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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Child Marriage is Cultural in SA

It was reported that a 57 year old sangoma (traditional African witchdoctor/healer) was allowed to marry a 13 year old girl on the explanation that "she was being troubled by the ancestors". Really?? I ask you with damn tears in my eyes whether or not this could in any way be acceptable. 

The poor child's parents consented to the "marriage" and sold her for accepted R5000 as lobola. 

This is an absolutely disgusting action. What parent in their right mind allows a child to marry an old man? This kind of practise should be outlawed and so too should the evil practices of sangomas.

The article below says that the government is "outraged" by this marriage and yet they still allow it to happen. They arrested the sangoma but because the marriage is valid apparently all charges were dropped. It is encouraging to see that the National Prosecuting Authority will actually be looking into the matter and I hope they stay with it.

In my opinion this is a Constitutional matter and as a result the government has to take into account the rights of the child. there is no way that a marriage at 13 to someone 4 times her age could in any way be in her best interests. So the challenge is now on the state to set things right and to ensure that this is never allowed to happen again - that is if they are serious. 

Read Mike Smiths recent article on his blog dealing with muti - which is supplied by these unscrupulous snake oil salesmen and blatant criminals. 

Outrage at 57-year-old Sangoma's marriage to 13-year-old

Sapa | 31 January, 2013 10:53

"Such practises cannot go unabated in a country where children are protected and have a right to education, [and] a stable and safe environment," government spokeswoman Phumla Williams said in a statement.
The Sowetan reported on Thursday that a 57-year-old sangoma had married a 13-year-old epileptic girl in Modimolle, so he could monitor her trouble with her ancestors.
The girl's mother reportedly said the sangoma treated her daughter for two years and cured her epilepsy. He then told her ancestors were troubling the girl and she needed to be monitored. He offered to marry her.
"We had no choice but to agree to his suggestion because we wanted her to be healthy," the woman told the newspaper. She said she accepted a R5000 ilobola (dowry) for her daughter.
According to The Sowetan, the sangoma was arrested on January 23 after a villager complained to social workers, however charges against him were withdrawn as the girl's parents had consented to the marriage.
"It takes a village to raise a child, and therefore it is a collective responsibility to safeguard and protect our children," said Williams.
She said the government was encouraged that the National Prosecuting Authority was investigating the matter.
"We trust that it will receive the necessary attention and that this case will be prioritised," she said.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

So much for asking for scene safety...

And this is what our tax money goes to pay for... police that would rather arrest a man because he asks them to do their job than actually do their job. It strikes me that these to black police officers took such offence at the fact that a white paramedic had asked them to do their jobs. I could easily call racism here but we all know that black people cannot be racist. Here is the video that was taken on the scene as well as the description of the event that appears on (an international site that highlights these kinds of incidences.)

Here is the full description from Medicare EMR:
Hi guys. i was the one filming this video so i will give you some background… just for the record there are various reasons why a person might be arrested. in this case the charges against him was preventing an officer from doing his duty. the irony is that the fire chief had asked the police officers 3 times to please control traffic which they duly refused. this paramedic asked the one officer why they were not co-operating. the police officer hurled insults at him and started swearing at him. (i have a voice recording of this as well). the officer then proceeded to leave the scene with no one to regulate traffic to go fetch someone to sort out the paramedic. the officer returned later with another police officer who also in turn verbally attacked him (i also have a voice recording of this). both officers wee asked to give their mass no and to identify themselves as he wanted to report them. both officers refused to give their mass no. he told them to sort their “@#$% ” out at which the one officer got enraged and consequently chest bumped him and pushed him. when the paramedic asked him if he was now assaulting him he screamed “you do something come you do something” he then signaled the other police officer to come over and they grabbed him and said they are now arresting him and force marched him up to the van, without reading his rights or stating why they are arresting him. when he asked them o please not push him he can walk cause he has a broken leg still in recovery they ignored him and forced him towards the van. when he asked to get into the van himself as he has a broken leg they threatened to pepper spray him and use “necessary force”. when the fire chief asked them what ate they doing and why are they not regulating the traffic they said no they are leaving to sort him out now first as he is bothering them. to make things worse they attempted to refuse him bail and his lawyer as well as the prosecutor had to step in to sort them out. he is appearing in court in Paarl tomorrow on charges of obstructing an officer from performing his duty.

Medicare EMR Facebook page has more details. See it here 

Where is ‘Action Man’ when his country needs him?

