Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Quite frankly, this is just not acceptable! With all the gazillions that Microsoft makes off the 90% of the worlds computer users, you would think that they would take better care of us all. Clearly they don't give a damn! Well, I will be showing them my deepest appreciation of the loving care that they have shown me by voting with my feet. My next laptop will be an 'apple'!

I guess in the grand scheme of everything, they would care a hoot that one person has left the fold so to speak - but guess what, my information and my data will be safe!

Microsoft warns of 5 security holes
15 November 2006 at 08h16

San Francisco - Microsoft has issued five "critical" security patches to fix flaws in its software that the company warned could allow attackers to take control of a user's computer.

Security bulletin

Microsoft, whose Windows operating system runs on 90 percent of the world's computers, issued the patches as part of its monthly security bulletin.

The world's biggest software maker defines a flaw as "critical" when the vulnerability could allow a damaging Internet worm to replicate without the user doing anything to the machine.

The company said four of the "critical" patches fixed holes in its Windows operating system. Microsoft also issued another security update for Windows it rated at the lower threat level of "important."

Core services package

The other "critical" patch targeted Microsoft's XML Core Services package.

The company has been working for more than three years to improve the security and reliability of its software as more and more malicious software target weaknesses in Windows and other Microsoft software.

The latest patches can be downloaded at - Reuters

Tuesday, October 30, 2007




My friend Geraldine Bunting from Cheyenne Financial Services ( always tells me that one of the things that her mother used to say is “There is a reason that God gave us two ears and one mouth!”

Frankly, I agree – we don’t listen enough. We are so busy, thinking about a clever thing to say in response that we don’t listen to all of what the other person is trying to say and yet conversely we become offended if someone doesn’t listen to what we have to say.

I am always reminded of an incident that happened to me at the garage. The petrol attendant asked me 3 times whether I wanted unleaded or leaded and each time, when I answered him, he was so busy talking to his mate that he didn’t listen – the result of course, is that he put the wrong petrol into my car. When I pointed this out to him, he immediately stopped the incorrect petrol pump and started putting the correct petrol into the tank. When it came time to pay, I was presented with a bill for xx amount of litres of incorrect petrol and yy amount of litres of correct petrol – I refused to pay for the incorrect petrol. The Manager entered the debate and tried to insist that I pay for the incorrect petrol as “it was already in my tank” – I refused and invited him to remove it from the tank as I had neither asked for it nor did I want it – in fact, I requested his name and contact details, as if anything untoward happened to my car, as a result of the wrong fuel being put into the car, I would be holding him personally responsible.

In this instance, not only did the petrol attendant not listen to the instruction, but when the result of this could have cost the garage money – suddenly it became my problem! How bizarre! Anyone who knows me though, knows that I did not pay for the incorrect petrol – in my opinion, the petrol attendant and the garage needed to be responsible for their own shortcomings – but that is another story for another day.

The point that I am trying to make is that there is usually a consequence for not listening and when you are in a networking environment this is usually the loss of a lead, loss of a sale and invariably – loss of a client!

A bit harsh, you may think! But think about it logically for a moment. Let’s say you are telling someone who you are and what it is that you are doing – he on the other hand, whilst appearing to be very interested in what you are saying, is watching the nubile young waitress who is serving a table nearby and clearly by following his glance and the glazed look in his eyes, he is not paying attention. He sells motor vehicles. At the same meeting, there is another chap who also sells motor vehicles. He on the other hand not only listens carefully to what you are saying, but also takes notes and asks pertinent questions and really tries to understand what you are all about.

The very next day, your friend Geraldine Bunting is looking for a car, but wants to talk to someone who is not going to rip her off and who will tell her the truth – which of the two guys above are you going to refer her to – for me it’s a ‘no brainer’!

In my opinion, there is a consequence, each and every time that you do not listen – the question remains however, whether you are prepared to bear that consequence or not.

It’s a conscious decision that only you can make!

Monday, October 29, 2007


Lessons in Life

The quote today comes from William Golding who says “Consider a man riding a bicycle. Whoever he is, we can say three things about him. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. Most important of all, we know that if at any point between the beginning and the end of his journey he stops moving and does not get off the bicycle he will fall off it. That is a metaphor for the journey through life of any living thing, and I think of any society of living things.”

On a personal level, this for me is true, both from a personal and business prospective.

Imagine, if you will – in your business, just going about things in the same way as when you started. In my opinion, at some point, everything will just stop moving. You need to constantly strive to do things better, to improve your service to your clients, to get new clients, to get new products and/or services.

I am reminded of this by one of my recent clients. The family business, let’s call it Joe Blogs’s Inc, started in 1967, by his father. In it’s hey day they had 24 members of staff and a production line that worked very well, selling widgets. They started off with just the father and his dream and he worked at it, adding new products and different lines and it grew and grew until about 10 years ago, when everything seemed to go somewhat pear-shaped.

You see the father became ill and went into semi retirement, and his son took over the business. Now the son is an Entrepreneur of note. He has wonderful ideas, but has no plan on how to implement things. So even while all the ideas are whizzing around in his head, he tries to carry on with “Business as usual”. The problem is that the area where the factory is, deteriorates, people move shops into the malls that have sprung up everywhere you look in Gauteng and business starts to slow down.

The son panics and ups production, but soon – with very few goods sales happening, he has to start downsizing and eventually is reduced to himself and two staff members. The premises are allowed to deteriorate and pretty soon, he is making just enough money to ‘tick-over’.

Then he meets me and I do an assessment on his business. The administrative side of the business is in a mess. We put together a plan to sort it out. “Spring cleaning” is the first order of the day and the premises are cleaned from top to toe and with a fresh coat of paint, clean windows and new curtains – the place already looks and feels different and I can see how this small change has actually made a difference to him.

We get all the administration sorted out and then start on a marketing campaign. His ideas are all recorded (never been done by him before), they are prioritized and we bring in one new product every two months. We leave ‘adverts’ at all of the Unemployment Offices around town and pretty soon we have a small work staff, who purchase stock from him for re-sale into the townships. He now has to increase his production staff and we are back up to five people in the factory.

He now has goals, he has direction and his life has purpose again. He is moving forward, constantly changing, constantly seeking, constantly riding his bicycle and remaining upright!

Now I get a call once a month or so – to tell me how he is doing. What he has achieved and what his goals for the following month are. All he needed was to understand that the bicycle needed to be kept in motion, preferably a forward motion in order for it to stay balanced and upright.

What are you doing on your bicycle? Are you riding it towards something, are you going round in circles, have you planned your journey?

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Oh my, my favorite topic - Manto! This is brilliant! I am not sure which newspaper it came out of and who wrote it - it arrived in my mailbox as a newspaper clipping! Don't forget the accent when you read it out aloud!

Whoever it is - well done!


The DA should relax. Because of them, Babalaas-Msimang has had to issue a few statements recently.

"Although I was Absynthe from office for several months, I wish to remind you I Amstel the Minister of Health, am not a dictator but I Amarula and I will continue to Rum the department of health." she stated, announcing her return to office.

When quizzed on her health, she mentioned she had recovered well. "Of course I am well" she retorted "I am more than well - I am OKWV! Ask a stupid question, get a stupid Hansa."

