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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Unexpected victory for one man fighting banking Goliath

Posted 19 July 2017

Sometimes you come across a story where one man, standing alone, fights a lone battle against the bank and prevails. This is the story of Joel Makubalo versus Nedbank, which has just been slapped down by the North West High Court for refusing to stop the sale in execution of Joel Makubalo's house after he paid his arrears on auction day. The judge awarded a punitive costs order against the bank.

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The US nuclear arsenal is controlled by 1970s computers with 8 inch floppy drives

Posted 19 July 2017

The fate of every living thing on this planet rests on 1970s IBM computer technology using 8 inch floppy drives, reports The Guardian. That's the technology being used to run the US nuclear arsenal, leading some to speculate that a small mistake on these museum-ready computers could trigger an all-out nuclear holocaust. Alternatively, that when it comes to actually pulling the trigger, the US nuclear arsenal will simply fail. So where exactly is the US spending its $1 trillion annual military budget?

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How SA is being captured - read the shocking report

Posted 17 July 2017

The decomposition of South African state institutions has been blamed on corruption, but we must now recognise that the problem goes well beyond this. While corruption is widespread at all levels and is undermining development, state capture is a far greater, systemic threat. It is akin to a silent coup. The March 2017 Cabinet reshuffle was confirmation of this silent coup; it was the first Cabinet reshuffle that took place without the full prior support of the governing party. This is an extract from the just published report by the State Capacity Research Project entitled: Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa is being Stolen.

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Welkom man owes Absa R1,4m after borrowing R52,000 in 2008

Posted 16 July 2017

It doesn't get more ridiculous than this. A Welkom man owes Absa Bank R1,4m after borrowing just R52,000 in 2008. Even Absa seems a bit embarrased by this travesty of justice, saying it is willing to accept a variation of the court order (which is certainly in violation of the National Credit Act and minimally one of the most negligent judgments to come to our attention).

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Reckless amendments to the Constitution will be illegal

Posted 13 July 2017

Calls to chop and change our Constitution amount to little more than spur-of-the-moment political kneejerks. If those calls are effected, they will be contrary to the rule of law and therefore void. South Africans should respect the Constitution as an inflexible statute meant to endure for generations.

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How the Guptas captured SA and its PR firm inflamed racial tensions

Posted 13 July 2017

The rise and fall of the Guptas and their capture of a president will be studied in political and PR classes for generations to come. The good news is they are a spent force.

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Bell Pottinger apologises for being played by Guptas and stirring race tensions

Posted 09 July 2017

Social media exploded this weekend with news that UK-based PR firm Bell Pottinger - one-time spin doctors for the Guptas - has apologised "unequivocally" for some of the things its PR hacks had pulled off while in the pay of the Guptas. Now we know where the "white monopoly capital" meme came from. We also now know who authored the "radical economic transformation" nonsense that has been peddled by leading ANC lights. The leaked Gupta emails highlighted the role this firm played in stirring anti-white tensions in this country. Biznews takes a look at what went on behind the scenes, and the scale of the damage wrought by Bell Pottinger. The question some are asking is whether the PR firm can survive this outrage.

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Public Protector defends plan to tackle Absa and Reserve Bank

Posted 07 July 2017

The public protector is standing by her controversial report on the Absa-Bankorp lifeboat, in which she recommends that the South African Reserve Bank’s constitutional mandate be changed, saying that she would oppose applications by the Bank and the Treasury to have the report set aside.

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Landowners fight 100 years of dispossession

Posted 05 July 2017

South of Joburg lies an area known as Evaton, which you race past on your way to Vereeniging or Bloemfontein. On the surface, there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the area. The roads are pot-holed and neglected, electricity power lines criss-cross the streets and the houses range from fancy to mud brick, much as you would find in neighbouring Orange Farm. But Evaton has a storied history, and an interesting legal claim for land restitution that could run into billions of rands.

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Anybody's fault but Zuma's

Posted 04 July 2017

President Jacob Zuma has taken the ANC from a shoe-in at elections to an electoral liability. His reign as president has spawned two break-away parties, and a gaping credibility problem. Could the 2019 elections bring electoral disaster for the ruling party? At last week's ANC national policy conference, Zuma looked to point the finger for the party's problems anywhere but at himself. 

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FAIS Act is unclear about what services should be licensed

Posted 27 June 2017

The Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act (“Fais”) is unclear about which intermediary services require licensing. It violates the Rule of Law principle that laws must indicate with reasonable clarity what is. 