The DA's Parliamentary Leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko, has penned an open letter to our useless esteemed President Jacob Zuma. In her letter she calls on him to actually do what is needed of him and to fulfil his leadership role in this country. She rightfully questions his tactics, motives and actions in relation to several key issues facing South Africa today. 

She calls on him to take action and ensure that members of the ANC stop making inflammatory statements in the press which fuel protests and wage disputes. She calls on him to make an effort to halt the violence that we have been seeing in the Sasolburg protests, farmworkers strike and in the mining industry - these very real issues have been passed over by the man who has been tasked with giving our country leadership. 

It is regrettable that no word has come from JZ on any of these issues but his office was exceptionally quick in making statements condemning an advertisement from FNB which shows children dressed in school uniforms highlighting all of the challenges we face and pointing out the fact that we need a working government. These ads were condemned by the ANC, the ANCYL and the ANCWL as being "treasonous". 

Strange how the ANC is very quick jump up and speak out about what they perceive as attacks on them but fail to even acknowledge that there are violent protests happening. Its completely mind-boggling. And to put things in perspective, the office of the ANC Chief Whip has publicly stated that JZ must ignore Ms Mazibuko's letter - its so comforting to know that our government actively advocates a culture of secrecy, ignorance and avoidance of accountability at all costs. 

I was unable to even find a copy of the open letter on any of the major news sites after a cursory search and Goggle search. I managed to track it down on the DA website (which has disabled its forums for the foreseeable future). Here is a copy of the letter:

Where is ‘Action Man’ when his country needs him?

Lindiwe Mazibuko, Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance

23 January 2013

I have today written to President Zuma calling upon him to demonstrate the leadership that his high office requires of him. He must immediately put a stop to the ANC’s campaign to discourage investment and destroy jobs through aggressive and irresponsible language and conduct.

While Mr Zuma is busy selling South Africa as an investor-friendly market at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, his actions back home, and those of the party he leads, are working towards the opposite goal. While the government talks up investment abroad, the ANC seems intent on crushing it at home.

Indeed, just two weeks after his party deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa labelled him “action man”, Mr Zuma’s inaction on critical issues makes it clear that he is determined to prove him wrong.

This has particuarly been the case in the period following Mr Zuma’s re-election in Manguang last month.

At a fundraising breakfast with private sector businesses, President Zuma stated that businesses which support the ANC will see their fortunes “multiply”. Mr Zuma has to date failed to provide a clarification as to his statement, nor has he distanced himself from the prejudicial and insulting remarks made in his defence by ANC spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu.

Mr Zuma has not taken any visible steps to address the on-going tensions between organised labour, the Minister of Mineral Resources, Susan Shabangu, and AMPLATS following the mine’s decision to retrench 14000 workers. Instead of taking action himself, he has allowed ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe to take the lead. It is deeply inappropriate for a political party representative to fulfill the responsibilities of the government, and is further evidence of the unlawful conflation of party and state which continues unchecked under the ANC. 

The reality is that the mining sector faces fundamental challenges which can only be solved through decisive leadership and clear, growth-oriented government policy. Even after the horror of Marikana, Mr Zuma seems to miss this point entirely.

The Presidency also remains unwilling to address the looting of public funds for the upgrade of ministerial houses, at a cost of R65 million to the public. The continued excessive and unwarranted expenditure on “executive perks”, in the face of extreme poverty and inequality, demands immediate intervention from the highest office, along with an unequivocal commitment that no such waste will be tolerated. But given that the president failed to hold himself to this standard, continuing with a R250 million upgrade to his private home, it is likely that the silence will continue.

Just this past week, the ANC, ANCYL and ANCWL attacked FNB following their publication of a positive video campaign calling on South Africans to cooperate for a better future. The ANC’s accusation that FNB is guilty of “treason” is not only deeply irresponsible but points to the increasingly unconstitutional attitude of the majority party. The fact that FNB felt forced to pull the video for fear of reprisals against the children is the most shocking indictment to date of the type of environment the ANC President has created in South Africa today.

As President of the Republic and leader of the governing party, Mr Zuma has the power and responsibility to prevent such attacks from occurring, and to take decisive action where necessary, to instill real confidence in the stability of our nation. If he is truly South Africa’s ‘action man’, and is serious about attracting investment to South Africa, then the time to act is now.

You can read the original here

Friday, 18 January 2013

Double Standards!

And here we have 2 perfect examples of double standards in South Africa today.

