Diamonds aren’t forever – not in SA

January 23, 2011

It was announced that DeBeers, the South African Company that dominated the global Diamond Market for yonks has decided to throw in the towel as far as South Africa is concerned and it was no surprise that they sold their second biggest and one of only two diamond mines remaining in South Africa.

The decision to sell Finsch Mine was an easy one. De Beers, years ago decided to get out of the country. Mining, because of labour (COSATU) and government (ANC) became too expensive and the margins to thin. The risks of tenure and other regulatory uncertainties curtailed exploration and the decision was made to sweat the assets and get out leading to the mass sell-off of mines. The Kimberley mines were the first to go with the BEE-company taking them over, KCM – loosely connected to the Zuma clan – recently suspended from the JSE. The Cullinan mine was taken over by Petra and are barely surviving – albeit at a much smaller scale with considerably fewer people than before – thanks to the find of a typically massive and “lucky” gem; luck that cannot continue for much longer.

Finch Mine does not have the luxury of huge and lucky gems. The mine depends on the mass production of cheap industrial diamonds and small low value gems. Petra no doubt will reduce the size of the mine and scavenge dumps and easily accessible ore of which there is little left. Going deeper will require huge investment, investment DeBeers baulked at for good reasons.

The sad thing is that in 2005/6 Finsch Diamond Mine became one of the most technologically advanced hard rock underground mines in the world; a true pioneer. The technology employed at Finsch was critical in ensuring the viability of sustainable continuing operations.

Because of the South African skills shortage it became increasingly difficult to support the advanced mining technology at Finsch mine and future investments in this technology became just too risky given the deviancy of the Department of Minerals. In the end the selling price of Finsch Mine of $200 million hardly equates to the cost of the Mine Automation Project.

Sadly many of the excellent engineers developed in this process have left South Africa. They work abroad for DeBeers and for the companies involved with DeBeers in the development of the technology.

With Finsch gone, Venetia Mine remains the last Bastion of the erstwhile DeBeers South African Empire, in South Africa – an empire destroyed by transformation. The mine will be retained by DeBeers until the easy resources are exhausted, the assets have been sweated properly upon which it will be flung aside to be used by unscrupulous BEE companies, like KCM, to fleece unsuspecting investors.

Resources are not inexhaustible and for that they must be recovered effectively and investments must be made in finding new resources. In South Africa this cannot be done because of inflated labour costs, ineffective training and education, a government threatening ownership, a ruling party prepared to steal mineral rights for the benefit of a select few in the top party echelons.


The Great South African Mining Disaster

February 24, 2010

Nic Holland, upon taking over at the helm at Goldfields, vowed to close down working places considered a safety risk. Being a man of his word and having the integrity of an old-style accountant he carefully assessed the risks and duly started shutting down workings considered to risky. Having not done the “Mining Math” properly in the first place, he found, perhaps too late, that he will eventually have risk free operations. That was however not the only reality that dawned upon him – he also found no risk means no gold and after all, that is what Goldfields is all about – mining gold. With every risky place they stopped the gold output fell inexplicably; A difficult concept? Not really. Most call it common sense. As the saying goes; you do not make scrambled eggs without breaking a few eggs.

Nic Holland was not the only one trying to get rid of the “risky” operations. Anglo American’s Cynthia Carroll went a bit further and sold all of AngloGold Ashanti, getting rid of a whole whack of dangerous operations in one foul swoop. She went further and then publicly claimed a massive reduction in mining related fatalities at Anglo – a novel variation on the concept of selling your problems to the uninformed – in this case selling your deaths, sweetened with a splattering of gold to the unsuspecting foreigners. Fortunately in this case the foreigners got a bit more than a smattering of gold with the Africa operations that came with the South African assets. My reckoning; if Julius and friends succeed in nationalising the South African mines with compensation the foreigners can get rid of the South African poison pill – the deal of a lifetime.

As this drama continues to unfold, South African mining production continues to fall sharply. At a time when the gold price is at its most favourable in decades, South African gold production has reached an all time low of 232 tonnes, less than half the 490 tonnes produced in 1985 and falling ever faster. Ironically, as the gold production from South Africa was dragged down by labour issues, government regulation and risk aversion, output from the rest of the world, particularly the rest of Africa and China rose sharply.

