Thursday, November 29, 2007


This is disgusting! What kind of message is the ANC trying to send out? The old addage of 'actions speak louder than words' is currently shouting from the hill tops here!

First there is the whole Zuma debacle, with the alledged rape and his stupid shower! Now we have this twit, who clearly is not only an offender, but quite literally a repeat offender and we have members of the government, standing behind him and re-instating him.

Good God man - this guy should be in jail and the key should be thrown away!

The words that come out of Mbeki's mouth are how women should be treated with respect, they should be given equality and they should be recognised for their participation in the struggle. Those are just words! The actions of the ANC, including Mbeki is - well it's ok to rape and sexually harrass women. In fact, we will elevate them to greater heights and greater power to make it even easier for them to perform rape and sexual harrassment!
If there was some sort of legal action that could be taken against the people who put them back into power, I for one would love to hear about it!

Sex-pest Mashabane back in office - report
March 14 2007 at 12:08PM

Sex-pest Norman Mashabane has been appointed as a member of the Limpopo provincial legislature, the Sowetan reported on Wednesday. After being found guilty of sexual harassment, Mashabane lost his post as the South African ambassador to Indonesia, and later quit as adviser to Limpopo Premier Sello Moloto. Mashabane was found guilty by the department of foreign affairs of 21 counts of sexual harassment in 2001, while he was South Africa's ambassador to Indonesia. Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma reinstated him pending the outcome of an appeal. In June 2003, another charge was laid against him and he was found guilty.Dlamini-Zuma stood by him and upheld his appeal.

In December, Dlamini-Zuma's decision was challenged in the Pretoria High Court and overturned.She was ordered to apologise to Mashabane's victim and pay her legal costs. Mashabane was at the time working as special adviser to Moloto. Mike Holford, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader in Limpopo, said: "It makes you question what kind of moral intelligence the ANC applies to members of Parliament," the newspaper reported. Mashabane is to replace Rob Tooley, who has been appointed head of the provincial treasury, with effect from March 1. - Sapa


Well here is one for the history books! We are coming up to the silly season (well if truth be told we are right in the middle of it) and there are parties happening all over the planet. South Africa is right up there in the middle of it or with the best of them and more and more I have noticed that young women are drinking these drinks. Vodka, more likely double vodka and one of these caffeinated energy drinks. So tell all that you can to just be careful and be aware of what is happening.

'Rape cocktail' warning issued
November 25 2006 at 12:43PM
By Christina Gallagher

Partying young women may be as much at risk from drinking alcohol and caffeinated energy drink cocktails as they are from "date rape" drugs. Women across the country are claiming they have consumed caffeinated energy drinks mixed with alcohol and are finding themselves in strangers' beds - and they don't remember how they got there. Dr Graham Hutton, director of trauma units in four provincial hospitals in Gauteng, said he has noticed an increase in the number of women coming to the hospitals who are waking up disoriented after consuming as many as seven energy-drink cocktails.

