Saturday, October 13, 2012

How Nedbank uses underhand tactics to drive their point home

Because the events described are in all probability going to form part of litigation, some vagueness will be used to avoid compromising the matter. The event which gave rise to this was an agreement between Nedbank and another prominent bank in 2009 that resulted in Nedbank assuming the role of credit provider, as well as debt generator on my account.
When I discovered the collusion and demanded the mandate that Nedbank must have had from me, in order to transact on my account, my requests and demands went unanswered for 10 months, despite between 15 to 20 written requests and numerous fruitless telephone calls to various departments within the organization. 

Towards the end of this period, I received a summons (incomplete and incorrectly addressed) for the amount in dispute. I immediately forwarded said summons to my legal representative, and due to the highly contentious nature of the dispute, filed a motion to defend. Unknown to me at that point, was that Nedbank had already written the spurious “debt” off, but the reason for the summons was that they had in turn “sold” the debt to a bottom feeding collection agency.  Nedbank had also at the same time, very kindly listed me with Trans-Union ITC for “bad debt written off” in July of 2012.
Bear in mind, that there exists no reply to the requests for documentation repeatedly submitted to Nedbank, in fact, no correspondence whatsoever was ever received in reply. Neither form Nedbank, nor from their fellow colluders at a Major Bank, although the Major Bank knew full well of their part in the scam. I have e-mails on record to prove they were active participants in that. Bear in mind as well, that when Nedbank sold the debt on to the collection agency, they were no longer the owners of the original debt, and had no claim any longer as they had “written it off” but still saw fit to sell it on as part of probably a whole trache of other “written off debt”. No doubt the last acrimonious telephone conversation I had with a faceless manager at their credit card center was too much for them to handle and they decided that a blacklisting would put in me in my place.

Nedbank’s first proper reaction to all of my communication, came after I started posting about this issue on Twitter, it appears from their reaction that public scrutiny on a social media platform is something they wish to avoid. What I would have wanted was for them to have engaged with me ten months ago when this issue became pressing, and they started by sending me threatening SMS messages instead of replying to correspondence, which was not only delivered and opened, it was read and ignored. All credit to the people in charge of Nedbank’s Social media platforms for being able to respond in the time that they did, regrettably they were not able to reverse the ITC listing immediately, and toward the latter part of the day their input decreased dramatically, although I went to the extent of arranging drop-box facilities to allow them to review the extensive documents I have on the matter, as Nedbank’s mailboxes still have a 2Mb mail message limit when most mail systems today cater for 10 Mb. Banking hours after all are the subject of a certain degree of sanctity, it appears.

Despite the efforts to get documentation to them, and numerous unanswered telephone calls to ensure they had received the information, that matter remained unresolved on Friday and I remained, at least to the best of my knowledge, blacklisted for a “written off” allegedly bad debt.  In reality I remained a victim of an institution too arrogant to admit it was wrong.

So Nedbank, decided that the best way to cover up their errors was to act in a vindictive manner, by utilizing their access to Trans-Union ITC and blacklisting me. I am in the process of acquiring vendor accreditation with Trans-Union ITC to enable me to also blacklist individuals, the question is, will I use spurious reasons to do so?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Democratic Alliance as a Majority Political Party in South Africa

The Return of Apartheid.
This is the scenario most proposed by the current ANC hegemony in regard to a possible DA victory over them in the polls. The most disturbing aspect of this opinion is that so many South Africans actually believe this drivel. This is pure propaganda and scare tactics by a corrupt regime, willing to do anything including murdering striking miners to stay in power. They react to a possible DA majority in the future by utilizing the same old racist segregation tactics they have used for the last 18 years, simply because they’ve worked so well on a widely unsophisticated electorate before. Even well-educated professional people have expressed this same opinion to me. To all of the DA apartheid doomsayers, trendy white apologists, black racist haters and even the remaining Woolworths shoppers, there are some vital points that need to be taken into account in a functional democracy, which should the DA win the next election, South Africans will in all probability experience for the first time in 18 years.
Apartheid was an abomination inflicted by on a majority by a militant minority intent on remaining in power. Its demise was brought about by a majority no longer willing to be racially discriminated against.
Apartheid today is an abomination inflicted on a majority by a corrupt ruling elite intent in remaining in power for as long as possible, with a purpose to strip all wealth from the country and divert it to their own pockets.  Its demise will be brought about by a discontented electorate tired of watching the favored elite get fabulously rich and flaunt their wealth in the face of the 40% functionally unemployed people in South Africa, who by now have realized that all their vote did was to ratify the decision of the approximately 2800 corrupt delegates at Polokwane who voted for the current president. The people have for their vote received very little in return, living conditions are at an all-time low, the widely documented deterioration in basic services does not have to be enumerated here, it’s a an accepted fact.
So, what exactly in my opinion would a DA (or any other political party that is prepared to serve the people) mean to the majority of the people of South Africa? Dealing first of all with the return of apartheid; is there logic is assuming that the electorate which is some 80% black, would render a majority to a party, which by demographics is likewise racially structured, so that a return to the previous apartheid regime can be effected?  I don’t think so either, because no electorate would stand for that, and there would be an immediate bloody uprising against such a fallacious policy. So clearly the scaremongering and outright lies are easily exposed by applying a little common sense.