Looking at the latest round of reporting by mining companies, it is particularly noticeable how many companies reported a great number of production days lost due to safety issues a new inclusion in their reports. As in the case of Goldfields, the South African mining industry will come to the realisation that the easiest way to ensure no risk is to shut the mines down.

With the loss of 15 000 jobs in the mining industry in 2009, a year when resource prices were showing a recovery  from the global recession with the gold price reaching an all time high, South African mineral production continued to fall.   

Having said that, it is particularly noticeable how the cause of accidents and the reasons for Section 54’s, Mine closure orders, are glibly attributed to the owners and management. When an incompetent and reckless miner, holding a certificate issued under the auspices of the relative government department, blows himself and his colleagues up by smoking in an area which he has tested as being laden with methane, management is blamed, the mine is closed down and the bad and twisted – by the Union and the Department of mineral Resources – publicity, loss in production and subsequent revenue loss accrues to shareholder.

No wonder Patrice Motsepe is so keen to give his mines to Julius Inc., compliments the South African taxpayer. He learned from Cynthia Carroll.


A Travesty and a Fairy Tale in One

January 20, 2010

And so the wheel eventually turns, or perhaps I should say; “As the stomach turns”

 It feels like yesterday when NUM members took hostages at the Two Rivers Mine in an attempt to reinforce their noble attempts at transforming the mining industry. The action by NUM at the time was not surprising, after all, one could say they invented and perfected the art of underground hostage taking. As a matter of fact, I am surprised that they, like the taxi drivers in the case of taxi routes, do not claim intellectual property rights.

Be it as it may, a rival union, on the self same Two Rivers Mine, has now had the audacity to infringe on the irrevocable and sole right – bestowed on NUM by the leaders they proudly spawned, Mantashe and Mothlanthe – to take hostages on mines.

To make matters worse and more insulting, the hostages taken are NUM members, more likely than not, the same people responsible for the previous hostage drama at Two Rivers. No wonder then the exasperation of NUM officials condemning this travesty of justice.

I could not help thinking about an hostage taking event not so long ago which has subsequently become the stuff legends are made off. The legend goes;

The Emperor and the Miners

Once upon a time at a Platinum Mine – in the far west of a country, well known for its dancing emperor and Clown Prince, the ruler saving money by multitasking the prince to fulfil the role of court jester and stand-up comedian – the workers, having been told, by the emperor that they were special and feeling they were entitled to all the riches of the platinum mine, an idea mooted by the Clown Prince, decided to cease work until their wages were higher than in any other place in the world.

The workers, quite rightly, believed they were solely responsible for bringing the ruler to power and anyway, he did promise them wealth and comfort beyond their wildest dreams should they carry him to power. The workers fought hard and dirty and got the emperor to power and this was payback time.

Much to the shock and surprise of the workers, now refusing to work in support of their demand for their promised rewards, the evil Mine Boss dismissed them, banished them from the mine banishing them to a life of hardship, a life without DSTV and washing machines. The Evil One brought in other workers; workers who promptly and without hesitation took over the meaningless jobs with great proficiency. Imagine the confusion, humiliation and surprise of the Banished, having been chased away like worthless dogs, witnessing the cockroaches that have been begging for jobs day-in and day-out at the mine gates, taking the jobs that rightly belonged to them, the members of the guild of miners, who swept the Emperor to power.

They were understandably upset and appealed to their guild and the Clown Prince and the Emperor to assist them with reinstatement but to no avail, because friends of the Emperor were also friends of the Evil One. When they saw there was no deliverance from the fate delivered upon them, they slinked back to their houses. There they lay about, drank beer frolicked with their wives, when mentioned wives returned from the fields, where they were trying to eke out a living.  However during lonely moments they, the Banished got together and counted there remaining and fast dwindling cash resources with great concern.

