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If it wasn't so tragic it would've been hilarious.. I'm talking about one Shaik (pronounced shake), one Mac Maharaj, one agent RS 452 and one accused spy who was never out in the cold. Vanessa Brereton showed guts and courage to come out of the cold instead, and admit to being the 'apartheid spy' everyone accused the Scorpion's boss of being.

Major outcries in the local newspaper about Vanessa. What she did, how she did it, why she did it and how the ANC knew about her spying on their activities for some time before 1994 (1985 if ANC sources are to be believed). The whole investigation already started with Scorpion boss Bulelani Ngcuka getting rave reviews from his friends and colleagues and all and sundry. All this even before his accusers had any evidence whatsoever to substantiate their accusations. And Mbeki was quick to get the ball rolling as well, seeing that all these accusations with Zuma accepting bribes from arms deal contracts and Ngcuka not wanting to prosecute, all the other dirty linen being flushed out and / or exposed by the press and what with the elections around the corner - the ANC just could not afford any more negative publicity. Which is exactly what they're getting now. Shaik, the lawyer (not the accuser) now turned around and said that his clients have never accused Ngcuka of being a spy. Now how is that for a complete turn-around. And that after weeks of telling the press (and the court) how they will prove Ngcuka to be a spy. And if they did not say this, why not correct the press and say what they're claiming to have said all along?

I am sorry to say, but this sort of drivel you expect from your typical oppressed 30 to 50 year old black man. Oppressed in that he has no education and is so scared of the white boss hitting him that he'll spin any old yarn to get out of it.That is so sad to see coming from (ex) minister Mac especially. No doubt in my mind after this episode why the nation don't readily accept what politicians in this country say anymore.

After Vanessa speaking out from the UK, out came crawling all these self-righteous, self-deserving and "slap on my own back" people (mostly white) claiming how disappointed they are in whom they once considered a dear comrade of the struggle who deceived them all like a Judas. Hogwash! If these people were all behind the ANC during the apartheid years, hiding, smuggling and lying to ensure save passage for terrorists who did not think twice about killing and maiming innocent citizens (black and white) for what they called the "freedom struggle", why did they not stand up at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to ask for forgiveness of those left behind? Who are they to condemn if they had an active hand in condemning hundreds of South Africans?

In the meantime, good news for South African consumers as the PPI (indication of what producers pay to manufacture food) drops. So another interest rate cut is on the cards again. Nice one just before the festive season! Even nicer for those poor sods who have credit cards and overdrafts rearing to go! I for one won't be out there splurging - can't afford to. Sometime that money has to get paid back right? Too many people out there are sitting with way too much money (that belongs to the bank) and not enough education (nor discipline) than to know what to do with it. If you look at the newsgroup (very first entry) you'll see that banks and loan sharks are fighting it out for customers. And some of them are getting up to some pretty nasty tricks.

And here, from a newsletter sent out by eBlockwatch, some interesting reading :

Sent in by a member.

These figures and information is released towards the education of employees with regard to hijacking trends in Gauteng. This data was obtained during the interviewing of convicted hijackers. The figures mentioned are not accurate statistics but rather the perspective of the hijacker relative to his actions.
"X 98% are male
"X 57% are Zulu speaking (Correlate with census demographics)
"X 23% are Sotho speaking (Correlate with census demographics)
"X 90% black
"X 7% white
"X 3% coloured

"X 33% 26 ¡V 29 years
"X 27% 22 ¡V 25 years
"X 20% 30 ¡V 33 years

Criminal and Conviction history
"X 60% was already involved in crime before committing the hijacking without being convicted
"X Averages 24 hijackings before being convicted

Reason for arrest
"X 30% as result of detective work
"X 70% either caught during the act, random SAPS patrols, private security companies or traffic police random searches

Marriage Status
"X 78% of hijackers are unmarried (includes common law marriages)

"X 67% Grade 10 ¡V 12
"X 23% Grade 7 ¡V 9
"X 7% Grade 1 ¡V 3
"X 3% Grade 4 ¡V 6

Flight of criminal
"X 87% of hijackers returned to their personal homes after committing the crime

47% Unemployed
17% Artisan
17% Scholar
7% Labourer
7% Taxi driver
3% Security Guard
3% Public Servant
3% Transporter

Military History
"X 73% no military training

Preference to other crimes
"X 76% prefer hijacking than any other crime because more lucrative, quick money and conviction rate much lower

Time frames
More likely to be hijacked: January, June, July, August
Less likely to be hijacked: December

More likely: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursday, Fridays (double than any other day)
Less likely: Sundays