'Nightspots across the country are making millions of rands off these cocktails' (The energy drinks he referred to are of the caffeinated type, not the "isotonic" fluid replacement drinks like Energade and Powerade.)
"It has taken a long time to notice the pattern, but women and some men are coming in every week saying they woke up in a guy's bed and didn't remember how they got there. But when we ran drug tests, there were no traces of Rohypnol [the most common date rape drug]. "Hutton said the mixture of caffeinated energy drinks with vodka or Jugermeister were overstimulating to the body. He added that an estimated 20 percent of people who consume this mixture would, in his opinion, act aggressively, flirtatiously or out of character."With these [date rape] drugs the person becomes unconscious, while with the energy drinks and alcohol mixture the person is fully conscious, but [depending on how much they consume] they might not remember," he said.
In the past two years there had not been one single positive testing for Rohypnol at Sunninghill, Garden City Clinic, Milpark Hospital or Union Hospital, said Hutton. He added: "Labs can test for GHB and ketamine (other common date-rape drugs) but these tests are unreliable and are not legally and medically admissible." However, from the beginning of the new year, a more reliable test for tracing these drugs would be available. Hutton's theory that energy drinks mixed with alcohol are leading to more date-rape occurrences is controversial and untested and, if correct, has major implications because nightspots across the country are making millions of rands off these cocktails, which can cost as much as R40.
Last week, a patient who thought she had been raped came to Hutton. She said she had been drinking a caffeinated energy drink and alcohol with her friends at a bar in Montecasino."She said a guy approached her and told her that her friends had left and that he would take her home. There is video footage of them in the bar and then of them outside on a bench kissing, before they left." But the young woman did not remember any of this. Hutton said that in many cases he had been informed that security footage obtained from various venues appeared to show that women were "conscious but were acting out of character". "Ladies are shown walking out of bars holding hands with someone, but leave their handbags behind. The next day… they don't remember a thing." Dr Adrienne Wolfsohn, Gauteng's director of emergency medical services, said: "People don't realise that the combination of energy drinks and vodka might affect their neurological system more than vodka and soda."
She said the combination was dangerous because, drunk in substantial quantities, it makes you high and so intoxicated that you do not remember. Superintendent Andre Neethling, Gauteng provincial co-ordinator of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit, confirmed that if the Sexual Offences Bill had been passed, it would be legally accepted that someone had been raped if that person was so drunk that she or he was not capable of giving consent to sex. Responding to questions from the Saturday Star, Christina Sponer, a spokesperson for Red Bull, said it was safe to mix the popular energy drink with alcohol - but that people should not underestimate the effects of alcohol. "Everyone knows that the excessive and irresponsible consumption of alcohol can have adverse effects on human health and behaviour, but it should be clear that this is due to the alcoholic drink, not the mixer - be it cola, orange juice, tonic or whatever else is mixed with alcohol."
Hutton pointed out he did not think that people were necessarily giving others the energy-drink cocktail with the intention of raping them later. "A lot of innocence is involved, and it is ending up in a bad situation for both parties."

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on November 25, 2006

Tuesday, November 27, 2007




Many of the people that I meet at networking meetings, seem to have this very naive concept about how networking works. You see they seem to think that it’s enough just to pitch up at a networking meeting and if they make themselves available to whomever is there, the work will flow in. Clearly, work will just fall like manna from the skies or claw its way out of the earth, to land very neatly into their laps! Must be their pure magnetism that attracts it in the first place, whilst they, of course sit quietly, waiting for this momentous phenomenon to take place! Yeah right – and you’re going to marry a tall dark handsome stranger who is rich beyond your wildest expectations!

Ok, so let’s look at the statistics – nothing like cold hard facts to get logic back into the picture. Less than 3% of the people you meet in a networking meeting will actually contact you, do business with you or even take any kind of note that you exist. Should you actually be one of that 3% and you get some work out of a networking event – lucky you. Now you can sit back because they are going to refer you – here’s another cold hard fact! Less than 10% of referral business “just happens”.

What makes you think that you are so special that people want to walk around talking about you and your products and/or services? What makes you think that they want to walk around telling people how great you are?

Be realistic people – networking and getting referrals, like any other thing in life, is hard work and it is something that you need to work at – constantly. It takes hard work, actually to be honest make that persistence and hard work!

Napoleon Hill, in his book “Think and Rich” (and if you have never read it, I strongly suggest that you need to get a copy), says “Persistence is an essential factor in the procedure of transmuting desire into it’s monetary equivalent. The basis of persistence is the Power of Will.”