And so it came to pass. Whilst they were sitting around drinking beer and bemoaning their financial woes, having realised the money promised by the Emperor for the unemployed was barely enough to buy food, a scary short little man of demonic appearance arrived, as if out of nowhere, in their midst. This little man of much power declared himself to them as the Tokoloshe – master of malevolence

The Tokoloshe, having listened to doleful lamentations, presented them with a plan so evil, it almost froze the blood in the veins of the bravest warriors amongst them, one of them, Funa Pumile, so-called because of his urge to rest often, afterwards swore the HIV viruses in his body instantly died. The Tokoloshe as is his want, did not only give them a plan, his servant, dressed in a splendid blue uniform, not dissimilar to that worn by the Emperors Police, gave them short sticks that fired very small arrows at great force and velocity. One of the banished workers fired a test arrow at the wall of his hut to find his recently born baby as dead as a dodo. Strong muti indeed.

The Tokoloshe also had his personal witchdoctor at hand and he promptly supplied the banished workers with a potion, made from wondrous herbs blended with body parts of the now dead baby using a machine – borrowed from a workers kitchen, they haven’t reached the pawning phase of hardship yet – blessed by Russel Hobbs himself, to give them immense strength and make them impervious to the weapons of their enemies.

After drinking their potion, mixed with copious amounts of alcohol, and smoking lots of magical herbs the banished and rejected workers proceeded to the mine with sticks, dancing and singing, jubilant in the knowledge that they will regain their positions, and more. After all, did the Clown Prince not ask for the seizure of mines by the people? Did the emperor’s councillor on gold, gems and fabulous mineral wealth, not threaten the evil mine owners to fit-in-or-fuck-off? They marched with the knowledge that, as in the past, their ruler expects them to act strongly and take, with necessary force and commensurate trashing, what is rightfully theirs.

Soon after they arrived at the mine, whilst they were singing and dancing, summoning the great spirit of the Machine Gun and focussing their minds, now slightly befuddled by a haze of intoxicating herbs, a few rotund policemen, not dissimilar in appearance to Mr. Plod, good friend of Noddy, arrived and prevented them from approaching the Evil One where he was sitting in his sumptuous office sipping coffee and counting his fortune.

Having recognised friends and allies amongst the police and not wanting to hurt friends, they used tactics taught by the Tokoloshe and some of the Emperor’s advisers many years ago and staged a fake retreat. The police, not seeing any killing opportunities, promptly withdrew, signalling the opportunity for the banished workers to attack and breach the defences.  

And children, that is what they did.

They broke through the barriers of steel and concrete and proceeded underground. There they secured an area and promptly proceeded to, using the skills passed on by guild leaders and Emperor’s advisors, construct pipe bombs using pipes and explosives liberated underground. They secured a comfortable area, not to cold and not to warm, a suitable sleeping place, for those that do not have watch or bomb making duty, where they could dig in so to speak.

Once they secured their control centre they did what they do best underground; they promptly went to sleep, all of them except one, a man by the name of Katalile Minadagiwa, who, due to his inability to participate in logical debate and being a fan of the Clown Prince, having studied every speech ever made by the crown prince, was chosen to negotiate with the Evil Owner.

In the meantime, the police were called back and arrived with the police’s newly trained special forces, flown in by special jet, in tow. Whilst the suitably obese police commissioner shouted instructions, Katalile spoke to The Evil One on the telephone, demanding the presence of the ruler, the Clown Prince or the big cheese of the guild. 

Whilst this hullabaloo was carrying on the task force proceeded underground armed with rifles, grenades flame throwers and all manners of violence perpetrating equipment, to back up their newly acquired licences to kill, proudly displayed on cards contained in a little pouches hanging around there necks. Positively professional, reminding somewhat of the ID tags of conference-delegates, all very smart.

Yes children; they were ready and well prepared to marinate, tenderise and roast their adversaries. The scene was set for an epic battle. A fight to death – a battle for the hart and soul of the economy.

The first bomb was set off by the rebel miners, a policeman was pole axed by shrapnel from the pipe bomb and all hell broke loose. After the lapse of a suitably long period of time to justify the description of ‘epic battle’, surpassing in length and intensity of the well publicised turf wars of the Zama-zamas having produced a sufficient number of wounded on both sides, the begrudged miners were subdued and hauled away to be drawn and quartered by the Emperor’s men, at the behest of the Evil One, who, it was learned, made a sizeable contribution to the “Welfare of the Emperor” fund.

