of this nature can have a huge impact, but it requires hard work and vigilance. In short it requires active citizens, ready to get involved and to get their hands dirty – even before it is apparent that they would be directly affected by a policy.

Sadly, when the original decision was taken to impose e-tolls on Gauteng freeways, middle class citizens were too busy doing other things to organise opposition to the idea in order to place political pressure on the Gauteng and National Government to stop what some must surely now think was an ill-conceived and expensive project. Too busy enjoying the bread and circus provided by the media (thanks to Polokwane, Julius Malema and Caster Semenya, amongst others), citizens did nothing until they realised how much it will cost them personally – and only then did they immediately ran to the courts. As if the courts – and not active citizens – are the ones who are supposed to stop unpopular policy decisions and to punish a government politically for making unwise or unpopular decisions.

When Outa finally approached the court to try and stop the implementation of e-tolling, it relied largely on the alleged failure of the government to take into account the costs of the upgrade as well the cost of operating the e-tolling system, arguing that given the cost, the decision to implement it was unreasonable and hence invalid.

The Constitutional Court drove a stake through the heart of this argument when it overturned the interim interdict against the introduction of e-tolling. In that judgment the Constitutional Court noted that the main thrust of Outa’s application was the alleged unreasonableness of the decision to proclaim the toll roads and then remarked:

But unreasonable compared to what? The premise of the unreasonableness argument is that funding by way of tolling is unreasonable because there are better funding alternatives available, particularly fuel levies. But that premise is fatally flawed… [SANRAL] has to make its decision within the framework of Government policy. That policy excludes funding alternatives other than tolling. It is unchallenged on review… [but the]… making of the policy falls within the proper preserve of the executive and was, on the papers before the Court, perfectly lawful… The Courts in this country do not determine what kind of funding should be used for infrastructural funding of roads and who should bear the brunt of that cost. The remedy in that regard lies in the political process.

That is why everybody agreed before the High Court that the costs of tolling, the merits of using tolls as a means to finance the upgrade and the proposed e-toll tariffs which would be necessary to finance the scheme, were irrelevant considerations for purposes of the High Court review. As the Constitutional Court had pointed out, those considerations fell within the preserve of executive government and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the courts.

Outa therefore had to argue, first, that SANRAL was required by law to include basic information relating to the capital costs involved, the costs of collecting toll and the suggested tariff of toll which is envisaged in its submissions to the Minister, which it did not do. Without this information, Outa argued, there could be no proper public consultation as required by the relevant legislation.

The court rejected this argument, pointing out that the section 27(4) of the SANRAL Act clearly requires public consultation on “the physical aspects of the proposed toll road declaration and particularly the situation of the proposed toll plazas” – not on the cost of the project or the tariffs to be charged. Although the Court did not mention it, this provision in the Act makes sense, as the tariffs to be charged for tolls is an operational decision, while decisions on the route of the toll road as well as the placing of gantries had the potential to influence the property prices of certain homeowners and would require broader consultation with those whose interests would be directly threatened by the decision.

Outa also argued, second, that adequate notice of the tolling system was not given to the public, making real public participation in the decision impossible. But the court pointed out that the proposed toll road declarations were published in the Government Gazette and in newspapers circulating in Gauteng. However, Outa suggested this was insufficient and that particular notices should have been put up adjacent to the roads in question. The judge also rejected this argument, pointing out that SANRAL was required to act fairly and that this requirement was met when it published the requisite information in the media. One assumes active citizens are aware of such notices.

The publications in the Government Gazette and newspapers circulating in the areas in question were clearly adequate to inform interested persons of the proposed toll declaration. The argument that such notification was inadequate and therefore unfair, rests on the erroneous assumption that each and every user of the proposed toll roads had a right to be informed, given the importance of knowledge of the proposed expenditure of the scheme and the proposed tariffs that could be levied in due course.

I suspect that some citizens are going to complain bitterly about the outcome of this judgment. Some might even channel their inner Gwede Mantashe and question the integrity of the presiding judge. Some might argue that the judge hid behind the separation of powers doctrine to abdicate his judicial responsibilities or to make a career-advancing ruling that would please the ANC government.

These mutterings will be irresponsible and dangerous. One criticises the substance of a judgment and the nature of the statements made by a judge; one does not impugn a judge’s integrity merely because one does not like the outcome of one of his or her judgments. Questioning the integrity of the judge would also be ill-informed and based on the lazy assumption that judges should interfere in policy decisions even when citizens failed to do their bit to block such decisions because they were too busy making money or planning their next oversees holiday. It is the media and ordinary citizens who failed our democracy in this case – not our courts.

  • Red

    As an “active citizen” I am baffled that so many people ignored all the obvious signs that the roads would be tolled. The initial media reports (there was even a press release from the AA, which grudgingly supported etolling when it was announced but the AA seems to have later flip-flopped); to the black on yellow “T” symbols on roadsigns; to the gantries.

    In my opinion, middle-class Gauteng motorists knew exactly what was coming, and welcomed the relief from the unbearable traffic congestion (the upgrade wasn’t done for FIFA or Blatter-schools were closed during the World Cup). Then when the time came to cough up, they started pleading ignorance. The alternative – that middle class South Africans were stupid enough to not notice the roads would be tolled, is too frightening to contemplate.

  • ILLuminati

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but when the roads were being built the general tone from government & the media, was that these roads were being built 4 the World Cup and that with the amount of money Gauteng would generate from Fifa & the World Cup would there be space for cost recovery that was the general assumption from most CITIZENS well at least EVERYONE I KNOW & if I remember correctly a lot of government officials supported this assumption.

    That’s why most people were baffled why the roads were no where close to finished during the World Cup.

    The people were yet AGAIN mislead by government.

  • Steven

    Paying is not the problem. Paying inflated prices and lack of transparency IS the problem.

    I had no issue with the concept of open road tolling, until the actual costs of the etoll infrastructure itself became clear. I feel that a fuel levy would have been a much more efficient way of paying for these roads, but on that topic, where did all the money earmarked for road maintenance from the fuel levy and other taxes go?

    Raising another tax while the government blatantly squanders tax money is objectionable.

  • http://mg.co.za/author/phillip-de-wet Phillip de Wet

    I have no argument with your overall sentiment, but saying the media and society in general ignored the run-up is just plain wrong. There were many pieces in many papers between 2000 and 2007, some of the most notable in The Star, Beeld and the Sunday Times business section (which are either not online or hard to find, sadly).

    You can find one example, from 2003, at here.
    That also nicely illustrates that the AA, for one organisation, was already worried about the cost.

    And for a great example of the kind of debate that was going on in 2006, see this discussion thread.

    What happened was a bit more nuanced. My theory is that the chattering classes didn’t notice the cost issue, because the panic at that stage was about the state of roads; this was not long after talk of turning some secondary roads into gravel roads to save on maintenance. Once the road system was a little more stable — and once the individual cost became clear and imminent — the outrage shifted.

  • Garyvdh

    OUTA was right. SANRAL forced this entire e-tolling system through with a lot of bamboozling and the minimum possible amount of public consultation. I remember thinking back then when the e-tolling system was announced that it would most likely be a very reasonable amount with one or two gantries and that there would still be a massive public participation process announced and carried out. That public participation process never materialised. Where were we supposed to go to voice our concerns? And why have a participation process anyway BEFORE we knew what the fees were going to be? No, there was no effective process of consultation. It was only when the exorbitant fees WERE announced that the public sat up and noticed and began asking “Why weren’t we consulted?” – and they were right, they never were consulted. We all know what SANRAL’s intentions were all along. To force this through with the least possible amount of public involvement. And to this day, every “meeting” they ever held was a sham. The earliest “meetings” lacked the necessary information and the later meetings lacked transparency and flexibility. It was a done deal from day one. Joe public must just cough up. BUT the fight is far from over, and now SANRAL will have to deal with the utter laziness and intransigence of the general public. They will not buy etags and the large majority of them will not bother to pay either. The proof is in the current mess of the traffic fine system. That debacle is the foreboding forerunner of the utter mess that will be the e-tolling invoicing system. Give it one or two years and the entire system will grind to a halt under its own wait. THEN the real meetings and finger pointing will start.

  • Gwebecimele

    As usual our courts are refusing to see beyond their feet. I really hate this notion of avoiding FACTS that are not infront of the court but are KNOWN and ACCEPTED. What is the point of separation of powers if they can’t call each other to order. We are being asked by the courts and executives (BOTH HANDBOOK ELITES) to pretend as if this is the only way for US.

    We always run away from solutions.

  • Gwebecimele

    PROMISES

    “Stewart Scott chairperson Rufus Maruma explains that, on the existing Ben Schoeman highway, for example, two lanes in each direction will be added, leaving the two lanes in the middle, which are to be tolled, to be separated from the outside lanes by a so-called surface barrier.

    “The beauty of this project is the fact that motorists will ultimately have a choice whether they want to make use of the tolled or untolled roads,” he says.

    According to Maruma, the possibility of people ignoring the tolled section and rather opting for the untolled lanes, thereby creating even more congestion, is slim.

    In total, the consortium is proposing that about 170 km of roads be tolled.

    Since the project is still in an early development phase, there is no final decision on where the proposed toll-plazas will be located or where the exact access and exit points to and from the toll section will be. However, current proposals make provision for one mainline plaza along each of the five tolled sections.

    Maruma points out that the tolled lanes would essentially be a long-haul transportation system, meaning that not all the existing off-ramps would be accessible in order to avoid creating congestion.

    “However, to prevent confusion, clear signage will be present at all toll-plazas, indicating which off-ramps will be accessible,” he notes.

    As far as the toll fees are concerned, initial amounts of between R8 and R25 have been quoted.