Oh, don’t get me wrong, getting yourself to a meeting is a good thing – but it is essentially, the first step. Once there, you have to meet and/or introduce yourself to the people there, engage in conversation. Tell them who you are and what it is that you do (briefly), listen carefully to what it is they do and who they are. Then you need to follow up.
· Send them an e-mail with your business profile and a short message telling them to expect a call from you
· Actually phone them and book an appointment with them to have a ‘one on one’ meeting with them. No-one knows your business better than you – can you explain in three minutes who you are, what you do and why people need your products and/or services? No, well neither can they. So get together, have a coffee and chat.
· Pitch up for the meeting! This is very important! If you don’t pitch up, believe me – they will not refer you, no matter how fabulous your product is or how wonderful you are. By not pitching up, you are telling them, very loudly that you are not reliable and you cannot be trusted!
· Tell them who you are, if you have any marketing material, this is the time to give it to them and explain it, yourself, your product, your service.
· Listen to who they are and what it is that they do – listen carefully (you expected them to listen to what you had to say, so return the favour). Take notes, ask questions – satisfy yourself that you understand (even if it is only on the surface) their business.
· Make a list of all the people you can think of in your database, who might need their product and/or service or who might be able to introduce them to the people who might need their product and/or service.
· Introduce them to those people (I usually do this by means of an e-mail to both parties).
· If you are given a referral – contact the person you have been referred to. These introductions are like gold, treasure them.

Once in your database, you can now relax – well you have their contact details and they have yours, so now they have nothing better to do than send you work!

Wake up people!

Constantly remind them that you are available for work. Send out regular e-mails or newsletters or invitations to other networking events. Get into their faces and spaces (and I mean that in the nicest possible way – no spamming please), so that they don’t forget you, so that if an opportunity does arrive, the first person that they think of is you!

Easy hey? Very - as long as you work at it constantly, persistently, every day, everywhere and all the time

Monday, November 26, 2007



Today’s quote comes from E James Rohn, who says “Learn to express rather than impress. Expressing evokes a me too attitude while impressing evokes a so what attitude.”

Well this is one that I am very definitely guilty of! In fact, my usual statement is “and that is my problem – how?” or “tell someone who cares?” and quite frankly at that point in time, that is exactly how it is. It is not an attitude but rather an opinion.

I guess when you get to my age (now there’s a new one for the books, I never thought that I would say something like that!), you’ve kind of earned your stripes, your bumps and your bruises and there is no longer a need to ‘impress’. Things just are what they are and for me ‘it just is what it is’.

I often see what happens with the youngsters, who still feel the need to impress and was quietly amused the other day whilst conducting my workshop with a young man (let’s call him Joe) from Cape Town. I conduct a workshop called “A Basic Practical Guide to Starting a Business”. It was a ‘one on one’ kind of training that had been requested and paid for by one of my colleagues who has just started to Franchise his business, and who having been around the block a few times, wanted to make the start up of the business as painless as possible.

As Joe sat down and we started getting into the whole exercise, Joe told me very ‘clearly’ that he had no use for my workshop as he had ‘started several businesses in his lifetime and knows what he is doing!’. As he rambled on about how many businesses he had opened and run. I wondered why he was actually sitting in front of me. When I asked what it was that he actually did, he told me that both he and his wife were working for an Employer and it was then that I realized that he had no clue about what he was doing – all of his so called businesses had failed and he was forced to go back to the world of being an employee. His ego was definitely bruised, and in my opinion would continue to get bruised as he clearly hasn’t learnt the lesson.

My dilemma was therefore one of “do I tell him or don’t I?”. Well, I opted not to tell him. You see Joe had ‘no use’ for anything that I had to tell him, because he ‘knew everything’ and he was so busy telling me how wonderful he was and how clever he was, that nothing I said would have made any difference at all. He was very clearly in “impress’ mode.

His workshop was purchased and paid for by someone else though and as I continued my way through it, he interrupted several times, not to ask questions or get clarity, but to tell me how he had handled situations that were similar to the ones that I had raised. In many of these instances, had he reacted as he said he had, he would have been in trouble with SARS or the Department of Labour. As I pointed this out – he merely laughed and shrugged his shoulders, clearly very pleased with himself and how clever he had been. The problem however, is that it was clear to me that as a direct result of his ‘cleverness’ he had lost all of his businesses – the lesson though was clearly ‘lost’ on him. You see he was in ‘impress’ mode and by this time the only person he was impressing was himself.

Joe, in my opinion, will continue his life in “impress” mode, as that is his mindset – he has not learnt to express himself and at this point, I doubt that he ever will because of his need to impress, at all costs.