Example 1:
Cosas (Congress of SA Students) has made it their mission in life to have a black pupil in Soweto promoted to Matric even though he failed grade 11 (std 9). They have even gone so far as to disrupt lessons at the school source
Alternatively, an 18 year old white girl tried to commit suicide after failing grade 10 (std 8) for the second time. the school told her that she could not return and that she should rather enrol in a technical college. source

I wonder where Cosas is to demand that this girl get promoted. Or is it the fact that she's white that's throwing them off?

Example 2:
A government employee was the driver of a Jaguar XF that crashed into a house in Centurion on Sunday morning, causing extensive damage, who fled the scene of the accident and in the back of the car, police found an empty bottle of Jameson whisky and a crate of Amstel Lager. The car was apparently driven for about 12km with one tyre shredded to the rim - a sure sign that this person was wasted beyond belief. The police took 2 days to find the person and he has only been issued with a warning - not even taken into custody! (all assumptions are that he is black - why else has he not been arrested?)  source 1 source 2

Alternatively, a white man was given a R300 fine simply because his ELBOW was jutting out of his car window on one of the hottest days this summer because his car had no aircon. The officer giving the fine obviously has no idea what the law really says because he used incomplete and inaccurate reasoning from the National Road Traffic Act to support his giving of the fine. Obviously they could find no leverage with which to ellicit a bribe from the man so resorted to vindictively giving him an illegal fine.

Wonder if this would have happened to a black man? And why have a I ever heard of this being done to taxi drivers who seemingly cannot drive without waving their arms out of the window? source

Epic Fail by Angie Again

The Constitution is the main piece of mandating legislation for the Department of Basic Education. The Constitution in this regard guarantees, inter alia, access to basic education for all, with the provision that 
everyone has the right to basic education, including adult basic education. 

If this is the main mandate given to the Department, then the Minister tasked with heading the department is responsible for ALL aspects of basic education on a national level - which includes ensuring that all Provincial Departments are meeting and performing the mandate given by the Constitution. I would assume therefore that the buck would have stopped with Angie when it came to laying blame for the whole textbook debacle in Limpopo last year that left pupils without textbooks for the better part of the school year. 

Was it not Angie's job to ensure that the Provincial Departments were doing their jobs? The Limpopo Department of Basic Education was already under administration - would it not have been conceivable to believe that if the finances were in a mess then the rest of the Department would also have been a mess? Any person with a std 5 and a small sprinkling of common sense would have seen the and heard the alarms that were going off and made an effort to fix the problem asap.

Unfortunately it seems that we have a woman in charge of this vital Department that was absent from school the day common sense and logic were taught because she never even bothered to check on the status of the rest of the Department and actively ignored the issue for 6 months. It took 2 court orders before there was even rudimentary compliance by the Department of its Constitutionally mandated duties.

And now this woman with sh!t for brains has again publicly displayed her stupidity and inability to take responsibility for what can only be seen as her own failures. She has gone on record stating that "It [delivering textbooks] is an administrative function and it has nothing to do with me as a minister," I didn't know that a chairman of a board of directors could escape liability by saying that the administration of the company has nothing to do with him. Utter crap! Passing the buck and always looking for someone else to blame when we all already know where the buck should stop. Sure, discipline those who didn't order the books on time but she cannot escape responsibility by pretending that it is not her job to oversee that all Provincial Departmental duties are complied with. I'm sure she's very happy to be one of Zuma's biggest fans - she's safe from being held accountable for her own failures because Zuma is too much of a coward to reprimand his fans.

Motshekga denies textbook accountability

Johannesburg - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Friday denied accountability in the Limpopo textbook saga where schools in the province were without books for the first seven months of the school year in 2012.

"It [delivering textbooks] is an administrative function and it has nothing to do with me as a minister," she told a The New Age business briefing in Johannesburg.

"Basically, the problem lies with the administration and not the political office... The problem lies in the province... It is a provincial problem."

She said investigations were underway to see which officials were responsible for the textbooks not being delivered.

‘Procedures not followed’

On January 8, the department said at least 98% of textbooks had been delivered to inland schools ahead of the first day of school.

Speaking on the court decision to halt the closure of 17 schools in the Western Cape - she said the department understood there were procedures to follow and they lost the court case because they did not follow those procedures.

"There is a procedure for school closures and we have to consult and there is a reason we have to consult - so that communities can prepare themselves for alternatives," she said.

"On principal, where schools are not viable they have to be closed. But there are legal procedures that have to be followed. We lost the case because of our failure to follow the legal procedures..."

In October, Western Cape education MEC Donald Grant announced that 20 schools - later 18 - would be closed because of dwindling pupil numbers and multi-grade teaching.

