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Hey, just found out we've been celebrating the New Year at the wrong time of the year! According to some African tradition the new year falls on September 22. This is the time when mother earth gives us spring. It is thus the time that black African people celebrate as New Year. And with the full moon in October, it is a signal that the land can now be sowed in preparation for a full harvest. Nouja, wat kan ek sê? Probably the first time that most Africans find this out! Of course this guy (who-ever he is) wants government to make provision for this day by declaring it a holiday. It has nothing to do with the fact that the 23rd is a public holiday here by us (Heritage Day) and the suckers just want another day of loafing around at some shebeen (local township drinking hole). Definitely not!

Myself had a major long weekend - Been working 'till 04:30 on Friday morning - that's now since 06:45 the Thursday - and with Monday a working day for which we had to put in a days leave (no use starting up a whole factory for one day), it's been a full (including Friday) five days. And of course I'm not doing too much. Missed the airshow though, with two Harvard planes crashing due to technical problems (no lives lost) it's maybe just as well. These planes were used as training craft 'till about three years ago. On the subject of crashing - the only remaining Spitfire (picture of it in my gallery) in South Africa crashed a couple of months ago, killing it's pilot. Great pity for both. 

Read a story about a British woman (married to a Zimbabwean black) critisizing the world for running Mugabe down. Now this woman got herself a farm out of the deal. Pasella, for nothing! She could count herself as part of the black elite there, with ministers and even Mugabe's family taking the best farms she's definitely on the right track. Anne Motanga (used to work for the local government in Essex - what do you expect?) returned to Zimbabwe after spending most of her life in the UK and promptly moved into her new house while the 'owners' (who had the farm in the family since 1920) has to get used to a tiny flat in Harare. She still has the cheek to talk about the 'white colonialists who stole our land'. How's that for a Pom! Tony Blair should have her put out of her misery. Or maybe if we're lucky, she'll contract some desease and suffer a bit. Such cheek!

Time for some feedback on all the corruption that I've written about in the past. The forestry deal is off with Zama Resources who 'bribed'  the chief director awarding the deal with lots of money. The tender is to be re-opened with Zama getting a second chance. Who says the press doesn't have a part to play! 
The Lotto company is the brown stuff after a local hacker drew attention to it with the slogan 'Tat ma Millions, Tata ma F**kall'. He quoted some interesting figures which obviously raised questions in the right circles. He went even further by paying for the renewal of their website domain after noticing that it has expired (and then of course making sure the press gets to know about it). The Sunday Times reported that government is not too impressed with Uthingo (the lotto guys). Would you be after you find out that three cents out of every Rand spent on a lotto ticket goes to charity? Don't think so! These guys sold R9.3 billion in tickets, the National Lottery Distribution Trust (which is a screw-up by themselves - without any outside help) has only received R1.6 billion. That is 2.6%. Uthingo has a contract to run the lotto until 2007. Think we'll ever see the R13 billion being paid to charities before then? If they don't stuff up (lining their pockets that is) I'm sure the government department (NLDT) will. In the meantime charity organisations are suffering (if not closing doors). And the people suffer the most.
Seems there is a final realisation as far as the new laws concerning squatters are concerned. Property owners (and shortly the banks I'm sure) needs clarification on this silly law for the protection of squatters. As mentioned a week or so ago, this law protects squatters to such an extend that the property owner has no say (eventually). Simply put, I can claim 'squatter rights' and the bank can't make me pay my bond. Nor can they repo my house unless they can provide me with alternate accomodation. We've claimed for a long time that South African law makes better provision for law-breakers than the law-abiding! What more proof do you want? 
Interest rates have gone up again. With that obviously we are all suffering more. The poor (re. ex-middle class) spend more on credit than ever before to make ends meet and government keeps on pushing up the interest rate! Seems that's the only thing they know (or knows how to do). Money is too freely available, they say. And the annual increases were too high, they say. Who was responsible for the billions in wage increases after the last municipal workers strike? And think of the poor suckers at Absa Bank who got a measly 4% increase after the bank incurred major losses trying to help the 'previously disadvantaged' through a micro-lending scheme. Proof again that the ANC government officials are all walking around blindfolded.

They themselves don't pay their domestic servants according to their own laws, but they expect us to abide by their law? That'll be the day!

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