Joe, in my opinion, will close the doors to this new business opportunity too, and it will be everyone’s fault but his. Until Joe realizes and understands that his mindset needs to change, that he cannot know everything that he thinks he knows and that he too needs guidance and help from time to time, he will never be successful at anything. Until Joe has recognizes the fact that he is full of insecurities that need to be dealt with and that he is not so different from the rest of us – he will not move forward in the journey of life.

Joe, will probably never say ‘me too’ to anything in life – he is too hell bent on ‘impressing’.

Is your name also Joe?

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Have a blessed Sunday and enjoy the funnies!

A graceful taunt is worth a thousand insults."
-Louis Nizer

"I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here."
-Stephen Bishop"

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
-Winston Churchill"

A modest little person, with much to be modest about."
-Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
-Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
-William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
-Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
-Moses Hadas"

His ears made him look like a taxicab with both doors open."
-Howard Hughes (about Clark Gable)

"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."
-Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
-Paul Keating"

He had delusions of adequacy."
- Walter Kerr

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
-Jack E. Leonard

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."
-Abraham Lincoln

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
-Groucho Marx

"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt."
-Robert Redford

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."
-Thomas Brackett Reed

"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them."
-James Reston (about Richard Nixon)

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."
-Charles, Count Talleyrand

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"
-Mark Twain

"A solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg who looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity."
-Mark Twain

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
-Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
-Mae West

"She is a peacock in everything but beauty."
-Oscar Wilde

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."
-Oscar Wilde

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
-Oscar Wilde

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music."
-Billy Wilder

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination."
-Andrew Lang (1844-1912)__________________

Saturday, November 24, 2007


On the one hand I am really pleased about the fact that the USA may well be run by a woman (about time don't you think?), on the other hand, having read the book "The Truth about Hillary" by Edward Klein, I am also somewhat concerned. Klein's book raises comments such as "She's the most unbelieveable actress I have ever met." and "She is soulless." makes me really nervous.

That coupled with the fact that, as with most politicians, I am of the opinion that she is a manipulator of note and that means a manipulator of millions of people, makes me wonder if she in fact, is the right person for the job.

I have no doubt that she would make a very strong president, however would that strength and that power be used for the right things or would it merely be there to feed her extremely large ego.

I guess only time will tell and I, for one cannot wait to see what happens. What I am sure about though, is that at this point anything is better than the clown that they currently have in power.

I'm in -- and in to win, says Hillary
21 January 2007 09:58

Hillary Clinton launched the first official steps towards her historic bid to become the United States's first woman President on Saturday with the bold announcement: "I'm in -- and I'm in to win."Senator Clinton's move to form a committee to raise money for a presidential bid finally put her into the race for the Democratic party's 2008 nomination, pitting her against Barack Obama, John Edwards and a host of other candidates.
It was the latest twist in Clinton's already remarkable career that is now set to embark on its most ambitious journey. She has gone from First Lady to Bill Clinton to being a high-profile New York Senator and is now set to bid to become the most powerful person on the planet. In her speech, which was videotaped and put on a website as well as emailed to her huge list of supporters, Clinton came out with guns blazing. She directly addressed the issue that concerns most Democratic party supporters who doubt she can overcome her past legacy and actually win.
Clinton tried to assure them she was electable by saying she had proved it in two Senate races already. "After nearly $70-million spent against my campaigns in New York and two landslide wins, I can say I know how Washington Republicans think, how they operate and how to beat them,' she said. The move marks the re-emergence of Clinton into the campaign fray after weeks of maintaining a low profile in the wake of the rise of Obama, who is also trying to break down barriers by becoming America's first black President. She appealed to Americans to engage with her to work out the best way forward for the country. "Let's talk. Let's chat," she said.
Obama issued a statement saying he was pleased she had entered the race. "I welcome her and all the candidates not as competitors, but as allies in the work of getting our country back on track," he said. Clinton joins a Democrat field that is already crowded. It includes herself, Obama, the former vice-presidential candidate Edwards, peace campaigner Dennis Kucinich, former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack and several others. Clinton, who is the best known, automatically becomes the front-runner in the contest. In her favour is her undoubted political talent, the support of large numbers of women and black Americans and a huge political machine that has a firm grip on the Democratic party in numerous key battle ground states. She also has vast money-raising potential and will have no trouble generating media coverage. But her bid faces problems too. The first is the sense that Republicans will use the sleaze allegations that marred her husband's years in office against her.
On Saturday official Republican reaction to the news of her presidential run was muted. It came on the same day as conservative Republican Senator Sam Brownback also announced he would run. But Brownback only acknowledged her fame and predicted a tough race. "This is a long road with a long way to go," he said. But elements of the US's conservative media have already begun attacking her, notably by claiming her advisers have been behind a rumour that Obama spent time in a Muslim seminary when he was a child in Indonesia. The story, propagated by right-wing websites, has been dismissed as "ludicrous" by Obama's campaign staff. No evidence has been produced to show either that Obama was at such a school or that Clinton's staff have been investigating it. It could be a sign of Republican dirty tricks to come. More worryingly for Clinton though is her position on Iraq, where she has been hawkish in her support for US troops and she has refused to disavow her Senate vote in favour of the 2003 invasion.
Clinton acknowledged that Americans were concerned about such things. "This is a big election with some very big questions. How do we bring the war in Iraq to the right end? How can we make sure every American has access to affordable health care?" she said. - Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2006