In December, the Western Cape High Court granted 17 of the schools an urgent interdict halting the closures.

Mothsekga said there was nothing wrong with closing schools and the department would follow procedures if they saw a school should be closed.

‘Still a long way to go’

She told the business breakfast that progress was made in education but there were still challenges. Decisions made in recent years had been the right ones.

"This [2012 matric results] is good news that the tide has turned but we are not seeing the results we need to see as yet.... There is still a long way to go."

On January 2, Motshekga announced that the matric pass rate in South Africa improved in 2012 with 73.9% of Grade 12s passing their final exams.

This was an improvement on the 70.2% pass rate in 2011.

She told the business breakfast that in 2013 the department would continue to focus on the priorities and that the main priority was to sustain the results.

Of the 623 897 who wrote the NSC exams in 2012, over 136 000 pupils achieved results that qualified them to go to university.

Another 135 000 got results that would allow them to attend other higher education institutions.

Corruption and Theft the Order of the Day

Well, it seems that Jacob Zuma's affirmative shopping within the treasury bank accounts has given the rest of the ANC cadres deployed in lower levels of government the go-ahead to also get to their part of the drawings from the public ATM.

The mayor of the OR Tambo municipality in the Eastern Cape has allegedly cost the taxpayers almost R250 000 in car rental charges for a Mercedes E300. This despite the municipality already owning several luxury vehicles.

And naturally - the rest of the ANC appointees to that municipality deny any knowledge of this. I bet all of them are just dying for the Info Bill to be passed this year so that the country never hears about the rampant looting of public funds for personal use by ANC deployed public officials.

Mayor racks up luxury car hire costs

East London - The mayor of OR Tambo municipality in the Eastern Cape allegedly cost the municipality hundreds of thousands of rands in luxury car hire expenses, according to a report on Friday.
Mayor Dingaan Myolwa racked up the costs over two months in car hire costs, accident damages and late return fees, the Daily Dispatch reported.
At least seven luxury vehicles were hired at a huge cost by the municipality between October and November last year, the publication reported.
One of the vehicles was a Mercedes-Benz E300 hired on 5 October and returned on 8 October in Durban.
Damages, late return
The invoice from Avis Luxury Cars showed that the vehicle travelled 1 080 km and additional charges, including damages to the car and late return, amounted to R188 126. The total cost to the municipality amounted to R224 825.70.
The vehicles were hired despite the municipality owning six mayoral vehicles including a Mercedes Benz ML, Toyota Prado, two Mercedes-Benz E350s and two bakkies for when the mayor travels to rural areas, the Dispatch reported.
When contacted for comment by the publication, municipal manager Tshaka Hlazo expressed surprise that the media was in possession of confidential internal documents.
Council chief whip Nolitha Ntobongwana said she was not aware of the expenditure.
“I will ask the municipal manager and the mayor for a report on this when I make a follow-up today [Friday].
“As you know when the mayor attends an event he hires a car, but I have not been informed about what you’re asking me about.”

Jo'burg's R1bn 'present' to Zuma benefactor

I don't think that I need to say any more than the original news article on this issue. Again we see a clear cut example of corruption in the ANC and its affiliates. Just days after Jacob Zuma makes a public statement that businesses supporting the ANC will see their businesses rewarded we find that this is indeed the case.

Vivian Reddy is reportedly one of the extremely wealthy businessmen who came forward and attempted to take some of the Nkandla heat off of our useless esteemed president by stating that he had loaned Zuma the money for the construction of the compound residence. The Mail & Guardian today reported that a R1.25bn tender is about to be granted to Reddy's firm - despite the fact that his firm is not the best candidate nor the most cost efficient! In fact, the bunch of morons officials who were tasked with evaluating the tenders they received actually amended the initial scorecard so that Reddy's firm would come out tops. 

It makes you wonder just how literal Zuma was being... Corruption ladies and gentlemen, the order of the day in the new SA.

Jo'burg's R1bn 'present' to Zuma benefactor

Evidence suggests that a hotly contested smart electricity meter tender, to the value of R1.25-billion, was fixed to benefit Vivian Reddy's firm.