    “Depending on the time of day, motorists will be charged different fees – a first in South Africa,” Erasmus says.”

  • Pierre De Vos

    Thanks for the links, Phillip. It may well be that up in Gauteng the original decision to etoll the roads, announced in 2007, was given sufficient prominence and in-depth coverage to inform the public about what was coming. It definitely was not the case down here in Cape Town. But your links do not deal with the specific decision of 2007 to e-toll Gauteng Roads, which was only announced in 2007. Both links pre-date the decision and deals in general terms with the principle of tolling, not with the decision to e-toll the Gauteng roads. Maybe other readers would provide better proof of the contention that the media actually alerted the public about this. Also, there is a huge difference between a three paragraph article on page 7 of a newspaper (or an article in that widely read newspaper Engineering News) than the huge coverage following the announcement of tariffs. But then again, maybe in Gauteng the front pages of the newspapers bristled with outrage and alarm in 2007 when the decision was announced and was ignored down here in Slaapstad. I would not know.

  • http://www.ucando.co.za John Douglas

    Surely the question has to be asked over and over again where did the money go for the refurbishment of our roads? 10 years ago I listened to a discussion on 702 with Leon Louw talking about providing jobs for non-skilled labour where it was suggested that we had millions in the kitty for road maintenance and construction. Now we learn that the money has gone and we must pay a toll for using these roads, which we have already paid for.

    I think the only users of these beautiful roads will be the taxies and government officials. The rest of us will not be able to afford to drive on these roads.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    “Using Sanral’s figures, GFIP has cost R113m per kilometre to build. How is this possible for what amounted mostly to large-scale re-surfacing?”

    http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Cosatu-Dont-buy-e-tags-20121213

  • RogerP

    The problem for me was the escalation of fees from the original 10-15c/km to 66c/km.

    When tolling was first announced, my intuition was that 25c/km or less would be acceptable. 66c/km from the word GO would have had me at a public consultation.

    As a business person, I have to question whether it is cost effective to use the toll roads. If the day pass rates are reasonable, I’ll use them and do all my freeway usage once or twice per month.

    Otherwise, I’ll either postpone deliveries and collections or write off the day and take non-tolled roads.

  • Blue Ozone

    Bah. The e-tolling is very much a middle class “issue”. So nobody gave a fuck, what’s new? Nothing there, it is going to happen.

    SANRAL is a 100% government owned entity, so what ever profits are collected aught to be put to be put to the common good.

  • Pekkil

    Ha Prof, your Gauteng-envy is too visible… Sure, we spend “all our time making money, and planning our next oversees (sic) holidays”, what else is there to do here in the Great Quarry?

    Let me tell you what i have been doing this week, just to help you along. I advise a bunch of companies, from around the world, on some of their stuff. This year, i have seen three companies (and these are big companies) pulling back on their decisions to expand their operations in South Africa. One cancelled their plans to locate their African head office here, and is now setting up shop on East Africa. Two others have downgraded their planned presence here from a manufacturing basis for the continent, to a small sales office to sell stuff which they will (now) produce in Brazil and India, instead of here. Reasons? The unbelievable escalation in “administered prices” in SA. Those are the prices government determines, and where you don’t have a choice. For government, it seems, there is no such thing as inflation targetting.

    The total number of jobs we’re not getting? Around 25,000, many of which in manufacturing. Today(literally), i got a request from a johannesburg company to help them considering moving their Africa operations to Mauritius, and their manufacturing facilities to Kenya. Kenya, ffs. 2,500 jobs will be goimg. And that is just in my tiny little circle.

    So, i’m happy that our smugness provides you with some schadenfreude, hope you enjoy it. If you think this kind of mismanagement has no impact, i have some news for you. And if the courts are the inappropriate channel to try and get a government to govern for the benefit of all us, given the way they don’t seem to give a fuck what anyone thinks, i have no doubt there will br many more relocations. South Africa as the entry point for Africa? My foot, not gonna happen. And, for foreign investors and decision makers, it is becoming clearer by the day that there are no brakes on the SA body politic gone mad, and this has become a place to avoid. And by the way- this is not limited to foreign investors. The company relocating to Mauritius is a south african company.

    So, enjoy having a moment of enjoyment about Gauteng’s perceived preoccupation. Trust me, we’ll share that bill

  • joeslis

    Ozonebotha –

    “… so what ever profits are collected aught to be put to be put to the common good”

    Nope, those profits will be used to pay off Sanral’s R20 billion debt. That’s how much it cost to build those roads.

    You know that old saying: “Kak en betaal is die wet van Transvaal” …

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Pekkil
    December 13, 2012 at 20:26 pm

    Hey Pekkil,

    The assumption is, as I read from your comment, that the retention of existing jobs and/or the creation of new ones is of concern to government.

    Looking at what is actually happening, it must lead to a different conclusion.

    The exponentially increasing costs (electricity, water, road tolls at the very least), the increasingly complex regulatory environment, the distinct absence of the state in the enabling environment and the list goes on.

    This is setting the stage for the few soon to be super-rich “predator-preneurs”.

    On the upside, the ANC probably hasn’t factored the impact on its bottom line – 2014 elections which will be following close on the heels of the bite of the e-tolls and the massive electricity prices by then.

  • pekkil monta

    hey Mr Maggs

    A comment that stuck with me was from an English manager of one of those companies, earlier this year. They got one of these bizarre Joburg bills, and he asked me: “this was such a society of activists, now look at you? Pathetic local government, costs rising out of all proportions of reasonableness, and mayors in blue light convoys. What happened to you people?”

    He wasn’t being nasty or flippant – he was genuinely puzzled. He had been here in the 80’s, and remembered people brave enough to stare down Caspers in the middle of Joburg. Now, he reckons, South Africans cower for their own traffic police and municipal workers are a law on to themselves.

    The other thing he mentioned is that “the politicians here are worse than in Angola or Nigeria”. I found that hard to take.

  • Blue Ozone

    joeslis
    December 13, 2012 at 20:29 pm

    “Nope, those profits will be used to pay off Sanral’s R20 billion debt. That’s how much it cost to build those roads.”

    So what you saying. We shouldn’t have roads in South Africa cause they are too expensive? Build more helipads so rich people can fly around in helicopters and fuck the poor. No better – sell them off as sex slaves like in India or just liquidise them as cheaper protein supplements in rich people’s foods?

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    pekkil monta
    December 13, 2012 at 21:46 pm

    Lol Pekkil,

    It seems that you were eavesdropping on my conversations!

    I’ve been saying nearly the same thing for some while now.

    Maybe I’m an Englishman and don’t know it. :P

    Each time this awful distortion surfaces these days I’m reminded of Barry Gilder’s “Songs & Secrets” which resonates very deeply, painfully – it sets out in meticulous detail the readiness of “people brave enough to stare down Caspers in the middle of Joburg” and then the co-option of once dedicated activists into the world of power and wealth beyond their wildest imaginations.

    I wish I could understand why people who were willing to sacrifice life and limb would so easily turn in they way they have!

  • Blue Ozone

    Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!
    December 13, 2012 at 21:03 pm

    Maggs, how do you Indians deal with the expensive roads issues in India?

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Blue Ozone
    December 13, 2012 at 22:04 pm

    Blue Boy,

    “Maggs, how do you Indians deal with the expensive roads issues in India?”

    There are no roads in India – expensive or otherwise.

  • Bookman429

    The impact of these tolls on small businesses, and people on ordinary salaries, say between R8,000 – R16000 per month will be severe. Yes, there are wealthy people with SUV’s who can easily afford the e-toll, but since 2007 ESKOM has dramatically increased its demands, Medical Aid has been going up by more than double inflation almost every year, petrol price has significantly increased.

    The fact is that a politically apathetic class of people, fondly described as ‘middle class’ have seen their standard of living significantly eroded, paying taxes but having a sense of getting very little for that (given the quality of policing and many other state services). Toll roads are common is South Africa, but thus far people did not perceive them as unfair. The arrogance of the state and the punitive tariffs of the e-toll(which were published very late as a tactic of intimidation) have made people, belatedly, sit up and take note of the fact that they are being screwed.

    Triumphalism on the part of the state will only further illustrate this, and I suspect the state will really struggle to get people to pay. Like TV licences, many simply wont pay, but what is more important, they will regard the state with contempt, and understand every effort to get the money from them as further evidence of the disregard of the political system for them and their interests. Simply more evidence of a government not really able to govern effectively, lacking a sense of fairness and legitimacy.

    I will not buy an e-tag, and since I live outside of Gauteng, good luck to the efforts to make me pay! Of course, everything transported on Gauteng freeways will increase in cost, so those living outside Gauteng should not think they are not effected. The state will get me on the increased costs of retail, passed on by the transport, but I am not just going to roll over and hand over my bank details to be fleeced by foreign (arms deal linked?) consortia and their local politically connected partners.

  • SkyLukeWater

    @joeslis:

    A birdy whispered in my ear, that a government pension-scheme was used to finance these upgrades and tolls. You say R20 billion? I say player and referee…

  • SkyLukeWater

    “… so what ever profits are collected aught to be put to be put to the common good”… LMFAO

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Pierre

    I have a sneaky, but unverifiable, suspicion, that when you use the phrase “middle class” you actually mean “white.” (Or, WHITIST, as Prof Samantha would say.) So why not just say it: WHITE? It’s not that hard, only one syllable. WHITE!

    Thanks.

  • benjaminsa

    Thank you for this post, I had initially supported the OUTA campaign, but you are right and that was wrong, we should be fighting this politically and socially.

    I still think we should all push back on the tolling, demand a public transport alternative and impose political consequences on those who made these desicions.

