Billions in shady Gupta deals laid bare

Posted 16 October 2016

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan filed an affidavit before the High Court last week detailing several suspicious transactions involving the Gupta family, close allies of President Jacob Zuma. This is the latest instalment if a soap opera between various factions of the ANC. Gordhan has also given the middle finger to Shaun Abrahams, head of the National Prosecuting Authority, over his invitation to the minister approach his office to review its decision to prosecute him for fraud relating to supposedly unlawful actions taken while he was head of SA Revenue Services.

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This is why you are poor

Posted 12 October 2016

This is a brief but brilliantly written video on what causes poverty. The banks are the architects of financial crises but have managed to shift blame to competitors or even to their clients. As we watch the derivatives crisis unfold at Deutsche Bank, this is a timely reminder that the next crisis could be the last for the fiat currency experiment that is now unravelling.

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Joburg's new mayor plans to revive the city

Posted 10 October 2016

Joburg's new mayor Herman Mashaba outlined his plans to rid the CBD of criminal elements and hopes to attract the interest of hotel developers. He has asked hotel group Marriott International and South African developer Amdec Group to help him achieve this. 

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Did Standard Bank lie and cheat to get its hands on computer programme?

Posted 07 October 2016

Here's a case with shades of Kenneth Makate's claim that Vodacom ripped off his intellectual property, adn for which he has rewarded earlier this year with R10,5bn in the Constitutional Court. In this case, Johan Reynders of software company ADS says Standard Bank pilfered his intellectual property when it introduced an anti-hacking solution for its online clients in the 2000s. The difference here is Reynders is claiming $10bn from the bank.

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Docufile called to court to answer questions over fire that destroyed thousands of bank documents

Posted 04 October 2016

Document storage company Docufile is being summonsed to court to explain what happened in the fire of 2009 when possibly hundreds of thousands of documents, many of them mortgage bonds, were destroyed. Docufile's parent company, Iron Mountain, has had its own share of bad luck with fires, raising suspicions at least some of these were deliberate. 

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Zuma is a priceless gift to the opposition ahead of 2019 elections

Posted 29 September 2016

Jacob Zuma is a God-given gift to the DA and EFF. They should cherish it while it lasts. Because as soon as Zuma goes, so too will the coterie of acolytes he has surrounded himself with. The biggest beneficiary of his departure wil be the ANC, but that party hasn't figured that out yet.

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New book on SARS crime busting unit highlights extent of state capture

Posted 29 September 2016

The capture of the state by the Guptas and others is an ever-present danger in SA. A new book called Rogue: The inside story of SARS's elite crime busting unit details the extent to which dark forces have taken over key pillars of the state apparatus. 

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Universities have succumbed to political correctness and are now paying the price

Posted 29 September 2016

RW Johnson argues that the funding crisis at universities is due in large measure to the culture of appeasement and political correctness that has enveloped the university management. A little more backbone from the management would have gone a long way to staving off the campus crises we are now witnessing.

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Are you paying old (prescribed) debt?

Posted 26 September 2016

The debt collection industry was dealt a fatal blow in March when it became illegal for companies to attempt to get someone to pay a prescribed (old) debt. But still they try, as this article by Wendy Knowler makes clear. You could be paying prescribed debt right now, even though it is unlawful for companies to collect this from you.

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Concourt ends shady practice by creditors

Posted 25 September 2016

A recent Constitutional Court finding brings to an end the shady practice of "forum shopping" - bringing legal action in a court far from where the creditor lives so as to thwart justice - and all emolument attachment orders now issued must be subject to judicial oversight. 

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No end in sight for SAA competition litigation

Posted 20 September 2016

Quite apart from its well publicised lapses of governance, South African Airways (SAA) has been a serial visitor to the Competition Court since 1998 over accusations that it violated fair competition rules. Recently, the national airline was ordered to pay R104m to Nationwide for infringements of competition rules. This case serves as a useful barometer for meauring damages in similar cases, says Ahmore Burger-Smidt.

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As SA's freedom ranking slides, corruption and graft are inevitable

Posted 15 September 2016

Since the year 2000, SA has slipped from the 42nd freest country in the world to 105th - placing us in the bottom third. There are now 14 Africa countries rated higher than SA in terms of overall freedom. As Richard Grant explains, this creates a toxic environment ripe for corruption and graft.

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OUTA lays criminal charges against director in SAA financing deal

Posted 15 September 2016

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) today laid criminal charges against Daniel Mahlangu of BnP Capital, the little-known boutique finance house that stood to gain R256m for arranging finance on behalf of SAA. And in a clear threat to SAA employees who were party to the alleged fraudulent financing scheme, OUTA says they had better come forward with information or they too may be charged.

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Groundbreaking Concourt decision on garnishee orders

Posted 13 September 2016

Garnishee orders have a soggy history in SA. Stories abound of workers trying to survive on R100 a month after garnishee orders had been deducted from their monthly pay. Many of these were granted by clerks of the court in jurisdictions far away from where the victims lived. This is now a thing of the past, after a Constitutional Court decision that garnishee orders must be subject to judicial oversight (rather than issued by clerks of the court), and must be just, equitable and of an appropriate amount, according to Moneyweb.