Despite being asked about her new liver, she made no reference to the Morgan transplant.

President Mbeki has rallied around his friend: "She has my Absolut support. That is why I wiped that silly Smirnoff her former deuty's face."

"The opposition will not be able to Tequila career."

Let's face it - no matter how many times the DA has stirred she appears unshaken, and despite her career seemingly being on the rocks, the Minister is still a Mainstay of the ANC government.


This is yesterday's post!

Why is it with politics, that you can never just say "Congratulations and well done!" and leave it at that - there must always be a sting in the tail. Some comment or another must be made to disparage or to belittle or to negate or to mar.

If the truth be told, the ANC themselves haven't met service delivery for the people - recent protests and blocking of roads all over Gauteng more than evidence this, yet they have the nerve to point a finger, even before Zille's term has started.

Needless to say, I am once again amused by our Government and it's leaders - every inch of the way, they have to (and it appears that it is the only way that they can do it) make a name for themselves at someone else's expense. Tells me a whole story all on it's own!

ANC congratulates Zille, warns of 'dark cloud'
Johannesburg, South Africa
07 May 2007 07:11

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Sunday congratulated Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille on her election as head of the country's official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA)."The ANC congratulated Helen Zille for her victory. We wish her the best of times as the new leader of the opposition," said ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama. The party's Western Cape branch, however, received Zille's appointment with mixed feelings, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Western Cape ANC chairperson James Ncqulu said while the ANC welcomed Zille's election, the party felt Zille had been "dismal" in her service delivery in Cape Town. He said poor people had been experiencing evictions and water cuts and if Zille remained mayor and DA leader, her views would always be blinded by serving her "narrow party's interests", rather than serving the broader interest of Cape Town. As a result her election as leader "will be a dark cloud to those yearning for service delivery and transformation in Cape Town".
Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille welcomed the election of a woman leader to head a political party in South Africa. "The ID led the way in producing the first elected woman leader of a political party in the country and another woman leader will be welcome," she said in a statement congratulating Zille on her post. De Lille said the ID hoped to "see a considerable change in the DA from its traditional obstructive politics to the politics of engagement".
The Young Communist League (YCL) were less enthusiastic in their response to Zille's appointment. Spokesperson Castro Ngobese said the outcome of the election "shows that the DA will forever remain a white political party" and that it did not "appreciate or represent the interests of the majority of our people especially the working class and the poor". He said however, that the election of Zille might provide a turnaround strategy in the party's political approach.
The Christian Front (CF) said Zille was faced with a big responsibility in her new position. "There is a big responsibility that rests on her shoulders to lead the DA into the next election," said the CF's Rudi du Plooy. Du Plooy said Zille had proven herself a formidable opponent to the "normal ANC high-handed tactics in Cape Town".
Meanwhile, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) valued Zille's ethics, integrity, knowledge and expertise, it said in a statement. ACDP Western Cape provincial leader Hansie Louw said Zille "richly deserved to be the new leader of the DA". "In obedience to Biblical injunctions, we will pray for you and other leaders in our country, in the hope that all of us will contribute to building a better South Africa for all its people," said Louw.
The Freedom Front Plus also tendered its congratulations to Zille. - Sapa


This the post that should have been done on Friday - it's been a bit of a crazy week!

This is absolutely disgusting! As far as I am concerned, all the dogs should be removed and she should be banned from owning anything more than a pet rock. People who abuse animals and/or raise them for fighting have no place on this planet!

SPCA demands Pitbull owner be prosecuted
November 15 2006 at 11:16AM
By Zandile Clock

The SPCA intends to have the owner of 12 pitbulls, including a small puppy, which were confiscated last week, prosecuted for what they say is one of the harshest cases of abuse. Some of the pitbulls, including two mixed-breed dogs, have scars and wounds the SPCA suspects might be the result of commercial dog-fighting. However, the owner denies this. The SPCA has scheduled a meeting with the owner on Thursday following an incident where she had to be removed by the NGO's security last week when she tried to take back the animals.

'Time bomb waiting to explode'
All 14 dogs were removed from her property in Ottery after a complaint by a member of the community regarding the conditions the dogs were being kept in. SPCA chief executive officer Allan Perrins said an expert has been brought in to determine the cause of the scars and injuries on the dogs, one of which had had its cheek ripped off.

Perrins said: "This was just a time bomb waiting to explode. No pitbulls can live together in such a small property, mostly because pitbulls have an inherited dislike of each other. "Besides that, experts are gathering evidence to determine whether or not the wounds were deliberate or as a result of professional dog fighting," said Perrins. He said according to their records, the owner had previously been warned by the SPCA about the many dogs on her property, and instructed her to reduce numbers to the current 14. He said she had told the SPCA she had special permission to keep the dogs which she sells for between R1 000 and R3 000 each as puppies.

The SPCA is hoping to raise over R100 000 in Sunday's biggest dog walk, SPCA/ Cape Talk Wiggle Waggle Walkathon, where over 2 000 dogs and their owners are expected. The walk is over 4km and all funds raised go to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA. For more information contact Juan August at the SPCA on 021 700 4141.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I just hope that his blood pressure hasn't gone through the roof! There is a whole lot of salt in the mixture.

Other than that - well done Stephen!

Oxo: The secret to losing weight
October 30 2006 at 12:23PM

A Cornwall man has lost 101kg in a year on a diet of Oxo cubes. Stephen Kay, 39, swapped fry-ups, pies, pasties and pints of lager for three bowls of hot broth a day. The dad-of-three, who is 1,89m, weighed 196 kg, reports the Daily Mirror. He devised his own diet made up of Oxo stock cubes, topped up with fruit and vegetables. Within 12 months he had slimmed down to 96kg and lost 60cm off his waist as his belt size shrank from 60 to 36. Stonemason Stephen said: "I'd read all the weight loss magazines and watched all the TV programmes - but I hate salads." I remember my grandfather eating hot Oxo broth soaked up by wholemeal bread so I went for that."
Stephen decided to fight the fat after constant pestering from wife Caroline and children Gary, 21, Claire, 14 and Jack, 11. Caroline makes her husband's filling broths three times a day using two stock cubes, hot water and pepper. She also gives him three slices of wholemeal bread. The 42-year-old part-time cleaner said: "This diet has totally transformed him. He used to get tired easily and spend all his time on the sofa. Now he is out playing badminton." -

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Sorry folks, no post yesterday - the computer went down and I am up to my eyeballs - no time to write articles from scratch.

So what is all the fuss - crime is down!

So why then, was Tokyo Sexwale's wife hi-jacked outside her their son's private school?

So why then, was Lucky Dube hi-jacked and murdered?

If that's not crime then I don't know what is? Crime is out of control because the very people who are supposed to be doing something about it are either involved in their own issues around corruption and fraud (Selebi) or alternatively, their heads are either buried in the sand, like ostriches, (like Mbeki) and so they can't see the wood for trees! Nothing will happen, until someone close to them is hi-jacked, raped or murdered. Then perhaps they will see the crime that is happening right infront of their noses!