What will it mean for South Africa?
The brand South Africa is depending on whom you believe, or not, at an all-time low. Never before as a people have South Africans been embarrassed and humiliated by the leadership of the country as they are at the moment. Without rehashing recent political events, and the ongoing as well as publically visible battle for succession within the ANC, mass corruption within government and the blatant looting of the public coffers by what has clearly become an out control administration. This fact or scenario is clearly visible to the rest of the world. No amount of devious calculated spin doctoring by an increasingly desperate regime can hide the facts from the rest of the world anymore.
Under a democratically elected government, that does not embrace corruption and wanton self-enrichment as some sort of State Religion, the people of South Africa no doubt could expect a radical improvement to the value of the brand South Africa. With that would doubtlessly come renewed foreign interest, selfish as it may be perhaps, but bringing with it also new investment, to replace the investment lost by the current ANC government’s policy of crony capitalism, tender corruption and racist business models. Which have seen Foreign Direct Investment dry to a trickle comprised only of rigged tenders and corrupt principals willing to pay the massive bribes needed to do business in the current environment. Quite frankly I believe we have enough jets, submarines, corvettes and failed toll road systems. I also believe we need projects that stimulate basic employment of the largely uneducated, unskilled workforce.
Economic Benefits
Estimations vary on the amount of GDP lost to mostly government corruption, from 25% of GDP up to 30% of GDP depending which reports you believe. The bleed in government spending could be effectively used to provide many things such a free schooling for all at world class level. Free healthcare for all at world class level, are these exaggerations? I don’t know, because the numbers are staggeringly large, I’m proposing an alternate use for the funds which are looted now by the current administration. I have no way of knowing if with cessation of looting, could come a national free rail network. I can only hypothesise on the possibilities. What I can state with certainty is that none of the hypothetical improvements can occur under the current corrupt regime. Their addiction to looting and squandering funds appears to be for moment incurable. It must also be pointed out that if the improvements mentioned possible were to come about, unemployment would without doubt be radically reduced in the short to medium term.
Capital projects require extensive labour, which in return provides employment. More importantly it increases the economic cycle and injects money into the first tier economy immediately. The ripple effect is felt throughout the economy both local and neighboring. A radical improvement in the general as opposed to specific population could be reasonably expected to follow as a result of that.
What will it mean for the current regime?
Not very good news I’m afraid, the current regime has built a reputation of a rampant kleptocracy, some have labeled it an ineptocracy, semantics aside, a legitimately run government would not be good news for the current regime. Ironically, in building additional correctional facilities to house those found guilty of corruption and criminal conduct could provide an additional temporary burst of employment in the civil engineering industry.  The government tax revenue generated by these operations could well be put to good use elsewhere at a later stage. That aside, a properly functioning society has to, of necessity deal with all criminal elements in a fair and just manner, if in the course of doing that, the previous victims of the criminal elements are afforded the opportunity to enter into gainful employment, all the better. A successful country, like a successful business, should have accountability as one of its cornerstones; the current regime should accept that its past behavior will, at some point be assessed and if found lacking, appropriate steps be taken against offenders using evidentiary principles in law.

