Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Crime, in any form will never be controlled if there are no or very little consequences for one's actions. Neither does it help when the perception is that there are a set of rules for one lot of people (read government and the wealthy) and another set of rules for the rest (read John Doe of Joe Public).
Corruption and fraud needs to be dealt with fairly and across the board. People who do the crime, need to understand that there is a consequence, irrespective of where they come from, what they do for a living and how much money they may or may not have in the bank.
May 19 2006 at 11:42AM
By Dominique HermanCorruption creates an inextricable link between finance, politics, society and the economy which, in turn, directly threatens national security, according to the head of South Africa's elite commercial crime fighting unit. "Things are bad here," said Leonard McCarthy, head of the Directorate of Special Operations, commonly known as the Scorpions. He added, however, that the country was not in the "quagmire" as many believed.
McCarthy was speaking on the second day of an Africa conference on economic crime in Cape Town on Thursday, attended by local corruption investigative heavyweights such as the National Director of Public Prosecutions, the head of investigations for the SA Reserve Bank and the Auditor General. He judged the level of corruption in the country by the frequency of corporate collapses, disputed contracts and liquidations, among other measurements.
Earlier, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) deputy chief executive Stanley Subramoney attributed the South African propensity for drafting good documents but not being too good at implementing them, to our colonial history and the resultant mindset that we needed an external party to do things for us. "As Africans, we do not believe in ourselves," Subramoney said. Billy Downer, chief prosecutor in the Schabir Shaik trial, said afterwards that the significance of petty, "simple" corruption could not be underestimated as it occurred more frequently than the instances of grand corruption exposed on the front pages of newspapers. The good news was that those crimes were being prosecuted regularly in the magistrate's and regional courts. According to the PwC 2005 Global Crime Economic Survey, presented at the conference the day before, South Africa was found to have the highest reported incidences of fraud by companies among the 34 countries surveyed. At the top of the list was asset misappropriation, linked to the aforementioned "simplistic" crime, such as the theft of laptops, cellphones, and the abuse of company resources.
o This article was originally published on page 6 of Cape Times on May 19, 2006
This story was taken off the Business Warrior site - a great business (and personal) information paradise. If you would like to check it out - please go to www.businesswarriors.co.za.
You will enjoy the experiance - I promise you.
A week at the Gym: One man's story
This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine. Dear Diary:For my fortieth birthday this year, my wife (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since playing on my college football team 25yrs ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservation with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26 yr. old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swimwear.My wife seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.MONDAY:Started my day at 6:00am.Tough to get out of bed, but it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me. She was something of a Greek goddess - with blonde hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile.Woo Hoo!!!!!She took my pulse after 5 minutes on the treadmill. She was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attributed it to standing next to her in her Lycra aerobics outfit. I enjoyed watching the skilful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today.Very inspiring, Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!TUESDAY:I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air, and then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile.I feel GREAT!! It's a whole new life for me.WEDNESDAY:The only way I can brush my teeth is by lying on the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered the other club members.Her voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this nasally whines that is VERY annoying. My chest hurts when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other shit too.THURSDAY:Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl I couldn't help being a half an hour late; it took me that long to tie my shoes. Belinda took me to workout with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the men's room. She sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing machine-which I sank.FRIDAY:I hate that bitch Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic little cheerleading bitch. If there were a part of my body could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it. Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the*&%#(#&** barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?SATURDAY:Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.SUNDAY:I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year, my wife (the bitch), will choose a gift for me that is fun - like a root canal or a vasectomy
Perhaps this means that we should be going back to basics and teaching our law enforcement officers that the life of a human being does have a value, irrespective of who that person may be! Shootings like this is why certain people in this world should not be put into any kind of position where they have any kind of power at all.
October 25 2006 at 12:06PM
By Rivonia NaiduA woman passenger is in a critical condition in hospital after a South Coast traffic officer at a vehicle check point in Hibberdene allegedly shot her in the head.Magotso Tsulele, 28, was one of eight passengers being transported in a Toyota Venture on Monday when the incident occurred.The traffic officer faces a charge of attempted murder.The driver of the Toyota allegedly failed to stop after being signalled to do so by the traffic officers manning the check point on the R102 Old Main Road. Police spokesperson Captain Vincent Pandarum said when the driver of the Toyota did not stop, one of the traffic officers fired a shot at the vehicle.