A R1.25-billion contract to supply "smart" electricity meters to the City of Johannesburg was manipulated to favour Vivian Reddy, one of President Jacob Zuma's key benefactors, information obtained by the Mail & Guardian suggests.
Reddy reportedly paid R450 000 for a table at the ANC's anniversary gala dinner in Durban last week, when Zuma made the controversial remark that "wise" businessmen who supported the ANC could expect that "everything you touch will multiply".
The city and its utility City Power, which procured the meters, have denied any irregularities in awarding the tender. But key discrepancies uncovered by the M&Gsuggest otherwise. They include:
  • Detailed allegations that an initial technical evaluation scoresheet was amended to improve the result for Reddy's company, Edison Power;
  • The revised scoring pushed another bidder, Hefcom, below the cut-off 70% technical score. When price was factored in, Hefcom – whose bid was half the cost of Edison's – would have scored better than Edison;
  • A letter informing Edison it had won the bid is dated before City Power supply chain management even received the bid recommendation or the chair of the adjudication committee had signed off on the decision;
  • Edison's share of the contract was pushed up from an initial recommendation of a R600-million share of an R800-million contract to an exclusive contract for R1.25-billion; and
  • A man central to the award, City Power chief executive Sicelo Xulu, is alleged to be "friends with Zuma" though he denies this.
There is no evidence suggesting foul play on the part of Reddy or Edison.
The three-year contract to deliver hundreds of thousands of so-called smart meters was awarded in August 2012. The meters will allow the municipality to track and control electricity usage remotely at each metering point in real time. The project is also intended to cut down on fraud and tampering.
There are about 1.5-million metering points in the greater Johannesburg area, the majority of which have to be read manually.
Edison has no prior experience in smart metering, several industry sources said, but the company teamed up with established United States metering company Itron, which separately won the much smaller R50-million contract for the centralised data management "back end" of the system.
Edison was one of the businesses that paid to be at the ANC's Mangaung conference in December and Reddy has long been a vocal supporter of Zuma.
Reddy stepped in to fund part of Zuma's Nkandla homestead in 2003, when the president's former associate Schabir Shaik ran into difficulties. He featured prominently in the report by auditors KPMG on Zuma's benefactors that was prepared for Zuma's abandoned corruption trial.
Edison executive director Bazil Govender, responding on behalf of Edison and Reddy, hit out at suggestions that the firm had been favoured.
"We are fully aware of the company [that has] complained to the M&G, because they tried to pressurise us into partnering with them after the award of the contract," he said. "They threatened to go to the press, to make an issue of this award. We rejected this approach because we believe it was highly unethical. We are lodging a formal complaint to City Power to fully investigate this serious breach of ethics."
He shrugged off Edison's relative inexperience with smart metering, saying that the company was working with an experienced partner in Itron: "We believe we offered the best solution to City Power."
But the M&G has seen tender documents and spoken to several sources familiar with the bid process that together raise serious questions about how Edison was singled out.

Score 'tampering'?
Of central concern are claims that the bid evaluation committee improperly adjusted the bid scores.

According to sources close to the process, the evaluation committee convened on at least two occasions to "re-score" the tender, a process that was overseen by Nkanyiso Msomi, a senior City Power official who also chaired the live technical demon­stration sessions.
The M&G has seen evidence that suggests that initially three bidders were scored above the 70% technical threshold: Edison, followed by Hefcom and, in third place, Mandla Technologies.
City Power claims that only Edison and Mandla broke the 70% bar. It says initial scores based only on the bid documents were adjusted following the live presentations. The utility suggests this would explain any score changes.
However, a source sympathetic to Hefcom said the company was given feedback that they were in the running right until the very end.
And information obtained by the M&G suggests the areas in which Hefcom scores were revised down were unlikely to have been influenced by the presentation.
They include the categories:
  • Training and system handover, which was not dealt with in the live presentation at all;
  • Ability to synchronise data with other systems. Elsewhere in the final bid evaluation report this is actually listed as one of Hefcom's strengths – unsurprisingly, because the company designed its meters based on its work with City Power systems over the past four years; and
  • Energy balancing, a technical function that Hefcom meters have performed in City Power systems for several years.
City Power spokesperson Solomon Masolo ruled out any foul play. He said: "All the tenders were afforded an equal opportunity to present and give a live demonstration and any moderation of the initial score is fully supported by what was presented in the live technical demonstration and presentations."

Pricing anomalies
Hefcom was the cheapest of the three, with a cost per meter of between R4 500 and R5 400. Edison's price per meter works out at R9 716.

Hefcom uses South African technology and all components are manufactured locally, unlike Itron, the US company that will supply the Edison meters. The US company is not related to a South African company with the same name.
There is also some confusion about Edison's price offering. It consisted of two options – the pricier of which worked out at more than R20 000 a meter. City Power says the main difference in the offers "relates to other add-on benefits, including maintenance and spare parts", adding: "The tender was evaluated only on the main [lower] offer."
However, another source close to the process claims Edison's cheaper offer was tied to Itron winning the parallel but separate "back end" data management tender – something evaluators would usually not be allowed to assume for the purpose of price comparison.

