The secret grave of JCI

The secret grave of JCI

The proposed transaction is strange and possibly sinister

JCI, once the mother ship of the late Brett Kebble, is desperately involved in a dodgy scheme to quietly bury itself, while pretending to do something else. Investec, the somewhat controversial Johannesburg-based niche bank, holds 898 million  shares in JCI – 26.7% of the equity – and is owed R89m by a JCI which until very recently was seriously short of cash with which to pay the debt.

Shifty shades of Gray

Shifty shades of Gray

Peter Gray was Brett Kebble’s bankroller and laundering stockbroker. He was also Investec’s lead cover-up man.  by Barry Sergeant

In the wake of August’s debacle at African Bank, Investec’s eternal CEO Stephen Koseff was quoted as saying South Africa has a “reputation as a top regulatory destination”.

Investec, like other big banks and corporates, spends untold millions promoting the illusion that South Africa’s regulations (and laws) are among the best in the world. Beneath its veneer, the niche bank conducts itself in a manner that can only be described as astonishing.

One of the most usefully revealing plotlines to follow in the saga is undoubtedly the most recent 17 years of Peter Henry Gray’s career. He was intimately involved in the heaviest sections of the most egregious corporate raid and theft in South African history. Noseweek first set out on Gray’s trail eight years ago in nose81. In the light of what has transpired since, it’s more than due for an update.

The voice of innocence

The voice of innocence

Forensic DNA lab plans to free wrongfully jailed convicts.

In a few weeks’ time a small team under the banner of the Innocence Project will be making its way into jails around South Africa, starting in the Western Cape, on a mission to exonerate people who have been wrongfully convicted.

The team, from the University of Western Cape’s Forensic DNA Laboratory, will hand out flyers urging
prisoners who insist they were wrongfully convicted to contact them for help.

The non-profit Innocence Project is dedicated to helping prisoners prove their innocence through the use of DNA or other forensic evidence. And, according to Professor Sean Davison, head of the DNA lab and co-founder of the Innocence Project in South Africa, they anticipate a strong response.

“There are many prisoners sitting in jails around the country who have been wrongly convicted,” he says

The Goodbye Man

The Goodbye Man

He gave his sick mother a fatal dose of morphine – now he campaigns for the right to choose death.

Sean Davison is committed to the work of Dignity South Africa, a campaign to allow legal assisted dying. His passion stems from the experience of being sentenced to five months’ house arrest in New Zealand in 2011 for helping his 85-year-old terminally ill mother, Patricia Ferguson, die by giving her a lethal dose of morphine.

The recent suicide of Inkatha Freedom Party MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini, who had endured a long struggle with terminal lung cancer, has given impetus to Dignity SA. And Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu also weighed in on the issue, identifying the dilemma as a human rights issue.

We're not ready for Ebola

We're not ready for Ebola

We’re not  ready  for Ebola ...if the way we’re handling TB is anything to go by.

South Africa’s record in its initial handling of the HIV/Aids pandemic – without antiretroviral drugs – and the burgeoning spread of extremely/extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) casts doubt on the country’s capacity to cope with Ebola.

The known daily TB death rate in South Africa is nearly 14 times the average daily Ebola death rate across the four affected West African countries since March. XDR-TB, which kills 90% of its victims, is out of control in South Africa – a sobering thought when contemplating how we are likely to deal with – or more likely not cope  with – an Ebola outbreak.

Read the small print - or else!

Read the small print - or else!

David Momberg thought he was covered for the life-changing circumstances that have befallen him. After all, back in 2001 he took out a policy for just such an eventuality. With a payout in the order of R660,000, it insured him against death or disability. But, as a Liberty official told him in rejecting his claim, “You’ve basically got to be a vegetable”.

The insurers have since apologised for that crude, insensitive remark but they’ve had no change of heart regarding his payout.

Making a trademark out of a mountain

Making a trademark out of a mountain

And you thought TM were the initials of Cape Town’s favourite landmark?

Trademark bullying – or trademark madness, if you prefer – is a topic familiar to Noseweek readers. Notable examples are Justin Nurse’s parody of the Black Label brand which he mischievously changed to Black Labour, and his adulteration of Standard Bank, to Standard Wank. More recently there was the dairy farmer who made out that he owned the name of the town Darling. It’s an entertaining topic. And what’s not to enjoy when corporations and organisations make complete arses of themselves?

Are we being taken for a ride?

Are we being taken for a ride?

Tension building over secret toll roads planning.

Sanral plans a slew of new toll roads in the Western Cape and the national roads agency is keen to keep the preferred bidder’s tender details secret. Now a court has ruled that any of the details – information of interest to the already over-taxed motorist, including the proposed toll costs – must be kept under wraps, at least for the moment.

It seems the usual big boys are to get the job, along with a few token accommodations for BEE. They include Basil Read, Group 5 and the French firm Bouygues Travaux Publics – under the umbrella of the Protea Parkways Consortium, which is the preferred bidder for construction of the N1/N2 Winelands Toll Roads.