The mine owner subsequently liberated his money and moved it to a far of land with an honest Emperor and peaceful hard working people. There he started a new mine and became immensely rich.

The Clown Prince became bloated and fat, and his head – like a black hole, dark, empty and dense – imploded and he became rather pleasant blabbering incoherently day in and day out in the process, driving the Emperor insane, prompting him to embark on a crusade against fair-weather friends.

The mines in the once great land quietly died and the workers returned to the land where they tried to eke out a living and eventually succumbed to famine and pestilence.

Ed. What a load of non-sense. You certainly have a wild imagination


The Emperor and the Miners

November 21, 2009

Once upon a time at a Platinum Mine – in the far west of a country, well known for its dancing emperor and Clown Prince, the ruler saving money by multitasking the prince to fulfil the role of court jester and stand-up comedian – the workers, having been told, by the emperor that they were special and feeling they were entitled to all the riches of the platinum mine, an idea mooted by the Clown Prince, decided to cease work until their wages were higher than in any other place in the world.

The workers, quite rightly, believed they were solely responsible for bringing the ruler to power and anyway, he did promise them wealth and comfort beyond their wildest dreams should they carry him to power. The workers fought hard and dirty and got the emperor to power and this was payback time.

Much to the shock and surprise of the workers, now refusing to work in support of their demand for their promised rewards, the evil Mine Boss dismissed them, banished them from the mine asigning them to a life of hardship, a life without DSTV and washing machines. The Evil One brought in other workers; workers who promptly and without hesitation took over the meaningless jobs with great proficiency. Imagine the confusion, humiliation and surprise of the Banished, having been chased away like worthless dogs, witnessing the cockroaches that have been begging for jobs day-in and day-out at the mine gates, taking the jobs that rightly belonged to them, the members of the guild of miners, who swept the Emperor to power.

They were understandably upset and appealed to their guild and the Clown Prince and the Emperor to assist them with reinstatement but to no avail, because friends of the Emperor were also friends of the Evil One. When they saw there was no deliverance from the fate delivered upon them, they slinked back to their houses. There they lay about, drank beer frolicked with their wives, when mentioned wives returned from the fields, where they were trying to eke out a living.  However during lonely moments they, the Banished got together and counted there remaining and fast dwindling cash resources with great concern.

And so it came to pass. Whilst they were sitting around drinking beer and bemoaning their financial woes, having realised the money promised by the Emperor for the unemployed was barely enough to buy food, a scary short little man of demonic appearance arrived, as if out of nowhere, in their midst. This little man of much power declared himself to them as the Tokoloshe – master of malevolence

The Tokoloshe, having listened to doleful lamentations, presented them with a plan so evil, it almost froze the blood in the veins of the bravest warriors amongst them, one of them, Funa Pumile, so-called because of his urge to rest often, afterwards swore the HIV viruses in his body instantly died. The Tokoloshe as is his want, did not only give them a plan, his servant, dressed in a splendid blue uniform, not dissimilar to that worn by the Emperors Police, gave them short sticks that fired very small arrows at great force and velocity. One of the banished workers fired a test arrow at the wall of his hut to find his recently born baby as dead as a dodo. Strong muti indeed.

The Tokoloshe also had his personal witchdoctor at hand and he promptly supplied the banished workers with a potion, made from wondrous herbs blended with body parts of the now dead baby using a machine – borrowed from a workers kitchen, they haven’t reached the pawning phase of hardship yet – blessed by Russel Hobbs himself, to give them immense strength and make them impervious to the weapons of their enemies.

After drinking their potion, mixed with copious amounts of alcohol, and smoking lots of magical herbs the banished and rejected workers proceeded to the mine with sticks, dancing and singing, jubilant in the knowledge that they will regain their positions, and more. After all, did the Clown Prince not ask for the seizure of mines by the people? Did the emperor’s councillor on gold, gems and fabulous mineral wealth, not threaten the evil mine owners to fit-in-or-fuck-off? They marched with the knowledge that, as in the past, their ruler expects them to act strongly and take, with necessary force and commensurate trashing, what is rightfully theirs.