Not splitting the risk
After Edison-Itron and Mandla advanced to the second stage – at which companies were evaluated on price and their broad-based black economic empowerment credentials. Mandla outscored Edison because of Edison's higher bid price.

However, the bid evaluation committee recommended that the R800-million contract be split between Edison and Mandla (R600-million and R200-million respectively) and submitted its report to Xulu, the chair of the tender adjudication committee that makes the final decision.
Industry sources say splitting such strategic contracts is common policy in order to "spread the risk" of relying on just one supplier.
Contrary to this wisdom, the committee opted instead to award the entire contract to Edison and Xulu allegedly asked the bid evaluation committee to "correct" the report.
Masolo said the adjudication committee chose a single bidder to "properly manage a single system instead of a variety of proprietary systems that did not talk to each other".
But a number of bidders dismissed this argument, saying all meters under consideration had to comply with an industry standard so they could talk to a common data management system, regardless of their manufacturer.

More 'tweaking'
According to an insider, Xulu's instruction to correct the evaluation committee report was interpreted by some committee members as an order to flip the scores between Edison and Mandla, based on Edison's lower price option, to justify the awarding of the contract to Edison alone. The earlier report was allegedly redrafted to reflect Xulu's instruction. Meanwhile, Xulu is alleged to have taken the R800-million contract award to the City of Johannesburg for approval and returned with an instruction to increase the contract to R1.25-billion.

City Power said the "indicative budget" was adjusted up to R1.25-billion "based on up to 250 000 smart meters that will have to be supplied".
A municipal insider alleged that Xulu met executive mayor Parks Tau to discuss the contract.
Fred Mokoko, a spokesperson for Tau, declined to confirm or deny whether Tau had discussed the matter with Xulu as alleged. Mokoko said the mayor was legally prohibited from participating in the awarding of tenders: "The mayor has noted the allegations, which he has referred to city manager Trevor Fowler for investigation [and] which will shed more light on what happened."
City Power said: "Xulu did not consult anybody on the adjudication of the award."

Jumping the gun?
The M&G has seen a letter of award to Edison, dated August 20 and signed by Xulu, indicating a contract amount of R1.25-billion.

But the adjudication committee's report reflects that it only received the final evaluation committee report on August 21.
City Power says the date of the award letter was an "administrative error", but within the body of the letter the August 20 contract start date is repeated – presumably another error. The utility says that on August1 the adjudication committee met to consider the matter. The committee resolved to award the contract, subject to the committee being provided with further clarification of information provided.
It is not clear on what report the committee based this decision because records show the official evaluation report was received on August 21.
City Power says the August 20 draft letter of award was prepared as part of the presentation to the adjudication committee, which met and formally awarded the contract on September 5.
Xulu only signed the committee report, which included an instruction that the evaluation committee's report was "to be corrected", on September 10.
That instruction appears to ­support the claim that some retrospective tinkering was done to the ­evaluation committee's work.
City Power said Xulu's instruction was a "request for clarification of information [and] did not relate to the scoring presented in the report".
It is understood that the M&G's preliminary enquiries about the tender led Xulu to appoint auditing firm Ernst & Young to review the tender award process.

The connected Mr Xulu

Sicelo Xulu played a central role in the process of awarding a new tender for smart meters. He approved the bid specifications, chaired the adjudication committee and issued the letter of award to Vivian Reddy's Edison Power Consortium.
Given Xulu's role, rumours about his closeness to President Jacob Zuma and the ANC raise concerns about perceptions of bias in favour of one of the president and the party's most visible benefactors.

City Power managing director Sicelo Xulu denies that he is friends with Zuma. (Jeremy Glyn)

Xulu, who studied at Mangosuthu Technikon, is from the Nkanini area near Eshowe in northern KwaZulu-Natal and owns a home at the Eshowe Hills Golf Estate valued at R2.5-million.
Local ward councillor MM Cebekhulu from the Inkatha Freedom Party told the Mail & Guardian that Xulu was friends with Zuma and had invited him for lunch. He said the last known lunch at which Zuma was present was held before the 2011 local government elections.   
Xulu responded: "It would be incorrect and presumptuous for me to claim that I am a personal friend of the president. I personally have not had the honour of hosting him."
Cebekhulu said that during the 2011 elections Xulu bought ANC campaign T-shirts and had them distributed in the ward. He called Xulu an "activist".
Xulu said that he had donated shirts to the ANC ward candidate, but had not distributed them, nor campaigned actively.
"I have never and will never allow my personal political views to cloud or compromise my professional career and/or my legal accountability as the accounting officer of City Power," said Xulu.
A source who attended Edison's year-end function – the James Bond movie premiere at Eastgate Mall in Johannesburg on the evening of November 21 – overheard Xulu's predecessor, Silas Zimu, boasting that he and Xulu had received "personal invitations" from Zuma to visit him at his Nkandla homestead. But both dismissed the claim.
The presidency had not responded to questions by the requested deadline. – Jonathan Erasmus, Sam Sole & Lionel Faull

