13 African countries now rank higher than SA in economic freedom

Posted 28 September 2017

Thirteen African countries now rank higher than SA in economic freedom. Two decades ago, SA stood head and shoulders above the rest of the continent, but it's been a backwards march since then.

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How the banks are denying your Constitutional right of access to justice

Posted 25 September 2017

Here's arguably the most effective tool in the homeowners' arsenal when the bank attempts to foreclose on your house in the High Court - simply insist that the matter is heard in the Magistrates Courts, wher the costs are much lower. Attorneys representing the banks will lose their appetite for the fight because the allowed legal fees they can charge in the Magistrates court in often less than 10% that of the High Court.

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An unlikely alliance of white farmers and Communist Party members join hands to fight evictions

Posted 21 September 2017

An unlikely alliance of white farmers, the SA Communist Party, trade unions and individuals whose homes have been repossessed by the four major banks came together outside the South Gauteng High Court on Friday to call for a freeze on evictions. This is the start of a "mass rolling action" campaign that is now being taken countrywide.

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DA to lay charges of fraud and racketeering against McKinsey over Gupta dealings

Posted 19 September 2017

The fall-out from the Guptas continues. The curse of the Guptas has already sent a cruise missile through the hull of UK PR firm Bell Pottinger, which marketed the divisive "White minority capital" and other slogans in service of the Guptas' agenda. Now the axe has fallen at KPMG, one of the world's largest and most prestigious audit firms. KPMG, in an effort to stem the exodus of clients (which include Sasfin and energy group Hulisani), fired most of its executive team last week for dodgy work it did for the Guptas, and SA Revenue Services. Now one of the premier consulting firms in the world, McKinsey, is under fire. The Democratic Alliance says it will lay charges of fraud and racketeering against the firm over its suspect dealings with the Guptas.

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Former communist countries sail past SA in terms of freedom

Posted 14 September 2017

Former communist country Bulgaria and SA have swapped places on the economic freedom scales. SA has plunged down the rankings in the last 14 years, while Bulgaria has gone the other way. Bulgaria did it by scaling back the size of government, containing money supply growth and reducing taxes. SA did the exact opposite. Economic freedom is important not just to the general health of the economy, but to life expectancy and political rights.

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Eskom power stations kill thousands a year - UK expert

Posted 13 September 2017

Air pollution from coal power stations causes disease and kills thousands of South Africans every year, says UK expert Dr Mike Holland. Air pollution from coal-fired power stations kills more than 2,200 South Africans every year, and causes thousands of cases of bronchitis and asthma in adults and children annually. This costs the country more than R30 billion annually, through hospital admissions and lost working days. These are some of the findings of a recent study into SA's air quality by the renowned environmental expert.

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Open letter calling for UK Parliament to stop political meddling in SA by PR firms

Posted 10 September 2017

The following is an open letter by human rights activist Justin Lewis to Lord Peter Hain, a prominent anti-apartheid activist who fled SA in the 1960s, urging him to rein in PR firms such as Bell Pottinger interfering in the political affairs of a friendly nation. Lewis has asked Lord Hain to bring the matter to the attention of the UK Parliament.

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Bell Pottinger heads for the knackers yard for sowing racial divisions in SA

Posted 07 September 2017

UK-based public relations firm Bell Pottinger could be up for sale as its owners explore "all options" to salvage the floundering business.This follows the earlier dismissal of the account executive who handled the Gupta account and the departure of the company’s CEO and significant shareholder James Henderson, neither of which appears to have stemmed the bleeding.

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Shoprite fined R1m for reckless lending

Posted 07 September 2017

It has long been argued that South African banks and retailers have engaged in reckless lending, in complete defiance of the National Credit Act. For example, should a bank entice you into a "consolidated debt" account - rolling all your individual debts into one - it is required to do a fresh credit assessment. If you later run into financial difficulty and cannot meet these monthly repayments, you have grounds for claiming reckless lending on the part of the bank. Shoprite has now been found guilty of this practice by the National Credit Regulator. 

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Ramaphosa claims leaked emails of extra-marital affairs a "smear campaign"

Posted 04 September 2017

The Sunday Independent reported it was in possession of leaked emails that purport to show deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was involved in multiple extra-marital affairs. But is this part of a campaign to stifle his challenge against President Jacob Zuma and put an end to his presidential ambitions? And if so, who is behind the leaks?

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Standard Bank's Sim Tshabalala put to the test over "vindictive" home foreclosure

Posted 30 August 2017

In a recent interview, Standard Bank joint-CEO Sim Tshabalala claimed the bank only sells debtors’ homes in execution “as a last resort”, and that it was eager to develop lifelong relationships with its clients. This ought to be good news for those involved in legal action with the bank, but it certainly is not the experience of the Kudoos family of Glen Marais in Johannesburg, who took out a mortgage loan with the bank in 2001.