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Banks creaming it off bounced debit orders

Posted 22 June 2017

Banks are raking in between R500 million and R800 million a month from bounced debit orders. That’s a sizeable portion of the banks’ non-interest fee income each year for little more than running a piece of computer code. How is it that they have failed to heed the findings of a Compeition Commission investigation into banking charges which recommended a R5 cap on a bounced debit order? 

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The US is going the way of all empires - towards bankruptcy

Posted 19 June 2017

Empires are built through the creation or acquisition of wealth. The Roman Empire came about through the productivity of its people and its subsequent acquisition of wealth from those that it invaded. The Spanish Empire began with productivity and expanded through the use of its large armada of ships, looting the New World of its gold. The British Empire began through localized productivity and grew through its creation of colonies worldwide—colonies that it exploited, bringing the wealth back to England to make it the wealthiest country in the world.

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Dudu Myeni goes awol while SAA scrambles to repay R2,3bn

Posted 19 June 2017

SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni is reportedly awol while SAA struggles to repay a R2,3bn loan to Standard Chartered Bank. Myeni's time at SAA is up, according to recent reports. Under her tenure, she clocked up losses of more than R10bn, got rid of several top executives, and was embroiled in financial irregularities, such employing a company with no experience to refinance R15bn worth of loans for the airline.

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Nedbank's attempt to repossess property foiled in Concourt

Posted 13 June 2017

A couple from Meyersdale, Joburg, nearly lost their home as the bank that held the mortgage bond agreement, insisted they pay back the entire outstanding bond for being two weeks late on their payment. The Constitutional Court slapped Nedbank down, arguing that the couple had lawfully reinstated their bond, even though they were late in catching up on arrears.

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Dlamini-Zuma's R250,000 Gupta award prize was from laundered money, affidavit alleges

Posted 10 June 2017

Millions of rands allegedly laundered by a Gupta associate, Eric Wood, were used to sponsor the awards that named presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma the South African of the Year two years ago. The South African of the Year Awards are run by the Gupta family-owned The New Age Company.

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How Gigaba and Brown got the Guptas into state-owned companies

Posted 07 June 2017

More evidence from leaked emails show how finance minister Malusi Gigaba - while still at public enterprises - and his successor Lynne Brown placed Gupta associates into key positions in state-owned companies. The Guptas benefited to the tune of billions of rands.

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How Nedbank sold a family's home for R10

Posted 29 May 2017

Here's a case where Nedbank repossessed a Katlehong home for R10. You read that right. Ernest Mashaba and his family have been put through a decade of hell and have been evicted four times, each time re-occupying the house, believing the bank had made a mistake. Here's the kicker: Ernest Mashaba never missed a payment and has written confirmation from the bank that his mortgage loan is fully paid up. His story is little different from that of Johm Mojaki of Randfontein, who also has written confirmation from the bank that his loan is paid up. His house has also been sold behind his back. "The only way they will get me out of here is in a coffin," he says.

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Explosive Gupta emails at the heart of state capture

Posted 29 May 2017

Rumours that President Jacob Zuma was about to resign and take up residence in Dubai - with the assistance of the Gupta family - sent the rand soaring to R12,70 to the US dollar on Monday morning. The president is now besieged not just by opposition parties, but a strong and growing faction within the ANC. The Sunday Times added fuel to this fire with stunning revelations of the extent to which the Guptas had managed to gain control of ministers and state-owned enterprises. 

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Zimbabwe is a mafia state controlled by 2,000 super wealthy elites

Posted 26 May 2017

Zimbabwe has become a mafia-run state, where 2,000 super-wealthy elites hold the country to ransom. The Marange diamond field is run by a nest of thieves, where an estimated $20 billion has been pilfered. In a country with 80% unemployment, this sends a clear message to the rest of the country - take the money and run, says Zimbabwean member of parliament Eddie Cross.

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The e-tolls mess just got messier

Posted 23 May 2017

Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has just barred SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) - which has summonsed thousands of Gauteng motorists for non-payment of e-tolls - from arguing 55 cases in court. Outa claims the Roads Agency has not followed court procedures and deadlines. Sanral will now have to restart court procedings from scratch. Further complicating matters is the issue of prescription, as some of this e-toll debt is now more than three years old and therefore may not be payable.

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Wednesday 25 May is tax freedom day

Posted 23 May 2017

The good news is that as of Wednesday 25th May, everything you earn is yours to keep. The bad news is that up until Wednesday, you have been working for the government - and you spent five more days as a slave to government than in 2015. Every year the Free Market Foundation meaures how many days it takes to discharge South Africans' "debt" to government - in other words, how many days you must work to pay off the government's share of GDP. 

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