January 27 2007 at 11:00AM
By Boyd Webb and Angela Quintal

"What's all the fuss about crime and its effect on the 2010 World Cup given that the situation has improved since South Africa boasted the rugby World Cup 12 years ago," national police commander Jackie Selebi asked MPs. It is a question that crime-weary citizens and diplomats might take issue with, but South Africa's top cop made it clear on Friday that there was no need for concern. Selebi was replying to a question from PAC deputy president Themba Godi, the chairperson of parliament's standing committee on public accounts, during its hearing into the police's audited statement for the 2005/06 financial year.

'The decrease was still eight times higher than the international average'
Godi was interested in police training with an eye to the soccer World Cup. Selebi replied: "I don't know why there is a frenzy around 2010. I want to say no that 2010 will come and pass just like the WSSD (World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002) passed, just like the rugby World Cup passed." At the time of the rugby World Cup anybody who has been concentrating on the work of the police would realise that the levels of crime was higher than today," he said. It is a view shared by the ANC in its online newsletter on Friday said the concerted fight against crime "should be in reality.""Contrary to the claims peddled by many in the public arena, these statistics indicate that the incidence of crime as a whole has decreased since the advent of democracy." ANC Today reported.
The crime rate, based on the number of serious crimes per 100 000 of the population, declined by 10 percent between 1994 and 2006. Categories of crime such as murder attempted murder, assault, car theft and burglary have dropped steadily over the last four to five years, the ANC said. Although there was no factual basis of the claim that the incidence of crime had increased significantly since democracy or that crime was out of control, the ANC acknowledged there was still much work to be done.
President Thabo Mbeki also said recently is was a perception that crime was spiralling out of control - a view that raised his detractors' hackles. "Nobody can show that the over-whelming majority of the 40- to 50-million South Africans feel that crime is not under control, nobody can because it is not true," the president said in a television interview. Mbeki's statement confused commentators, as only days before, he had promised crowds at the 95th ANC birthday celebrations in Witbank that 2007 would be a year in which he tackled crime. An Institute of Security Studies analyst in Pretoria, John Burger believes the president's statements may have also been an outbreak of frustration over the public's inability to accept that crime was on the decrease.
Burger confirmed statistics that crime levels were on the decrease - but from such high levels that even the decrease was still eight times higher than the international average. "But what aggravates the situation is that while crime levels are dropping the level of violence in committing the crimes is on the increase," he said. Meanwhile, Selebi and his delegation received a glowing report from Scopa on Friday over the police's willingness to confront and deal with problems highlighted in annual reports by the Auditor-General and the National Assembly's portfolio committee on safety and security. The SAPS was one of the few departments that had not received a qualified report for the past financial year, Godi said. "Since the 2002/2004 qualified report, a number of issues have been resolved and we are happy with the progress made."

This article was originally published on page 0 of Pretoria News on January 27, 2007

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Monday, October 22, 2007



I know that this is supposed to be my motivation spot for the week, but this week I am not quoting anyone, and although to me it is still “motivation” as I am trying to motivate respect for people who have tonnes of experience, who know what they are doing, I am really angry. Arrogance is a very dangerous emotion, especially when you are starting out and should be looking for all the help that you can get.

Let me start at the beginning . . .

I am an avid Idols fan – Idols where-ever, American Idols, British Idols and obviously South African Idols. I have watched this year’s production right from the very beginning, often with my hands clasped tightly over my ears because of the ‘pain’ of listening to the singing of some people who very definitely have no idea what singing should sound like!

I obviously have my opinion and my favourites and I am entitled to that. I often don’t agree with the judges and jump up and down in irritation and frustration when they praise someone that I think made a total mess of a perfectly good song or when they disparage someone who I think made a pretty damn good effort.

The thing is though, that I am not taking any part in the competition, other than that of spectator. I have the power to vote for my favourites and also with my remote – I am not compelled to watch the show if I don’t want to.

Having said that though the contestants are part of the whole process. Last night I was absolutely gob smacked at one of the contestants (who just by the way is not one of my favourites) who made a total hash of a song and then when he was criticized by all of the judges turned around to the presenter of the show, when he asked “what do you think of the judges comments” and said “I’m so over them!” This was accompanied by a dismissive wave of his arm and a shrug of his shoulders.

Now I know that criticism is often a very bitter pill to swallow, especially if it was something that we didn’t want to hear, but this little upstart’s arrogance made my blood boil. The four judges, who have been in the industry for many years are successful and hugely so. Surely if they did not know what they were doing, they would have fallen by the wayside a long time ago? The music industry is one of the toughest that there is and yet this youngster, who is not only wet behind the ears, who is definitely not the greatest singer in the competition and is in my opinion a ‘little boy’ had the nerve to disrespect these judges publically!

His lack of experience is clear – he does not realize that these are the people, whether he wins or loses the competition, who could put his name on the ‘music map’ of South Africa. They all have huge influence in the music industry and singularly or collectively they could kill any hint of him doing anything here.

How short sighted! How arrogant! How rude!

The lesson in this though, is that there will be times, in whatever we do, that we will hear things that we do not wish to hear! Be that as it may, there are people who have not only survived in the business, but who have been or are immensely successful.

They haven’t become successful by being wrong!

These are the people that we need to look up to, to learn from, to keep ‘sweet’ so that we may continue to learn from their experience, irrespective of whether we agree with them or not. Listen to what they say, learn from their experience and their wisdom, and above all respect them, if for nothing else, for the fact they have become successful against all odds!

Here endth the lesson for the week!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I am always amazed at the crazy things that people will do to prove a point! Where do they get the time, never mind the inclination? However having said that, their antics have always brought a smile to my face. I hope it brings one to yours.

Have a fabulous Sunday and Well Done the Bokke for bring the World Rugby Cup home to us!

The zaniest records set in 2006...
December 24 2006 at 01:37PM

Paris - A golf-playing astronaut initiated what had to be the longest shot in the solar system, while a Canadian restaurant insisted that even though its wine store was very, very high in the sky, it nevertheless merited the name of "cellar". The year just ending brought the usual crop of people seeking to do something, however strange, better, faster, longer or more completely than anyone else.
A selection:

A Russian cosmonaut on the International Space Station took a golf club and ball out on an excursion at the request of a sponsoring equipment manufacturer. Despite reservations from somescientists about the creation of yet more space debris, Mikhail Tyurin teed off into the emptiness for what was certain to be the longest golf shot ever made by a human being. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the ball was likely to re-enter the earth's atmosphere and burn up in two or three days. There was no mention of any holes, black or otherwise, in the vicinity of the spacecraft.

The owners of a restaurant perched 351 metres above the ground on Toronto's CN tower said their wine cellar just had to be the highest in the world, a view that was shared by the Guinness Book of Records.

A group of Spanish explorers claimed the record for the fastest ever crossing of the Antarctic, sledging the 4 500km in 62 days thanks to wind traction provided by giant kites. Scientists were pleased that they even managed to pick up some useful snow samples along the way.

In similar vein, a 31-year-old Norwegian became the first woman to conquer the world's seven top mountain peaks and also to visit both poles. "Her life will not become boring - she still has all kinds of projects up her sleeve," said a companion, after Cecilie Skog completed her seven years of exertions by skiing to the North Pole.

