Friday, April 29, 2011

To the Previously Disadvantaged

We are sorry that our ancestors were intelligent, advanced and daring enough to explore the wild oceans to discover new countries and develop them.

We are sorry that those who came before us took you out... of the bush and taught you that there was more to life than beating drums, killing each other and chasing animals with sticks and stones.

We are sorry that they planned, funded and developed roads, towns, mines, factories, airports and harbours, all of which you now claim to be your long deprived inheritance giving you every right to change and rename these at your discretion.

We are sorry that our parents taught us the value of small but strong families, to not breed like rabbits and end up as underfed, diseased, illiterate shack dwellers living in poverty.

We are sorry that when the evil apartheid government provided you with schools, you decided they'd look better without windows or in piles of ashes.

We happily gave up those bad days of getting spanked in our all white Schools for doing something wrong, and much prefer these days of freedom where problems can be resolved with knives and guns.

We are sorry that it is hard to shake off the bitterness of the past when you keep on raping, torturing and killing our friends and family members, and then hide behind the fence of 'human rights' with smiles on your faces.

We are sorry that we do not trust the government... 
We have no reason to be so suspicious because none of these poor "hard working intellectuals" have ever been involved in any form of "corruption or irregularities".

We are sorry that we do not trust the police force and, even though they have openly admitted that they have lost the war against crime and criminals, we should not be negative and just ignore their corruption and carry on hoping for the best.

We are sorry that it is more important to you to have players of colour in our national teams than winning games and promoting patriotism.

We know that sponsorship doesn't depend on a team's success.

We are sorry that our border posts have been flung open and now left you competing for jobs against illegal immigrants from our beautiful neighbouring countries.

All of them countries that have grown into economic powerhouses after kicking out the 'settlers'.

We are sorry that we don't believe in witchcraft, beet root and garlic cures, urinating on street corners, virginity testing, slaughtering of bulls in our back yards, trading women for cattle and other barbaric practices.

Maybe we just grew up differently.

We are sorry that your medical care, water supplies, roads, railways and electricity supplies are going down the toilet because skilled people who could have planned for and resolved these issues had to be thrown away because they were of the wrong ethnic background and now have to work in foreign countries where their skills are highly appreciated.

We are so sorry that we'd like this country to fulfil its potential so we can once again be proud South Africans.

The Currently Disdvantaged.

Moonlighting Murderers

By a doctor who prefers to remain anonymous 

I work at a major Gauteng public hospital. During the course of the last three days, I have had the misfortune of witnessing two young adult patients suffer preventable deaths. 

Many South Africans will easily explain away these deaths with predictable explanations such as collapsing infrastructure, shoddy equipment, long waiting times and poor nursing care.

While this does certainly portray the public sector accurately, these two patients died because the DOCTORS employed to oversee their care were nowhere to be found. That is not entirely true. They were at their nearby private practices at major private hospitals in the city. They elected to discharge their responsibilities there first, before coming across to assist/supervise their much junior and desperate colleagues. 

Sadly, it was too late.

It is no secret that many SPECIALISTS in the private sector hold full-time positions in state hospitals. A fair estimate would be approximately 30% to 40% in Johannesburg. 

Occupation Specific Dispensation has considerably improved the salaries of these doctors at the pinnacle of their professions. This is obviously not enough to retain them or inspire them to fulfil their obligations. 

There are many different stakeholders in this complex issue. These include the state, department of health, the taxpayer, the patients (both public and private), the guilty doctors, the innocent doctors, civil society and the private hospital network.

The department of health is aware of the problem as recently acknowledged in Parliament. 

Dealing with it though is a different issue. Too aggressive an approach will result in a mass exodus of these mobile professionals. Throwing money at the problem has done little to satisfy the professionals. Their solution lies in the forthcoming National Health Insurance policy that most ethical doctors are eagerly anticipating.

The taxpayer should be livid with the situation. These doctors are being remunerated for working forty to sixty hours a week. They routinely claim overtime as well. On average, they work less than 20 state hours a week, with the most negligent, working less than 10 state hours a week. 

They occupy posts that cannot be filled by the willing and able.

The public-sector patient gets the worst deal. He/she largely gets ignored or seen too late. He/she is often seen primarily by inexperienced junior staff members who are able to make a basic assessment, if at all, without being able to institute appropriate therapy until they receive the advice of their absent seniors. The outpatients are left waiting ridiculously at outpatient clinics and appointments are tailored to suit the specialists’ other commitments.

The private-sector patient is almost never aware that their doctor is giving someone else a pathetic deal while smiling in their faces. The objective of this piece is hopefully to educate this group that they indeed have a choice. The ethical choice would obviously be to see the many specialists out there that have no commitment to state hospitals.

