SA spies run for cover after Al Jazeera leaks

Posted 06 March 2015

The State Security Agency is in turmoil after spy leaks by Al Jazeera. Long-time agents working abroad have had their cover blown and have been hurriedly returned to South Africa. The spy cables reveal some truly astonishing and embarrasing intelligence gaffes, and leaves one wondering who the SSA actually serves.

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50% increase in complaints to Credit Ombud last year

Posted 05 March 2015

The Credit Ombud reported a 50% increase in complaints over the last year, most of them related to "Emolument Attachment Orders". One large lender appears to have been responsible for a large percentage of these complaints, but the Credit Ombud does not say which company it was.

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Shuttleworth's exchange control case headed for Concourt this week

Posted 03 March 2015

The Reserve Bank took R250 million in levies off Mark Shuttleworth when he tried to move his funds offshore. Having challenged this in the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal, he is now headed for the Constitutional Court. 

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SA researchers make startling allegations of securitisation fraud

Posted 25 February 2015

The Commercial Crimes Unit of the South African Police Services has asked for additional information relating to new evidence of securitisation fraud by the banks. As one expert comments, this could be the smoking gun pointing to the biggest banking fraud in SA history.

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Mixed reaction to Budget speech

Posted 25 February 2015

The ANC government was generally slammed for a Budget that saw personal income tax rates for the first time in 20 years, while not nearly enough was being done to tackle government spending and crony capitalism, according to opposition MPs.

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2015 Budget: key highlights

Posted 25 February 2015

The 2015 Budget was tabled today by finance minister Nhlanhle Nene. It contains a 1% hike in tax rates for middle to high-income earners, increased road accident levies, but also a serious effort by government to curtail spending.

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Fica is a monumental failure and should be scrapped

Posted 25 February 2015

The Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Fica) is a monstrous intrusion into the lives of ordinary South Africans. It adds to the costs of doing transactions, but is easily side-stepped by determined criminals, which is its intended target. It should be scrapped.

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Tax increases unnecessary, says DA

Posted 24 February 2015

The Democratic Alliance came out swinging ahead of SA's Budget speech, arguing that the well-publicised and expected increases in taxes are not necessary. Rather, the government should cut back on wasteful spending and start selling off state-owned assets.

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Barrage of new laws alarms US firms in SA

Posted 23 February 2015

The message from government is that foreign investment is not welcome. Apart from the planned prohibition on foreign land ownership, a host of new laws in the pipeline is causing alarm among US companies operating in SA.

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Kasrils sues deputy defence minister over rape claims

Posted 22 February 2015

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils is suing deputy defence minister Kebby Maphatsoe for defamation for claiming he set up President Jacob Zuma for a rape charge.

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Should you stand your ground or flee when attacked?

Posted 22 February 2015

The US recognises the right of the individual to stand their ground and defend themselves when under imminent threat of attack. In South Africa, the law is somewhat murkier, but the courts lean towards the concept of retreat from imminent danger rather than violent confrontation.

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How the welfare state was authored by eugenicists

Posted 20 February 2015

Proponents of the welfare state would do well to understand the origins of their cherished beliefs. It was the eugenicists who were loudest in promoting the welfare state in the post-World War II era, among them the famous economist, John Maynard Keynes. They had nothing but contempt for the poor.

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Who jammed cell phone signals in Parliament?

Posted 18 February 2015

The question being asked by the media this week was: who jammed the cell phone signals during last week's chaos in Parliament, and on whose authority. Whoever it was operated under the misguided belief they could do as they please. 

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There is a perceptible mood of panic in SA ahead of Budget

Posted 17 February 2015

There is a percepitble mood of panic in SA, accentuated by power-downs, chaos in Parliament and a limping economy. Business is urning finance minister to break the curse of negativity in his upcoming budget speech, but the chances of this happening are slim to zero.

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Judge suspended over R500,000 bribery claim

Posted 17 February 2015

A Johannesburg judge has been suspended pending investigations to accusations he attempted to solicit a bribe to make a case disappear. It is alleged he accepted R90,000 in cash but the accused in the case still ended up in prison.

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New bill to prohibit foreign ownership of land in SA

Posted 16 February 2015

The draft Land Holdings Bill is due to come before Parliament. It will prevent foreigners from owning land in SA, restricting them to long-term leases rather than outright ownership of land, and no more than 12,000 hectares.

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SA banks under fire for high fees

Posted 16 February 2015

The ANC and Cosatu are threatening "drastic action" over high fees charged by SA's banks. The Democratic Alliance has warned against meddling with "free market forces" which is an odd statement for a sector in which there are just four major players. Hardly a free market at all. 

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The ANC has a Zuma problem

Posted 13 February 2015

The riotous events in Parliament this week as President Jacob Zuma attempted to give his State of the Nation address points to the magnitude of the problem facing the ANC. That problem points straight back to Zuma, argues Vukani Mde.

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Number of consumers applying for debt review up more than 50% in one year

Posted 12 February 2015

Figures from the Debt Counsellors Association of SA shows a more than 50% increase in the number of consumers applying for debt review over the last 18 months. That shocking bit of news will weigh heavily on Finance Minister Nhlanlha Nene as he prepares his Budget Speech for next week.

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Court asked to force political parties to identify sources of funds

Posted 10 February 2015

The Constitutional Court is being asked today to compel Parliament to pass legislation forcing political parties to disclose their sources of funding. The case is being brought by My Vote Counts which argues that the Constitution guarantees the public's right to information needed to exercise its rights.

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Nigeria steps up campaign against Boko Haram, delays election

Posted 08 February 2015

Nigeria has pushed ahead of South Africa as Africa's largest economy, but political tensions are at fever pitch. The government this weekend announced it was delaying presidential elections for six weeks, giving the army time to snap the neck of Boko Haram.

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SARS cases at risk after high profile resignation

Posted 05 February 2015

The resignation of SARS' controversial head of investigations, Johann van Loggerenberg, could see several tax cases he was investigating come under review. This could be good news for Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and other alleged wrong-doers.

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Zuma, the constitutional warrior, should now tackle FSB

Posted 04 February 2015

Proposed amendments to the 2013 Financial Services Laws Genertal Amendment Act read, in parts, like a masterpiece in economic illiteracy. It is a free lunch fantasy where reductions in consumer freedom, dressed up as industry regulation, yield bountiful blessings at zero cost.

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Black liquidators want answers from Reserve Bank amid accusations of race bias

Posted 01 February 2015

Black liquidators are demanding answers from the Reserve Bank after it objected to the appointment of two black liquidators in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. An association of black liquidators wants to know the real reason behind the Reserve Bank's apparently racial preference in this matter.

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What's the story behind Hawks chief Anwa Dramat's suspension?

Posted 01 February 2015

What's behind the suspenion of Hawks chief Anwa Dramat? Was it his supposedly illegal rendition of four Zimbabweans to their home country where two of them subsequently died at the hands of the police? Or was it his investigation into President Zuma's Nkandla palace, built with public money? Or something else?

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