Conman to the great and good...by Royal Appointment

Conman to the great and good...by Royal Appointment

He stands accused of living like a king on money intended for the poor Dr Harold E Robles is “Special  Advisor” to a brand new organisation called Health Promoters. Though he’s mentioned on ...

Latest reports from Africa Confidential

Latest reports from Africa Confidential

Cashgate crisis. Steps being taken to protect big fish

The first conviction in Malawi’s Cashgate case has set the tone for the rest of the trial; senior politicians on all sides may find themselves implicated. On 28 August former Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, Treaser Namathanga-Senzani pleaded guilty to theft of public funds and agreed that she would return K63 million (R1.7m) to the exchequer.

The shooting of Finance Ministry Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo last October led to the uncovering of the theft of K13 billion (R362m) in public money by civil servants and politicians is Malawi’s gravest political crisis since multi-party democracy began. The theft was carried out by submitting inflated invoices or bills for non-existent services.

Cardinal errors.

Cardinal errors.

Truckers ‘deeply insulted’ by cleric’s remark

The inappropriateness award for August must go to Cardinal George Pell. Testifying to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the former Archbishop of Sydney said: “If a truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don’t think it’s appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company, to be held responsible… Similarly with the church and the head of any other organisation…”

UPDATES: Hustlers and rustlers ♦ The end of the Rhodes

UPDATES: Hustlers and rustlers ♦ The end of the Rhodes

Hustlers and rustlers

In October 2013, Bruce Taynton was hopeful that the 215 cows he’d leased to fellow farmer Cornelius Andries Petrus Loggenberg – “Klein Cor” or “Cap” for short – would be returned or compensated for...

The end of the Rhodes

When Nigel Owles lost his Rhodes Hotel to smooth-talking Pieter van Wyk in 2009 he believed that justice would be done eventually. Sadly, that has not been the case...

'Sidney Frankel is a paedophile'

'Sidney Frankel is a paedophile'

Depression and an inability to form trusting relationships have defined me, says one victim Stockbroker Sidney Frankel is a paedophile who has left many of his child victims psychologically damaged for life. A year ...
 
The secret grave of JCI

The secret grave of JCI

The proposed transaction is strange and possibly sinister JCI, once the mother ship of the late Brett Kebble, is desperately involved in a dodgy scheme to quietly bury itself, while pretending to do something ...

Shifty shades of Gray

Shifty shades of Gray

Peter Gray was Brett Kebble’s bankroller and laundering stockbroker. He was also Investec’s lead cover-up man.  by Barry Sergeant In the wake of August’s debacle at African Bank, ...

The voice of innocence

The voice of innocence

Forensic DNA lab plans to free wrongfully jailed convicts. In a few weeks’ time a small team under the banner of the Innocence Project will be making its way into jails around South Africa, ...

The Goodbye Man

The Goodbye Man

He gave his sick mother a fatal dose of morphine – now he campaigns for the right to choose death. Sean Davison is committed to the work of Dignity South Africa, a campaign to ...

We're not ready for Ebola

We're not ready for Ebola

We’re not  ready  for Ebola ...if the way we’re handling TB is anything to go by. South Africa’s record in its initial handling of the HIV/Aids pandemic – without antiretroviral drugs – and the ...

Read the small print - or else!

Read the small print - or else!

David Momberg thought he was covered for the life-changing circumstances that have befallen him. After all, back in 2001 he took out a policy for just such an eventuality. With a payout in ...

Making a trademark out of a mountain

Making a trademark out of a mountain

And you thought TM were the initials of Cape Town’s favourite landmark? Trademark bullying – or trademark madness, if you prefer – is a topic familiar to Noseweek readers. Notable examples are Justin Nurse’s ...

Are we being taken for a ride?

Are we being taken for a ride?

Tension building over secret toll roads planning. Sanral plans a slew of new toll roads in the Western Cape and the national roads agency is keen to keep the preferred bidder’s tender details ...

Conman to the great and good...by Royal Appointment

Conman to the great and good...by Royal Appointment

He stands accused of living like a king on money intended for the poor Dr Harold E Robles is “Special  Advisor” to a brand new organisation called Health Promoters. Though he’s mentioned on their website, you ...

Latest reports from Africa Confidential

Latest reports from Africa Confidential

Cashgate crisis. Steps being taken to protect big fish The first conviction in Malawi’s Cashgate case has set the tone for the rest of the trial; senior politicians on all sides may find themselves ...

Cardinal errors.

Cardinal errors.

Truckers ‘deeply insulted’ by cleric’s remark The inappropriateness award for August must go to Cardinal George Pell. Testifying to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the former Archbishop of Sydney ...

UPDATES: Hustlers and rustlers ♦ The end of the Rhodes

UPDATES: Hustlers and rustlers ♦ The end of the Rhodes

Hustlers and rustlers -  In October 2013, Bruce Taynton was hopeful that the 215 cows he’d leased to fellow farmer Cornelius Andries Petrus Loggenberg – “Klein Cor” or “Cap” for short – would ...