16% 10h00 ¡V 20h00 most likely to occur
14% 08h00 ¡V 10h00
20h00 ¡V 04h00 less likely to occur

Areas hit by hijackings

"X 30% Previously exclusive black areas
"X 26% Previously exclusive white areas
"X 22% Rural
"X 11% CBD
"X 11% Rural town

Transport of hijacker

"X 59% will use a vehicle to get to the crime area
"X 33% will get there on foot

Destination of hijacked vehicle

"X 26% Syndicate
"X 22% Specific client
"X 15% Client still to be found to sell to
"X 15% Only robbed for cargo inside
"X 11% Personal use
"X 11% To commit another crime

Weapon of choice

"X 96% Handgun (the cocked sound intimidates the victim; concealment)
"X 4% Single shot rifle
Percentage armed
"X 96% of all hijackers are armed

Choice of victim

"X 55% No distinction
"X 30% Race
"X 11% Easy target
"X 4% Owner owes money

Number of victims per hijacking

"X 48% 1 occupant
"X 22% 3 occupants
"X 19% 2 occupants

Gender of victim

"X 89% no preference
"X 11% rather men than women (women generally perceived to resist and scream)

Amount of attackers
"X Average 3 hijackers involved per incident

Places hijackings occur

"X 22% Driveway
"X 11% T-junction
"X 52% Stop street, intersection, shopping complex, parked in street
"X 15% Driveway of business, office park or motorway (on mobile)

Planning of hijacking
"X 57% planned in which area crime is going to take place
"X 43% not planned to take a specific vehicle, but planned the area
"X 78% spent an hour in the area prior to hijacking
"X 70% of hijackings take place outside the area where the criminal actually resides

Preferred escape routes

"X 52% Highway
"X 15% Main Road
"X 15% Suburban streets
"X 7% Back streets

Disposal of vehicle

"X 36% Hand over to syndicate
"X 28% Hand over to client
"X 12% Sold out of hand
"X 8% Abandoned
"X 8% Looking for buyer
"X 4% Kept for own use
"X 4% Use in another crime

Behaviour of criminal
"X 70% of all hijackers never become angry

Hijackers opinions on how victims should react NB

"X 100% agree that you should submit immediately
"X 96% say you should raise your hands
"X 41% say it is a good sign if you plead for your life
"X 96% of hijackers prefer to open the door themselves
"X 90% of victims were shot because they became hysterical and screamed
"X 40% of hijackers prefer for you not to make eye contact
"X 85% would rather search victim outside vehicle
"X 22% prefer that the victim unclip safety belt
"X 100% of hijackers focus on their own safety first. Will act/shoot if there is even a remote chance that they could be harmed
"X 78% prefer that you not unclip your safety belt yourself. They would rather that you slide out of the belt to the passenger side or an accomplice will unclip it from the passenger door
"X 100% agree that the unclipping of the seat belt is the main reason that victims are shot. The ¡§click¡¨ sound of the safety belt unnerves the attackers and sounds like a firearm.
"X 78% of hijackers do not prefer that victims unclip their belts with the left hand
"X 93% prefer that you stand still outside to be searched once you have climbed out
"X 25% prefer that you lie on your stomach after exiting the vehicle
"X 75% prefer that you run or walk away
"X 93% say that they would rather shoot a victim than risk being caught or harmed.
"X 85% of victims will be allowed to go unhurt if they cooperate


Fate of driver

"X 12% left behind
"X 26% taken with
"X 11% shot

Method applied to driver to get control of vehicle

"X 93% Pointed by firearm
"X 7% Killed in vehicle

Reasons for the manner in which victim was treated (Above-mentioned)

"X 42% To maintain/get control
"X 26% To intimidate
"X 24% Preventative measure for own safety
"X 8% Victim resisted

Preventative measures by hijacker

"X 37% Took preventative measures to be caught
"X 63% Took no measures

Role of drugs/alcohol

"X 78% do not use any prior to act of hijacking

Elapsed time from the actual hijacking until getting rid of vehicle
"X 27% 30 minutes and less
"X 19% 30 minutes to 1 hour
"X 4% 1hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
"X 8% 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
"X 23% 4 to 9 hours
"X 19% 12 hours to 1 month

Preferred make of vehicle in Gauteng and resale value in ZAR
(In order of popularity)
"X BMW 14 500
"X Mercedes Benz (SLK most popular) 18 700
"X Honda Ballade 4 750
"X Toyota Corolla 900
"X Golf 13 500
"X Volvo 25 000
"X 4 X 4 10 250
"X Toyota Land Cruiser 8 500
"X Nissan 1400 Bakkie 3000

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