Gold at the end of World Cup rainbow

Gold at the end of World Cup rainbow

Rich pickings for pals in KZN carve-up. By Susan Puren (with additional reporting by Desiree Erasmus)

In the run-up to the 2010 World Cup a variety of politically connected groups were conniving to line their pockets. The pot of gold was brimming with government tenders up for grabs if you were prepared to share. It seems they shared big time!

On 15 December, a 30-page provisional indictment was presented to the high courts in Pretoria and Durban. It reads like a list of prizes to be won at a Mafia convention: paid holidays; jobs for girlfriends; tickets to football games; a rent-free palatial home and a multi-million-rand donation for The Don were all on the programme.

The wheels of justice grind slowly and it took five years before the law caught up with some of them. South Africa finally got a glimpse of the plotting and scheming that went on in the months before the 2010 World Cup.

Scamming for gold

Scamming for gold

Top mining executives commit fraud with impunity, confident their highly paid lawyers will make criminal charges ‘go away’. By Barry Sergeant

As ANC voters continue to show little concern for the corrupt doings of their party’s leadership, so the fund managers that direct the bulk of investments on the JSE apparently choose to ignore the blatant dishonesty and corrupt dealings of the executives of major companies in which they continue to invest pension and other trust funds.

If the terrible saga of Gold Fields and South Deep (nose192 “Digging into South Deep” and, before that, noses179,181&183) is not a sufficiently powerful symbol of South Africa’s inexorable loss of innocence – since Nick Holland took the CEO seat in May 2008, Gold Fields’ executives have earned more than R700 million in return for shamelessly spinning a plainly impossible future-production profile for South Deep – consider the scandalous goings-on at JSE-listed Sibanye, which was spun out of Gold Fields early in 2013.

Will axe fall?

Will axe fall?

Arrest of ANC grandee is intended to signal serious anti-corruption campaign — but is it for real?

The arrest in Durban in December of one-time political heavyweight, now diplomat, Sibusiso Ndebele, on a charge of corruption could be an indication that the 68-year-old has reached his sell-by date within the ANC.

If he is found guilty, Ndebele may just be the “big fish” – albeit a spent force – that the ANC needs as proof that it is serious about combating corruption. 

Ndebele is accused of being involved in looting the Department of Transport in a case that alleges money laundering, gifts of lavish holidays, bribes and 2010 World Cup tickets, all of which have cost the taxpayer in excess of R2 billion from 2010 to late last year.

And if he ever takes the stand, Ndebele will have to account for why he received more than R10m from a “consultant” who helped one company clinch a billion-rand deal from the transport ministry while he was at the helm.

Red alert!

Red alert!

A South African franchise of Liverpool’s famed youth academy is conjuring great dreams for young football hopefuls – at a price. By Jack Lundin

The Reds are here! “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is the anthem of Liverpool Football Club, home to one of the world’s most popular, charismatic booters of the ball. Now it seems those lonely days are over for South Africa’s neglected emerging talent, for Liverpool’s famed youth academy has opened its doors in South Africa, dangling the chance to young hopefuls of one day joining the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho at Anfield. But there’s a catch.

Kids between five and 17 are assured by the Liverpool Football Club International Academy SA that they will receive exactly the same training, learn the same winning techniques, as the elite youngsters at the club’s academy proper in the UK. Training will be conducted by professional coaches from LFC; twice a year 16-strong team groups will fly to the UK to train and play there.

Wow! What an opportunity for any soccer-mad youngster!

However, there are a few differences.

The blame game

The blame game

Ronald Bobroff and his attorney have met their match in an elaborate legal war of words. Judgment is pending on accusations of fraud and/or perjury. By Tony Beamish

Ronald and Darren Bobroff, the Joburg attorneys who have made a fortune  out of Road Accident Fund claims, never fail to simultaneously amuse and enrage Noseweek readers. Now the father-and-son attorneys, styled Ronald Bobroff & Partners (RBP), are defending a battery of court actions brought by former clients, who are demanding a full accounting for the fees they were charged and, in many instances, for the recovery of allegedly misappropriated trust monies.