To be filed under socially useful records: 10 800 schoolchildren in the Philippines simultaneously brushed their teeth, beating a three-year-old record held by 10 240 Chinese pupils. The stunt was organised to promote oral hygiene - and also to help sell a brand of toothpaste.

Frank and Anita Milford took on the mantle of Britain's longest living married couple after the previous year's record holders were sadly separated due to the death of the husband. The Milfords - he was 98 and she 97 - had been married for 78 years, and were hoping to beat the record of 80 years set in 2005 by Percy and Florence Arrowsmith.

An Irish-Georgian singer set the world record for the deepest concert held underwater, by performing with her five-person band 303 metres under the surface of the North Sea, inside one of the legs of a Norwegian oil platform."This was definitely the most surreal gig I've ever done," said Katie Melua after the 35-minute exploit, which she carried out with her five-member backing group.

Twenty-one Malaysian students claimed the Guinness record for the largest number of people ever to cram into a Mini car. They admitted that most of them were very slim indeed, but they all came up to the size requirements laid down by the Book of Records.

A British office worker meanwhile faced disappointment when he failed to beat the world record for eating the largest number of Brussels sprouts in a minute. Richard Townsend managed 36, but the record remained unbroken, at 43. Among other challenges the eccentric 24-year-old said he had set himself were to meet someone who had starred in a computer game, and to start a collection of teabags signed by celebrities.

One of the many white storks which commute each year between central Europe and North Africa became the living creature to have been monitored for the longest period of time via satellite tracking, scientists in Switzerland said. The bird had had an Argos tracking beacon fixed to its back for 2 628 days, or over seven years, beating the previous record held by an American bald eagle. The scientists said they had decided at the outset to name the bird Max, only to realise later that it was a female.

Owners of a specialist sports car in Britain claimed the world record for the largest number of vehicles of the same type ever driven together in a procession. They put on the stunt, involving 479 cars driving through central London, for a serious reason: to save the TVR factory that makes the vehicles in north-west England from closure.

On a seasonal note, about 5 000 people in the northern English city of Liverpool dressed up as Father Christmas and went on a 5km run. They thereby claimed a new record for the largest number of Santa Clauses in one place at one time, and raised money for local charities. - Sapa-AFP

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Saturday, October 20, 2007


Wow! Finally someone in Government who is not only a voice of reason, but who is also willing to take responsibility for her department and their short comings. Well done Naledi Pandor!

And isn't it actually time now - time to start taking responsibility for what is happing in our country, by firstly taking responsibility for our own lives. Too much is blamed on apartheid, or the last generation or the boer war or anything and everything that we can think of - anything but ourselves!

It's time to stand up and be counted - for ourselves and our future.

Stop blaming apartheid - Pandor
Sibusiso Ngalwa
May 30 2007 at 04:51AM

Apartheid can no longer be used as an excuse for South Africa's education problems or to justify her department's failures, says Education Minister Naledi Pandor. Speaking in parliament during her budget debate on Tuesday, Pandor said levels of mediocrity in the education system had reached unacceptably high levels, while many people were hiding behind excuses. "The defence of mediocrity is supported by unjustifiable arguments - some cite apartheid. I acknowledge that the legacy of apartheid continues to affect us, but it no longer serves to explain continued failures on our part. Others cite inadequate resources, yet this is also no longer a persuasive argument."

Pandor said she was aware that her statements would anger some people, but nevertheless, "it must be said".

'It must be said'
"We have appeared far too tolerant of mediocrity in its many guises and extremely neglectful of that which works and of those who are doing what must be done," she said. Pandor - whose speech was themed "affirming excellence and challenging mediocrity" - said her department had not accomplished what she had wanted it to achieve. The country had become a moaning nation rather than a nation that celebrated and expanded success. Society also seemed to tolerate and assert the rights of violent and disruptive children, she said. "We tolerate parents who don't care to support their children, who don't care to support our schools and who fail in their duty as parents. We tolerate public officials who are not up to the task of administrative or professional support, who leave work early and fail to pay subsidies to schools on time. We also tolerate mediocrity in the teaching force."We tolerate too much that is unprofessional. We tolerate late-coming, little and sometimes no teaching, constant under-performance and poor academic success," she said.

'We tolerate too much that is unprofessional'
"Our people ask 'How long do we have to wait?' I want to say today we intend to intensify our efforts at ensuring that our people wait no longer." Pandor made a call to stakeholders to assert excellence in schools to achieve positive outcomes. She also announced the launch of the Fundisa Fund, a private-public partnership to encourage parents to save for their children's tertiary education. The savings would then be matched with a grant from the fund. The aim of the fund would be to widen access to higher education, she said. "We have an agreed plan for the growth of higher education. We believe the plan to grow from 738 000 students in 2005 to 820 000 in 2010 creates the basis for a more efficient and coherent system of higher education," she said. The greatest expansion would be in the fields of science, technology and engineering.
This article was originally published on page 7 of The Star on May 29, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007


Wow! The length that some people will go to in order to depives some poor hardworking individual of his hard earned scheckles and having said that - how incredibly easy it turned out to be in the long run!

It makes me wonder, even with all of the FICA Acts and all the rest of it, these people still managed to penetrate the banks firewalls and security. So at the end of the day - what's the point!

Perhaps it is time that the banks start having to prove to us that they can take care of our sensitive and confidential information, not to mention, our hard earned moola!

Police pounce on alleged cyber crook
Lee Rondganger

October 26 2006 at 04:35AM

A 3G card, a laptop and a cellphone. This was all a South African man needed to allegedly run an international online banking fraud syndicate from his Cape Town flat, where he is believed to have siphoned millions of dollars from people's bank accounts. But it was the very same laptop and cellphone that led a multi-agency force - including the Scorpions, Standard Bank and a British security consultancy firm - to 28-year-old Abdul Malik Parker's flat in Tygervalley, Cape Town, where he was arrested.

Parker has since been linked to 120 incidents of online fraud affecting clients of all of South Africa's major banks. Hundreds of international banking clients in the UK, France, Sweden and Australia have also allegedly fallen victim to the syndicate.

Parker, who is said to be the head of the African operation for the syndicate, was arrested on October 6 by the Scorpions. They raided his flat by tracking the signal on his 3G data card. He has been described as a "high flyer" who wears expensive clothes, drives the latest Mercedes-Benz and owns a R700 000 flat on the Cape Town Waterfront.

'This is a major breakthrough for us'

Parker also has two previous convictions, one of diamond smuggling and another of fraud. When he was arrested, he was found with R20 000 in cash. He appeared in court on October 9 and was released on R20 000 bail. He is currently under house arrest. This is the first time that a person has been arrested in South Africa for allegedly defrauding multiple banks by using the Internet. Authorities are hailing the arrest as a major breakthrough in cyber crime and say they are now closing in on the other members of the international syndicate. Advocate Gerhard Nel, head of the Scorpions in Gauteng, said the elite crime-busting unit was now going after syndicate members based in eastern Europe, the US and Russia. "This is a major breakthrough for us, but we really need to get the other big role-players. We will be tracking them to wherever they are hiding in the world," he said.

