Saturday, July 16, 2011


In the year 2009, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in South Africa , and said, "Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save 2 of every living t...hing along with a few good humans."
He gave Noah the plans, saying, "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights." Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard - but no Ark. "Noah!" He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark ?"

"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system. My neighbours claim that I've violated the neighbourhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Metro Council for a decision. Then ESKOM demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark 's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it. Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees because the Nature Conservation authorities say it will upset the balance of the local ecological system. I tried to convince them that I needed the wood to save us all from extinction - but no go!

When I started gathering the animals, the SPCA prosecuted me. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space. The traffic authorities said it would take six months after completion of the ark to plan a route to the sea. I told them also that the sea would be coming to my back yard. They threatened to have me committed. Then the Department for Environment ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until I had arranged and conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood. I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the BEE group on how many affirmative action persons I'm supposed to hire for my building crew.

The Department of The Interior has insisted that I provide them with a list of the people who want to work so that they can check that they are not from the non designated group. COSATU say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience. To make matters worse, SARS seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark. ” Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?"

"No," said the Lord. "The SA Government has beaten me to it."

Improper, Illegal, Invalid and Unlawfull

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's final report into the scandalous R1.78-billion police lease deals heaped criticism on Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, calling for harsh action to be taken against her.

Thuli Madonsela

Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde

Releasing the second report into the controversial lease deals, Madonsela again singled out Mahlangu-Nkabinde and National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele.

General Bheki Cele

She said both had acted "improperly" and "unlawfully" and that the deals were illegal and invalid.

Her first report into the police headquarters deal in Middestad, Pretoria, was released in February. It was scathing of Cele, saying his "improper and unlawful" conduct was central to the signing.

Yesterday, she said Cele's failure to enforce the correct tender procedures for the Transnet Building in Durban the SAPS intended to lease amounted to maladministration.

But Mahlangu-Nkabinde came off worse yesterday, with Madonsela urging President Jacob Zuma to take action against her and some of her top officials.

"The president should consider taking action against the minister of public works for her actions referred to in this report and the report on the procurement of the lease of the Middestad building.

"I'm not prescribing to the president what to do, but I expect him to do the right thing."

Madonsela said Mahlangu-Nkabinde failed to co-operate with her investigation and that her conduct "failed to meet the requisite stewardship expected from her".

Mahlangu-Nkabinde not only ignored a request from Madonsela's office in August last year to halt the implementation of the lease deals until she had finished her investigation, but also ignored legal advice from two senior counsel advising her against them.

She also went against an internal inquiry by her office that found that the agreements were illegal.

Her duty being to "ensure that public finances are not wasted", Madonsela also recommended that Mahlangu-Nkabinde explain to the cabinet within 60 days why she took those decisions and why she failed to co-operate .

Madonsela also recommended that the Treasury and the Department of Public Service and Administration take "urgent" action against officials who broke the law.

"The reckless manner in which the DPW dealt with public funds in this case, particularly by not following prescribed tender process without justification, not ensuring that the state received value for money, fell short of the requirements of good governance and administration," Madonsela said.

The dodgy lease deals were exposed in August last year when the Sunday Times reported how property mogul Roux Shabangu had managed to get the police and Department of Public Works to rent two of his buildings at inflated prices, even though SAPS couldn't afford them and didn't need them urgently.

Roux Shabangu

For the Middestad building in Pretoria, the rent was initially set at R85/m² and was later escalated to R125.40/m², a total of R614-million for 10 years.

For the Transnet building in Durban, the rent was first set at R40/m² but hiked to R125.30/m² - R1.16-billion for the same period - before it was signed with Shabangu.

"This rendered the process unlawful and further constituted improper conduct and maladministration," said Madonsela in her second report, called 'Against the Rules Too'.

She found that not only were both buildings of the worst - or C-grade - standard and in need of major refurbishment at significant cost to the state, but that the state was being ripped off.

In both leases, the SAPS negotiated with Shabangu before the Department of Public Works got involved in the process as required by law. To afford it, the police would have to divert money from elsewhere in its budget.

Madonsela alleged that Shabangu contacted police and public works officials, and pressurised them into finalising the deals. Shabangu has denied this.

She also said Shabangu admitted that he would receive prior warning from sources in public works if any government department was in the market for office space.

Madonsela said she would support any legal action taken by complainants Institute of Accountability in Southern Africa director Paul Hoffman, and Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald.

"I have indicated that I will back the parties in court and confirm my report."
Cele's spokesman, Major-General Nonkululeko Mbatha, said in a statement:
"The SAPS will release its official response early next week."


August 1 2010: Sunday Times exposes how Police Commissioner Bheki Cele allegedly flouted tender procurement procedures in a deal for headquarters in Pretoria and Durban with businessman Roux Shabangu.

August 2: A complaint regarding the deal is lodged with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela by Paul Hoffman of the Institute for Accountability in Southern African and Pieter Groenewald of the FF+.

August 3: Madonsela asks Cele not to proceed with the deal pending her investigation. He agrees.