  • Blue Ozone

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    December 13, 2012 at 23:56 pm

    “I have a sneaky, but unverifiable, suspicion, that when you use the phrase “middle class” you actually mean “white.” (Or, WHITIST, as Prof Samantha would say.) So why not just say it: WHITE? It’s not that hard, only one syllable. WHITE!”

    I know mfd. just like it is very hard to get to grips with the fact that Nelson Mandela was a prominent member of the COMMUNIST party, it is even harder to embrace the reality that in 2012 South Africa the vast majority of the MIDDLE CLASS is now predominantly, but not exclusive, BLACK.

    It sorts of fuck with all the assumptions underlying liewe Pierrietjie’s beloved CRT ideology.

    “Corrective policies are said to have helped change the all-white face of business in South Africa, after black people had been exluded for more than 60 years. In the past 18 years South Africa has produced 178 black millionaires — according to their shares listed on the JSE — and about 4-million black people are now considered middle class, living in households that earn R300,000 to R500,000 a year. However, a third of the population, mainly black, lives below the poverty line.”

    http://www.bdlive.co.za/economy/2012/10/21/new-bee-codes-new-problems

  • Red

    Middle class apathy on this issue fates back to 1998, when the SANRAL act gave the Minister a free hand at setting tolls. Where were the AA, Transport orgs, media and motorists then?

  • Brett Nortje

    From the same lot who believe death is better for a dog than security work:

    http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Hof-gryp-in-oor-diere-vir-plesier-20121213

    The CJ is calling for public submissions. Lets see how the media facilitates an informed public.

    Perhaps Jacaranda FM can let the public have transcripts of SANRAL ads before and after the world cup?

  • Brett Nortje

    Lesson to babes-in-the-woods on the economy of a predatory state:

    http://news.smh.com.au/world/oil-prices-top-147-us-dollars-per-barrel-20080712-3dvb.html

    Oil prices top 147 US dollars per barrel
    Date
    July 12, 2008

    Oil prices rocketed to records above 147 US dollars on Friday as traders seized on the weak US currency, simmering tensions over crude producers Iran and Nigeria and news of a looming strike in Brazil.

    New York’s main oil contract, light sweet crude for August, hit a historic peak of 147.27 US dollars a barrel before closing at 145.08 US dollars a gain for the day of 3.43 US dollars.

    London’s Brent North Sea oil for August delivery jumped as high as 147.50 US dollars to beat the previous record of 146.69 US dollars set on July 3. The contract settled up 2.46 US dollars at 144.49 US dollars.

    With markets already in a frenzy over tensions with Iran and problems in Nigeria, news of a strike in Brazil added to speculative fervor,

    Workers for Brazil’s state-run oil giant Petrobras are to start a five-day strike on Monday.

    The main union covering Petrobras workers in the key Campos off-shore area in southeastern Brazil confirmed to AFP Friday that the near-total stoppage would occur.
    “There will be minimal production if Petrobras accepts that the production is controlled by the workers but if the company tries to use its own teams, we will disconnect the equipment,” union spokesman Marcos Brida said.

    The Campos area accounts for 80 percent of Petrobras’s daily production of 1.8 million barrels of oil.

    Oil also swept back into record territory after the European single currency briefly leapt above 1.59 US dollars. The weak dollar boosts demand for dollar-priced oil which becomes cheaper for buyers using stronger currencies.
    “As ever, the market remains very sensitive to any potential supply disruptions and geopolitical tensions,” said Sucden analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov.

    Oil rallied by almost six US dollars on Thursday on the back of simmering geopolitical tensions over key producer Iran and worries over stretched global crude supplies, traders said.

    Prices had dived below 140 US dollars on Monday as a result of a then strengthening US currency, underlining the extreme volatility that the market is currently experiencing.

    On Friday, traders continued to track Iran, which is OPEC’s second-biggest crude oil producer with output of about four million barrels per day.

    The White House played down the risk of war between Iran and the United States, despite Iranian missile tests and some tough talk by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    Rice warned Iran that Washington had beefed up its security presence in the Gulf and would not hesitate to defend its ally Israel.

    Iran insists its nuclear drive is aimed solely at generating energy but some Western nations fear it could be aimed at making an atomic bomb and have called for a freeze of uranium enrichment.

    OPEC would not be able to replace Iran’s oil production if supplies were halted in case of a war with Israel or the United States, the oil cartel’s chief has said.

    In producer Nigeria, meanwhile, kidnappers seized at least one foreigner working for a German company in the restive Niger Delta oil region, a police source said on Friday.

    Violence in the southern delta region has already reduced Nigeria’s total oil production by a quarter since January 2006.

    http://mg.co.za/article/2008-08-01-petrol-price-to-decrease-by-27-cents

    Petrol price to decrease by 27 cents
    01 Aug 2008 13:51 – Staff Reporter

    The retail price of petrol will decrease on average by 27 cents a litre on August 6, the Department of Minerals and Energy Affairs has announced.

    The retail price of petrol will decrease on average by 27 cents a litre on August 6, the Department of Minerals and Energy Affairs announced on Friday.

    It said the actual decreases in the pump prices of all grades of petrol would differ due to the rounding off of pump prices to accommodate the dispensers that could not display four-digit numbers.

    So in Gauteng, for instance, the pump prices would decrease by 30 c/l, it said.

    The decrease follows an increase last month of between 69 to 75 cents a litre to record levels of between R10,40 and R10,70. The price of petrol now drops to R10,40 rand a litre in Gauteng and to R10,10 in coastal areas.

    Diesel prices will also decrease next week but paraffin prices will increase.

    Diesel 0,05% sulphur decreases by 16 cents and 0,005% by 17 cents.

    Wholesale paraffin increases by 3,4 cents and illuminating paraffin by four cents.

    Diesel in Gauteng now costs R11,27 a litre and R11,13 at the coast.

    During the period under review, the average international product prices of petrol decreased, whilst diesel and illuminating paraffin increased, the department said.

    The average rand/US dollar exchange rate strengthened when compared to the previous period. The average rand/US dollar exchange rate for the period 27 June 2008 to 31 July 2008 was 7,6814 compared to 7,9352 during the previous period.

    The department also announced that the Minister of Minerals and Energy Affairs had approved an increase of 5,4 c/l in the wholesale margin applicable in the price structures of all grades of petrol, all grades of diesel and illuminating paraffin with effect from August 6.

    The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has, in terms of the provisions of the Petroleum Pipelines Act also set revised petroleum pipeline transport tariffs with effect from August 6.

    These revised petroleum pipeline transport tariffs will be implemented into the price structure of petrol and diesel. – Sapa

  • Vuyo

    Your description of the petit bourgeoisie is accurate Pierre. Scum of the Earth; they would presume to outsource the struggle against financialisation, debt peonage, and the surreptitious privatization of public goods and the social wage to the multitudes, whilst sipping espresso in Parkhurst. I’ve never seen any of them in the mass action initiated by COSATU. They constitute the bulwark of the plutocracy. Classic fifth columnists!
    Good judgment by the full bench anyway.

  • Vuyo

    What of Zweli Vavi? He has long sold out the poor and workers. How does the doos sleep at night? Pathetic. Let’s not mention Blade, neo-liberalism’s own special creature…

  • Brett Nortje

    Vuyo says:
    December 14, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Greetings, black OBS!

    Why is Vavi a doos? Because he is a bit more responsible than the average ANCretin?

    Thanks to AMCU, we’re all going to have a crappy Christmas. Peter Leon has already called ‘stagflation’.

    Yesterday, at midday, I could drive into parking close to the entrance at Fourways Mall.

  • Blue Ozone

    Vuyo
    December 14, 2012 at 9:06 am

    “and the surreptitious privatization of public goods and the social wage to the multitudes,”

    But…but…but Vuyo. SANRAL is a 100% state-owned company. It is not different from what the CPC considers to be the [very successful] Chinese Communist model or or how Putin has rescued Russia from the predatory claws of “private entrepreneurs” and all the trappings of neoliberal economics.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/11/25/russia-introducing-the-putin-doctrine.html

  • Vuyo

    Peter Leon is one of the better racists. A decent fella but pretty misguided. Misguided liberals are some of the most critical elements of plutocracy’s war against the poor. They delay revolution, you see. Besides, what would a liberal know about “stagflation”. It’s simply a phenomenon of monopoly capitalism. So learn to live with it! The Marikana martyrs have nothing whatsoever to do with the present catastrophe. It’s the madness belying a system that presumes that selfishness is a virtue.

  • Vuyo

    Ozone Blue, learn to distinguish between substance and form.
    PS-There’s an interesting article on the latest Noseweek about SANRAL. From even a quick glance of the MO its clear they serve private interests.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Vuyo

    “Peter Leon is one of the better racists. A decent fella but pretty misguided.”

    Vuyo is wrong. How can it be said that Peter Leon is any sense “better”? He failed to restrain his brother Tony from launching the vicious “FIGHT B[L]ACK” campaign. And Zille is worse than both. She has gone one step further, taking their theory into practice, by plotting an unprovoked “Marikane” massacres in the Western Cape. OzoneBlue is sometimes a little OTT, but I thought his political wisdom reached its apex when he said that he would prefer Mr Malema to “Aunty” Zille anyday!

  • Blue Ozone

    Vuyo
    December 14, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Do you perhaps have a link? I have googled until the smoke started coming out of my Internet connection.

  • Chris (not the right wing guy!)

    Outa went to court, lost and was left with a substantial amount in legal fees to pay. But what will happen should they refuse to pay? It seems that its no longer a crime to obstuct the sherriff in the execution of his duties:

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Gauteng-health-officials-block-sheriff-20121214

  • Blue Ozone

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    December 14, 2012 at 9:54 am

    LOL. Unlike Maggs, Vuyo at least calibrates WHITES in accordance to their racism. I assume Cronin, Chaskalson and Kasrils are also amongst the “better racists”.