The arrest has been the culmination of six months of investigation, which started after a Standard Bank client reported that money had been transferred from his account to another without his knowledge. According to the bank, the client had apparently used an Internet cafe in Pretoria where hackers used PC spyware to steal his login details, card number and pin number. The bank then got its Internet security team to determine how the client's details had been compromised. It found his details had, in fact, been passed on to a computer server in Estonia in northern Europe. It was then able to gain access to the Estonia server, where it found hundreds of people's bank account details, including those of South Africans. Most of the South Africans whose details the syndicate had captured had used Internet cafes in Joburg North, Pretoria and Cape Town. Parker is alleged to have been able to gain access to the server in Estonia, where the syndicate provided him with the people's banking details. He would then use this information to allegedly log into their accounts and transfer money from there to various local accounts. Parker allegedly transferred some of the money to another syndicate member in St Petersburg, Russia. "When we realised what was going on we decided to get the Scorpions involved," said Herman Singh, director of architecture and technology engineering at Standard Bank."We also decided to call the other banks and warn them that we had found their clients' details on the Estonian server," he said.

Singh, together with his colleague Pat Pather, who is head of IT security at the bank, got an expert from the South African National Defence Force who deals with electronic warfare to also help them crack the case. As the investigation unfolded, they realised that a Vodacom 3G data card was used to operate the scam. The cellphone company helped them pinpoint the area in which the user was operating. On October 3 the team flew to Cape Town and, using the technology supplied by the UK firm, started tracing the suspect. "In three days, we drove 1 000km in the Cape Town CBD trying to find him. But on the 6th (of October) he logged on to his computer and we were able to trace him right to the front door of his flat," Pather said. When they arrested Parker, in addition to his laptop, investigators found three cellphones and 20 Sim cards in his flat. Parker is said to be fully co-operating with the Scorpions in the investigation. Standard Bank estimates that had Parker not been arrested, the syndicate could have siphoned more than R100-million from people's bank accounts.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on October 26, 2006

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Man, oh man! This is absolutely fabulous! Well done to all the students and remember to raise the South African flag high and do it proudly.

Good luck to you all.

Achievers to fly SA flag high in US
Mogomotsi Mosimanyana
28 June 2007 at 11h00

Sixteen city students will leave for America after they were chosen to participate in the US Community College Initiative programme. The students were selected from among 40 applicants, interviewed by the US Embassy staff. They will be studying in various colleges across the US.
The students were congratulated by US Ambassador Eric Bost at his Waterkloof Ridge residence on Wednesday. Bost urged them to make sure that they excelled in their studies and experienced as much as they could. "Millions of people would love the opportunity that you all now have. You have to grab it with both hands and make the people proud who have shown confidence in you," said Bost.
Danny Korobela, 24, used to work as a taxi driver in Mamelodi while studying at the Tshwane North College. He said this was the best gift he had ever received. He vowed to redouble his efforts to make sure he proved why he was chosen. Korobela will be studying business management and administration at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa.

Lebogang Lehaha, 24, of Mamelodi said he was a proud example of the many rewards that education brought about. Lehaha received a 12 months' scholarship to study electrical engineering at Highline Community College in Washington. "I will try to settle down quickly when I get there because I only have 12 months to finish my course. I am a workaholic so I'll make everybody proud," he said.
Dinah Nyenye, 26, of Atteridgeville, said this was a dream come true as she would never have been able to afford to study in the US by herself. "I am over the moon about this scholarship. I'm glad that the selectors saw my ability and I will not disappoint them. "I cannot wait to leave even though I will miss my twin brother and the rest of my family," said Nyenye. She will also be studying business administration at the Kirkwood college.
A total of 80 students initially applied but the number was cut to the 40 who were interviewed at the embassy. The first group of students will leave for the US on Saturday. The second group will leave in mid-July. Most of the students chosen were from the Tshwane North College.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


What exactly does "considering taking legal action". There is nothing to be 'considered' at all! The bottom line is that the so called consortium has stolen/squandered or whatever else you would like to call it R58m belonging to poor people! How disgusting is that! Perhaps they should be forced to live like the people that stole from!

And whilst I am on this topic - why is the money not tracked when it is awarded to consortiums. Surely they have to put in 'due by dates' when they tender for these things? Why is public money not being carefully administered.

SARS spends months getting the money in and then it disappears into a black hole of theft, fraud and corruption!

Not only should the Consortium be held accountable, but so should the Gauteng Provisional Government and the Department of Housing - this is absolutely not acceptable!

R58m housing scandal rocks Gauteng
Baldwin Ndaba
March 12 2007 at 04:57AM

The Gauteng provincial government is considering taking legal action against a construction consortium following the disclosure that, three years after a R58-million tender was awarded, not a single RDP house has been built. The Star has learnt that, in 2004, Bahlodi Consortium was awarded the contract to revitalise Evaton township, south of Johannesburg, where 90 percent of the population earns less than R3 500 a month. Under the plan, RDP (Reconstruction and Development Programme) houses were to be built, with water and sanitation for the township's 200 000 residents, along with new roads and pavements, as part of the upgrading of infrastructure.

A sum of R58-million was awarded to what was then called the Evaton Urban Renewal Project.
'I just cross the road and dump it in the veld'
Three years later, however, it transpires that there is little to show for the millions of rands of public money - while the housing list has swollen to 14 000. Today, some of the residents are still using the bucket system, while others have to make do with pit-latrines, despite promises from provincial and national government for many years to eradicate these hazardous systems. Staff at nearby Evaton municipal offices have running water and modern sewerage. Residents living on the east side of Evaton, and who still use buckets, claim there have been no collections since 1975, when the phasing out of the system began. Sello John Makhale shares his dilapidated decades-old house, which he inherited from his parents, with two other people.
A sum of R58-million was awarded
He dumps his buckets on a piece of open veld nearby where cattle and sheep graze. "I've used the bucket ever since I got the house from my parents in 1969. We still do not have electricity and we no longer have people collecting our buckets," he said. "So I just cross the road and dump it in the veld." Bethuel Letswalo lives nearby in a crumbling eight-room house shared by four families. There is no electricity or running water. The gable of the single-storey dwelling is caving in, posing a serious threat to its inhabitants. This is compounded by the lack of proper sewerage and drainage.
Letswalo said that when the then Sebokeng Town Council stopped collecting buckets all those years ago, he and his fellow tenants decided to close their toilet and dig a pit latrine nearby. They are still using the ad-hoc structure, despite sewerage pipes lying underground that have never been linked to toilets. Three years ago, officials from the Evaton Urban Renewal Project placed the names of the occupants on a housing list. However, no houses have been constructed. When asked why this situation was allowed to develop, Dumisa Qupe, a councillor for the Emfuleni Local Municipality, said the problem was one for the housing department, which awarded the contract to Bahlodi Consortium.
While lack of land exacerbated the problem, with large swathes of the area in private hands, it appeared the consortium had provided more human development than financial management. "The construction company trained community liaison officers and members of the Evaton Youth Development Forum. About 40 youths were trained in construction and 20 in organic gardening, while 15 were trained in hydroponic gardening, although six dropped out." While he was unable to say how much money the company had spent since 2004, he confirmed that no houses had been built. According to Victor Moreriane, spokesperson for Housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane, the Bahlodi contract was terminated in the past few days because it failed to provide "value for their money" in houses, roads, clinics, parks and rejuvenated community centres, as well as sewerage and draining systems.
The crisis was brought to light when Bahlodi applied to the department of housing for additional funding of R50-million last month. Mokonyane's team then became aware that the original R58-million had not been spent in accordance with the original plan. "Bahlodi's mandate was to manage and ensure delivery of Evaton business plans on behalf of the department," Moreriane said. According to the brief, the consortium was "to oversee, monitor and regulate performance of lead consultancies, functional teams and contractors involved in the implementation". "A master plan has been drafted by the department. What we need now is high-impact development that prioritises infrastructure upgrading, roads and transport networks, housing and local economic development," said Moreriane,
The master plan dwarfs the original urban renewal programme with ambitious integrated planning to transform the area into "an active economic node offering services and facilities, such as taxi ranks, a shopping centre, mixed housing, a town square, sports facilities, an art school, municipal offices and a chapel". This latest three-year plan is budgeted at R900-million. Moreriane said they had set up a monitoring and evaluating unit as well as a risk management unit to oversee the programme. Consortium spokesperson Loretta King refused to comment.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007