Friday, November 23, 2007


This is an absolutely disgusting story and these are the type of parents who should have written some sort of exam to see if they were worthy to become parents!

Isn't it ironic, that the people who are least equipped to be parents are the very ones that seem to have the most children! And because of the way that child abuse is spread, their children themselves will also reporduce like rabbits and compund the problem!

I agree with Govender - these parents should be banned for life!

Parents leave daughter outside casino
March 01 2007 at 11:53AM
By Rivonia Naidu

A neatly dressed eight-year-old girl left at the entrance of a Durban casino for seven hours while her parents gambled the night away, was the victim of parental abuse.This is the view of Joan van Niekerk, national co-ordinator of Childline. Van Niekerk has now called on Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World and other casinos to report the child's parents as well as the many others who treat their children in a similar manner to child welfare authorities so that their behaviour as parents can be monitored. Because of their neglect of the child, the girl's parents have been banned by Suncoast Casino from entering the casino and surrounding area for three months.

But the short ban has been criticised by Childline as not "solving anything". "This is another situation of appalling parental responsibility and boils down to child abuse and neglect. Casinos need to have a system in which if a person is banned from one casino, they are banned from all casinos. "What will now happen is that these parents will continue to gamble at other establishments and instead of taking her with them, they will either lock her up at home or leave her in a car, making her an invisible neglected child, like so many others whose parents are addicted to gambling," she said.
A concerned grandparent, Lynette Reinbach, who found the girl waiting outside Suncoast Casino at 2am on Monday said she was shocked to find "such a tiny girl all by herself". "I was leaving the casino when I noticed the girl standing by herself. I went up to her and inquired about her parents' whereabouts and she said they were gambling. She then began crying," she said. Reinbach said she immediately approached the security guards and asked them how long the child had been standing there and they said since about 7pm Sunday night. "I was horrified that they would allow this child to stand by herself for such a long time."By the time we called the security manager, her mother had arrived in a drunken state. She was rude to me and that angered me because she was the negligent one," she said.
Reinbach said: "I was so disgusted with that child's parents. They are despicable and they don't deserve to have children. The sad thing is that there are a lot of parents that do this to their children. "At that odd time, there is hardly anyone left in the complex. What if their children are kidnapped, raped or killed?" she said.
In the last two months Suncoast Casino has banned three sets of parents for neglecting their children, with last year seeing a total of 10 parents being banned. Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom's general manger Melville Vogel said while abandoning children was not a common phenomenon at their casino, regrettably incidents of that nature had occurred. In the past four months Sibaya Casino has banned two separate sets of parents. Pietermaritzburg's Golden Horse Casino's marketing manager, Trevor Taylor, said thanks to a strict security policy, they've only banned one set of parents from the casino complex last year and none this year. Suncoast Casino's marketing manager Robbie Naidoo said the eight-year-old girl was discovered by a child minder (employees of the Child Minder Programme who work from Friday to Sunday from 8pm-3am and monitor and track children who have been on the property for a long time) in the Food Court at about 11pm. "She was then handed to her elder brother. However, the child was discovered alone again by security and the child minder at about 2am. "They reacted immediately and her parents were located, interviewed by security and they were each banned for three months," he said. He said when a patron is banned for whatever time period, their picture is taken and placed on a "Wall of Banned Patrons". "Security and surveillance will closely monitor these banned patrons and if they are found on the property they will be removed.
"However, there is no register of banned patrons that gets filtered to other sister properties or external casinos. "It's the responsibility and duty of that casino to monitor their own banned patrons," said Naidoo. "Parents are advised that children should not be hanging out at late hours in the complex and if we do find children at odd hours on our property, parents will be banned," he said. Raj Govender, director of the National Council on Problem Gambling said this incident was not an isolated one. "I've been called out to many other incidents of this nature and one really has to feel for these children. Some of them need to go to school and are so tired. Parents are just irresponsible and this is child abuse," he said. He said the three-month ban on these parents was very lenient."When it comes to children's rights, there are no negotiations. These parents should have received a life ban from the casino, because what's stopping them from coming back and doing the same thing in three months' time. Casinos are just out to make money. "If they are really serious about solving this problem, they will give out a life ban and fine the parents," said Govender.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Daily News on March 01, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Oh my, this article had me in stitches! Especially the whole "love of drama bit". I can just see it now, all the straight women standing in queues to get into the gay bars to pick out their personal gay entrouge!