Soon after they arrived at the mine, whilst they were singing and dancing, summoning the great spirit of the Machine Gun and focussing their minds, now slightly befuddled by a haze of intoxicating herbs, a few rotund policemen, not dissimilar in appearance to Mr. Plod, good friend of Noddy, arrived and prevented them from approaching the Evil One where he was sitting in his sumptuous office sipping coffee and counting his fortune.

Having recognised friends and allies amongst the police and not wanting to hurt friends, they used tactics taught by the Tokoloshe and some of the Emperor’s advisers many years ago and staged a fake retreat. The police, not seeing any killing opportunities, promptly withdrew, signalling the opportunity for the banished workers to attack and breach the defences.  

And children, that is what they did.

They broke through the barriers of steel and concrete and proceeded underground. There they secured an area and promptly proceeded to, using the skills passed on by guild leaders and Emperor’s advisors, construct pipe bombs using pipes and explosives liberated underground. They secured a comfortable area, not to cold and not to warm, a suitable sleeping place, for those that do not have watch or bomb making duty, where they could dig in so to speak.

Once they secured their control centre they did what they do best underground; they promptly went to sleep, all of them except one, a man by the name of Katalile Minadagiwa, who, due to his inability to participate in logical debate and being a fan of the Clown Prince, having studied every speech ever made by the crown prince, was chosen to negotiate with the Evil Owner.

In the meantime, the police were called back and arrived with the police’s newly trained special forces, flown in by special jet, in tow. Whilst the suitably obese police commissioner shouted instructions, Katalile spoke to The Evil One on the telephone, demanding the presence of the ruler, the Clown Prince or the big cheese of the guild. 

Whilst this hullabaloo was carrying on the task force proceeded underground armed with rifles, grenades flame throwers and all manners of violence perpetrating equipment, to back up their newly acquired licences to kill, proudly displayed on cards contained in a little pouches hanging around there necks. Positively professional, reminding somewhat of the ID tags of conference-delegates, all very smart.

Yes children; they were ready and well prepared to marinate, tenderise and roast their adversaries. The scene was set for an epic battle. A fight to death – a battle for the hart and soul of the economy.

The first bomb was set off by the rebel miners, a policeman was pole axed by shrapnel from the pipe bomb and all hell broke loose. After the lapse of a suitably long period of time to justify the description of ‘epic battle’, surpassing in length and intensity of the well publicised turf wars of the Zama-zamas having produced a sufficient number of wounded on both sides, the begrudged miners were subdued and hauled away to be drawn and quartered by the Emperor’s men, at the behest of the Evil One, who, it was learned, made a sizeable contribution to the “Welfare of the Emperor” fund.

The mine owner subsequently liberated his money and moved it to a far of land with an honest Emperor and peaceful hard working people. There he started a new mine and became immensely rich.

The Clown Prince became bloated and fat, and his head – like a black hole, dark, empty and dense – imploded and he became rather pleasant blabbering incoherently day in and day out in the process, driving the Emperor insane, prompting him to embark on a crusade against fair-weather friends.

The mines in the once great land quietly died and the workers returned to the land where they tried to eke out a living and eventually succumbed to famine and pestilence.

Ed. What a load of non-sense. You certainly have a wild imagination


Marijuana Mine for South Africa

November 13, 2009

With mining production continuing to decline, it is very inspiring to see their is hope for the industry.  

I was privy to some correspondence mooting a new project that can save out mines. The following letter sets out a very feasible plan in my opinion. Thank heavens for entrepreneurs.

Brent Zetti,

Chief Executive Officer

Prairie Plant Systems Inc.
#1 Plant Technology Road
Box 19A – RR#5
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 3J8

Dear Sir

Marijuana Mining Facility 

The only connection between mining and the smoking of marijuana in South Africa, is the smoking of pot by mineworkers. Where they will insist they smoke it for cultural and traditional reasons, union leaders, expediently so, insist they smoke it to numb their senses, enabling them to face the hazardous conditions in which they are required work whilst relieving the monotony of their meaningless jobs.