I once sat in a meeting where one of my colleagues stated that she had been in business for over 10 years as an entrepreneur and that networking for her meant that she was no longer ‘lonely’ in business.

At the time I found this quite hard to understand as I am, by nature, a loner – not a lonely person you understand, but very definitely a loner. So the concept of someone being ‘lonely’ is hard for me to grasp and someone being ‘lonely’ in business, is something that is very foreign to me.

You see on a business level, I meet people and with people on a daily basis. There are of course my clients that I meet with when we discuss what needs to be done, how it will be done and in what priority it will be done, then of course are the prospective clients that I meet when I try and understand what their business is and whether they need my services or not and finally there are the people that I meet at Networking events and who I make appointments with to meet on a ‘one on one’ in order to expand my ‘circle of influence’ and my data base, whilst adding value to them and they to me. So the question begs to be answered – how can you be ‘lonely’ in business. I mean surely she would also be meeting clients and prospective clients and networking?

I have, over time, understood exactly what it is that she meant, not that I have experienced that feeling, but that is probably because I am a natural networker. It is being able to use other networker’s in order to bounce your ideas off them. It is being able to sit in a room full of people who understand your frustration(s) because they too are entrepreneurs and they face the same challenges as what you do. It is about seeing the same kind of passion on the faces of people, that you know shines off your face – because they are as passionate about what they do as you are about what you do.

Again, the question begs to be asked – why wouldn’t you want to be in the company of a group of people like this?

I certainly want to be – but then again, that is probably why I am!

Monday, October 15, 2007


Dare to imagine

Today’s quote comes from Ralph Marston, who says:

“In your mind you can go anywhere. And where your mind consistently goes, the rest of your life will follow.
There is no limit to what you can imagine. And what you imagine, you have already begun to create.
Allow your thoughts to travel often to beautiful and magnificent places. In your mind, construct all the rich details of the life you wish to live.
In order to reach for a dream, you must know what it looks like, how it feels, and where it is. Long before you actually get there, your mind can enable you to experience all these things.
Every success is first a success of the imagination. What wonderful pathways will you dare to imagine?
Set your imagination free, and it will show you who you are. Let imagination guide your efforts, and your dreams will be fulfilled.”

I am a very visual kind of person and while I was reading this my mind wandered away on it’s own and in my ‘mind’s eye’ I was a bird soaring through the air and looking down on the world!

I could not imagine what my life would be like without my dreams, my hopes and my aspirations.

I could not imagine how droll life would be, if I could not dream about what I would like to do and who I would like to become.

Dreams for me are like old familiar friends that have walked along beside me on this journey of life. They have carried me when I could no longer walk, they have led when I became lost and they have kept me company in times of loneliness. They have been my light in times of darkness and stood quietly, unassumingly in times of triumph.

Without my dreams, there would be no point to life.


Oh my - all I can say to this one, without falling about with laughter, is thank God I am not married and if I ever needed another excuse not to get married, this would be it!

Have a fling and spend life in prison
Detroit, Michigan
18 January 2007 03:31

Philanderers beware: spouses caught cheating in Michigan could end up spending the rest of their life in prison -- and not the emotional kind. The state's appeals court recently ruled that extramarital flings can be prosecuted as first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony punishable by up to life in jail. "We cannot help but question whether the legislature actually intended the result we reach here today," Judge William Murphy wrote in a unanimous Court of Appeals panel, "but we are curtailed by the language of the statute from reaching any other conclusion.""Technically," he added, "any time a person engages in sexual penetration in an adulterous relationship, he or she is guilty of CSC I," the most serious sexual assault charge in the state's criminal code.
Michigan still lists adultery as a felony, although no one has been convicted of the offense since 1971. Nobody really expects prosecutors to go after cheating spouses. But the ruling has the local legal community twittering about its genuine intended target. One theory floating around the courthouse is that the judges were taking a jab at the state Supreme Court, which has decreed that judges must interpret statutory language adopted by the legislature literally, whatever the consequences. Many other states allow judges to reject a literal interpretation if they believe it would lead to an absurd result. Murphy wrote that he encouraged "the legislature to take a second look at the statutory language if they are troubled by our ruling".
A spokesperson for the attorney general, who publicly admitted to adultery in November, declined to say whether they would press for legislative amendments to make it clear that only violent felonies involving an unwilling victim could trigger a first-degree CSC charge. "This is so bizarre that it doesn't even merit a response," Rusty Hill said. The appeals court decision involved a man convicted of trading prescription painkillers for sex. In an attempt to increase his jail time, prosecutors used an obscure provision of the state's criminal law to charge him with criminal sexual conduct, which occurs whenever "sexual penetration occurs under circumstances involving the commission of any other felony". -- AFP


Oh well done to all the police and those involved in catching these people - they deserve everything that they get and then some. How sad that some people feel the need to make their money from the pain and suffering of others.

They deal in death and have no conscience about doing it - they must be punished to the fullest extent of the law

Police eye borders as drugs flow into SA

January 08 2007 at 04:56AM

By Botho Molosankwe

Police say desperate syndicates are resorting to smuggling drugs into the country in their underwear or in cocaine-filled condoms and are even using pensioners as smugglers. Masquerading as returning holidaymakers, many members of drug syndicates have been bust mainly at the Lebombo border post, between South Africa and Mozambique, and Beit Bridge, which connects South Africa and Zimbabwe. Over the weekend a Ghanaian man was arrested at the Beit Bridge border, after he was found in possession of cocaine worth R500 000.

'Police have impounded various types of contraband'

National police spokesperson Captain Dennis Adriao said police found 24 cocaine bullets in the man's luggage when they searched a bus that entered the country from Zimbabwe. This was the latest in a number of successes in the past month after police intensified their operations at ports of entry.

"In the past couple of weeks, police have impounded various types of contraband, from dagga and heroin to uncut diamonds, hijacked vehicles and arms and ammunition," Adriao said. The Ghanaian was expected to appear in a Limpopo court on Monday. Nine stolen vehicles worth about R630 000 were intercepted at the border recently, as were diamonds worth at least R10 000.