The innocent state doctors often are left picking up the slack. Among these are the junior doctors that are so reliant on their seniors to shape their careers. This explains why so many of our younger doctors are lacking not only in confidence but also fundamentally in expertise. The innocent senior doctors are a dying breed. They are the true heroes of the public sector. Sadly, the lure of easy money has shrunk this pool.

All of the three major private hospital groups have doctors working at their hospitals that are employed by the state. Some are even bold enough to publicly declare that some professors are major players at their facilities. It is important to admit that the department of health has a policy (remunerative work outside the public service) that allows these doctors to get away with it. 

Gross violations of the regulations contained within this policy go unpunished. The private hospital groups have only their interests at heart. I have yet to come across a hospital that takes the ethical route and only allows non-state employed doctors to man their facility. It is a good idea and will attract patients that are like-minded.

I hope that I have met my objective. I know that much of what has been written here will not bring back those two patients but I hope that it will prevent further tragedies. This is a complex issue and all too often the government or the ruling party is criticised for its failings with the public health sector. 

My feeling is that a considerable portion of the blame can be found within. 

1994 Queuing to Vote, 2011 Queuing for Sanitation

April 28 2011 

Residents march to demand toilets

Instead of celebrating 17 years of freedom on Wednesday, about 2 000 Khayelitsha residents marched through the city centre demanding toilets and decent sanitation. 

Residents of Khayelitsha simmer with discontent over unenclosed toilets or lack of them as they marched through the city centre to Cape Town City Council offices on Freedom Day. They demanded toilets and decent sanitation, 17 years after democracy, handing over a memorandum of demands signed by more than 10 000 people

In recent months, the local government has come under attack in what has been dubbed the “toilet saga”, as thousands of Khayelitsha residents do not have proper toilet and sanitation services. 

                                  Some residents were angered by the destruction

Ninety-nine percent of the residents agreed they wanted the enclosures
City of Cape Town employees remove every toilet bowl in public view in Macassar settlement yesterday after ANC Youth League members tore down their temporary enclosures.


Residents say up to 15 families have to queue to use one toilet, which also exposes them to hygiene problems and crime. 

On Wednesday, the Social Justice Coalition, based in Khayelitsha, held a protest march after a number of speakers addressed them at St George’s Cathedral. 

St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town

“We call on the city to recognise as a matter of urgency the need for public maintenance and existence of sanitation services in Khayelitsha. The city must initiate a public consultation plan and implementation of the plan and a budget to ensure that every informal settlement in Khayelitsha has access to basic sanitation services,” Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said. 

Marchers packed the church on Wednesday, many wearing T-shirts which said: “1994 queuing to vote, 2011 queuing for clean and safe sanitation”. 

                                                                  Vuyiseka Dubula
Vuyiseka Dubula, from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), told the crowd: “It is the day we celebrate 17 years of liberation and we are discussing a basic right – sanitation – it is not a privilege. It is tragic so many years after our liberation that 10.5 million people across the country do not have access to water and basic sanitation – that goes against humanity. We want to remind the government that our constitution allows us the right to life, dignity and safety,” Dubula said.

                                                                     Zackie Achmat 
TAC chairman Zackie Achmat started his speech by asking the crowd to stand and observe a moment of silence for Andries Tatane, who was killed by police during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg two weeks ago.

                                                                 Andries Tatane
Achmat said: “We must celebrate this day, but we must also be angry but not violent. If we look at our mothers and fathers, we see the hope has gone out of their eyes. We cannot suffer the way they have, our anger must be translated to a peaceful call for change.”
Khayelitsha resident Mabel Somdle said: “Seventeen years after we voted for our rights, I am still queuing for basic services. This makes me feel like I no longer want to vote because not much has changed. We have waited long to use the toilet and we have to walk far. It is dangerous at night, there are reports of woman getting raped at those toilets.”
Residents marched to the civic centre to hand over a memorandum for mayor Dan Plato’s attention.

                                                              Mayor Dan Plato
They held up posters asking for their dignity to be restored through adequate water and sanitation services. One protester held a bucket with “dignity in our lifetime” written on it. Dubula said it was “sad that people were still forced to use the bush or the bucket”. 
When protesters arrived at the city council offices, they held a demonstration by forming a snake-like “queue for toilets”.
The memorandum was signed by more than 10 000 people calling on the city to improve the state of existing sanitation services and to put a time-frame in place to provide each household with basic sanitation and water. 

Municipality Looted

Audit reveals litany of financial mismanagement, shoddy accounting

Apr 28, 2011

A leaked Auditor-General's report on a cash-strapped Free State municipality shows an appalling record of financial mismanagement. 