The article about the threat to your operations touched me for a number of reasons, guilt being one of them. South Africans, especially those of lighter hue, you must understand, are very susceptible to guilt trips. Because of this, I could not help getting involved in a program to salvage job opportunities in a contracting mineral resource industry. 

My program is aimed at creating opportunities for retrenched and unemployed miners, robbed of opportunities by treacherous capitalists disinvesting because of prohibitive legislation and greedy and confused unions. The result; mining is driven back to, traditionally expensive countries, like Canada, a shift causing the dilemma you find yourself in. As I understand it, you are forced to close down your operations because mineral production is encroaching on your operations. 

I believe it will be possible and very lucrative to move your marijuana mining from Canada to South Africa. This may pose some challenges, but as we know, every threat brings opportunity. The biggest challenge will be safety, a big issue in South African mines. It seems that for some obscure reason, deaths in mines are, unlike murder and road deaths at the hands of taxi drivers, totally taboo. 

The safety risk to marijuana miners in South Africa however, pales in insignificance to the immense risk faced by an Inuit, trudging across the icy tundra, mile after mile, with heavy sacks of pot strapped to his back, only to die in his desperate attempt to get his valuable cargo to the nearest ice road. Mining dagga will also be safer than harvesting the it from plantations in the remote valleys of KZN, where the harvesters have to dodge police gun-ships, fitted with Browning machine guns and flame throwers and police on horse back carrying licenses to kill issued by The President in person. 

This is where I see the opportunity. By turning huge worked out areas into marijuana producing operations we can keep mineral production areas more sustainable. Providing free “medicinal” dope to the workers, we can break the power of the unions thus restoring profitability. 

Mine managers, realising the positive and strong effect dagga had on workers have been lobbying for ages to get the use of pot legalised, not only because of its performance enhancing properties but also its mind-expanding qualities. It is amazing how clever an uneducated person becomes after a single zol, no wonder it is often referred to as the “Tree-of-wisdom”. 

An added advantage is the calming effect it has on users. You can only imagine how easy mining will be if miners were walking around underground wearing “peace signs”, Rasta hairdos and ill-fitting hard hats, instead of calling for death and destruction of racist and murdering mine bosses. Sorry I’m digressing. 

With the attitude of our new Minister of Mines, keen to promote the nationalisation ideas of our designated future president, who coincidentally, started his campaign for mine nationalisation at about the same time as your woes were reported, we will have to move fast. I honestly believe the young man, from appearance and the things he say, is obviously a serious participant in the pleasures afforded by the magical herb. I say this with conviction, his behaviour, to my expert eye, seems to indicate a state of almost constant intoxication. 

Given the situation I outlined, I am certain you agree, we cannot allow a quality resource such as yours to be destroyed by ruthless miners in Canada who will always put profit ahead of pleasure and wellness, nor can we allow a bunch of pothead Marxists to control the world’s Marijuana supply. I can only imagine the consternation of pot smokers, recreational or otherwise, the world over at the news of the imminent closure of your Marijuana mine and the threat of their stash in the hands of drug-crazed ideologists. 

I believe with the fragile state of mining in South Africa we can secure enough closed down mines to move your operations to these shores. By giving the current President, the future president and the minister of mines a cut of about 30% in the company, we can secure their support and kill the nationalisation idea, simultaneously creating the prospect of attaining lucrative stakes in viable mines in exchange for protection against state interference. 

I trust you will give my idea serious consideration. 

Yours Faithfully

Jorik Dumfries

http://www.prairieplant.com/

http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE56L6Z320090722


A One-Eyed View

September 16, 2009

If I was a Deputy President in any organisation remotely associated with the ANC Alliance, I’ll be afraid, very afraid, as the saying goes. First, Petrus Mothlanthe, Deputy President of South Africa and the ANC, has a dicey experience during a scheduled landing in Bangui, en-route from Libya. What was he flying in that couldn’t manage a non-stop flight? A single prop micro-light, fitted with a second-hand lawnmower engine? I suppose we must be grateful for small mercies. Didn’t his predecessor, the fat lady with the funny name, charter a Gulfstream to fly to Dubai to watch the “Dances of Cranes”?