How smart is smart?

In a Johannesburg of the not-too-distant future, most middle- to high-income households will know exactly how much electricity they use each month and be billed accordingly.
Unlike the current pre- and post-paid meters, smart meters provide a real-time reading to consumers.
They also "talk to" a computerised data management centre, or "back end", which is monitored by City Power and which, in turn, is linked to the city's integrated billing system.
Smart meters can be switched between a prepaid or a postpaid option, depending on consumer payment preferences.
The "back end" can also interrogate consumption data, in order to make informed adjustments about electricity supply needs.
Smart meters cannot be bypassed or tampered with – a perennial problem in Johannesburg – because the built-in alarm system will alert City Power's data management centre immediately. – Lionel Faull
* Got a tip-off for us about this story? Email

You can see the original story here

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

News24 Are a Bunch of Cowards!

News24 published the following article regarding the latest elderly couple to be murdered on their farm. This one strikes me especially because it is very similar to another recent murder. The elderly lady in today's article was stuffed into a freezer. This is eerily reminiscent of the elderly couple that were both stuffed into a freezer after having been bludgeoned to death. News24 does not give us much information about the murders themselves.

But aside form that fact, what strikes me as exceptionally childlike and cowardly is the fact that News24 now refuses to allow any comments on the article. Is that because you don't want us to voice our outrage at another heinous crime committed against defenceless old men and women. News24, you have officially joined the bandwagon in stifling free speech.

Just the latest attempt by the media to downplay the systematic annihilation of our farmers.

Elderly couple killed on Free State farm

Bloemfontein - An elderly couple was found dead on the farm Somerset near Parys, police said on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Colonel Thandi Mbambo said the couple's bodies were found in a tuck shop they ran from a garage on the farm.
"The husband was found on the floor of the tuck shop, with his feet tied and head covered with a material sack."
The body of the woman, aged between 70 and 75, was found tucked into a freezer.
"No visible injuries were found on the bodies," said Mbambo.
The victims' bodies were taken to the state mortuary where post mortems would be conducted to determine the cause of deaths.
Farmhouse ransacked
Police said a domestic worker arrived at the house at 07:30 on Tuesday and found the farmhouse ransacked.
Mbambo said the woman searched for the couple but could not find them.
A neighbour also arrived and helped to search for the couple, until they were found in the tuck shop.
Police said no arrests had been made.
Mbambo said the motive for the killing could be robbery.
Free State police commissioner Major General Moeketsi Sempe has condemned the killing of elderly people who are unable to defend themselves.
Police urged the community to provide information that could assist in identifying the people responsible for the crime.

You can see the original article here 

This is the reason we will never prosper in SA

It has been said repeatedly that: "The danger to South Africa is not Jacob Zuma but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of a Zuma presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgement to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Zuma, who is a mere symptom of what ails South Africa. Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Jacob Zuma, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their President."

That is a perfect summation of the state of South Africa and their insistence on having this man as their leader. Jacob Zuma has, amongst other things:
  • Been tried for rape
  • During that trial he admitted to having a extra-marital, unprotected sex with a woman who was HIV positive.
  • He said that he had prevented himself from contracting the virus by taking a shower afterwards.
  • at present 4 wives. He has also been divorced once and widowed once and has approximately 22 children.
  • only has a grade 4 education and has no qualifications at all other than the fact that he is black and has been a member of the ANC for years.
  • 783 odd pending charges relating to corruption, money-laundering, racketeering etc.
  • These charges were made public BEFORE he was appointed president of the ANC.
  • He fought tooth and nail to make sure that he would never have to see the inside of a courtroom in relation to those charges.
  • He has still not complied with a court order almost a year ago ordering that the "spy-tapes", which got him out of the criminal charges, be handed over to the DA.
  • Deliberately and blatantly expressed his racist beliefs over and over:
  • Stated in parliament that the minority has less rights than the majority (we're a democracy?)
  • Stated in a speech that the white man's law should not be used - African solutions for African problems.
  • Zuma also slammed black people “who become too clever”, saying “they become the most eloquent in criticising themselves about their own traditions and everything” (ie: How dare they criticise the ANC and go out and get educations and live like white people?)
  • He tried to "decolonise the African mind" by stating that having dogs is part of "white culture". Zuma added that there was a generation of people trying to "emulate whiteness" but who would not succeed. Even if you apply any kind of lotion and straighten your hair, you will never be white," (too true... but nothing wrong with this generation forsaking their primitive beliefs and practices and joining the real modern world)
  • His latest news headline is centred around his blatant bribery in the media by stating that businesses that support the ANC will be "multiplied". (Sounds like he's offering government tenders for membership)
  • And Nkandla. This is the palatial compound that has been built for Zuma and his harem and children ad which has been aid for out of taxpayer funds to the tune of R250 million (the numbers are still rising)