'They think that border points will be an easy way...'

Adriao said some smugglers put drugs in their underwear, as they believed no one would be brave enough to search their private parts. Others go through the painful process of swallowing condoms filled with drugs to try to evade police. But Adriao said police had the technology to pick up the concealed condoms, and added that whatever methods they used, drug syndicates had been arrested for being in possession of drugs at border posts across the country.

Food, he said, was another method that people used to try to smuggle drugs, but they also had been caught. "They think that border points will be an easy way to smuggle drugs into the country but they do not know that we have technology and dogs that detect narcotics. "We have realised that elderly people were usually being used by drug syndicates to smuggle drugs into the country. "Desperation is the main reason the elderly take the offer," he said. Police had also caught illegal immigrants who had committed serious crimes in South Africa, who went back to their countries and tried to get back into South Africa illegally. As people return to Joburg after the festive season, Adriao said police were expecting more people who might try to smuggle drugs and stolen goods across the borders. But he assured: "We are prepared."

In another incident, Sapa reported that three women and two men have been arrested for possession of drugs after police found Ecstasy and Mandrax tablets at a house in Honeydew, north-west of Johannesburg. Provincial police Director Govindsamy Mariemuthoo said the arrests were made on Saturday night after police received a tip-off that drugs were being sold from a house in Cosmo City, Honeydew. Twelve bags of chemicals used to manufacture Mandrax tablets were also impounded, Mariemuthoo said. The total estimated street value of the drugs and the chemicals found was R3-million. The five people arrested are expected to appear in the Randburg magistrate's court soon, said Mariemuthoo.
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on January 08, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007


So much for the 'freedom of press', I guess here in Africa that means that you have the freedom of press as long as they appear to be on your side! The minute of course that you step out of line then there is no more freedom of press.

We've seen it happen in Zimbabwe and here we are in SA and it is starting to happen here. If I was Herbert Matimba, I would certainly, after the fact lay a charge against the police who were chasing me. Not sure how or if it would stick, but the bottom line would be that I would document, by means of a charge, that I was displeased.

'My 24 hours of hell as cops looked for me'
January 17 2007 at 08:36AM
By Herbert Matimba

I was driving into the parking lot of my block of flats when I saw people running out of the building. Curious, I parked and followed. And that was the beginning of my 24 hours of hell. There were two police vehicles. There was somebody underneath one, and when I got closer I saw it was a young woman.

'Let's get this guy. He might cause problems for us' People told me she was a prostitute.I dashed to my car to get a camera and took pictures of the woman, who was lying unconscious on the road. I heard people say "how can the police do this?"

A policewoman approached me and asked who I was. I told her and she went back to her colleagues. Shortly after, a policeman came to me and told me not to get closer to the woman, who by then looked dead. A little later, another policeman came and told me to next time ask permission before taking pictures. I was moving away from the scene when I heard the policeman who first approached me say: "Let's get this guy. He might cause problems for us." Somebody in the crowd told me to run as they were coming after me. I ran and found cover in a garage from where I was able to see what was going on. The police were running up and down as if searching for me. They seemed keen on finding me. I realised that if they found me they would take my camera and perhaps destroy the pictures I took.
After an hour or so it became quiet. The police seemed to have left. I decided to see if I could get into my flat. But when I got there the same police were standing there. I decided not to go in. I found a woman and asked for a jacket to disguise myself. I told her what had happened. She said we must make sure we keep the pictures. I spent the night at her cousin's place.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on January 17, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Oh my, how bizarre! Well I guess that is one way to do it. If we can control and/or discipline our children we just call the police in to do it for us.

Can you imagine doing it here at home though? Firstly to try and get the police to come ot your home for anything - would be a bonus to start off with and thereafter they are likely to charge you for 'defeating the ends of justice' as they would probably view it as a hoax of some kind!

Only in Africa - but where else would you choose to live? It's home to me, warts and all!

Sneaky boy earns trip to the police station
December 06 2006 at 04:58AM
By Seanna Adcox

Columbia, South Carolina - A fed-up mother had her 12-year-old son arrested for allegedly rummaging through his great-grandmother's things and playing with his Christmas present early. The mother called police on Sunday after learning her son had disobeyed orders and repeatedly taken a Game Boy hand-held video game player from its hiding place at his grandmother's house nextdoor and played it. He was arrested on petty larceny charges, taken to the local police station in handcuffs and held until his mother picked him up after church. "It was only to teach my son a lesson. He's been going through life doing things and getting away with it," said the boy's mother, Brandi Ervin.
Police did not release the boy's name. The mother said her son was diagnosed in the last year with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but that his medicine does not seem to help. She said he faces an expulsion hearing at his school on Wednesday. Rock Hill Police Captain Mark Bollinger said the boy took a swing at a police officer assigned to the school last month. He has been suspended from school since then. The boy's case will be presented to Department of Juvenile Justice officials in York County, who will decide what happens to him, Bollinger said.
His mother hopes he can attend a programme that will finally scare him straight."It's not even about the Christmas present," she said. "I only want positive things out of it. There's no need for him to act this way. - Sapa-AP

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Ok, well excuse me while I fall about on the floor laughing! You see some of the people in my circle (and for the purposes of this exercise they will remain nameless although they know exactly who they are), who think that they know better and more than everyone else and who make a huge fuss about 'organic foods' will now perhaps shut up and slink away very quietly. Oh boy am I going to have fun with this one!

Having said that, I must state in their defence, that as a personal preferance - free range chicken certainly does taste a whole lot better than the other ones. But that is a personal preferance of mine!

I have to rush off now to send this mail to all of those persons that fit into the category above!

Organic food 'no better than regular brands'
January 08 2007 at 02:13AM

London - Britain's environment secretary on Sunday said there was no conclusive evidence that organic food is better than products grown by more conventional methods. In an interview with The Sunday Times newspaper, David Miliband was quoted as saying that eating organic food was a "lifestyle choice" and that mass-produced products should not be seen assecond-best. The weekly said his comments will be a blow to the organic food industry, which is pushing for official recognition of what it says are the nutritional and environmental benefits of not using chemicals on meat and vegetables.
The Soil Association, which promotes and campaigns for organic food and farming, said in July that the British organic market grew by 30 percent in 2005-6 to nearly £1.6-billion. Asked about the benefits claimed for organic food, Miliband was quoted as saying: "It's a lifestyle choice that people can make. There isn't any conclusive evidence either way." He added: "It's only four percent of total farm produce, not 40 percent, and I would not want to say that 96 percent of our farm produce is inferior because it's not organic." - Sapa-AFP

Tuesday, October 09, 2007




It is said that there are only three ways to grow a business – I’m personally not too sure how true that is. However having said that, I am sure that one of the most critical of these is to find new customers.

Now it is also said, that there are many different ways to find a new customer, and I have no doubt that we can all list them, in great abundance. Some of them are the methods that we use to get new customers and others are the ways that other people have used as they tried to make us new customers. Most of those though, have irritated the S*&t’s out of me!