The bullet hit the woman. "Tsulele was admitted to the Port Shepstone Regional Hospital and remains in a serious condition. She has not regained consciousness. "None of the other passengers was injured as a result of the shooting," he said.He said the woman was identified by witnesses. A relative of the woman said they were deeply saddened by the shooting and were hoping for Tsulele to recover soon. The traffic officer is expected to appear in court soon.
o This article was originally published on page 1 of Daily News on October 25, 2006
Lee Rondganger July 11 2006 at 05:10AM
South African banks are flouting the country's Electronic Communication Transaction (ECT) Act - legislated to tackle cyber crime - by disclaiming liability when an online client's account is hacked into.This is according to Reinhardt Buys, an IT lawyer and expert. He said on Monday that contrary to the law, banks were not fully reimbursing clients whose banks accounts have been hacked.Buys said according to section 43 of the ECT Act the bank is liable for any damage caused to their clients."Yet almost all South African banks simply ignore these provisions and disclaim themselves from any and all liability," he said.
He says the banks hide behind their terms and conditions for Internet banking which put the onus on the client for risk or loss."Section 43(5) states that: 'The supplier (bank) must utilise a payment system that is sufficiently secure with reference to accepted technological standards at the time of the transaction and the type of transaction concerned' and section 43(6) states that: 'The supplier (bank) is liable for any damage suffered by a consumer (client) due to a failure by the supplier to comply with subsection 5.'," Buys said.He points out that Absa and Standard Bank's terms say the bank will in no event be liable for any damages.In addition, Buys said that the banks are not informing the clients about the true risks of Internet banking and are also giving their clients "tips" on Internet banking when they are actually conditions for Internet banking.Errol Smith, spokesperson for Absa, said the bank was not going to entertain Buys' accusations."We at Absa bank have sought legal advice on the Act and we can say that we provide the best possible safety measures which are endorsed by the international Lafferty Group."We do not believe we are transgressing any Act. "These allegations are far-fetched," he said.Herman Singh, director of Architecture and Technology Engineering at Standard Bank, said the matter was complex but the bank was looking into it."Standard Bank has introduced numerous security measures in the interest of its customers and the bank. The integrity of Standard Bank's Internet payment system remains intact and enjoys the highest levels of technology investment and expertise. Standard Bank online customers are encouraged to make use of the bank's online security measures to ensure they enjoy a safe and secure banking environment," he said.
o This article was originally published on page 2 of Pretoria News on July 11, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
October 17 2006 at 10:37AM
By Sholain GovenderA credit card fraudster who fleeced patrons of the Dros restaurant in Hatfield, Pretoria to the tune of R77 000 was on Monday sent to jail for three years.Hilton Brain Madzira, 21, appeared in the Pretoria commercial crimes court and pleaded guilty to 13 counts of fraud.He was also charged with contravening the Immigration Act by being in South Africa without a resident's permit or valid passport.
Madzira has a one-year-old child in Zimbabwe and is his family's sole breadwinner, a fact that magistrate Desmond Nair said he took into account when considering the sentence.Madzira admitted defrauding customers of the Dros restaurant in Hatfield in May this year while working there as a waiter.
Nair said he used a skimming device which was able to access and store credit card security information. This enabled Madzira, with the help of a syndicate he was part of, to reproduce those credit cards and buy goods with the fake cards."The accused abused a position of trust," said Nair. Because many waiters were now being used by syndicates to commit such crimes, there was a duty to "send out a message that the courts will not tolerate such activities".
· Madzira was also fined R5 000.
o This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on October 17, 2006
Surely this must be setting a very dangerous president!
In a bizarre case of mistaken identity, a man who spent four days in prison after being wrongly pointed out by a well-meaning member of the public, has been told that he cannot sue.
The Supreme Court of Appeal on Tuesday ruled that members of the public who honestly and on reasonable grounds report suspected crimes to the police do not incur liability for malicious arrest and prosecution.
Relyant Trading, which does business as Geen & Richards in Brits, successfully appealed against an order of the Pretoria High Court awarding damages to SP Shongwe who had sued them for malicious arrest and prosecution.