What can the Majority Expect from their Party?
It’s a very open ended question, isn’t it? The temptation to insert rainbows and unicorn symbols does seem strong. Reality or realistic hypothesis for the purposes of this has to prevail, we have as people paid for and watched the current regime concoct their own rainbows and unicorns, and have not seen the benefit to the majority of the people.
In economic terms an economy that is not bleeding money through corruption, can heal itself rather quickly. That raises several interesting possibilities, the least of which is a leveling out of the secondary and invisible taxes the current regime is so adept at inflicting on the taxpayer base. The next important aspect of a rapidly healing economy and a tax body that is not a slave to the corrupt foibles of a morally bereft government, would be increased efficiency not only in the collection, but in the utilization of public funds, which would no doubt lead to a medium term reduction in taxes which would further stimulate the economy.  Clearly the wages of corruption are stagnation and higher taxes. A realistic positive jump in the living standards of all South Africans could be expected, further confirming the correct choice of government in the minds of the voters, instead of the current race-scare economic disaster model employed, increasingly less effective by the kleptocracy.

What will the people get out of it?
Again a difficult point, but besides the obviously advantageous economic rewards, the benefits to be had on a societal level are considerable. The long term damage done to national psyche by sustained abusive administrations is best left to sociologists and the like to quantify if that is at all possible. But a start can be made on telling people that their colour or race is just that, nothing else, and that it in no way influences their standing in the community, or their chances of success in society, be the catalyst that starts and sustains real Ubuntu, instead of the current racist view of that held by the ANC government, who failed miserably to learn from the past and have spent the last 18 years repeating it.
Setting South Africans free may be far easier than sawing through some chains, or prison bars, it may well be as simple as telling them that they are all worthy of the same rights and freedoms as people and that they don’t have to be a particular colour to get them, or support a specific kleptocrat to ensure their uninterrupted enjoyment.  The temptation at this point to insert a relevant quote from people I admire the most is strong. But I will not quote Steve Biko or Martin Luther King Jnr or Abraham Lincoln for that matter. I will instead say this to every South African: Your potential as people and as nation is far greater than anyone wants to allow you to believe.
If you believe that you are prisoner, or will become a prisoner because someone with devious motivation for telling you, told you these things, then you will remain a prisoner of your own irrational fears.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Woolworths Never Ending SAGA.

So many words written about a stupid employee employed by a stupid company, who mistakenly thought she/he could save a lot of time by re-enacting job reservation in the name of the new apartheid.  The amount of mealy mouthed, sanctimonious, responsibility evading commentaries that have been made about this topic, would make a whore with the most advanced gag-reflex control, projectile vomit across a soccer pitch.

There are no shortage people who fondly believe themselves to be luminaries, such as Jacques Rousseau, and a whole gamut in between, to comedian (?)  John Vlismis who have all weighed in, on this, beating their little self-righteous chests, and bleating plaintively about the need to address the “injustices of the past” by wait for it, continuing to discriminate against people on the basis of race.  The most recent diatribe, and the reason for this substantially shorter piece on the subject, is none other than the MD of TBWA Hunt Lascaris, an advertising agency (really?) either pitching for, or recently lost the Woolworths business. 

The chorus which they all sing is nauseatingly familiar, it is not about addressing the injustices of the past, as they announce with such alacrity, it is beyond any doubt to prop up their decaying positions in the current rotten corporate and tertiary education hegemony, dominated as it is by unconcealed racists who dole out tenures and positions to those who best lick racist boots. This is the cacophonic chorus of in the interests of redress to keep the minority oppressed at the pleasure of the minority. A minority which to their chagrin and great personal revulsion, they unfortunately find themselves ,members of, if only they could change their own melanin levels and join in, in the unbridled condemnation of the pariahs, they so fervently wish they did not resemble in colouring and hair consistency, where applicable. 

This outpouring of verbal diarrhea in support of a practice which debases humans and reduces them to mere skin coloured objects of various shades to be pushed around an environment ruled by colour, is beyond reasonable human comprehension and is redolent of the actions of collaborators of Nazi Germany leading up to and during World War Two, who for a few favours, and be allowed to live a little longer would sell out their fellow humans.  History is littered with the bones of collaborators, who died at the hands of the oppressors while waiting to be favoured for their betrayal.  These are the Judas goats of history, the cowards of no moral convictions, and the abusers of human rights by omission and silence.

Not one person has stood up from their scrupulously guarded liberal bolt holes and said that human rights abuse cannot be tolerated, nor can human rights be selectively applied to one elite group of humans who happen to be more favoured than others on the basis of their skin colour. Not one person has taken a stand to say that, the injustices of the past can best be addressed by not perpetuating them into the future. Because as it stands we are as a people becoming more and more polarized  and enraged by those who would manipulate race for their own advantage, instead of  constructively uplifting people because not of their colour, but because of their humanity. The lack of cognitive processes in these sycophants, who are too eager to please the race Nazis of the day, makes them beneath contempt. 