Watch out boys - here they come!

Why every girl needs a gay best friend
03 June 2007 07:16

Diamonds may be forever, but it turns out that a gay boy is actually a girl's best friend, according to a new book that is the first definitive guide to the "fag hag". That many straight women set great store by gay male friends won't surprise fans who've watched Will and Grace sharing the secrets of their souls, or Sex and the City's Carrie and her screaming-queen buddy Stanford or Madonna and Rupert Everett, on- and off-screen.
Now a new book chronicles the (mostly) ups and (occasional) downs of having a gay man as a girl's best friend. Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys -- true tales of love, lust and friendship between straight women and gay men was launched in New York last week with a rainbow of hysterical real life stories and a few predictably melodramatic tear-jerkers. One of the book's editors, Melissa De La Cruz, said she sought to puncture the high-camp stereotype by telling how her gay male co-editor Tom Dolby was the rock-solid shoulder who was most there for her out of all her friends when she suffered a miscarriage and she and her husband were heartbroken. "He was a real man," she said.
Much happier reinforcing the stereotypes was fashion writer Karen Robinovitz, who had "bridesgays" attending her at her wedding instead of bridesmaids and whose best friends and objects of unrequited lust growing up were always gay men. "My friends muse that my love affair with boys who like boys is out of emotional safety, but I wholeheartedly disagree. It's all about fashion," writes Robinovitz in her chapter Shop Girls. While her female friends are competitive when shopping and "secretly want your ass to look fat", her entourage of gay men makes her feel like "Marie Antoinette and her court" as they encourage her to buy extravagantly, telling her she looks divine, while "holding my handbags more gracefully than I do".
Sitting to one side at the New York launch was Robinovitz's husband, Todd Cuso, a professional motorcycle racer. "Her gay boyfriends are a fantastic bunch and they have that shared excitement about fashion," he said. Writer Armistead Maupin wrote the book's foreword, explaining that his era-defining Tales of the City columns, books and TV series about gay life in Seventies San Francisco were intended as one of the first public celebrations of "fag hags", who feature as foils to his gay-blade protagonist Michael.
In real life Maupin had two straight women as close friends in those days. "I shared everything: my exploits at the baths and the heartbreak that inevitably followed when I tried to turn playmates into lovers. I was braving the masculine wilderness for the first time and it helped immensely to have women on my side." Maupin also celebrates Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's and Liza Minnelli's Sally Bowles in Cabaret as his fag-hag idols when younger. But while Maupin and the book's editors believe the fag hag is alive and well, British contributor Simon Doonan, creative director at posh New York department store Barney's, believes that punk, gay liberation and "the new man" have killed them off. Doonan claims fag hags became obsolete because straight men are now less "obnoxious" to be around.De La Cruz described how, despite unrequited lust for the gay boys at her university, she valued their encouragement. "They told me I was attractive and pushed me out there to start dating. I was 22 and still a virgin and they made me go on blind dates and they were the ones who gave me the confidence I needed."She said she and Dolby wrote the "first literary guide to the fag hag" because they knew the relationships were everywhere but went "deeper than Sex and the City or Will and Grace" and they wanted to chart it. Dolby said it was irresistible for gays and their fag hags "to talk about men they were attracted to, knowing they would safely not be competing for the same man ... Gay men just love drama and that fits perfectly with straight women, who love drama too". - Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007


