New chocolate too sweet to be true

New chocolate too sweet to be true

Popular new sugar-free, organic chocolate proves to be neither.

Any new entrant into the health food market should be prepared for all kinds of scrutiny. Just ask Daniel Waldis, apparently the owner and founder of Le Chocolatier, based in Paarl. Waldis’s problems with a number of retail outlets hinge mainly around his use of the terms “no sugar” and “organic” on certain chocolates he has sold (always on a cash up-front basis).

For any number of people, this seemed like manna from heaven, especially those suffering from diabetes, and also many forms of cancer. It has been known for decades that cancer cells flourish when their host ingests sugar.

Body parts rot at Jozi medical depot

Body parts rot at Jozi medical depot

Medical waste plant breakdown.

Eskom blamed as freezers and incinerators fail and containers of body parts and blood remain stacked and rotting in the open.

Solid Waste Technologies SA, the country’s largest medical waste disposal enterprise with dozens of hospital contracts, including with the Netcare group, boasts on its website: “The best medical waste treatment and service delivery company in Africa, providing exceptional standards in environmental and integrated waste management services. We strive to conduct all activities within the confines of environmental laws.”

Yet nothing could be further from the truth. The SWTSA plant at City Deep in Johannesburg was shut down for a week last November for a list of serious environmental transgressions, not least the leakage of dangerous medical waste near stormwater flow paths; containers full of medical waste left uncovered in open areas; and hazardous waste not being correctly treated to ensure all bacteria and other pathogens are killed.

The unbearable lightness of being a forex heavyweight

The unbearable lightness of being a forex heavyweight

For those with an eye on foreign markets, the 19 May announcement by the Competition Commission of a probe into suspect foreign exchange dealing by certain banks was long overdue; a 2002 inquiry was not properly conducted, nor has there been the necessary rigorous investigation by domestic regulators.

This year, again, within hours of the recent Competition Commission announcement, the Minister of Finance was rushing around babbling about it “not being in the national interest to undermine confidence in the banking sector” – the oldest defence of corrupt bankers when dealing with weak or deeply indebted  governments. The bankers had obviously already made some calls.

But this time around, things could be different. There are indications that the new probe could be based on information directly from dealing rooms – something that the 2002 inquiry wasn’t allowed to touch. This time, the specificity of the allegations announced by the commission indicates that certain foreign exchange dealers are accused of colluding by using an instant electronic messaging chat room called “ZAR Domination”, to coordinate  trading activities when quoting to customers buying or selling currency. (ZAR is international symbol for the rand).

The allegation is, essentially, that certain banks colluded to fix quotes.

Elphick's Lesotho diamond deals

Elphick's Lesotho diamond deals

Between a rock and a hard place: Part 2.

Clifford Elphick strikes a hush-hush diamond deal with a cabinet minister in Lesotho

In Mauritius, a factory was rented in the small town of L’Escalier, close to balmy Blue Bay. And Andy Allan, new business analyst at Gem Diamonds, assured Mauritian Industry Minister Rejesh Jeetah that the newly-formed Gem Diamond Technology (Mauritius) and its “state of the art laser polishing technology” was only months away from producing “the best quality diamonds in the world”.

But by the fourth quarter of 2008 the global banking crisis had hit the diamond industry and Gem was obliged to raise $98.8m by issuing 75m additional shares to settle outstanding debt. The drive was now on to generate cash and lower the outflows, said Elphick, ordering the beneficiation project in Mauritius – and another in Dubai – to be placed on ice. 

However, unknown to Bond and Minister Jeetah, there was more to it than that. Noseweek can reveal that in the months before Gem’s R47m acquisition of Calibrated from Petra Diamonds in September 2008, Clifford Elphick was struggling to pull off a gamble which, if successful, would enable him to keep his acquisition promise to deliver to John Bond each month enough high quality carats, while still also supplying diamonds from his Letseng mine in Lesotho to the Matrix cutting plant in Antwerp, and opening the way for his planned diamond cutting/selling operation in Dubai.

Turning up the heat on Defy

Turning up the heat on Defy

All I wanted was a caring response.

Why is it that CEOs believe they are untouchable living in their ivory towers hiding from those who put them there in the first place – and continue to pay for them to be there, protected by their lowly PAs and receptionists? And why is it that they refuse to speak with their client base or deal with the real issues surrounding their companies?

Times Media plans to screw workers

Times Media plans to screw workers

Medical aid increases are only for former top management. 

Victory – of a sort – for an elite minority of 23 former Times Media pensioners, in their battle for annual increases to be restored for their post-retirement medical subsidy.

The 23, led by former Times Media MDs Stephen Mulholland and Roy Paulson, with ex-Sunday Times managing editor Jimmy Mould doing the donkey work, have discreetly accepted a settlement offer by incumbent CEO Andrew Bonamour that will see their full medical subsidies restored, backdated for the last two years. But Bonamour refuses to extend the settlement to the group’s remaining 365 old-timers.

What's cooking? Journalism?

What's cooking? Journalism?

Far nicer things to do.

I was a journalist – for 30 years. A female columnist for a Sunday newspaper once wrote that if journalists were the “nagkardrywers” (sewerage cart drivers) of society, I’m grubbier than any of them.

She said it probably because I’ve encountered my fair share of loonies and psychos, civil war and genocide, warmongers and cut-throats and scammers and tricksters.

Hunter S Thompson once said that journalism is a “cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits – a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.”

The minutes that Investec wants obliterated from the history of the world

The minutes that Investec wants obliterated from the history of the world

David Nurek rides over the rules. The North Gauteng high court case in which the Randgold minorities are suing Investec has to date spawned more than 15,000 pages of evidence, yet the merits of ...
 
New chocolate too sweet to be true

New chocolate too sweet to be true

Popular new sugar-free, organic chocolate proves to be neither. Any new entrant into the health food market should be prepared for all kinds of scrutiny. Just ask Daniel Waldis, apparently the owner and founder ...

Body parts rot at Jozi medical depot

Body parts rot at Jozi medical depot

Medical waste plant breakdown. Eskom blamed as freezers and incinerators fail and containers of body parts and blood remain stacked and rotting in the open. Solid Waste Technologies SA, the country’s largest medical waste ...

The unbearable lightness of being a forex heavyweight

The unbearable lightness of being a forex heavyweight

For those with an eye on foreign markets, the 19 May announcement by the Competition Commission of a probe into suspect foreign exchange dealing by certain banks was long overdue; a 2002 inquiry ...

Elphick's Lesotho diamond deals

Elphick's Lesotho diamond deals

Between a rock and a hard place: Part 2. Clifford Elphick strikes a hush-hush diamond deal with a cabinet minister in Lesotho In Mauritius, a factory was rented in the small town of L’Escalier, close to ...

Turning up the heat on Defy

Turning up the heat on Defy

All I wanted was a caring response. Why is it that CEOs believe they are untouchable living in their ivory towers hiding from those who put them there in the first place – ...

Times Media plans to screw workers

Times Media plans to screw workers

Medical aid increases are only for former top management.  Victory – of a sort – for an elite minority of 23 former Times Media pensioners, in their battle for annual increases to be restored ...

What's cooking? Journalism?

What's cooking? Journalism?

Far nicer things to do. I was a journalist – for 30 years. A female columnist for a Sunday newspaper once wrote that if journalists were the “nagkardrywers” (sewerage cart drivers) of society, ...