Ngwathe Local Municipality
"The home of growth, prosperity and growth"

The report on the finances of Ngwathe local municipality - which includes the towns Parys, Heilbron, Vredefort, Koppies and Edenville and is part of the Free State's Fezile Dabi district municipality - was presented at a closed council meeting two months ago. Budget Speech


Mayor: Cllr M.P Moshodi
Members of the Ngwathe ratepayers' association have stopped paying rates to the municipality in protest at its mismanagement. 

PAC Free State provincial secretary, Papi Mafubedu, is in possession of a dossier detailing allegations of mismanagement by the municipality. 

He said: "In Abazimeli informal settlement in Ngwathe, there is no water, no toilets, no streets, no electricity, nothing. When there is a funeral there, it is very painful to watch. The hearse has to park far away from the body." 

An invoice shows that municipal bosses spent R180000 on 200 A5 diaries for top managers at a cost of nearly R1000 each. 

The report, tabled at the council meeting in February, stated that the AG could not verify if assets worth R500-million really existed, because the municipality had no proper asset register. 

The AG could not find any supporting documentation for car allowances of R4.4-million and R2.9-million of "other allowances" given to staff. 

Another R7.5-million of capital expenditure "was not recorded in the accounting records of the municipality". 

The AG said it could not be determined if the municipality had indeed paid R14-million in subsidies to the indigent. 

In the previous year, the municipality had overcharged to the tune of R2.3-million for water and electricity. 

"Management could not provide sufficient appropriate audit evidence that these misstatements had been, and resolved," the AG wrote. 

About R85-million was spent on staff, but the AG could not confirm that this amount was accurate. 

The municipality said it had underspent its budget for providing services by R3.9-million, but the AG said he could not confirm whether this was the actual amount. 

The municipality faces lawsuits of over R31-million had not been factored into its financial statements. 

The AG could not find enough evidence that R8.2-million of VAT reimbursements to the municipality from the SA Revenue Service had been properly recorded by the municipality. 

The municipality tried to claim a further R2.2-million of VAT from SARS. The Revenue Service did not allow this but the municipality never adjusted its books to reflect this. 

Municipal bosses said R353-million of revenue had been generated but the AG could also not find evidence to support R167-million of this amount. 

Seven months ago, a 2009 National Intelligence Agency investigation of petrol-card fraud in Ngwathe municipality found that most of the municipality's cars were not running, but were being "filled", every 15km, at a cost of up to R28000 a month. 

Municipal manager Norman Selai has not responded to questions sent to his office two weeks ago. He promised to do so on several occasions.

Brutality not policy - Cele

Police commissioner meets parents of shot woman

Apr 28, 2011

On the day President Jacob Zuma told the nation the ANC was concerned about police brutality, the family of Jeanette Odendaal, who was allegedly shot by an officer outside the Kempton Park police station, identified her body at a mortuary. 

Jeanette Odendaal

A grey-haired Dick Odendaal and his wife, Ella, were sad and subdued when they met National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele after identifying their daughter's body yesterday. 

                                                               Dick and Ella Odendaal 

Odendaal, 45, was allegedly shot outside the police station on Tuesday night after bumping into a parked police van. 

Witnesses say they saw a police officer walk into the station to get a firearm and return to Odendaal's car to allegedly shoot her in the left shoulder as she sat in the driver's seat of her white Citi Golf. 

"It would have been much better if it did not happen," Cele told the media after meeting the Odendaals at the police station yesterday. 

Odendaal's best friend, who asked not to be named, said she was "completely shocked" by her death. 

Clutching three clear bags containing Odendaal's watch and other valuables she had fetched from the police, the friend smoked in the garden outside the station, while high-ranking police officials inspected her friend's car, still parked outside the station. 

Odendaal's parents refused to speak to the media. They were flanked by two police chaplains and the station commander of the Kempton Park police station as they listened to Cele. 

Refusing to divulge details of the case, Cele attacked the media for labelling the death as another case of police brutality. 

"There is no policy [of police brutality] that police must step out of the way and use excessive force when it is unnecessary," he said. 

Speaking at ANC headquarters yesterday, Zuma said a "culture" of police brutality should not be tolerated. Referring to the killing of both Odendaal and service-delivery protester Andries Tatane two weeks ago, Zuma said: "We don't want police that are violent against people. 

"We can't allow a situation like the one in Ficksburg where one man carrying nothing in his hands is beaten to death by a pack of policemen. It's not acceptable." 


Cele, however, said he was "not about to retreat" from his previous message to police to protect themselves "when they go for a cash heist criminal or when they go for a bank robber". 

He accused the media of not having reported that 20 police officers had been killed on duty since January or and that last week a young constable was shot dead during an ATM bombing. 

Cele refused to say whether the sergeant who was arrested for allegedly killing Odendaal was mentally unstable. 
"I am not a psychologist," he said. 