  • Blue Ozone

    The wonderful “human rights” history of the free market, democracy and the “civilised world”.

    The U.S. Plan to Nuke Everyone

    “Moreover, the instructions stipulated a full-scale nuclear counter-attack even if the initial strike was conventional, or the result of an accident. And both communist giants would be targeted regardless of whether either of them had launched the attack.”

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/12/11/the_us_plan_to_nuke_everyone

  • Gwebecimele

    Think twice before taking government to court you might end up with a huge bill. Are we not reducing this Constitutional Democracy to a “747 Jet trip” where once you are in, you have no say until destination(next election).

    http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-12-14-get-outa-here-sanrals-win-everyone-elses-loss

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Hmmm!

    FState ANC PEC invalid – Concourt

    December 14 2012 at 10:55am

    Johannesburg – The Constitutional Court declared the ANC’s Free State provincial elective conference invalid, in a judgment handed down in Johannesburg on Friday.

    “The provincial elective conference of Free State province of the African National Congress held at Parys on 21-23 June 2012 and its decisions and resolutions are declared unlawful and invalid,” the judgment said.

    An appeal was brought by six Free State ANC members who challenged the validity of the PEC in court last month, claiming elections at branch level were irregular.

    The party begins its conference on Sunday. – Sapa

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/fstate-anc-pec-invalid-concourt-1.1441134#.UMrwWKw2eVo

  • Blue Ozone

    Couple barely recognisable after attack

    “A traumatised Oscar (son) told The Mercury that he was shocked: “They were so badly beaten that I could not recognise them. Their faces are swollen. “Dad has multiple injuries and fractures. The brutality is shocking. They were extremely beaten.” Oscar said it was difficult for any child to see a parent beaten in such a “cruel manner”. ”

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/couple-barely-recognisable-after-attack-1.1441000#.UMryQPlvUVY

    What kind of “men” runs around like cowards in gangs wearing balaclavas and torturing defenceless old couples. They are not “men”, they are FUCKING ANIMALS.

    Everyday the bucket goes to the well, one day the bottom will drop out.

  • Vuyo

    so when Zuma wins the conference he will still be deemed illigitimate.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2012/12/14/free-state-anc-provincial-elective-conference-invalid-concourt

    Neo-liberals must be ecstatic.

  • Blue Ozone

    Vuyo
    December 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Yep. It is Potchefstroom all over again.

    As said we might as well abolish even the pretence of democracy all together since the judiciary are governing the country anyway.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    Vuyo
    December 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Hey Vuyo,

    “so when Zuma wins the conference he will still be deemed illigitimate.”

    It’s not likely to make much difference.

    Zuma will still probably win.

    Kgalema will be deputy.

    All will be well in the land.

    p.s. more court actions will follow – probably a flurry of interdicts will launch soon.

  • Blue Ozone

    So this is a Constitutional Democracy then. Our courts are too busy with the serious business of petty politics and the micromanagment of government too be drawn into secondary issues such as the total destruction of not only human rights but the steady unfolding of a brutal and systematic genocide.

    SELF-DETERMINATION – the sooner, the better, for us all.

  • Vuyo

    @Maggs, and according to our own Herman Goering, any ANC member who litigates against the ANC is ipso facto expelled. No DC, do not pass begin, straight to the “cold”! Then we are led to believe that the Malema DC was somehow miraculously fair (mind you, it was heard in camera). Miraculously the chairperson of this solemn tribunal is now the anointed deputy king (sometimes referred to as the crown prince)! Something is truly amiss in the state of Denmark.

    Were I Malema, I would litigate with no regard to consequence. But, then again, I am me (a genius!) and he sadly is not…

  • Blue Ozone

    Vuyo
    December 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    “@Maggs, and according to our own Herman Goering, any ANC member who litigates against the ANC is ipso facto expelled.”

    Surely they can join Cope or the DA? In South Africa belonging to any political party is totally voluntary. Or am I missing something? It is not only the job of the courts to govern us, they must also micro-manage our Freedom of Association?

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Vuyo
    December 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Lol!

    “But, then again, I am me (a genius!) and he sadly is not…”

    Malema is probably waiting for Mangaung outcomes before venturing into more silly antics.

    After Mangaung the ANC will, sadly so, fracture – what’s left of it will be lucky if it can muster 50% of the votes in 2014.

    Those who are struggling valiantly to rescue the ANC are fighting a losing battle.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Blue Ozone
    December 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm
    Blue Boy,

    “Or am I missing something?”

    Of course you’re missing something, dufus.

    A brain!

  • Blue Ozone

    Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)
    December 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Maggs – I confess, unlike Vuyo I’m no fucking genius – so I refer to the following:

    “They claimed their constitutional rights enshrined in Section 19 had been infringed by the ANC’s decision to recognise the PEC, and that their contractual rights as members of the ANC had been infringed.”

    Admittedly I do not know what “contract” has been violated here but I assume it is the “right to [government] tenders” as being a member of the ANC is apparently not a political but rather a career choice.

    However according to Section 19 –

    “19. Political rights

    Every citizen is FREE TO MAKE POLITICAL CHOICES , which includes the right ­

    to form a political party;
    to participate in the activities of, or recruit members for, a political party; and
    to campaign for a political party or cause.”

  • Blue Ozone

    Some more good news for WHITES, INDIANS and COLOUREDS.

    Mugabe vows 100% black ownership of Zim firms

    “Mugabe’s government passed a controversial indigenisation law two years ago, forcing all foreign-owned firms to cede a 51% share to locals, arguing it would reverse imbalances created during colonial rule.

    “I think now we have done enough of 51%. Let it be 100%,” he told the last party conference before 2013 polls, which could well see the 88-year-old’s name on the ballot for the last time.”

    http://mg.co.za/article/2012-12-07-mugabe-vows-to-force-100-black-ownership-on-all-zim-firms

    I agree. The only long term viable options for us all in Africa is “SELF-DETERMINATION”.

  • Chris (not the right wing guy!)

    Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) says:
    December 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    The problem Maggs, is that the ANC has left the building when there was a hostile take over some years ago.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Chris (not the right wing guy!)
    December 14, 2012 at 14:00 pm

    Right-Wing-Guy,

    Unfortunately there won’t be any interest in reducing acid mine drainage or other water contamination if people in the corridors of power have interests in drinking water.

    To become really, really rich the poor must be exploited.

    I heard this week from a very reliable source that farm workers are being paid as little as R69.00 per week with deductions from that R69.00 leaving worker with R55.00 after an entire weeks work.

    It’s beyond slavery – the blame has to be placed squarely at the door of the ANC.

    My sentiments though still lies with the ANC – if there was some definite way to neutralise the slash and burn brigade, I would certainly become active again.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Maggs

    “My sentiments though still lies with the ANC”

    Me too. If I had the chance, I would support it all over again. Fortunately, the less-than-completely-perfectly leadership with which we are now burdened is but a passing phase. The ANC has shown time and again that it can restore itself, employing its patented “self-purging” modality. In the meantime, the last thing its loyal supporters should do is even THINK of an alternative party. That would only upset the ANC and prolong the current “blip”!

  • ozoneblue

    @maggs

    So you can make sense if you want to. The DA, not the ANC are primarily responsible for it is mostly their voters who still indulge in wage slavery. What is more they shamelessly defend that policy as if it is some inescapable economic necessity.

    What I dont understand about you though is why you believe the ANC would be better of and things will improve under the centralist/right wing. Something about the rubbish you constantly post here just dont make any sense.

  • Maggs Naidu – (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com) – Zuma MUST go!

    ozoneblue
    December 14, 2012 at 17:55 pm

    Blue Boy,

    “Something about the rubbish you constantly post here just dont make any sense.”

    Rubbish is not supposed to make sense.

    WDYSTT?

    p.s. It’s national government policy which allows this awful situation of R69.00 per week!

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    “national government policy … allows this awful situation of R69.00 per week!”

    Maggs is right. ANC (the leadership, not the party), is to blame for everything that happens and does not happen in South Africa. That is why I am renewing my demand that the ANC government repeal the cruel law of SUPPLY AND DEMAND in labour markets. Also, govt must issue decrees curing cancer, banning tooth decay, curbing wasps from stinging, and stopping “bad-hair” days once and for all!

    Thanks.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    December 14, 2012 at 18:49 pm

    Hayibo Dworky,

    “That is why I am renewing my demand that the ANC government repeal the cruel law of SUPPLY AND DEMAND in labour markets. Also, govt must issue decrees curing cancer, banning tooth decay, curbing wasps from stinging, and stopping “bad-hair” days once and for all!”

    Since you’re a smart feller, the other option is that you’re totally drunk!

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    p.s. or cocaine? magic mushrooms? LSD? tik?

  • ozoneblue

    @maggs

    Believe me if we all legalized ganja and start listening to Bob the world would be a better place.

  • joeslis

    ozoneblue
    December 14, 2012 at 19:35 pm

    Bob Who? Surely not … you-know-who?

  • Singh

    The quote from the Constitutional Court’s decision, from which Judge Vorster appears to have relied upon, is the problem. I attended the hearing and was struck by an almost complete lack of debate and questioning from the judges on economics of the project. Judges and lawyers are generally oblivious to the field of economics is widely appreciated. Economics is the study of the allocation of scarce resources.

    On this our constitution is clear; Section 195 (Basic values and principles governing public administration) provides guidance and it explicitly encourages economic efficiency. That the Concourt and its lower ones avoid this guiding principle is frustrating to those who view economics fundamental to life in general.

    The current judgement suggests that once elected, a government can implement any project even if it squanders money. That the cost of collection can exceed the cost of the project itself. Taxpayer money is a scare resource and how it is allocated has consequences for education, health care etc. Too much taxation will lead to a boom in evasion tactics and lower growth resulting in lower tax revenue.