Because of the alleged failure by the Law Society of the Northern Province to act on complaints of unprofessional conduct brought against it’s apparent favourite son, a privately brought application to have the Bobroffs struck from the Roll of Attorneys will be heard in the North Gauteng High Court in a few months’ time.

In the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Randburg Judge Brian Spilg is hearing a matter in which doubly injured 77-year-old Pretoria pensioner Christine Maree is suing the Bobroffs for an accounting.  Her first serious injury, which required a leg amputation, was as a result of medical negligence. The second, allegedly commenced the moment she engaged the services of RBP.

Three versions of a dark tale

Three versions of a dark tale

Ex-cop disputes background to killing of Hazel Crane.  By Jack Lundin

Was Superintendent Hans Kruger, former head of the Counterfeit Unit of the police’s Commercial Branch in Pretoria, a good cop? Or did he leave the police service under a cloud, rejected by the generals, when he sought to rejoin?

More than seven years ago Noseweek published an article (nose91) revealing the identity of the mystery woman friend who was with Hazel Crane when the society diva and Joburg crime queen was assassinated back in 2003. Margaret Turner came out of the shadows to spill the beans on Crane’s killer and the infamous counterfeit R5 coin scam run by the Israeli mafia. In the process of the telling, Supt Kruger got a few mentions.

Hans Kruger’s wife Lucinda is a 34-year-old attorney more than 20 years his junior, with her own small law firm in Benoni. She describes herself as a “litigation attorney”. Hans, who’s now a Lieut-Colonel with the police reservists, is 55 and has set himself up as a “labour practitioner”. Husband and wife share an office and they give each other work – Lucinda passing over the labour law stuff; Hans, anything that looks tasty in the field of litigation. [Such as a generous damages settlement from Noseweek? – Ed.]

The Photograph

The Photograph

Excerpts from the newly published Letters of Stone by Steven Robins

Growing up in Port Elizabeth in the 1960s and ’70s, I was always aware of a black-and-white postcard-size photograph of three women that stood on a black wooden table in our dining room. I had no idea who these women were other than a vague sense that they were my father’s family and that they had lived and died in Germany during the Second World War.

By the time I was in my teens I had a sense that they were killed in the Holocaust, but it was a vague awareness. I did not even know their names or exactly how they were related to me. Yet this portrait was to follow me around for many years, its subjects always watching me, hovering in the shadows, waiting for me to notice them, and to respond. The haunting expression on the face of the woman on the left had a particular hold over me.

They are dressed in old-fashioned, formal clothing, the older woman wearing a white ruff, the younger ones with white lace bows on their collars. Their expressions seem sombre and despairing. The eyes of the young woman on the right appear to squint. The older woman stares straight ahead and looks tired and forlorn. The woman on the left, the one who always attracted my attention, appears equally melancholy and defeated.

Fond memories of a charming rogue

Fond memories of a charming rogue

Loyal son protests his father’s innocence.  By Jack Lundin

Kenneth Bisogno, 50-something  son of the late adventurer and gems dealer Ernesto Bisogno, whose swashbuckling escapades in the opal business were recounted in nose195, is indignant at our description of his father as an “emerald smuggler”. Prove it, challenges Kenneth from his glass house, adding pompously that, alternatively, he reserves his rights.

Ernesto, who died in November aged 85, took delight in entertaining friends with stories of his often less-than-legal high jinks. And Kenneth’s own recent activities in the Seychelles reveal the son to be a true chip off the old block.

Bisogno Jnr suspects that Noseweek reached the smuggler conclusion because of a 1970s scam known as the Zambian Emerald Fiasco. We hadn’t been aware of that one, but according to a swift précis from Kenneth, it went like this: “He [Ernesto] was taken off an international Lufthansa flight en route to Frankfurt (transit at Lusaka) and jailed for 28 days under a Presidential Detention Order signed by Kenneth Kaunda himself.”