Now there's an innovative idea!

Card-readers for all in Internet fraud crackdown
Jennifer Hill
14 February 2007 at 08h45

London - A pilot scheme to beat Internet fraud, that involves banks issuing every customer with their own hand-held credit card reader, has been unveiled.

Remote transactions biggest taker
APACS, the UK payments association, will trial the next generation of fraud prevention technology, designed to safeguard consumers when buying goods over the Internet, by telephone or mail order.

Fraudulent activity through these "remote" transactions, also known as "card-not-present" fraud, totalled £95,3-million in the first six months of 2006.

That represented nearly half of total plastic card fraud losses of £209,3-million - making it the largest single form of plastic card fraud.

Card readers for everyone
The proposed solution would see banks issue the card reader to each customer.
When buying something remotely, consumers would place their card into the reader and type in their PIN.

The reader would then generate a one-off passcode, which would be communicated to the retailer to verify the transaction.

The scheme - developed in partnership with banks, card schemes, retailers, trade associations and systems vendors - will start to be rolled out later this year.

"This innovation will not only protect consumers, but also revolutionise the payment card market."
Robert Kenley, head of credit cards at price comparison service, said: "These developments are still in initial trials and it will be interesting to see who will be the first to come on board.
"If it comes to fruition, this innovation will not only protect consumers, but also revolutionise the payment card market."
Total card fraud fell by 5 percent in the six months to end-June, according to APACS figures, and the body expects full-year figures, due out next month, to fall further.
However, card-not-present fraud rose 5 percent in the first half of last year, with online banking fraud surging 55 percent to £22,5-million.
One year on from the official change over to chip and PIN in the UK, almost all businesses have upgraded to the payment system.
More than 185 chip and PIN transactions take place every second, and Britain's card companies have issued 138-million chip and PIN cards - 97 percent of those in circulation. - Reuters

Tuesday, November 20, 2007




I still have a number of colleagues and friends in the Corporate World (shame hey!), and am often amazed at some of the comments that I hear about networking. The one that astounds me the most is “I don’t go to networking events because I get ‘hit on by people looking for work’!”. Oh how sad!

On a personal level, I just don’t think that most corporate people ‘get it’ – the plot I mean, or what networking is all about.

Not going to a networking event because you are afraid of people trying to get you to give them work and/or because they would like to become your service provided is just not clever.

Yes, some people will ‘hit’ on them – there is no doubt about that. In fact I can pretty much guarantee it, however they fail to see the ‘big’ picture!

You see by not going to these events, they will not be meeting new people and by not meeting new people, their own network is not going to grow, and not actively growing their network is not clever. In fact it could have some serious, adverse repercussions on their businesses.

I am often reminded of this when I attend some of the Women In Finance ( functions. Women In Finance is supported by most of the Corporate’s in the financial world – in particular banks and insurance companies. In most instances the Corporate has taken out a block membership to WIF for their staff. Most of the functions are attended by someone who “represents” the Corporate entity and in many cases, this someone has no interest what-so-ever in networking. In fact they see this as an obligation to their employer and a chance to have a free meal.

They are so easy to spot and it’s not difficult to see how different they are to the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur is bouncing around the place, interacting with new people, exchanging business cards and generally working the opportunity that they have, whilst the corporate employee is sticking to their respective groups and trying hard not to ‘talk to strangers’!