If the worth of humans could not be measured by skin colour before 1994, leading up to the removal of the racist government of the day, what the hell makes it acceptable now, 18 years after democracy?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

67 minutes of reflection

What it means for me to be South African for 67 minutes out of one day of every year, or every day for that matter.
After 18 years of commemorative chest beating by the ruling party, I still see that over 20 million people live below the R10 per day breadline. But the ruling elite live in the most opulent luxury our taxes can buy.
Millions of youth have no jobs, partly because the economy is not growing and partly because their education does not qualify them to do anything, other than be unemployed in despair of ever finding jobs. Ministers and mayors and other functionaries of the ruling party think nothing of voting themselves 34% annual increases though.
Thousands of youths have been denied an education for several years due to Education Department mismanagement and corruption, including inter alia the failure to provide textbooks and teachers with suitable qualifications. The ruling elite live off education tenders and send their children to private schools at taxpayers’ expense.
There are more people killed by HIV annually than in the imperialist war in Iran and Afghanistan which are active war zones. The hospitals which could help the fight against HIV are for the most part dilapidated and neglected, understaffed and ill-equipped. The fight against HIV is relegated to a minor irritation as long as the elite can spend tax money on test kits that don’t work. Incidentally the Elite State Employees Medical Aid is the best in the world. They would not be seen dead in a State Hospital.
A woman is raped in South Africa every 27 seconds. This is the rape capital of the world; despite civil society efforts to reduce these horrific acts, the police are not inclined to direct their efforts to this. Social workers and NGO’s relate incidents where the police join in gang rapes instead of stopping them, in many cases they partner with the pimps and human traffickers for profit. The elite have platoons of bodyguards, 16 000 thugs in uniform to protect the 3000 or so kleptocrats who voted themselves these privileges.
The South African economy is dying a slow death, while companies hoard large cash reserves, estimated between R500 Billion to R1.2 Trillion reluctant to invest in the economy, due to the inherent instability of the current government, for want of a better less flattering word. Foreign companies and investors are not interested in investing in South Africa anymore. A combination of racist employment policies and extreme government corruption has effectively driven away most Foreign Direct Investment. The corrupt political elite continue to try to gouge more revenue out of a shrinking economic pool.
Any economic growth is stymied by a phalanx of racist laws designed to discriminate against 8% of the population, which in turn has led to a reduction of vital skills in South Africa, as people of undesirable races, chose to take their skills abroad. Corruption is the order of the day, in State as well as private companies with as much as 25% of GDP lost to corruption. This represents enough to provide every South African with free education to tertiary level, free health care for life, longer than the current 42 years average life expectancy, and free public transport in all areas.
Every South African should spend the next 67 minutes thinking on how best to correct the wrongs which our legacy has bestowed upon us all.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wall of Shame

It seems once again censorship is at work at the Mail & Guardian, Heres my contribution to the fight against the curtailment of freedom of speech.

The pictures should be self explanatory. Zwelo Masilela is a senior COSATU official.

They all support violence against people they do not agree with. Do you? 

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Putrification of South African Politics

The most advanced enlightened constitution in the world, a leading light among democracies, a truly equitable document providing a framework for good governance and equal opportunity for all people to share in the wealth of the Nation.  Sounds great doesn’t it? Its sweeping and dramatic and hints at a society where fundamental human rights will be observed above State interests, allowing the people to develop and prosper right?

We all hoped so when we voted ANC in 1994, the heady euphoria, the feeling and belief we could accomplish anything in a country where a Muslim could be minister of something, and a minister still drove his beat up Jetta around Cape Town himself. Government was accessible and worked for the people.  Other Nations envied us from a distance, wishing they had the harmony and success that we did, all living together, and working to build what would become a truly great Nation in Africa, a feat hitherto unreachable in a continent plagued by corruption, violence, human trafficking, war crimes and all manner of human rights abuses.

We were going to rise well above all that, and prove to the world that we had the indomitable spirit that would prove them all wrong. We were a nation reconciled, intent on building a better future for all of our people. So in order to combat racism, the government started to enact racist laws.  I know who knew you could fix racism by being racist? Interestingly at this point, not one member of the international community that had campaigned so vociferously for the abolition of apartheid actually said anything about the resurgence of racism in South Africa. The much vaunted ideals of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which had become the rallying point for the anti-apartheid movement,  suddenly became collateral damage in a much more insidious conflict, fought well away from the prying eyes of the pro ANC activists, who nodded wisely about restorative actions and justice, dispensed under what could only be seen as dubious circumstances.