Nuke warrior

Nuke warrior

He was an anti-apartheid activist at 15 and a Rhodes Scholar who, as head of Greenpeace, has never been afraid to take on the World Economic Forum, governments, Shell and other multinational companies …  Kumi Naidoo is coming home to fight against South Africa’s controversial nuclear deal. By Susan Barkly

South Africa’s proposed deal for another nuclear power station is nothing more than a costly, dead-end road to nowhere, and clearly the wrong choice for the country. So says Kumi Naidoo, the charismatic South African former head of Greenpeace International. Naidoo recently left the environmental organisation  to add his muscle to the struggle for a “just energy future for our country”.

“I believe the South African government can still turn back from an expensive, dangerous nuclear nightmare,” Naidoo told Noseweek. “I’ll certainly be working – along with many others – to ensure that new nuclear projects do not go ahead in this country. Nuclear belongs in our past, and renewable energy is clearly our future.”

Naidoo will join forces with Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Initiative (Safcei) who filed papers in October, challenging the legality and constitutionality of the process now under way for new nuclear reactors.

It's a mad, mad, mad Oz world

It's a mad, mad, mad Oz world

New Year bloopers Australian MP Jamie Briggs stood down after admitting he behaved inappropriately toward a female diplomat during a night out in Hong Kong. It was embarrassing enough when he seeme ...

Priscilla, Queen of Hout Bay

Priscilla, Queen of Hout Bay

A tale of passion, deceit and squandered millions. Lithuanian website lures Austrian with stolen millions to a South African  honeypot with big boobs and long fingers. This fine specimen of Zimbabwean womanhood operates from a fancy ...
 
Gold at the end of World Cup rainbow

Gold at the end of World Cup rainbow

Rich pickings for pals in KZN carve-up. By Susan Puren (with additional reporting by Desiree Erasmus) In the run-up to the 2010 World Cup a variety of politically connected groups were conniving to ...

Scamming for gold

Scamming for gold

Top mining executives commit fraud with impunity, confident their highly paid lawyers will make criminal charges ‘go away’. By Barry Sergeant As ANC voters continue to show little concern for the corrupt doings of their ...

Will axe fall?

Will axe fall?

Arrest of ANC grandee is intended to signal serious anti-corruption campaign — but is it for real? The arrest in Durban in December of one-time political heavyweight, now diplomat, Sibusiso Ndebele, on a charge of ...

Red alert!

Red alert!

A South African franchise of Liverpool’s famed youth academy is conjuring great dreams for young football hopefuls – at a price. By Jack Lundin The Reds are here! “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is the anthem of ...

The blame game

The blame game

Ronald Bobroff and his attorney have met their match in an elaborate legal war of words. Judgment is pending on accusations of fraud and/or perjury. By Tony Beamish Ronald and Darren Bobroff, the Joburg ...

Three versions of a dark tale

Three versions of a dark tale

Ex-cop disputes background to killing of Hazel Crane.  By Jack Lundin Was Superintendent Hans Kruger, former head of the Counterfeit Unit of the police’s Commercial Branch in Pretoria, a good cop? Or did he leave ...

The Photograph

The Photograph

Excerpts from the newly published Letters of Stone by Steven Robins Growing up in Port Elizabeth in the 1960s and ’70s, I was always aware of a black-and-white postcard-size photograph of three women that stood ...

Fond memories of a charming rogue

Fond memories of a charming rogue

Loyal son protests his father’s innocence.  By Jack Lundin Kenneth Bisogno, 50-something  son of the late adventurer and gems dealer Ernesto Bisogno, whose swashbuckling escapades in the opal business were recounted in nose195, is ...

Nuke warrior

Nuke warrior

He was an anti-apartheid activist at 15 and a Rhodes Scholar who, as head of Greenpeace, has never been afraid to take on the World Economic Forum, governments, Shell and other multinational companies ...

It's a mad, mad, mad Oz world

It's a mad, mad, mad Oz world

New Year bloopers Australian MP Jamie Briggs stood down after admitting he behaved inappropriately toward a female diplomat during a night out in Hong Kong. It was embarrassing enough when he seemed to think it somehow ...