    What happened to checks and balances?

    Oddly, for a case that goes to the heart of Public Administration, Section 195 was not mentioned at all, not by either counsel nor by the justices. Surely economics and its understanding is essential to the development of our lofty idealistic values enshrined in the constitution?

    It is hard to imagine that the US Supreme Court will have endorsed a government to act with disregard to arguments of economic efficiency, like eTolls.

    Perhaps lawyers spend too much time talking to themselves? They need to engage with broader disciplines.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Maggs, truth is I have perhaps overindulged this Friday evening. But that does not detract from the fact that the ANC leadership wields enormous power. And with that power comes a huge responsibility — to raise wages, promptly address global warming, roll back the IZE, and save us all from the scourge of halitosis!

    Thanks.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Blue ozone man

    “Believe me if we all legalized ganja … the world would be a better place.”

    I believe you, Ozone. As Maggs has discerned, some of my best work has drawn inspiration from the Holy Herb. From the special quality of your contributions, I can only assume the same is true of you.

    Respek.

  • Blue Ozone

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    December 14, 2012 at 22:20 pm

    Respek my friend.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMS5vKarzO0

  • Blue Ozone

    cde Bram Fischer would never, ever be “ashamed” or embarrassed to be called a COMMUNIST.

    http://fstimes.co.za/?p=24634

  • Brett Nortje

    The Good Book says “What ye sow so shall ye reap”.

    What did you people sow, Maggs?

    http://ewn.co.za/2012/12/14/ANC-N-West-secretary-gunned-down

    This is deeply ingrained ANC culture in Mamparalanga and KwaZulu.

    Now obviously, Northwest.

  • Gwebecimele

    @Singh

    Spot on. Our courts walk around with a hammer and hence everything else look like a nail.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    Brett, you speak as if the Desparate Alternative is not likewise infected with a gruesome culture of fratricidal violence!

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Singh is right. Clearly, this government cannot get its economics right. The judiciary must act as a bulwark against wasteful government expenditure. That is why I am demanding that committees of judges sit in all legislatures to determine whether spending plans are efficient of not. (There is no place in our system for outmoded liberal doctrines like separation of powers!

    You mention that the US Supreme Ct would not have permitted etolls, and you are right. I am convinced that the S Court has frequently struck down bad spending programs adopted by Congress. But I just cannot remember the names of any of these cases right now. Would you please jog my memory?

  • Chris (Not the right wing guy)

    Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another lifetime! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)
    December 14, 2012 at 16:31 pm

    So you say, Maggs. Many years ago when my father was a farm labourer he earned 50c per day, and was only paid for days he worked. You can work out what he got in February. Taking inflation into account I don’t think it was really more than R69 per week in today’s money. But that was not slavery, because he had a choice, and we were never hungry and never felt that we were done in. The real slaves were my forefathers who were bought somewhere in Java and brought here by their owners.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Chris (Not the right wing guy)
    December 15, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Hayibo (x many) RWG!

  • Blue Ozone

    Brett Nortje
    December 15, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Brett, it is an absolute disgrace – and it is not going to get any better. The writing was on the wall when our Commissioner of Police is a self-confessed and proud “Friend of the Mafia”.

    “Steven Friedman, director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, however said he was “pleasantly surprised” that the public debate had proceeded as it had. “What we’ve had for some time is a rather peculiar process in which every single ill in the politics of this country is attributed to Jacob Zuma and it’s assumed that all we have to do is get rid of Jacob Zuma and then South Africa will thrive,” he said.

    “A lot of people buy into this misleading and simplistic view. If anybody thinks for one moment that the fact that Zuma has connections to wealthy people is exclusive to Zuma, then they’ve been living in a bubble for the last 20 years,” he said.

    “This is absolutely standard in our politics. That doesn’t make it right but an approach that continually brings this back to one individual is ultimately going to bore people and people are ultimately going to switch off,” he said.

    “It would be important if it was happening in an environment where the president of the country is acting differently to the rest of the political class,” he said.

    But this wasn’t the case. Instead, the patronage revealed by the report affects the entire political class. “It’s a huge problem,” said Friedman.”

    http://mg.co.za/article/2012-12-11-00-patronage-just-part-of-south-african-politics

    Yet another reason that the Afrikaner should start negotiations now for a new political dispensation that allows for full SELF-DETERMINATION.

    Before it is too late.

  • Blue Ozone

    If ever there was a pretentious, inflated, over-intellectualised, reactionary response to a simple TRUTH. Then this must be it, probably penned by another proud member of the DA.

    Disgrace: JM Coetzee humiliates himself in Johannesburg. Or does he?

    http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-12-11-disgrace-jm-coetzee-humiliates-himself-in-johannesburg-or-does-he

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Blue Ozone
    December 15, 2012 at 8:23 am

    @ Steven Friedman – so because most politicians are crooked, South Africans should just “SHUT UP” (thanks Minister Sisulu) about Zuma’s kitty-raiding and wayward behaviour.

    Sage advice, Professor Friedman!

  • Blue Ozone

    @maggs

    Yes maggs. But Friedman can see it is a foken piece of shit. He doesn’t have to touch or taste it to be sure.

  • Brett Nortje

    http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Pa-geskiet-voor-seun-20121215

    Pa geskiet voor seun
    2012-12-15 00:21
    Hilda Fourie
    ‘My pa is dood, my pa is dood.”

    Só het ’n seun (13) geskree nadat sy pa en broer voor hom geskiet is tydens ’n rooftog by ’n slaghuis in Geluk buite Brits.

    De Beer Rudolph het deur ’n venster gekyk hoe sy pa, Gerhard (65), val nadat hy vier keer geskiet is.

    De Beer se broer, Gerrie (31), is ses keer geskiet. Dié pa van drie dogters, waarvan die jongste ses maande oud is

  • sirjay jonson

    Blue Ozone
    December 15, 2012 at 8:23 am

    A good post OB. Lets see what the next week produces. If its a continuation of what we have, then some sort of implosion will likely be the inevitable result. According to the Mayans this is a period of expanded awareness. Interesting, the final glyph on the Mayan calendar represents the passing back of the staff of power to the feminine principle after five plus millennium. Time, or the absence of it… will tell.

  • sirjay jonson

    Hey Prof: you are in some ways a legal therapists, giving folks, myself included, the opportunity to voice their frustrations, disappointment, bitterness, hatreds, anger, bigotry, sexism and vulnerability, and through the process of posting, work it through.

    Your blog is a truly informative mirror.

  • Blue Ozone

    Brett Nortje
    December 15, 2012 at 20:59 pm

    Brits. Same place Corrie Sanders got shot down in front of his kid just the other day. Something must be done fast – but what?

  • Blue Ozone

    sirjay jonson
    December 15, 2012 at 21:36 pm

    There will be no “implosion”. It will carry on like this indefinitely, and as socio-economic conditions worsen they will blame the tiny minority of WHITES more and more. Look at Malema going to Aurora – this is the inevitable reality we must now stand up to.

    “He told miners, who had earlier sung the banned rendition of “Dubul’ ibhunu” (Shoot the Boer) when Malema arrived, that when Zuma arrived to address the mineworkers before his nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, had bought the mine, Zuma did not have the interests of mineworkers at heart.”

    “These [business] people are very rich. They buy people and give them money. Boers killed the NUM. They bought them with shares. The Boers have hijacked the revolution through the [ANC] leadership.”

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/ANC-sold-out-to-Boer-mine-owners-Malema-20120830-2

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Sirjay

    ” the final glyph on the Mayan calendar represents the passing back of the staff of power to the feminine principle”

    I assume that when the Mayans spoke of the “staff of power” they meant, of course . . . The Spear. But who embodies the “feminine principle”? Zille? Angie? Sisulu? Winnie?

  • Singh

    @Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    “A Note on the Economic Efficiency in Courts: A Lexical Analysis of the ECJ and the Supreme Court”

    Aurélien Portuese, Université Paris II – Panthéon-Assas

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1633010

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Singh

    I agree. My view is that the legislature should be confined largely to ceremonial functions, or perhaps offering tentative suggestions to the courts now and then. After all, most of MP’s know not a thing about economics. Henceforth, panels of judges, each of whom must be compelled to take an economics degree at UNISA, should run the economy.

  • Singh

    “THE EVOLUTION OF THE COMMON LAW” by Richard O. Zerbe, Jr.

    Excerpt

    ” I. INTRODUCTION
    Empirical evidence shows, and theory suggests, that the common law tends toward economic efficiency. While many theories attempt to explain this phenomenon, no single one is well accepted. This article attempts to provide a simple explanation. It suggests that efficiency arises as a matter of justice and that justice is a social norm with its own sanctioning force. The requirement of justice and hence efficiency arise most powerfully from experience, and experience is the life of the common law. When social conditions change rapidly, experience is in shorter supply and changes in the common law are less likely to be efficient. ”

    Full paper here:

    http://faculty.washington.edu/zerbe/workingpapers/commonlaw.doc

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years!

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    December 16, 2012 at 13:09 pm

    Dworky,

    “Henceforth, panels of judges, each of whom must be compelled to take an economics degree at UNISA,”

    Why not just appoint UNISA to run all three spheres of government?

    Then MPs could stick to doing what MPs do best – travelling, buying cars, tenderising …

  • Blue Ozone

    Talking LEFT but walking RIGHT. Nothing new after Mangaung.

    http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/2012/12/10/dont-hold-your-breath-for-a-jump-to-the-left

  • Brett Nortje

    If anyone is going to comment about ‘failure of media’ the first most disgraceful example of ‘failure’ (although perhaps not in the sense Pierre intended) that springs to mind is the SABC. Iconic of the kleptocratic states to the north of us. The looting that is going on there makes the failure of Limpopo province pale by comparison.