August 4: Mzilikazi wa Afrika, one of the journalists who broke the story, is arrested by police at the Sunday Times offices, held overnight and released by court order the next day.

August 5: Madonsela launches an investigation into the deal, supported by the Special Investigating Unit.

August 16: Public Works Minister Geoff Doidge says in response to a parliamentary question that the leases are on hold pending Madonsela's investigation.

October 31: President Jacob Zuma fires Geoff Doidge and replaces him with Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde.

December 7: Mahlangu-Nkabinde reinstates the Middestad building lease.

December 15: Mahlangu-Nkabinde's special adviser meets with Madonsela to present a legal opinion from the State Attorney that the deal is enforceable. Madonsela urges them not to "attach weight" to such a "hastily prepared" opinion.

February 22 2011: Madonsela releases her findings into the Middestad lease and finds Cele guilty of "improper, unlawful" conduct.

May 8: Sunday Times exposes Shabangu as a frontrunner in a tender worth over R1-billion for the relocation of police provincial headquarters in Durban.

May 27: After months of trying, Madonsela interviews Mahlangu-Nkabinde, who agrees to stop the tender.

June 8: Madonsela sends her provisional report into the Durban lease investigation to the parties involved to respond.

June 19: Sunday Times reveals Madonsela's provisional findings.

July 14: Madonsela releases her final report finding that the Durban building was also improperly acquired.

Swaziland's King Mswati III

Swaziland's King Mswati III

Swaziland's King Mswati III called for his male subjects to get circumcised as he endorsed a campaign aimed at tackling the world's highest HIV infection rate.

He has 13 wives and several children, Africa's last absolute monarch.

Mswati was entertained by bare-breasted teenage girls, troops of warrior regiments and a military brass band..... requiring young girls to wear tassels to display their virginity and banning men from having sex with girls under 18.

When the king broke his own ban by taking a 17-year-old wife, he fined himself a cow.

Officials hope to avert 90,000 new infections and save the health system millions of dollars over the next decade.

The US government is spending $30 million (21 million euros) on the campaign -- nearly $30 per inhabitant of the tiny kingdom.

Organisers are pinning their hopes on Mswati, known to his people as "the mouth that speaks no lies", to breathe life into the campaign.

The king still commands enormous respect, but in the rural areas near Mankayane dissatisfaction is bubbling to the surface as his subjects feel the pinch of a deepening economic crisis.

"The king has a lot of money in the bank but he can't help us. He has many women and a luxurious life. His children get an overseas education. He doesn't care about Swazis," local Boxer Vilakazi told AFP.

"I love the king but 90 percent of youth are not working. Only those close to the king get jobs," said 21-year-old Mthobisi Dlahla.

The polygamous monarch has been criticised for failing to lead by example in his kingdom, where multiple partnerships are seen as the major catalyst of the AIDS crisis.
Mswati did not say Friday whether he intended to get circumcised himself.

Let the Afrikaners Have Their Own Province

Ismail M Moolla
The call by the Freedom Front (FF) for the establishment of a tenth province in South Africa to secure the protection of the Afrikaner language and culture is nothing new.

This concept has already been tried very successfully over the years. The more than six million member Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints in the US is the perfect example. The people who belong to this church are known to most non-members as Mormons.

Their stronghold, like Bloemfontein in the Free State is for the Afrikaner, is the valley of Great Salt Lake in the Utah State. Mormons founded the city in 1847 and now make up about 70% of the population.

Utah became a territory in 1850 and Salt Lake City, the capital, was incorporated the following year. Governed entirely by the church, the settlement prospered. Conflicts with US government delayed statehood. But in 1896 Utah became a state with Salt Lake City as the capital.

There is not much of a difference between Mormons and the Afrikaaner. They are both religious people and their hard work makes their land produce fine crops. Among them are builders, businessmen, industrialists, doctors, engineers and other professionals. With a culture of their own music, food and so on, their background is similar in many ways except for the fact that Mormons speak English, while Afrikaners speak Afrikaans.

If the tenth province were to be established, in the same way that the Mormons celebrate July 24 as Pioneer Day, Afrikaners could also set their own commemorative day on the calender.

Utah State has been officially declared by the US government as being for Mormons. Likewise, assuming a tenth province was established in South Africa for the Afrikaners, it could be practical and economically viable.

I am of the opinion that if it can work for the Mormons, it can work for the Afrikaners too, in an area they desire to establish themselves. Who knows? The new province could go onto prosper and become a vast metropolitan city in the future South Africa – just as Utah is in the US. Perhaps with the Afrikaners establishing their own territory, the country may finally get to see the much desired peace, stability and harmony that all of us so pine for.

Resolving the Afrikaner problem once and for all means the rest of the country can get on with nation building. But whatever the outcome, apartheid must not be allowed to be re-introduced in the tenth province and this must be made very clear to the FF.

We have a new Constitution and the province must abide by it. If the FF determines its policies, why not give it a chance and see what comes of it?

Ismail M Moolla is a reader of The New Age in Umzinto, KZN