Johan Burger, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, said it was difficult to link the shooting to recent "shoot to kill" rhetoric. 

"The officer allegedly just completely lost all control, took a firearm and apparently shot this woman," said Burger. 

He likened the shooting to a road rage incident, where a person uses a firearm just "because they have a firearm". 

The officer linked to Odendaal's death was arrested by the Independent Complaints Directorate, who have taken over the case. 

He will appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court today.

Cele your cops are out of control. But then what do you understand about the police when you're a teacher and have never served a day as a policeman? You cannot give untrained, uneducated, power hungry fools an instruction of shoot to kill. Was Andries Tatane armed? Was this 45-year old woman posing a threat to YOUR cops? Were either of them pointing a gun at YOUR cops?

Time for Cele to resign - another unqualified ANC cadre appointed for his struggle credentials. 
Welcome to the new screwed up regime.

I realise that there are still a hand full of honest and good policeman left but lets face, who trusts the police anymore? 

There is this thing about rank amongst the blacks that up until this day still astounds me. The moment you feel you have power it becomes a case of how I can use it to my own benefit and, just dare to cross my path, you will feel my wrath!


Farm Watch Organisations

Group shocked at farm green lights ban


Johannesburg - Farmers organisation TAU-SA is in "shock and disbelief", after Limpopo police vowed to stop farm watch organisations from using "green lights" on their patrol vehicles.

TAU-SA North provincial safety committee chairperson Doors le Roux, said he first thought the statement made by police last week was a "bad April fools joke". "They [the green lights] are imperative so that we can be visible and the criminals and residents can know we are patrolling," he said.

"The...committee has worked hard to open up communication channels with the South African Police Services (SAPS)."

The TAU SA North has a crime prevention programme known as Operation Iron Fist that is run with the full support of police, he said.

"The question now is whether the SAPS have the same purpose as the farm watch groups."

Police know nothing

Limpopo provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, said police management will do all in its power to stop the use of "green lights".

"We have had complaints from members of some rural communities that some farm watch groups using "green lights" think they can do what they like," he said.

"In effect they think they are the police and some of the actions allegedly taken by them are bordering on vigilantism.

"They also claim they are working hand-in-hand with the police, when in fact the police know nothing about them," he charged.

Mulaudzi said "green lights" may not be used unless on private property, and only police were allowed to use blue lights when executing their tasks.

"Emergency services use red lights, and green lights can only be used by Disaster Management personnel.

"Tough punitive steps will be taken against those who contravene this directive," Mulaudzi warned.

Bribes for ANC Votes


ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe heard of unfulfilled election promises when he campaigned in a coloured area in Durban’s polluted South Basin on Thursday.

Mantashe, who was making door-to-door visits in Wentworth, located near two oil refineries, was reminded of former President Thabo Mbeki’s undertakings to voters during the 2004 general elections campaign.

Some of these, which included refurbishment of dilapidated municipal flats, had not materialised, residents claimed.

“They promise they will fix that and that during campaigns and nothing happens. That is why I get cross,” said one man who did not want to be named.

He said he was a "Democratic Alliance man", but was disappointed by all political parties.

Mantashe was accompanied by KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Zweli Mkhize. The areas Mantashe and Mkhize visited have two wards - one controlled by the DA and the other by the Inkatha Freedom Party.
                                                                    Zweli Mkhize

Most residents welcomed the ANC leaders, but some were hostile. Brian Hargreaves told Mantashe, during a visit to a local supermarket, that he would vote for the ANC if he gave him R1 000 to buy groceries.

Shopkeeper Douglas Seethal said he would vote for the ruling party if Mantashe arranged a second wife for him.

“I need a second wife and I don’t have money to pay for ilobolo.”
More service delivery complaints were raised when Mantashe and Mkhize addressed a group of residents after their door-to-door visits.

They were asked to help reduce high electricity rates and start the process of transferring ownership of council flats to residents.

Although the ANC did not control the two wards, the ruling party was blamed for many service delivery problems.

Mantashe said people should not vote for other parties and then blame the ANC for poor services.

“Don’t vote the DA and blame the ANC. Vote it (ANC) and criticise it,” he said.

Xenophobia Starts Again

Xenophobia fears on East Rand


Johannesburg - Seventy-one people have been arrested in Katlehong for sending intimidating letters to foreign-owned businesses, police said on Thursday.

Lieutenant-Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said the arrests were made on Wednesday night after the notices were distributed giving foreign business owners seven days to vacate their premises.
The letter from "Greater Gauteng Business Forum" threatened drastic action against business owners who did not comply.

"The Gauteng SA Police Service is in possession of the alleged letter and views it in a serious light," Ndou said.

He advised business owners who had received the letter to lay criminal charges.
The 71 would appear in the Katlehong Magistrate's Court on Friday.