    One has to wonder at the moral awareness of anyone who pays their TV licence.

    Last night set a new low. We now have a 15min Presidential (LOL!) Adress on SABC3 not only for Christmas not only for New Year but for ‘Reconciliation Day’.

    Of course, the fact that the news followed directly after dominated by a 13 minute insert on Mangaung hosted by the talentless Thami Dickson is pure coincidence.

  • Brett Nortje

    http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/Content.aspx?id=158444

    GAVIN LEWIS: Economy
    Try something different from job-eating central planning

    Published: 2011/11/11 07:24:41 AM

    JOSEPH Stalin had a much easier job than President Jacob Zuma
    when it comes to central planning. Since the Plan, devised by
    ideologues and bureaucrats with no knowledge of business or
    industry, was by definition perfect, any failure of the Plan
    could only mean sabotage by counter-revolutionaries. So the
    solution to the failure of the Plan was to shoot the saboteurs.
    No such luck for Zuma, living as he does in a democracy with a
    battered but extant market-based economy. Yet, although the
    concepts that underlie central planning may have died with the
    collapse of the Soviet bloc, they live on, zombie-like, at the
    southern tip of Africa.

    The damage central planning causes to jobs is clear. In the past
    decade, SA has underperformed the global average, the developed
    world’s average, the undeveloped world’s average and Africa’s
    average. We sit with the highest recorded unemployment rate in
    the world.

    There is a cost to central planning in SA and nowhere is it more
    apparent than in the costs to the economy, and thus to jobs,
    through the chief implementation agencies of that planning, our
    state-owned enterprises (SOEs). They form the centrepiece of the
    “developmental state” that the alliance ideologues fondly imagine
    exists so successfully in SA. Yet the cost of this is immense and
    it is mounting. In the four years to last year, bail-outs of SOEs
    cost taxpayers R243bn.

    Nor does it end there. Burdened by the cost of the unwanted King
    Shaka airport in KwaZulu-Natal, the Airports Company SA, a state
    agency, wants to recoup its losses with a 132% increase in
    airport taxes. Yet tourism lies at the heart of industrial policy
    as a prime job creator. The SABC, playing interminable musical
    chairs with its incompetent leadership of deployed cadres, is an
    endless drain on state resources. And every household and small
    enterprise in SA strains under the costs of the annual 25%-plus
    hike in Eskom’s charges. There is no money left for savings, nor
    for consumption, as these state monopolies leech on SA’s economy.

    All of this costs jobs. While “good news” SA was warbling on to
    investors about SA’s “cheap” electricity, the state planners
    ignored the market signals of a looming crisis until the wheels
    fell off. It meant the end of another triumph of state planning,
    the Coega deep- water harbour, which immediately lost a R2,5bn
    investment by Rio Tinto Alcan.

    Most recently, even as the state’s Industrial Policy Action Plan
    2 targets “beneficiation”, which basically means adding energy to
    heat raw ore, SA’s only zinc smelter, near Springs, closed down
    due to uncompetitive electricity tariff hikes. Yet state planners
    continue to punt smelters as a solution to job creation. From
    2005 to 2014, independent economist Mike Schussler reminds us,
    electricity prices based on already-agreed tariffs, will have
    risen by 633%. Schussler estimates this alone will reduce SA’s
    gross domestic product (GDP) by 1% a year.

    Since 2009, power shortages have pulled the plug on an estimated
    R6bn in new property and construction initiatives, says the
    Cement and Concrete Industry, while mining, a job mainstay in
    this economy, has also taken a knock.

    It is this very developmental state, as conceptualised by the
    government, that is the real and present danger to economic
    growth and the 5-million new jobs target.

    If we examine where the developmental state has had successes,
    such as in some of the Far East’s economies, we quickly see that
    there is very little common ground between our fantasies of the
    developmental state and the developmental state in, for instance
    South Korea in the 1950s and 1960s. In an address to the Helen
    Suzman Foundation (Focus 2009), William Gumede provides a useful
    summary of the reasons for South Korea’s developmental state
    succeeding. The developmental state in South Korea had the
    following core characteristics:
    – A highly technocratic bureaucracy. In other words, it had a
    public service with competent people;
    – A public service that drew on the whole country’s talents,
    regardless of race or gender, drawing on the best skills
    available;
    – Clear policies with easily measurable targets towards their
    achievement;
    – A coalition in which business and labour are equal partners,
    with no political preferences given to either; and
    – Decisive leadership. Without it, countries unwilling to make
    the necessary hard decisions tend to drift from policy to policy.

    As each policy fails, so it is replaced with a new one, while the
    real economy falters.

    These points also help explain why government’s countercyclical
    public infrastructure investment of R785bn remains elusive.

    Nor is this new. From 1995 to 2004, public sector investment in
    SA was stagnant at 5% of GDP, way below the average of capitalist
    economies. The “developmental” state lacks the capacity to
    implement development. It exists in the fantasy life of the Blade
    Nzimandes and Ebrahim Patels of this world. Nor has it helped
    that SOEs lack planning and execution skills under leaders
    appointed for political, not business, reasons.

    Nonetheless, among the leadership of the Congress of South
    African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party, the
    concept of the developmental state remains a central component of
    SA’s march to the sunny uplands of the hoped-for national
    democratic revolution.

    There is no modesty here, no sign of a fundamental rethink. So,
    as night follows day, the Growth, Employment and Redistribution
    policy is followed by the Accelerated and Shared Growth
    Initiative for SA, and now the New Growth Path.

    When expressed through the SOEs, these developmental state
    assumptions about redistribution and shared growth produce the
    kind of problems that are epitomised by Eskom. If they were not
    so richly rewarded, it would be possible to feel pity for Eskom’s
    leaders of recent years, as they try to meet the contradictory
    demands of the developmental state proponents in SA.

    Thus Eskom’s management was simultaneously supposed to run this
    monopoly as a profit-making business on the one hand and to
    provide “free” electricity and meet expensive social goals on the
    other. It was an impossible ask.

    Much the same applies to Telkom , which even now holds a
    death-like grip on the local loop, which has seen much poorer
    countries such as Kenya roar past Africa’s only industrialising
    economy in the provision of affordable broadband services. The
    cost in jobs forgone can be guessed at by international
    experience, which shows that universal broadband access alone can
    add up to 1% a year to GDP. Yet the state in this country
    willingly forgoes that opportunity for growth. Meanwhile, rapid
    technological advances have allowed the cellphone industry to
    connect far more South Africans at an affordable rate than
    Telkom, with all its billions in taxpayer subsidies, can dream
    of.

    And under SOE Transnet, the port of Durban was this year awarded
    the honour of being both the most expensive and the most
    inefficient in the world. Yet the German economy (for instance)
    has been rescued from global recession in large part due to
    increased exports. And the rail bottlenecks that stop us from
    exploiting the commodities booms are all too well known.

    In sum, the developmental state in SA has a record of failure.
    Ordinary South Africans in the real economy can’t afford our
    ideologues or business as usual. It’s time to learn the lessons
    and do things differently.
    . Lewis is a Democratic Alliance member of the Gauteng
    legislature.

  • Brett Nortje

    R243 BILLION of taxpayers’ money sounds like an awful lot to piss away, right?
    Almost impossible to imagine?

    Here’s how you go about it… Appoint cronies like these:

    http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=347267&sn=Detail&pid=71616

    Zuma crony appointed SAA chairperson – Natasha Michael
    Natasha Michael
    14 December 2012

    DA MP says Dudu Myeni has a less than sterling record in other positions

    Appointment of Zuma ally will not set SAA back on course

    The appointment of Zuma ally Dudu Myeni as chairperson of South African Airways (SAA) would be another gross example of the ANC’s “jobs for friends” ideology and must be fully justified by Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.

    In an act of brazen disregard for the wellbeing of public funds, Minister Gigaba is set to prove once again that under the Zuma government, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

    On the back of a R4 billion government bail-out in 2007, a R5 billion loan guarantee from the South African government, a R1.25 billion loss in the 2012 financial year and no concrete plans to turn its operations around, Minister Gigaba is reportedly set to appoint a close friend of President Zuma with a severely compromised record to the helm of the SAA board.

    This is a woman who earlier this year, senior Water Affairs Department officials recommended should not be reappointed as chairperson of the Mhlathuze Water Board, a position she held since February 2006, because “she would bring instability back into the board and was at the centre of the current crisis and disharmony” at the utility.

    The most shocking elements of her less than sterling record include:

    o A failed probity test, which revealed a default judgment against her in relation to R416 460 owed to Absa bank on a R3.7-million Richards Bay property;
    o a R1.7 million judgement in favour of Standard Bank in respect to a property she reportedly co-owns; and
    o a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation into alleged maladministration, abuse of state resources, unfair dismissal of staff, noncompliance with procurement and tender processes at Mhlathuze between January 2004 and September 2008. The outcome of which never saw the light of day after, according to an SIU source, an “outbreak of shredding paper and deleting computer files” ensued, stopping the investigation in its tracks.

    I will be writing to Minister Gigaba to demand that he fully discloses all relevant information relating to Myeni’s reported appointment. The Minister must explain in detail how Dudu Myeni’s track record qualifies her as the most outstanding candidate for this position, ahead of all the other applicants, assuming there were any.

    What SAA needs now is a strong and respected leader with an impeccable record, particularly with regards to managing financial matters. In Dudu Myeni, SAA will get none of these.

    Statement issued by Natasha Michael MP, DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, December 14 2012

  • Blue Ozone

    Brett Nortje
    December 17, 2012 at 8:01 am

    “Yet, although the concepts that underlie central planning may have died with the
    collapse of the Soviet bloc, they live on, zombie-like, at the
    southern tip of Africa.”