In May 2002, a man only known as Mr Makgabo bought a computer from the Geen & Richards store in Brits. He provided the store with the necessary documentation and they allowed him to conclude a hire purchase agreement. He took the computer, but did not pay the instalments. He also subsequently disappeared. On investigation it turned out that his employment details were fake.
A fraud charge was laid with the police. In August 2002, Shongwe happened to walk past the store. The woman who had sold the computer to Makgabo thought - erroneously - that he was Makgabo. Shongwe did not have his ID book with him. He, however, vowed to return with it to prove that he was not Makgabo.
The woman phoned the police and they arrested him. From August 28 to September 4 he was kept in custody and then released on bail. The charges were, however, withdrawn in December 2002.
In its judgment, the Supreme Court of Appeal held that it was the police and not the employees of Geen & Richards who had arrested Shongwe.
Consequently, the court held, the employees could not be held liable for malicious arrest and prosecution. Shongwe had sued the police, but his claim against them was dismissed.
o This article was originally published on page 3 of Daily News on September 27, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
What a sick society we live in, where thieves and robbers target the weak and infirm . . . . . bet they were all bullies when they were children. This is reprehensible!
October 11 2006 at 11:04AM
Two armed men held up the office of a Ladysmith primary school before making off with "a small amount of money", police said on Wednesday.
Police spokesperson Captain Charmaine Struwig said two men, one of whom was armed, entered the office at the Aloe Park Primary School on Tuesday.
At the time, two staff members in the office were busy helping a woman who apparently wanted to enrol her child .
The two men demanded cash and robbed the staff members.
Struwig said it was not immediately clear how much cash the robbers took, but it was believed to be no more than R3 000. No shots were fired and no one was injured.
She said initial investigations indicated another two robbers might have been lurking on the outside of the office premises.
Struwig said the woman who was being helped by the two staff members disappeared and police were looking for her.
"We are not sure whether she ran away because she was afraid or because she was involved. It is something that is being looked into," said Struwig. - Sapa
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
On the lighter side of life. . . . .
The Aspiring Copy Writer
This is a real life exam of a Grade 5 (Std. 3) pupil.
Primary School Exam 1 of the second term
Write an essay on the following question: "What is a crocodile?"
Use block letters and write legibly.
Name: GERHARD JANSE VAN VUUREN
Date: Monday 22/05/2003
The crokodil is specially built so long because the flatter the better
swimmer. At the front of the crokodil is the head. The head exists
almost only of teeth. Behind the crokodil the tail grows.
Between the head and the tail is the crokodil.
A crokodil without a tail is called a rotwieler.
A crokodil's body is covered with handbag material.
He can throw his tail off if he gets a fright
but it doesn't happen much because a crokodil is scared
of nothing. A crokodil stays under the water because if you were so
ugly, you would also stay under the water.
It is good that a crokodil stays under the water,
because a person gets such a big fright if a crokodil catches
you that he first has to rinse you off before he can eat you.
A crokodil isn't hardly as dangerous as people say he is, except if he catches you.
The longer he bites you, ! the more it hurts. Very old crokodils suck their
people and buck that they catch dead.
If you eat him, he is a crokosatie.
A crokodil did not learn to swim with his arms so he uses his tail.
The little brother of the crokodil is a lizard.
The slow sister of the crokodil is a chameleon.
The gay brother of the crokodil is a daffodil. And the
crokodil also has a dead brother the frikkidel.
Seems like the fraudsters are out in full force again. Be careful of handing out your personal details to anyone. Identity fraud seems to be the order of the day.
Government Orders Scam
This message was received from one of our franchisees.
"There is currently a scam taking place where you may receive a Government Order with all your details thereon. It appears all above-board, BUT please then ensure that you verify the order first before delivering any stock. This can be done by phoning the number on the order from your cellphone. It is important that you phone from your cellphone as the number is diverted by the scam artists to another cellphone number, which you will then be able to see. If still unsure contact your nearest Government Office to verify all the details on the order, by checking in your local telephone directory. It appears that this scam tends to occur on a Friday."
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1950's, 60's, 70's, 80's !!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a UTE(Bakkie) on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drink with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given cowboy guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not poke out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
The town football club had tryout for the junior team and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned
HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good. and while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
October 06 2006 at 06:43AM
The microphone is no bigger than the head of a match; the high-definition camera is smaller than a R2 coin.
