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For the locals - need to check if you're registered to vote next year? Have your barcode ID ready and check at this site. Otherwise you need to register between 8 and 9 November this year. The million South Africans (that's right - 1 million) in Britain alone won't be able to vote. Unless of course you work for the government. Even if you're the ambassador to Indonesia and you've been found guilty of sexual misconduct (21 charges to be more accurate). I suppose if you're still in the position after two years when first found guilty, then you're pretty safe, aren't you?

And further on the firearms story, I received the following from the SAGA office:

TV Alert - SABC TV2 FOKUS Sunday 26 October 19:30

Freek Robinson on the Firearms Control Act

FOCUS ON SUNDAY, 26 OCTOBER 2003 AT 19H30 ON SABC 2:

"Is this the death knell for firearms-related crimes?"

The Firearms Control Act was passed by parliament in 2000. It replaces the Arms and Ammunitions Act of 1969. Yet three years later, certain regulations of the Act still need to be implemented.

The Act makes it more difficult to acquire a licence for a firearm and a limit has been put on the number of firearms a person may own. Government hopes this law will eventually lead to a decrease in the number of firearms-related crimes in South Africa.

Which should be achievable, according to Gun Free South Africa. It reckons most firearms-related incidents take place in the domestic environment and involve licensed, legal firearms.

Not so, reckons the South African Gun Owners Association. We live in a gun-touting society. If government makes it very difficult for people to own a firearm, they'll find an illegal way of acquiring one. And overseas, the prohibition of firearms for self-defence purposes in some countries, has lead to an increase in firearms-related crimes.

Producer Karin d'Orville and cameraman Andre Gous visit both sides of the gun lobby and find it an emotive issue.

Now, personally I don't think too much of Freek Robinson (used to work at the SABC when 'young' Freek started off there - 'nough said), but he has come a long way and did some excellent work on his show before. So if you're a local, tune in and see what it's all about. Should be good.

A little story about how 'paraat' our cops are - a black guy finds six black boxes under a bridge in Kyalami. Thinking they were bombs, or chemicals (due to the hazardous signs on the boxes), he flagged down a motorist who tried getting the cops out. 10111, our local flying squad refused to come out but instead referred them to the Benoni police. They were too far away and the Midrand cops couldn't be bothered (who are the closest). Brakpan eventually responded to find that the boxes were loot from a cash in transit heist. The money was returned to FNB. Now what if those were really bombs with the upcoming elections and all?

And back to old corruption block, sad to say. The Northern Cape Transport MEC John Block (no, he's black) has spent 50 grand of taxpayers money attending jazz festivals. His wife was also cashing in flying to attend a beauty course (with our bucks of course). They blew nearly 23 grand at the ANC conference in Cape Town (and that was just the hotel). The man has come clean and promised to repay all the money used by himself and his wife (and an ex girlfriend). And believe it or not he offered to resign (at last someone who has some twisted sense of honor). And it seems his boss is behind the rooting out of corruption in that province.

Since 1995 the Safety and Security MEC was asked to leave after being drunk on duty. The Head of Housing and Local Government was dismissed for neglecting his duties in 1998, three MP's were asked to resign after an internal ANC process found them guilty of abusing public funds and allowances. In 2000 the heads of Education and Agriculture and Nature Conservation were dismissed for poor performance and since then the Heads of Economic Affairs and Tourism as well as Safety and Liaison were dismissed for negligence, under performance and "failing to adhere to the moral convictions" of the provincial government. I say hooray to this man! Wish there were more of him.

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