We hoped the new administration would address these things but alas Mbeki, for all his diminutive size, was no statesman. In order to garner support among his own party he proceeded to further tarnish the reputation of the country and the spirit of the constitution, by not only endorsing the enacted racist legislation, but by sponsoring additional racist legislation which it was clear he hoped would secure him a second term in office. The silence form the rest of the world had by now become a feature of the South African political landscape, it seemed that the rest of the world was done with liberating South Africa, and very little interest other than perhaps taking most of our GDP in somewhat shady business deals was shown by the rest world in our progress.

The African National Congress elective conference in Polokwane in 2007, was the real eye opener for many people, and the death of democracy in South Africa. The lead up to Polokwane and the recall of a sitting President demonstrated that South Africa was run by the 2800 delegates that had voted for Zuma, and that they would stop at nothing to loot the country of every resource available. Perhaps coincidentally at that point our GDP growth suddenly slowed down, foreign investors driven away by the largely racist requirements of doing business in South Africa. Government became largely about looting the public purse for the benefit of cronies and to repay political favours, the President became a corporation, grabbing shares in companies, and ensuring state tenders were allocated to them, frequently without any tender process, corruption became the accepted order of the day. The putrification of the government rapidly spread to lower tier government positions, particularly in the provinces, where gross maladministration was allowed to flourish for as long as the funds lasted. Abuses became the daily norm, and instead of accountability, the government chose rather to defend the abuses as rightful entitlements. Motorcades of blue light flashing expensive vehicles containing minor functionaries became the daily spectacle on the roads, intimidating and threatening anyone who would not scuttle out of the way of the plenipotentiary in the back seat. Accidents resulted in deaths and maiming of victims, without much accountability for the perpetrators, some cases taking 5 years to resolve or more. Compensation for victims in these cases has never been recorded.

The destruction of the economy is well underway, instead of stopping corruption, the current regime is making reporting on corruption a criminal offence, the introduction of the Protection of State Information Bill, will effectively make whistle-blowing punishable by 25 years in jail. With that as a backdrop, the way is open for mass looting of taxpayer funds, another arms deal, Toll Road Projects, re-capitalisation of the railways, all work to go to either companies owned by government players, or to companies willing to inflate prices and provide substantial kickbacks. In part this feeding and looting frenzy may be driven by the knowledge that the ANC will be elected to power for another term by the current electorate, or it could be just playing out the African theme of viable countries turning into dictatorships like Zimbabwe, never to recover economically within the lifetime of the dictators. To call South Africa a democracy would be to ignore the most of the criteria that make countries democratic. A plebiscite of 2800 voters among 48 million is hardly democracy. The hoodwinking of the majority of voters through propaganda and outright lies to secure the public vote, though the intervention of social media’ has been reduced and vociferous reactions to certain public issues have caused the government to back down and show the public that public opinion counts for something at least.

The crippling of the Judiciary has been accomplished by electing judges who are openly pro-ANC, and are elected in the understanding that they will called on to deploy their skills [sometimes questionable] to suit the party. Irrespective of the legality and feasibility of the requests, this was glaringly illustrated by the Willem Heath input into the quashing of the rape and corruption cases against Zuma. Who quick to learn from the past, promptly ensured that should he ever be charged again in the next few years, the effectiveness of the country’s high courts would be stymied, and he would in all probability never face prosecution. Not surprisingly, very few jurists are accepting nominations for the high courts. After the installation of a judge of dubious integrity, who among other things admitted to god having told him he would be elected to the Constitutional Court as chief Justice. Subsequent to his controversial appointment he has tried to force fellow judges to attend religious instruction events, irrespective if they wanted or not. Transformation has become the buzzword of those seeking to implement structural changes to the courts, effectively crippling them and ensuring if nothing else, the short term survival of the corrupt cadres, who might be interested in evading prosecution long enough to secure their retirement.

The biggest issue and the means to fix it, remains the absolute widespread corruption in all tiers of government, which for the meantime keeps the media frenziedly occupied, with daily and even hourly exposure of instances of government corruption, costing taxpayers Billions of Rand every month. Every day brings news of a fresh corrupt scheme concocted with the express purpose of defrauding the taxpayer. Government commissioned a National Development Plan [NDP] and Hundreds of Millions of Rand later and an impressive 400 page report later, it becomes apparent that the NDP is yet another crony vehicle for cadres who missed the previous gravy trains.