No, these are not gadgets you would find in a James Bond movie, but real hi-tech devices that spies are using to bug the boardrooms of major corporations.
GriffithsReid, a security consultancy firm, said on Thursday that incidents of corporate espionage had risen dramatically in South Africa as companies, wanting to get an edge on their competitors, increasingly turned to private investigators to spy on them.
Tim Jackson, an investigator at GriffithsReid, has discovered listening devices and hi-tech spying equipment in the offices and boardrooms of several top companies
Many of the incidents of corporate espionage went unreported, Jackson said, as companies feared that their reputations would be adversely affected if these were made public.
Jackson said this was why there were no precise statistics on how widespread the problem was.
"It is virtually impossible to put an exact figure on it because, a lot of the time, people do not even know they are being bugged.
"In the United States, corporate espionage costs businesses billions of dollars, and I would say that here it would run into many millions (of rands)," he said.
Willie Jacobsz, spokesperson for Gold Fields, said the mining company was aware of corporate espionage and conducted regular sweeps for bugging devices.
"We have certainly not experienced anything like that, not to our knowledge at least. However, we do ensure that our confidential matters remain confidential.
"We have never discovered bugging devices, but we do sweeps every now and then," he said.
Out of every 20 companies that GriffithsReid sweep for bugging devices, at least one is found. They are called out at least twice a week by businesses who fear they have been infiltrated.
A few months ago, a publicly listed company, which GriffithsReid would not name because of contractual obligations, were concerned that sensitive information had been leaking to their major competitor.
They did not know how, because the information being leaked was privy only to board members.
"When I got to the company we began sweeping for bugs. We went to the boardroom, checked a ceiling panel and found that a cellphone had been installed.
"Whenever these guys went into a meeting, the entire proceedings were being relayed to the spy.
"When we showed the directors the device they were not very happy about it," Jackson said.
Corporate spies usually breached a company's security by first staking out the building and then pretending to be cleaning staff.
Several companies contacted by The Star on Thursday denied that corporate espionage was or had occurred in their organisation.
Ilja Graulich of DRD Gold said: "We certainly don't have any experience of this."
- This article was originally published on page 3 of The Star on October 06, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
May 19 2005 at 07:41AM
A rapidly spreading email has been illicitly attempting to obtain the details of unsuspecting online First National Bank customers. A local anti-virus company, NOD32 South Africa, said at first glance the email appeared to have been sent by FNB.
Closer examination revealed that it was not a genuine FNB email, but the latest in the recent spate of international "phishing" email scams. Until now, such scams only targeted users of big banks in Britain and the United States.
"Phishing" involves sending an email which attempts to lure the reader to a clone of the bank website.
One variation of the bogus email said: "This email was sent by the FNB server to verify your email address. You must complete this process by clicking on the link below and entering your FNB user ID and password. This is done for your protection because some of our members no longer have access to their email addresses and we must verify it."
NOD32 CEO Justin Stanford said: "The email appears to the end-user to be coming from a genuine FNB employee and coerces the user into clicking on a website link, which attempts to obtain their internet banking username and password. The website actually uses a part of FNB's real website, as well as a site redirection trick, to appear extremely authentic. Even to users familiar with computers, it is very convincing.
"This is among the first South African bank-specific phishing email seen... and, because of its authentic appearance, we expect many users may have already stepped into the trap. Users are advised to be extremely cautious when receiving such an email, and to ignore it completely. If unsure, contact your bank to double-check its authenticity," Stanford said.
FNB customers who received the email and who had supplied a username and password to the scam website were advised to contact the bank immediately to change their access details.
FNB spokesperson Jennifer Heeger said: "The initial investigation shows that the website is hosted outside of South Africa. The bank is doing everything in its power to shut the website down as soon as possible."
FNB has encouraged its customers to beware of email scams, and to be alert to the following security precautions:
Roland le Sueur, Head of FNB Internet Banking, said just five customers had been affected by the email and a small amount would be refunded. He said the clone website had previously been found and shut down but kept resurfacing.
- This article was originally published on page 3 of The Mercury on May 19, 2005