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DA's Maimane hands over dossier alleging theft of R200m by Guptas and associates

Posted 28 August 2017

It continues to confound South Africans that the Guptas remain relatively untouched by the long hand of the law. Perhaps this will change after Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane handed over a dossier detailing how the Guptas and a number of their associates allegedly stole R200m from some 80 community members to pay for a Gupta wedding at Sun City in 2013. Is anyone at the Hawks paying attention?

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Grace Mugabe's day of rage

Posted 23 August 2017

A security incident report has shed new light on the chaotic events that unfolded as Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe went on a rampage at a luxury hotel in Johannesburg.

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Open letter to Standard Bank CEO Sim Tshabalala

Posted 21 August 2017

Moneyweb recently reported Standard Bank's CEO Sim Tshabalala as saying the bank regarded eviction of clients from their homes as a last resort, and that the bank was eager to develop a "lifelong relationship with its clients. This was in response to the story that the four major lending banks face a R60bn Constitutional Court case for abusive home repossession and eviction tactics. One of the architects of the case, Advocate Douglas Shaw, responds to Tshabalala with the following open letter, questioning whether there is any merit in Tshabalala's claim that the bank uses repossession and eviction as a "last resort".

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The Mugabe brats and mom Grace - a ticking PR time bomb

Posted 21 August 2017

Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe bolted back to Harare after somehow gaining diplomatic immunity after assaulting model Gabriella Engels at the Sandton residence of the two sons, Robert Junior and Chatunga. The two spoiled brats are under-achievers and troublemakers of note, but have cultivated a taste for the finer things of life. Afriforum private prosecutor Gerrie Nel - the man who put Oscar Pistorius in prison for shooting his girlfriend - says Grace may have fled the country but justice will be done for Gabriella. It's safe to assume Grace may have made her last visit to SA. 

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R60bn Constitutional Court case launched against banks

Posted 16 August 2017

More than 225 applicants, mostly from Gauteng townships, have launched a suit in the Constitutional Court, claiming damages from the big banks for home repossession abuse. The applicants are claiming R60bn from the banks for unlawful repossession of homes since the Constitution came into effect in 1994. 

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OUTA lays charges of corruption against Mark Pamensky

Posted 15 August 2017

Mark Pamensky, who doubled as an Eskom director while serving on the boards of various Gupta family-owned businesses, has had corruption charges laid against him based on leaked e-mails he sent to the brothers and their associates.

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How South Africa was stolen - Forensics for Justice

Posted 13 August 2017

An explosive criminal docket opened last week by Sarah-Jane Trent of Forensics for Justice - spearheaded by forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan - spills the beans on just how deep the corruption in SA runs. It claims the intelligence services are being used to hound political enemies, while the Criminal Justice System is being used to pursue witch-hunts intended to silence those exposing corruption.

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Nuclear war beckons - John Pilger

Posted 08 August 2017

While South Africa prepares for the no-confidence vote against President Zuma, a troubling development elsewhere in the world is being brushed under the carpet. The US Congress has signed another bout of sanctions against Russia - a war crime in international law - while the US has encircled Russia and China with military bases and nuclear weapons. Veteran journalist and film maker John Pilger outlines the terrible potential of this recklessness.

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Fears grow of capture at SARS

Posted 06 August 2017

Fears that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) had fallen prey to state capture were heightened after its chief financial officer of nearly three years abruptly resigned this week. 

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Copyright Amendment Bill opens up a hornet's nest

Posted 03 August 2017

Should somebody “using” a creative work have the same right to claim royalties from the work as its creator? Should the state have copyright over creative works that it commissions and funds? These are some of the questions at the heart of hearings taking place in Parliament this week over controversial proposed changes to South Africa’s copyright law.

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NPA must move quickly to stop Gupta money leaving the country - OUTA

Posted 01 August 2017

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) wants the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to instruct the Asset Forfeiture Unit to prevent the Guptas moving assets offshore.

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Three scenarios facing SA - the best involves paying Zuma R2bn to get the hell out of Dodge

Posted 27 July 2017

There are reports that President Zuma has been offered R2bn to resign immediately as president. That's the best scenario facing the country. It would kill any hopes of handing the keys to the kleptocracy to his former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The other scenarios range from a Mugabe-style rule-by-thuggery to a split in the ANC and the possibility the ruling party may not gain 50% of the vote in the next election, writes Theuns Eloff, executive director at the FW de Klerk Foundation.

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The debt collection scam

Posted 26 July 2017

It’s an all too familiar situation for thousands of South Africans on a daily basis: your phone rings and you nervously look at the number on the screen, instantly your stomach turns with a knot as you recognise the number and once more you are faced with the dreaded choice of answering or blocking the call. You know if you answer you are undoubtedly going have to face a barrage of aggressive interrogation and questions from the person on the other end. If you don’t answer you know it will only be a matter of time before the cycle repeats itself.

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Gupta emails: a crack becomes a canyon

Posted 23 July 2017

As evidence mounts of industrial-scale corruption in South Africa's public sector, aided and abetted, it would seem, by elements within private enterprise, it's good to know it cannot go on forever.

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