New poll shows the ANC set to lose major cities

Posted 28 July 2016

A new poll by Ipsos shows the ANC losing its dominant position to the Democratic Alliance in next week's local government elections in three major urban centres: Joburg, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth. Cape Town has long since been under DA control. The ANC says its own polls come to a different conclusion. The trend is clear: the ANC will, like Zani-PF in Zimbabwe, from hereon have to rely on the rural vote.  

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Unemployment is a national emergency - just let them work

Posted 28 July 2016

Half of South Africans between the ages of 18 and 24 are unemployed, not because they do not want to work, but because of labour laws that protect the employed aristocracy and actively discourage companies from hiring anybody new. Eustace Davie, director of the Free Market Foundation, offers a simple and inexpensive way of overcoming this barrier so that the country's youth can get a real taste of employment. 

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The medieval state of SA's home repossessions industry

Posted 25 July 2016

A recent study of home repossessions puts SA among the worst - if not the worst - in the world. The enthusiasm with which SA banks rush to repossess homes in the event of default is described as "medieval" and cruel. 

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Zanu-PF brass desert the sinking ship

Posted 25 July 2016

Pastor Evan Mawarire has stirred the spirit of protest in Zimbabwe. Riots and protests now seem unstoppable as they spread from the cities to Beit Bridge border posts. The diplomatic community is warning of a possible military coup, and South Africa's shocking and corrupt support for the ruling party in past election frauds may come back to haunt it. Or perhaps this time, it will heed the voice of a young and restless population that has called for Mugabe to leave now, and make way for a change. 

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The wrecking ball that the SABC has become

Posted 19 July 2016

Eight journalists have reportedly been fired by the SABC. This is a further sign of the deradation at the state-owned broadcaster, which is more and more looking like a State broadcaster along the lines of Zimbabwe or North Korea. The Institute of Race Relations looks at what is going on behind the scenes at the SABC board, which lies at the centre of this mess.

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Paul O'Sullivan: Exposing fresh Myeni corruption at SAA. Documentary proof

Posted 14 July 2016

Private investogator Paul O'Sullivan says he has been targeted for elimination by Radovan Krejcir, the East European gangster he helped put away. Wherever there is a smell of corruption, O'Sullivan gets on the case and does not hold back. Earlier this yer, while boarding a plane to London with his two daughters, he was arrested by agents of what he says is a corrupt State security machine, and held in a rat-infested Pretoria prison for several days. His latest disclosures are nuclear. SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni, with no real qualification for the job, has been setting up deals that favour mysterious and wholly unqualified BEE businesses. Paul O'Sullivan talks to Alec Hogg.   

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Outa threatens legal action over SAA's "unlawful" funding

Posted 13 July 2016

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has threatened legal action against SAA should it proceed with a R15 billion refinancing of the airline using a boutique finance house, BnP Capital, which has no track record in a deal of this size or nature, and in fact had its Financial Services Board licence revoked. The board of SAA chose BnP over more credible financial institutions, and agreed to pay three times what other bidders were offering - all in the name of "transformation". Then SAA fired Cynthia Stimpel, the group treasurer, for objecting to this outrageous deal.  

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Zim: "total collapse now imminent"

Posted 09 July 2016

Eddie Cross, the Movement for Democratic Change MP in Zimbabwe, says the country is at a crisis point similar to that of 2008 when the government abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar after inflation peaked at 500 million percent. A quarter of the country's children are orphans and the military is running the ruling party. A free election is now the only route out, argues Cross.

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Northern Irish courts lead the world in slapping down banks ducking securitisation

Posted 05 July 2016

The Northern Irish courts are quietly setting international precedent when it comes to securitisation and "double dipping" by the banks. Notice in this report how Santander Bank "destroyed" documents relevant to a claim being brought by the bank (just as Absa claims thousands of its documents were "destroyed" in a fire in 2009 so as to avoid presenting the originals in court). But in the Northern Irish case, the home owner moved to commit the CEO of Santander Bank and his "corrupt" officials and lawyers to prison for submitting a false claim toi the court.

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Signs that things are getting out of control in Zim

Posted 05 July 2016

Two stories that suggest things are fast approaching a head in Zimbabwe. One involves riots over the number of police roadblocks travellers have to navigate as they try to make a living. It seems social protest independent of political party alliances is taking over the country. The second story involves a young Zimbabwean who told his president "F..k you" and landed himself in court. He also seemingly threatened President Mugabe's kids should anything happen to him. 

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Dead man's chest

Posted 04 July 2016

When Johannesburg businessman Imtiaz Mohammed was shot dead by a disgruntled employee in 2010, it fell to his widow Hajira to wrap up the estate. Only years later she discovered some dirty family secrets intended to keep her late husband’s assets out of her hands. It turns out her dead husband’s business bank account was kept alive by Standard Bank and other members of the family for 18 months after his murder.

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How to check if your bank is ripping you off

Posted 29 June 2016

In this article Armand Rinier looks at how banks and other lenders are engaging in reckless lending. The practice is so common, it would require a book to cover all the creative ways banks are breaking the law. It's time to pull out your bank statements and see whether or not you are being gouged by the banks. 