    What incredibly pigshit ignorant rubbish.

    “The FYP is a key element in central planning. Copied originally from the Soviet system, it is an overarching strategy that shapes the nation’s economic and social development. It determines the allocation of resources among different sectors and industries, and sets rules for redistribution. Since 1953, a total of 11 FYPs have been made and have expired, the targets they set for each period met or missed, and China’s economy has grown to become the world’s number two.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12639898

    hmmm. And we experienced a Eskom power grid meltdown in 2007 exactly because Mbeki didn’t plan, did not want to invest in public infrastructure in accordance with this ideologically naive neoliberal propaganda.

  • Gwebecimele

    Surely we will get BEE Mogul for Deputy President. Cosatu and SACP can celebrate that achievement.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele
  • Thomas Blaser

    Wayne Duvenage is the CEO of AVIS : so this is not about democracy or taxation, but protecting one’s business. It took the media a long time to publish this information. But equally worrisome is the millions that will be generated and diverted into private pockets, and probably also ANC coffers; I mean the 1 bn rand since 2007 without any indication of sources that find its way into the ANC coffers does come from somewhere…or the dark side of the much lauded private-public partnership is a tax diverted to privates, the rent seeking state in full action.

  • Gwebecimele

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/KZN-judges-told-to-keep-working-20121218

    Is this justice delayed or denied???

    “Last month, Judge Anton van Zyl rescinded the default judgment in a matter that he had heard in September 2009″

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Order
    It was for these reasons that the following order was made on 14 December 2012:
    1. The appeal is upheld.
    2. The order of the High Court dismissing the application is set aside.
    3. The provincial elective conference of Free State province of the African National Congress held at Parys on 21 – 23 June 2012 and its decisions and resolutions are declared unlawful and invalid.
    4. There is no order as to costs

    http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2012/31.pdf

  • Gwebecimele
  • Blue Ozone

    Gwebecimele
    December 18, 2012 at 10:14 am

    “This is worse than non-delivery of textbooks. ”

    No, no. Not according to PdV. As you know at the root of all evil we can find the Zulu/Xhosa/Afrikaner etc. tribal patriarchy. In fact we should all be celebrating, knowing that those fatherless kids will not suffer from any kind of discriminatory gender identification thus liberating them to be gay or lesbian if they want to.

    “The South African Institute of Race Relations said between 1996 and 2010 the number of children who lived under the same roof as their fathers had decreased by 26%, from 49% to 37%.”

  • Blue Ozone

    Lewis is a Democratic Alliance member of the Gauteng legislature.

    “There is a cost to central planning in SA and nowhere is it more
    apparent than in the costs to the economy, and thus to jobs,
    through the chief implementation agencies of that planning, our
    state-owned enterprises (SOEs). They form the centrepiece of the
    “developmental state” that the alliance ideologues fondly imagine
    exists so successfully in SA. Yet the cost of this is immense and
    it is mounting.”

    According to classical neoliberal DA ideology – If government plans, then they are screwed. If government does nothing then they are screwed too. Apparently what government must do is NOTHING, eventually shit will happen by itself, just like with Eskom under Thabo Mbeki.

    Until we need to call on central government to send in the SANDF.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele

    The re-election of Prez Zuma confirms that he has approval and support from majority of anc members. All his past decisions are part of the collective.

    In short many should stop attacking him as an indiv. His good and bad decisions are well supported.

  • Blue Ozone

    Gwebecimele
    December 18, 2012 at 20:31 pm

    I agree gwebs. Viva ANC!

    I hope we can get rid of ALL of the “Friends of the Mafia” now.

    But lets all agree to oppose JZ if he even dared to stand for the 3rd.

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    “But lets all agree to oppose JZ if he even dared to stand for the 3rd.”

    With respect, OzoneGuy, I beg to disagree. In the same circumstances, I will support Mr Zuma for a third or even fourth term. He has been hounded mercilessly by Shapiro and the liberal press. He is human, and has a lot still to learn. But I would rather see him as President for life than Zille, or even Hugo Chavez!

  • Olds

    BZ – “In fact we should all be celebrating, knowing that those fatherless kids will not suffer from any kind of discriminatory gender identification thus liberating them to be gay or lesbian if they want to.”

    No, actually what is happening to the fatherless and parentless orphans is that the crime bosses have discovered Mothlante has put children firmly out of the reach of the law since 2010 and they have been liberated to the criminal class. Money talks when one has no food and no guidance and the government closes most of the orphanages and loony bins.

  • Brett Nortje

    Blue Ozone says:
    December 18, 2012 at 20:48 pm
    Gwebecimele
    December 18, 2012 at 20:31 pm

    “I agree gwebs. Viva ANC!”

    You’re a fukking idiot. What prevented the ANC from getting rid of the merry assassins last week this time? Last year?

    Do you know what a non sequitur is?

    In this referendum on the waste of R230m at Nkandla we once again see that many black people cannot cross the moral divide. That is something that needs to be debated for the love of our country, not obfuscated by your idiotic histrionics.

  • Brett Nortje

    Gwebecimele, I’m listening. Tell us what your concern is there.

    The only thing that puzzles me slightly is why Ramaphosa and why Ramaphosa now?

  • Blue Ozone

    Brett Nortje
    December 19, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Brett I explained to you many times that what happened at Nkandla is run of the mill security arrangements for a head of state. I know PdV and some members of the media tried DESPERATELY to manufacture something out of it but yet once again, they failed miserably.

    Yesterday the people have spoken – now it is our democratic and patriotic duty to support our prez.

    The big surprise was not cde Zuma, it was Ramaphosa.

  • Blue Ozone

    Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder
    December 19, 2012 at 0:16 am

    So whose it going to be – Ramaphosa or Motlanthe? Will the people ever forget who supported Motlanthe and give him a second chance?

    “Lesson 2: Choose your friends well. The noises around Motlanthe as a future ANC president were started by the loud and politically immature ANC Youth League and its now-expelled president Julius Malema. From June 2010 these political “brats” became the face of the Motlanthe campaign.

    They hurt him. They printed T-shirts in his name; they sang songs in praise of him. Many sober ANC members looked at all this and refused to have anything to do with a candidate whose foot soldiers were the likes of the rude Malema and his even ruder spokesperson Floyd Shivambu. They might not have liked Zuma, but to go with an ANC under Motlanthe in which Malema was emboldened was a bridge too far.”

    http://mg.co.za/article/2012-12-18-how-motlanthe-lost-mangaung

  • Brett Nortje

    Your prez is nothing of mine – he can go straight to hell.

    Explain to me the security arrangements at ‘Die Anker’?

    If Pierre and the press have been unsuccessful in manufacturing ‘something out of it’ as you put it the reason is the large number of people who could give a shit that there is a difference between right and wrong. Truth or lie.

    If Ramaphosa is a surprise to you let me help you get on track: This is a ZANU-style political jamboree were everyone has firmly endorsed the culture of enrichment and the kleptocratic state.

    Can you say ‘Solomon Mujuru’?

  • Blue Ozone

    And I guess for poor Mr. Malema – it is all pretty steep downhill from now, PdV will be so bitterly disappointed cause he was going to KILL THE BOER.

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/50-new-charges-against-Malema-20121202

    LOL.

  • Brett Nortje

    Conveniently forgetting that there are a great many in the ANC who should be behind bars including 783, Dudu and Khulubese.

  • Blue Ozone

    Brett Nortje
    December 19, 2012 at 9:15 am

    “Your prez is nothing of mine – he can go straight to hell.”

    Well if that is your attitude towards our African people then I suppose you can forget to ever negotiate the right to self-determination cause why should they respect you?

    You are digging your own grave, boet. Even that tiny minority of rightwing racists who keep on sabotaging the image of the Afrikaner in the international media. You are doing nobody any favours, but unfortunately like Brett you are too fucking stupid to understand that.

    http://www.popdecay.com/2012/12/17/south-africa-police-foil-right-wing-afrikaner-extremists-anc-meeting-bomb-plot/14463

  • Brett Nortje

    The kind of conduct through which you do not automatically expel yourself from the ANC – or even get frowned upon at Mangaung:

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/funds-used-for-property-travel-and-sushi-1.1109387

    Funds ‘used for property, travel and sushi’
    August 1 2011 at 09:59am
    By LOUISE FLANAGAN

    INLSA

    They took textile workers’ retirement funds to run their own businesses, rented a building to the government, ate sushi and went on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

    The Star has been shown bank statements for Canyon Springs Investments 12, dating from January 2007 before the loan payments started, through to March 2011.

    The account started with an overdraft of R58, then swelled with the R87 million in textile workers’ money from investment company Trilinear. By the end of March this year, there was R127 000 in the account.

    The only work Canyon Springs seems to have done was hand out money, pay phone bills and go travelling.

    Its income was primarily the Trilinear handouts plus interest on this from fixed-deposit accounts.

    The biggest chunk – R15m – went to Leading Prospect Trading 42 in May 2007. At the time Ace Magashule, now premier of the Free State, was a director of Leading Prospect; he has denied any involvement in the matter.

    The statements show how money flowed into the Canyon Springs account and out again to Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu) consultant Richard Kawie and to Deputy Minister of Economic Development Enoch Godongwana, his wife Thandiwe and their business partner Mohan Patel.

    Godongwana was chairman of Canyon Springs from November 2007 to May 2009, while his wife was a non-executive director since May 2009.

    The bank statements reflect direct payments of about R600 000 to Godongwana, about R420 000 to his wife and nearly R1m to Patel.

    The payments to Enoch Godongwana were made from November 2007 to September 2008, to Thandiwe from June 2009 to April 2010, and to Patel from March 2009 to March 2011.