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If you default on a loan agreement, when does the debt prescribe?

Posted 13 September 2016

Prescription in law means a debt or obligation is extionguished after the passage of a certain amount of time. In this review on a recent case that came before the Supreme Court of Appeal, Kirsty Simpson of ENS Africa looks at what happens when you default on a debt and the creditor elects to demand the full amount outstanding, rather than just the arrears (which is known in banking as acceleration).

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The ANC is on the brink of all-out war - with itself

Posted 12 September 2016

The ANC is at war with itself, as the Occupy Luthuli House protests affirm. After the local government electoral disaster in which the ruling party lost most of SA's big cities to the opposition, the party of liberation should have entered a period of deep soul searching. Instead it has atomised into various factions each seeking ascendancy and retribution, as this editorial from Mail & Guardian points out.

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Forget debt counselling - manage your own debt and get out of slavery

Posted 11 September 2016

In this article, Armand Rinier argues against going under debt review. We've had 10 years' experience with debt review and most people find themselves doling out money every month that they can ill-afford. There is a better way - manage the debt yourself, pay only your most important creditors (house and car) and start a personal savings fund to carry you through future financial shocks. As Rinier points out, many of the debts that people are paying are prescribed - meaning they are under no obligation to pay them 

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Let's stop obsessing about income equality

Posted 08 September 2016

The government and its satrapies obsessess continuously about income equality. This is a convenient flogging horse for those who want more state power. Of course, we will never achieve income equality, which is exactly what government wants. It wants the power to tax and direct the affairs of others. The freeloaders in government will forever declare war on poverty, war on drugs, war on income inequality... So many wars to wage, none of them winnable. Instead of obsessing about income inequality, we should welcome it as a vital ladder of opportunity that everyone is free to climb.

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Pulling the plug on funding may save SA

Posted 07 September 2016

President Jacob Zuma is not one to back down from a fight, particularly one where he was humiliated. In this case, he was forced to appoint Pravin Gordhan as his finance minister after trying to shoe-horn a hopelessly unqualified Des van Rooyen into that post. In this article, Gumani Tshimomola, a researcher for the Economic Freedom Fighter's parliamentary caucus, explains why the decision by certain investors to stop funding SA's state corporations may save SA in the long run.

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Tshwane's DA mayor tells ANC majority they are "heading to jail"

Posted 04 September 2016

Tshwane's new Democratic Alliance mayor Solly Msimanga pulled out five forensic reports last week and told recently dethroned ANC councillors that some of them will soon be wearing orange jump suits.

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RW Johnson's take on post-election SA - it's not good for the ANC

Posted 04 September 2016

In this interview, author of How Long Will South Africa Survive?, RW Johnson, sees the ANC as a party in retreat, with its more militant members seeking to make Joburg and Tshwane ungovernable, just as they did when the National Party was in control. The ANC has become the National Party version 2, with President Zuma astride a giant system of patronage and corruption. His repeated attacks on his finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, who has refused to sign off on SAA's financial statements, speaks volumes about the feud currently underway eating the heart of the ANC. The question is, can Zuma survive till the next presidential election in 2019? 

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How the media beats the drum for war

Posted 01 September 2016

John Pilger makes a case for indicting journalists on war crimes. From the Guardian to the New York Times, anti-Russian propaganda is at fever pitch. Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton calls Russian president Vladimir Putin the "new Hitler" and she surrounds herself with cold war warriors baying for a confrontation with Russia. Twenty years after the Yugoslav bombing authorised during Bill Clinton's presidency, egged on with cartoonish propaganda from the Western media, a stunning revelation made barely a mention in the esteemed journals that so shrilly called for blood. A report issued this year exonerated former Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, who died in 2006, of the war crimes of which he was charged. Most likely, you will not have heard of this. All the more reason to hold accountable the journalists who promote and justify wars now raging from Iraq to Syria.

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100,000 South Africans' lives ruined by court repossession rules since Constitution enacted

Posted 31 August 2016

In a recent article in De Rebus, Advocate Douglas Shaw welcomes some recent changes to rules that allow courts to set reserve prices (but do not compel them). This means properties sold in execution may be sold at closer to market price. Shaw also bemoans the fact that SA's repossession regime is among the most backward in the world. More than 100,000 South Africans have had their lives ruined since the Constitution was enacted some 20 years ago.

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Banks preparing for "economic nuclear winter"

Posted 29 August 2016

The Brexit vote, leading to Britain's exit from the European Union, is likely to trigger similar calls from France, Netherlands and other European countries tethered to a sinking economic union and a dodgy Euro. Bank stocks are already seriously under pressure from weak corporate earnings and economic uncertainty. According to this report from CNBC, banks are now preparing for the worst.

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I am prepared to die to save SA from thieves - Gordhan

Posted 29 August 2016

It's now become clear that the Hawks' investigation into Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's allegedly unlawful behaviour while at SA Revenue Services is part of an internal war being waged within the ANC. Gordhan last week refused to attend a meeting with the Hawks, apparently on the advice of his lawyers who told him the investigation has no basis in law. Gordhan is fighting back, saying over the weekend that he would die to save SA from thieves. Just who the thieves are, Gordhan is not saying - for now.

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