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Carte Blanche: homes repossessed for arrears of R1000

Posted 27 June 2016

Carte Blanche recently exposed the routine violations of human rights by the banks, which have repossessed more than 100,000 homes in South Africa since 1994. These homes are then sold at a fraction of their worth at sheriffs' auctions. As the programme points out, the Constitutional Court has already ruled on this, requiring the banks to use auctions as a "last resort" and to find creative alternatives to the sale in execution.  

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SAA under Dudu Myeni reflects the meltdown elsewhere in SA

Posted 27 June 2016

Dudu Myeni, the chair of SAA, cares little for the solvency of the national air carrier, nor does she seem to give a damn about corporate governance. The SAA in-flight magazine goes into the minutiae of race-based bean counting, and as such appears to be written for staff rather than SAA passengers. The airline has been dubbed "Hollywood" since it has "acting" rather than permanent postings for virtually all key appointments. SAA is one of the reasons SA's state-owned enterprises are dragging us to the brink of junk status.

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How to defend yourself against the banks

Posted 21 June 2016

If every debtor served with a summons defended the action, it would choke the legal system and force the banks to come up with better solutions for customers who have difficulties in meeting their monthly payments. It's an actuarial fact that the average mortgage borrower will either default or settle the bond within seven years. Banks know this. Despite well-intentioned laws, lenders are engaging in reckless lending on a daily basis. In this regular weekly column, Debt Nurse Armand Rinier will explain how to effectively protect your rights and assets when under threat from the banks.

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The land of no consequences for those in high office

Posted 19 June 2016

In this article, Rex van Schalkwyk, a former Supreme Court judge, points out several instances where senior politicians and government officials stomped all over the Constitution, not to mention common law standards of fraud, and got away with it. Instead of being held to the same standard as the rest of us, they abusers were sheltered by their political bretheren. 

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Why are so many bankers committing suicide?

Posted 14 June 2016

Michael Gray has brought out a documentary The Banker Suicides, questioning whether the dozens of banker "suicides" since 2007 were actually suicides, whether they were stress-related, or was there something more sinister afoot. In several of these suicides, there are common threads and connections that went previously undetected.  

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Joburg couple lose two houses over photo-copier machine

Posted 09 June 2016

A young Joburg couple ended up losing two houses after falling R17,500 in arrears on a copier machine they were renting. The Kromers knew nothing of the law when all this was going down, but now they are angry - and fighting back. Had they known at the time what they know now, they would have immediately defended the matter and leaned on the Constitutional prohibition on arbitrary deprivation of property. They would also have invoked the Conventional Penalties Act, which prevents a creditor making a claim such as this out of all proportion to the prejudice suffered. 

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Lawyers rake in cash from blizzard of e-tolls summonses

Posted 07 June 2016

Lawyers are raking in fees from the blizzard of summonses issued by the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) over the non-payment of e-tolls. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), which is fighting e-tolls, has its own legal team to defend the summonses, and has brought in one of the top legal minds in the country, Gilbert Marcus SC, to prepare for the court battle that lies ahead. This is likely to drag out for years, and could clog the court system. 

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We're in an election, and it doesn't look good for the ANC

Posted 06 June 2016

It's official. We are in an election and nearly 3m new voters have registered. Gareth van Onselen crunches the numbers, and suggests it doesn't look good for the ANC. It's unlikely it will win the 60% it claimed in the last election, but much depends on the energy of the opposition in these last few months before voting.

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Klatzow to take on FNB in class action

Posted 01 June 2016

A forensic scientist is planning to bring a class action suit against FNB over its systemic failure to represent its clients' interests on online banking fraud cases. The trigger for this was an attempt by FNB to reach a partial rather than a full settlement of a client's claim that R300,000 was stolen out of her account. FNB attempted to push at least some of the blame on the client. 

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The fight back begins, Greek activists block home foreclosures

Posted 28 May 2016

Where is South Africa's spirit of protest over outrageous bank behaviour in removing people from their homes? Greek activists have taken to protesting outside court houses and successfully blocked 800 home repossessions in the process. Perhaps South Africans will wake up from their slumber and start a similar movement here. Any takers? 

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Judge takes just 45 seconds to dismiss DA's attempt to suspend head of public prosecutions

Posted 26 May 2016

Judge Dolamo took just 45 seconds to dismiss a case brought by the Democratic Alliance calling for a commission of inquiry into the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mongcobo Jiba, who has a long and storied history of going to bat for President Zuma in his own troubles with the law.

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How one woman beat the big banks by reading the small print in her mortgage bond

Posted 25 May 2016

What happened to Lisa Epstein in the US echoes the experience of thousands of South Africans faced with foreclosure - fuzzy legal language, missing documents and a simple strategy of bankruptiung their clients by dragging out legal arguments. Lisa studied up securitisation on her own, read the small print, and finally beat the bank. Here's what happened. 

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Gordhan being hounded by a disintegrating government

Posted 23 May 2016

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan's "imminent" arrest for allegedly setting up a rogue investigations unit in SA Revenue Services some years ago is a symptom of the disintegration within the government. The Hawks could better use their time chasing down the R25,7bn in irregular spending reported by the auditor general in 2014, and nearly R1bn more in fruitless and wasteful spending. 

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