    Kawie both received and deposited money across the four years, mainly through three of his businesses. By the end he had benefited by R6.4m.

    The bulk of the money went to businesses owned by the Godongwanas and Patel.

    Pan African Benefit Services (PABS), involved in the retirement fund business, got more than R13.6m, moved in numerous transactions – often several times a month.

    The Godongwanas and Patel were directors or shareholders in PABS at various times; Patel from January 2007, when the plans to move the Sactwu money to Canyon Springs were hatched.

    The Iboma Call Centre, which sold services to various branches of the government, received at least R1.4m. Iboma got payments to its bank account, plus had its staff and phone bills paid directly by Canyon Springs.

    Both Godongwanas and Patel were Iboma directors at various times. All three were also directors at various times of other Iboma businesses, and Kawie was also a director of at least two Iboma businesses.

    Canyon Springs paid about R250 000 for at least five different Telkom accounts, including Iboma’s.

    Patel got other payments too. More than R1m is listed as payments for Kismet Plaza, a building in Athlone, Cape Town, which Patel owns with a relative.

    The Patels rent space in Kismet Plaza to the Western Cape regional office of the Government Communication and Information System.

    Kismet Plaza, valued by the municipality at R14m, is just one of many Patel properties.

    In one business with his relative he owns 88 properties, mostly adjoining plots of empty land, in the Athlone and Gatesville area, inherited from a relative who bought most of the property in the 1960s.

    One of those 88 properties has apparently been rebuilt and now has a municipal valuation of R20m.

    Another Athlone property has a municipal valuation of R8m and is used by a Toyota dealership.

    One of Patel’s trusts bought two sectional title units, one in November 2007 for R1.1m with a huge bond, and the other in April 2008 for R47 000 cash.

    The Canyon Springs accounts indicate that an astonishing amount was spent on travel. However, many of these travel transactions seemed to be an attempt to hide payments to an individual.

    There are at least 15 payments from April 2007 to September 2008 logged as “M AirfairsM”, totalling about R1.3m.

    Most of these payments are for the same amount – just over R83 000 – which looks like a monthly payment of R132 000 less tax to an individual.

    Other payments indicate that in February 2008, someone travelled through Dubai.

    The next month someone spent nearly R50 000 on a single set of air tickets, then three months later R47 000 on a hotel in Nigeria. In May 2009, someone paid R43 000 to a travel business that specialises in hajj tours to Mecca.

    In June 2008, Canyon Springs spent R14 500 on a Cape Town sushi restaurant.

    A firm of architects, based in one of Patel’s buildings, got more than R600 000.

    The SA Revenue Service was paid about R1.5m, although this does not seem to be enough to cover tax deductions on all the payments.

    The end of 2009 seems to have been a good year for spending, with the last of the Trilinear “loan” instalments being moved to Canyon Springs in November 2009.

    Canyon Springs in turn handed over R50 000 each to Thandiwe Godongwana and Patel on Christmas Eve, and the R40 000 to each four days later. Kawie got R100 000 on Christmas Eve and R270 000 four days later.

    The Iboma Call Centre got three payments that December, PABS got R1m, and even the building got a Christmas bonus, as Kismet Plaza got a double payment of R171 000.

    By March this year, almost all the money in the Canyon Springs account was spent, leaving only R127 000. – The Sta

  • Blue Ozone

    Brett Nortje
    December 19, 2012 at 9:33 am

    So all you are going to do is keep on bitching and whining and moaning as usual. Nothing is going to change using that tactic, why can’t you man up to that reality.

  • Brett Nortje

    I do not gladhand a bunch of fucking crooks. I’m not like them and I want them to know that.

    For the same reason I give cops asking for bribes short thrift.

  • Blue Ozone

    Brett Nortje
    December 19, 2012 at 9:37 am

    “I do not gladhand a bunch of fucking crooks. I’m not like them and I want them to know that.”

    But you have told them that many, many times now, and the sad reality for you is that they don’t care what you think about them.

    The part that you should be really worried about is what the international community think about you and your politics though – because perception = political power.

    http://www.popdecay.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Afrikaner-Resistance-Movement-300×193.jpg

  • Olds

    Brett

    You have proved that you can cut and paste news articles AS WELL as their links. Could I persuade you just to do the links? My thumb is getting sore on this forum.

  • Olds

    Why Ramaphosa? Yikes! He is the perfect choice.

    A- he has already been affirmed and can make his own cake, thus he does not need any tax cake (hopefully), so he tracks well with the melamine deficient suits.
    B- he is a shiny example for teagirls with much melamine that it can be done, so someone to follow.
    C- he represents a threat to the melamine deficient pointy hat wearers since he makes them look bad.

    Perfect

  • Brett Nortje

    Olds says:
    December 20, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Sadly, no, you cannot. I do often post the link only. When I think a topic is important enough, or old enough that the issue deserves to be bumped up along with a bit of background as a reminder, or it is likely to be used as a reference, including by me myself, or an ANC member might be forced to skimread the first few paragraphs of a discomforting article before deleting it from her Inbox I post the article in its entirety.

    Isn’t choice wonderful?

  • Olds

    Brett – In that case I’ll be forced to skimread your looooong comments which is a pity, you sometimes choose to make sense.

  • Alibama

    Eventually I found time to read KrieglerJ’s pubic lecture, where he shows how we
    let systems degenerate because of work load. In some disciplines they successfully
    use the method of doing-small-but-complete tasks, and progressively increasing the
    task size. This avoids starting a task that’s too big and which is a total loss of
    invested resources when abandoned.
    Could this scheme work? I want to use PAIA. Am I right that this is INTENDED
    to be a low level resource-efficient method of legal protection – instead of doing
    a Kebble ?
    == I got a demand letter for a car accident addressed to a name very close to my
    rare name, at “Unit 1-4 Quinn Str” whereas I’m at “14 Quinn Str”.
    I’m interested if ID theft is involved. So I phoned the lawer’s clerk, and when
    told that vehicle records SHOWED that I was the owner, I emailed [I want a doco-trail]
    asking for the vehicle-record’s-proof copy. Now, a month later I’ve got a WITHOUT
    PREJUDUCE ‘kak en betaaal’. This latter lists the “OUR INSURED West Rand Plastics”
    who I might decide to phone and query. But I want to USE this matter to test and
    learn PAIA, for bigger matters later.
    == My email will be proof that I gave the lawer a chance to back out of his ‘vat n kans’
    which may well be NOT his fault. And that I am calling on PAIA to protect my rights.
    == Sorry boys about your etoll. I jettisoned vehicle and fixed property ownership,
    years ago, in order to be able to make a quick exit when Zimbabawe arrives.
    =====WDYS ?

  • Alibama

    Maggs Naidu wrote:-
    |Hey Alibama,…………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    |……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    |”Until control was given to the niggas”…………………………………………………………………………….
    |……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    |#Just wondering………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    |……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    Well, I actively oppose PeeCee, because it prostitutes rational debate;
    as indeed it is designed to. Eg. naming negroids ‘black’ or ‘african’
    pretends that its-about-colour and geography. Which unjustly trivialises
    eg. the Dravidians and Algerians. The original lie begetts multiple offspring.
    ==
    And with rational debate disabled, you get simplistic conclusions like:-
    } Watched a programme on the future of science and genetic engineering
    } specifically on DSTV last night. It seems that the widening gap between
    } the rich and the poor, combined with advances in GE, will eventually
    } lead to rich people modifying and manipulating their gene pool and thus
    } resulting in two separate human species the tiny rich master class of
    } genetically enhanced and the poor “natural genetic” masses.

    Only in the low-population-increase/developed societies where the program was
    MADE and audience designed for, is the rich-poor gap widening, due to.
    technology removing unskilled jobs, and leveraging hi-skill professions..
    The same technology has massively benefitted the poor of Asia..
    Blind journalists are leading blind audiences to be concerned about their
    ancestor’s problems: insufficient food. Today’s problem is OBESITY.
    Massively so in China, and even in Azania. Consider the Amerindians.
    THAT’s a genetic thing: races that have evolved to survive on meger diets
    EXPLODE with too much KFC, but the european royalty gene-pool wouldn’t!
    ==
    “two separate human species” is typical dumb-journo-talk, exposing ignorance
    of the SIMPLE mechanism of evolution. Absent mixing of the gene-pools in
    different/fragmented environments, like the geographic isolation of the
    [descendants of the apes a.k.a.] HUMANS, the gene-pool drifts/adapts according
    to the environment. Eg. the humans wave/s coming out-of-africa formed
    separate long-time-isolated population/gene-pools. Ie. the human races.
    Each race being suitable adapted to it’s evolved environment.
    ===
    Simplistically, many think that the negroids are unfavourably evolved for the
    current global environment. But their extreme evolutionary refining conditions
    evolving substantial genetic advantages.
    ===
    Apparently, in the 1800’s during a wet period in US, yellow-fever broke out
    and in one town 93% of ‘whites’ died and ‘blacks’ survived.
    HIV turned out to be UNfavourable to negroid-genes, but the next pandemic
    may be FAVOURABLE. So to pretend that we are ‘equal’ insults my intelligence;
    but to claim ‘superiority’ is based on arbitrary definitions.
    ==
    AFAIK, only once the different groups have diverged sufficiently to prevent
    inter breeding are they called different species.
    But that’s just terminology [lions ? tigers; horse ? donkey].

  • Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder

    @ Alibamma

    “Today’s problem is OBESITY.
    Massively so in China, and even in Azania. ”

    I am no fan of the DA in general or the leader of its caucus in particular. But should we not focus our criticism rather upon its obscene open-toilet policy and its grim determination to consign our people to water-drawing and wood-hewing by shutting all black schools in CT?

    Thanks.

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