I’m not too sure why this is – perhaps it is because when I answer the phone, it is because I would like to chat to a friend, or a client (especially if it is out of the norm of working hours) and that is my expectation. Or perhaps it is because, when I hear a knock on the door, when I open it I expect to see a friend, not someone wanting to sell me something that I don’t actually want – again that is my expectation!

I not to keen on getting thousands of e-mails either (currently I am up to between 120 and 150 a day – which means about 30 are actually mails from friends, family and clients – the rest are just spam!) and I am not too keen on getting hundreds of SMS’s either (this seems to be the latest trend).

Actually, now that I think about it carefully, I am at my most comfortable state, when my expectations are met and I am prepared for what is happening. That for me is when I am at a networking meeting. You see there, my perception is that I will be meeting like minded people. That is people who are serious about doing business. People who are serious about expanding their data bases.

You see at most networking events (well the ones that I attend anyway), I meet people who are not only potential customers, which, let’s face it, are not only important for my business, but also my personal needs. Often these people, who may never ever become one of my customers, have key centres of influence in their families, their communities, their business associations and even their churches. These people become very important to me because of they value that they add to my clients.

You see every single one of them have their own data bases, and every single one of them reach a lot of people, and every single one of them are an important source of referrals. Referrals, as customers to me and referrals as a value add to my clients.

So to all of you who believe in the telemarketing way to get new clients (and I am not knocking it you understand) and to all you people who like to do the ‘cold calling’ thing (and again I am not knocking it) and all of those who choose to ‘spam’ everyone with e-mails and SMS’s – (and it works for some), I say good luck to you.

Me – I will continue to attend my various networking events that I go to and I will continue to network, in my personal capacity as I meet people at parties and social events, and I will continue to grow and expand my data base – one person at a time.

Monday, October 08, 2007


I don't know who wrote this, but it leaves me with nothing else to say! Here is your motivation for this week.

The Seed

A successful Christian business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose
a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. "The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued." I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by--still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful--in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!" All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer!

His name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. "How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.

Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today.

But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.

When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"

* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends

* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness

* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment

* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective

* If you plant hard work, you will reap success

* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

* If you plant faith, you will reap a harvest

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.


Good day bloggers, I am posting this as a 'funny' - bit of a 'tongue in cheek' though! Hope you have a wonderful day.
After I was a victim of crime in 2000, I attended many crime discussions, brain storming and therapy sessions. At each of these discussions the question came up on how to tackle the symptoms of crime. The only question never raised was:

Question: "What is the influence of crime on the S.A. Govt?"
Answer: Crime generates millions and millions of Rand's for theS.A.Govt
Here are the facts:
Example 1:
Take just one million home owners in Gauteng who pay for "armed crime reaction" (not crime prevention) where private security companies react AFTER the crime has taken place - no wonder they never make any arrests!This service costs on average R250 p.m. Therefore 1 000,000 x R240.00 X12months x 14% VAT, generates R403 million in tax revenue for the S.A.Govt!
Example 2:
A car thief steals a R500,000 car and receives between R10,000 and R30,000 for his deed.The car owner is paid out by insurance and then purchases another similar vehicle, on which he pays 14% VAT of approx R70,000 as a direct result of crime. Who profited the most? The thief or the S.A.Govt?

We must begin with a mechanism whereby the S.A. Govt is forced to reconsider this unconstitutional and immoral practice of profiting from crime!

All South Africans should demand that all payments related to protection of life and property should be VAT free and Tax deductible!

This principle should also apply to replacement of stolen property as well as estate duty. If a person dies as a result of crime we should also demand that estate duty not be paid. How much do you think the S.A. Govt has made out of estate duty from the murders of 1300 South African farmers?

The S.A. Govt likes to compare us to overseas. Well overseas your safety and security is covered by your income tax and is tax deductible! It is time that South Africans stood together and made the Govt and public aware of the Govt's "income" from crime. In the meantime crime is the goose that lays the golden egg. Is it also not unreasonable to expect victims of violence and hijackings to pay their own medical costs? The Govt should pay for these expenses as well as family counselling for victims! Come on South Africa, ask the right questions and demand the right answers!

Yes it's true and therefor I would also like to add on to this......................just do some research and see just how many members of parliament are earning a secondary income from security as owners / shareholders of/in security companies.

CRIME DEFINITELY PAYS - for those that's protected by personal guards that our taxes are paying for!!!!!

Friday, October 05, 2007


Oh well done! One for the good guys!

Scorpions catch cyber crook in the act
Lee Rondganger
April 05 2007 at 06:34AM

The Scorpions have uncovered a multimillion-rand online bank-hacking syndicate after arresting its mastermind. On Tuesday, after striking a plea-bargain with the state, the 30-year-old Kempton Park man was sentenced to eight years in jail - five of which have been suspended. This was after he had confessed to a range of online fraud incidents amounting to millions of rands. He was convicted of fraud and money-laundering. The conviction came after a joint operation between the Scorpions and IT forensic investigators from Standard Bank.

'He continued to pillage numerous other online accounts'
Now, the Scorpions are closing in on other members of the syndicate and are hoping to make arrests soon. The syndicate is believed to be behind the spate of hacking attacks on online banking clients from all major banks.

The conviction comes after months of intensive investigations by the Scorpions, who finally nailed their man after an elaborate sting operation four weeks ago. The man, an IT expert who owns a R600 000 top-of-the-range Porsche, began his life of cyber crime in December 2005 when he was approached by members of a online fraud syndicate who gave him the account details of various online banking clients. His first successful hack was against an FNB client on December 24 2005. Using sophisticated software and hardware key loggers to glean people's sensitive login details, he was able to transfer R9,8-million from an individual's bank account into multiple accounts he had set up. After that successful attack, he continued to pillage numerous other online accounts. The syndicate was able to transfer its stolen money into numerous beneficiary accounts, known in the banking industry as host accounts. The latter are owned by mainly poor people whom the syndicate recruits as "e-mules".
After hacking into a person's bank account, the syndicate transfers money into the host account and the e-mules are paid a fee for allowing the syndicate to use the accounts. However, in December last year, the Scorpions and Standard Bank discovered that the hacker was trying to gain access to Standard Bank customer's accounts. A sting operation was then put in place. Using an informant, the Scorpions, with the help of Standard Bank, trailed the man to a restaurant in Rosebank on March 6. The informant was able - with the assistance of the bank - to give the man personal information of two Standard Bank customers. After following the man for several hours, he led investigators to the O R Tambo Airport, where he logged on to the accounts from an Internet hot spot at the domestic terminals.
With the information obtained from the informant, the man logged on to the accounts of the two Standard Bank customers. He then transferred three amounts from the accounts, two of R9 500 and another of R11 000. After transferring the money, he sent the Scorpions informant an SMS, saying: "U da best. Let's do the big one now." But, as the money went through to the e-mules' accounts and once the SMS had been sent, members of the Scorpions swooped on him.
He was caught red-handed with the Internet accounts still open. Gerrie Nel, head of the Scorpions in Gauteng, said it was the first time in the history of cyber crime that a hacker had been caught in the act.

This article was originally published on page 3 of The Mercury on April 05, 2007 SCORPIO