In light of the above, it is clear that the stupidity of his supporters and the greater ANC membership as well as the moronic masses that vote this criminal organisation into power over and over and over again knows no bounds. Below is an article written by a reader and published on the News24 website. This is the reason why most white South Africans seem to think that the majority of the black population is infinitely inferior in the IQ department. 

Our esteemed leader :/

An open letter to President JG Zuma

Dear President Zuma

I greet you in peace, Nxamalala, Msholozi. Even though you do not know me personally, I know that when you meet me in the streets or in a community meeting, you will address me as your child. Because you are a true African elder, you will also treat me like your own child.
Let me begin by congratulating you on your re-election as the President of the ANC. Despite a systemic and calculated anti-Zuma tirade waged by the media, political commentators, monopoly capitalists, sympathizers of capital, etc., branches of the ANC have remained steadfast in their belief that ANC belongs to its branches, and nowhere else. Your election is not a victory to you alone. It is also a victory to the millions in our country and continent who still believe in the African way of doing things. It is a victory to all who subscribe to African values and principles, like me.
I wish you good luck in your work as leader of the ANC and president of the Republic. I pray that your enemies realize that no matter how hard they try, they will never bring you down. The intensity of their hatred against you brings you good fortune. And those who swear at you will face the wrath of your ancestors.
When former ANCYL president Julius Malema hurled all sorts of insults at you, you refused the temptation to be angry. Instead, you attempted to discipline the young man like your child. When you remarked that young people must respect elders, Malema and some friends of his responded by intensifying their insults at you. Once again, you remained calm and never became emotional, like a true father.
When those whose houses are fenced with high walls besieged your home in the name of “transparency”, you rejected the temptation to attack them physically, even though it was justifiable to do so. Amongst these people was Helen Zille, whose house has never been visited by you before. In fact, the house of the Western Cape premier, who boasts massive shareholding in, amongst others, Pick n Pay, is probably fully fenced so that even the neighbour cannot hear or see what goes on. The property is probably guarded by ferocious dogs keeping strangers at bay. You never sought revenge.
Mr President, please know that even when they chastise you as being “illiterate”, I will stand by you. They say you are illiterate because to them, you represent a ‘bantu’. To them you are a ‘heathen’ who needs to be cleansed in order to conform to their own Western standards. Your refusal to reject your African values is a problem to many South Africans, black and white.
According to your detractors, no African can be smart, or intelligent, without having gone to school. Your shrewdness and cunning mind is a mystery to them because you have received no formal education. You are a living proof that the theory that states that Africans are inherently of lower intelligence is a myth that can never be proven scientifically. You are an individual of superior intellect. I have no choice but to take my hat off in your honour.
I write this letter to you to let you know that I shall always be at your defence against your nemeses. I have stood by you when you were faced with a barrage of court cases. I maintained that you are being falsely accused by those who are intimidated by your popularity among the rank and file members of the ANC. Even when Brett Murray sought undue fame through undermining you, I defended your person in public.
When they argued that you were taking the country to the dogs, I showed them raw data showing how you were steering the country in the right direction. All of them have since hidden their tails from the public eye. And I remain convinced that you did not become president of the ANC and the country by accident. You deserve to be our leader. You deserve to be the father of our nation.
Mr President, may you please continue to practice your traditions without any fear or hesitation. If you want to slaughter a goat in honour of your ancestors, please do so without fear. If you want to marry another wife, please do so. I pray that you continue to lead the country towards socio-economic prosperity as you have done for many years. Stay strong, my president! Thank you for lending me an ear.

You can see the original stupidity and the responses here