|Bombs and more bombs. As I
said before, the arrests of a couple of extreme rightwingers ain't gonna
Five bombs exploded on Wednesday morning. A mosque and a major railway line. If it wasn't for two 'suspicious' looking white guys planting a bomb at a fuel station, the cops wouldn't be any wiser either. This bomb was defused. Fortunately only one person died from schrapnel flying into her shack. The husband got hit as well but got off with his life. Unfortunately for them their shack was constructed too close too the railway line that got bombed. And the aif the exercise was publicity as well as major disruption to rail traffic which serves the greater part of Soweto. Mbeki was quick on the draw, claiming that the 'extreme rightwing element' will not succeed, 'cannot succeed'. Everything points to these people especially since the recent arrests after the discovery of various weapons, arms and medical equipment being transported to wherever ir was going. These guys also made the mistake (?) of informing various political figures of their intentions. On top of that, they sent out letters to prominent as well as less prominent people urging them to join the 'struggle'. The plot to blow the World Summit to pieces were also discovered before any damage was done.
Me thinks that these guys appeared on the scene too late. Too much has happened in the post-apartheid years. Too much time and effort has gone into reconcilliation for the majority of people to give up now. In fact, the economy is looking good under circumstances, in spite of rising inflation and all the other bad things that comes with it. The alarm bells rang with the discovery of this group, yet not much has been done to counter it. The arrests were a good start, but not a longterm solution to the problem. I really tought the government would've learnt something from the World Summit - about sustainability. Extreme groups are born out of unhappiness. It is a sure sign that something is amiss. It is time the ANC government start looking seriously at the way they run this country. I have no doubt that the police will catch the culprits soon. I just fear for what might come next - a Bahli situation with hundreds dead? It would serve no purpose to attack the black population, this would only unite the majority which will make it easier for government to pass even more restrictive laws.
On to something different - after the debacle over the third cellphone operator it is not strange to find that no-one has tendered for the second network operator license in providing competition to Telkom. The SNO will consist of a 43% local share (which is mostly black empowered) and the rest available to any interested international concern. Rumor has it that British Telecom might be interested, but they surely don't want lawsuit after lawsuit as was the case with Cell C. Over and above that, this company will need in excess of about R12 million to become competitive with Telkom owning the total telecommunications infrastructure. And with Transnet and Escom as part of the deal, I have my doubts about success. Transnet, our bungling railways people (another state conglomorate) can't maintain their own equipment. It seems that when they stuff up one business, they just start a new venture in order to stuff that up as well. What I'm talking about is the state of coaches, diesels (locomotives) and stations. Had to sit on the main line to Zimbabwe (luckily there's not much traffic on this line lately) for an hour waiting for replacement diesel engines to take us home. I would've understood if the twin diesels packed up twenty kilometers from the nearest station or depot, but only two kilometers away? No wonder South Africans love their cars! With the Gautrans supertrain project going ahead, one can only wonder what the ANC will do to make it succeed. Talks about tollgates on the Ben Schoeman (which is the main route between Jo'burg and Pretoria) clearly shows their intentions to make things as difficult as possible for motorists.
The man who shot and killed British tourist Diane Conway, has been caught. Good for justice, too late to save a life. Won't even talk about the other couple of hundred South African lifes lost to crime every year.
Now for something completely different - piracy has been with us for a long time. Since the South West war against SWAPO, where South Africans copied and improved on Russian designed weaponry (amongst other things), copied DVDs, Playstation games and (especially) Microsoft products abound here. Money is scarce, and wherever people can make a buck, they do. Pirated Playstation games have dropped in price from 200 bucks to about 30. PS-2 games are obtainable at a 100 bucks a piece. A 100 000 units were destroyed this past week by the police. This had a street value of around R20 million. This included video tapes, DVDs, Pc and Playstation games. Nu Metro (distributors of Playstation games) reckon that 35% of DVDs are pirated. And Microsofts' little bulldog the BSA, is busy suing left right and center. With the weak Rand as it is, who can afford the price of Microsoft products off the shelf? If the operating system wasn't included in most Pc purchases, methinks most people wouldn't bother buying a computer.
Talking technology - seems an American (that's what they suspect) hacker has decided to 'klap' .co.za domains. Average hacks were about two a week. Now we're standing at 14 a day. We've had enough of everything 'going up' every day! Seems this person is giving government a helping hand (or what). The hacker known as r00t3rs likes Windows based hosts, and he / she / it has now found a buddy (old int3rc3pt0r) to help him break some .co.za sites. If these people are American based, they won't have a problem with our local laws which provides for a one to five year visit to our exclusive South African jails. This law only applies to South Africans. Who says we don't get anything back for our tax money!
And if you want to see proper bungling, check this out:
The American Navy's Pacific Command is missing 595 laptops and desktop computers. Some of these are highly classified and could a "threat to national security". These computers are supposed to be on ships and submarines somewhere in the Pacific and as long as they don't miss any of those (ships and subs), they should find their equipment. Donald Rumsfeld ordered an audit (he's the Secretary of Defense) after the proposed attack on Iraq leaked to the press. But there's much more - in August the Department of Justice reported 400 laptops and 775 weapons belonging to the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency as missing. And I thought I had a tough job trying to keep track of a couple of computers!
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