Mothlanthe’s reported “mishap” resulted in the arrest of the air-traffic controller in Bangui. Makes you wonder. Could the controller be a Zimbabwean with close ties to Robert Mugabe? Could Mbeki be calling in favours?

The most astounding event however, remains the unfortunate and unplanned removal of the NUM Deputy President’s eye by striking NUM members. The botched operation, which was somehow kept out of the media for more than 24 hours, was apparently, like many botched circumcisions, performed by an unqualified witchdoctor. In this case, a Xhosa rock drill operator who was kicked out of Witchdoctor School after three failed attempts at the anatomy exam. A lecturer, wishing to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, said the man could not tell his backside from his elbow. Despite his inability to pass, the examination authority continued attempts to close the knowledge gap—that is the gap between the student’s knowledge and the examination standards—a process, uniquely South African and commonly known as “dumbing down”. Apparently, training authorities reached the end of their tether when the candidate failed to hand in a clean sheet of paper in his final chemistry exam.

The unfortunate aspirant witchdoctor, Doktela Coldset Uthuli, found a job on the mines but never abandoned his dream of becoming a doctor. It is here where he stole some stone-age cutting tools and other “magical” artifacts, from a display cabinet in the Geology Department, which he used in the operation on poor Piet’s eye. In the meantime Piet told associates he now has a different view of the world, a lot less complicated with fewer dimensions…a lat earth view so to speak.

To crown an eventful week , the Deputy President of the South African National Taxi Council, said to be instrumental in the MOU signed on Friday, was murdered. The Piccanin President, Juliaas, was quick to ride the BTI in honour of the fallen hero, and great ANC hope in deliberations aimed at solving Taxi/BRT fracas.

Patrick Craven, having seen the violence and mayhem, expressed his dismay at the violence perpetrated, an un-expected reaction in itself, coming from a leader who, in the past, was unable to find any indication of violent tendencies amongst COSATU members. It may just be possible that there are some unhappy people lurking around, expressing their displeasure in the only way they learnt during the struggle, and, as prominent leaders of the Alliance often reminds us, “The struggle continues, the revolution is alive and so is its methods”.


Zuma – A Miracle of Our Time

September 14, 2009

http://www.news24.com/Content/MyNews24/Letters/1050/725409ae1fae400d8ea3643f3eb9597e/14-09-2009-11-57/A_mracle_of_our_time 

I cannot help marveling at the brilliance of our President. Those mocking his lack of education must be choking on their words. There we had it again this weekend when he displayed his brilliance when it comes to insight and logical deduction. I am off course referring to his profound statement that South Africa will be taken over should the soldiers strike whilst we are being invaded. Now who, but a genius, could have foreseen the grave risk with such clarity. It never occurred to us mere mortals that striking soldiers could threaten our democracy, risk our sovereignty and expose our weak, unprotected underbelly. My goodness…imagine South Africa’ s vulnerability with fiendish power hungry predators like Robert Mugabe and Lesotho’s vicious, expansionist Pakalitha Mosisile lurking in the background. 

Zuma surprised his critics even more when he an admonished strikers for damaging the economy and trashing the streets. A clear show of integrity and consistency by our brave leader who will not waver when he has to face up to current realities. His statement is true to form. His critics will remember, during stay-away action and protests, in support of his legal battles, he steadfastly admonished his followers to go to work. He went so far as to do war dances and issue direct threats to shoot them with his machine gun, fortunately for the anarchists someone hid the gun, in a genuine effort to force them back to work. 

The cherry on the top was the way he told business to sharpen their negotiation skills. It is their bargaining skills, or rather lack thereof, that cause strikes. The so called “captains of industry”  should be ashamed of their failure as leaders. There, staring them in the face, right in front of them they have an example of a man who have the ability to make people believe that excrement is chocolate. All they have to do is learn from the master. But no…the clever business leaders with their fancy MBA’s, thinking they are dealing with an uneducated “native”, are too smart to learn from someone considered academically inferior.