My message to the Corporate world is this – “you guys need to get with the programme”! When it comes to making and sustaining sound Business Connections - the entrepreneur is streets ahead of the corporate. Entrepreneurs are hungry for new contacts, they explore every business opportunity available to them, from meeting that new contact and they look for new innovative ways to do business!

Let me put it this way – we all talk about the bottom line – my bottom line is this:

All of my business comes through networking! I do not advertise, I do not do any marketing. You will not see anything about my business on a flyer. There are no advertisements in magazines or any other periodicals. Yet I am beginning to be well known in the market place.

I wonder why that is? Perhaps it is because I am a natural networker and I use every opportunity to talk to people, about who I am and what my business is.

The question is – shouldn’t you?

Monday, November 19, 2007


Peaceful & Calm

Todays’s quote is one from Ralph Marston who says:

“You can choose to be annoyed by just about everything. But why would you wish to be annoyed by anything?

As easily as you can choose to be annoyed, you can choose to be peaceful, patient and understanding. Instead of putting your energy into being annoyed, you can put it into more valuable and productive pursuits.

Would you like to make yourself into a victim, or would you prefer to be firmly in control of your life? Peaceful patience, tolerance and acceptance will keep you in control.

If there is a situation that needs to be changed, take action to make that change happen. Don't waste your time with being annoyed.

The next time you encounter a situation that would normally annoy you, stop and remember that you have another choice. Instead of letting outside events control your attitude, choose to control it yourself.

Being annoyed is a waste of your life. Be peaceful, calm and powerful instead.”

Man, oh man – does this ever pertain to me! I have noticed of late that I am constantly challenged by the things around me, my pet hate at this time being the lack of or bad service. It really makes me see red! My blood level rises along with the sound of my voice. The sad thing is that it very rarely makes any difference to the situation at all, other than to just make me mad.

If it made any difference to the level of service that I was getting, then it would probably be worth my while, but it doesn’t. The person doesn’t care two hoots about the service that he/she is giving or not giving (as is usually the case) and just labels me a difficult client. Would you believe that they actually have workshops on ‘how to deal with a difficult client’!

Now that made me smile – you see I don’t think that I am difficult! If they gave me good service and exactly what I asked for in the first place, life would be easy and I would not be labelled a difficult client. Perhaps they should run a workshop on ‘how to give good service to avoid making a client difficult’. Now that one would get my vote!

In the meantime, here we still are with me anything but peaceful and calm! It doesn’t change the situation in any way, I haven’t made any difference to anything (other than my blood pressure) and quite frankly it is out of my control anyway – so what I should be doing is walking away and voting with my feet – just don’t go there or use that service any more.

Let’s hope we all have a peaceful, calm and extremely profitable week!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Go on everyone, sing along with the words - from my friend Susan in Arizona!

To commemorate her 69th birthday on October 1,actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP. One of the musical numbers she performed was "My Favorite Things" from the legendary movie "Sound Of Music".
Here are the lyrics she used:
Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.
Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.
When the joints ache,
When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.
(Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores.)


This is yesterday's post! Finally we get someone who tells it like it is and she gets fired! Bugger! They really did fire the wrong person.

Manto is still in power, and it is my opinion that she has brought, not only the government, but the whole of SA into dispute with the allegations of her excessive drinking and thieving! Yet she walks freely away from any messes that she makes.

I am beginning to wonder, what is the hold that she has on Mbeki that he cannot see what an embarrassment she is to all of us and to him in particular!

Officials duck and dive after deputy's speech
December 12 2006 at 04:43AM
By Angela Quintal and Vusumuzi Ka Nzapheza

Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge went to ground on Monday while the government sought for a way to limit the damage and deal with the embarrassment of a deputy reportedly criticising the highest office in the land, as well as her immediate boss. Madlala-Routledge, regarded as one of the faces of government's new approach to HIV and Aids, found on Monday that a candid weekend interview with a freelance journalist writing for the British Sunday Telegraph had landed her in hot water. She reportedly criticised both her superior, Health Minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, and President Thabo Mbeki himself - and said both should take some responsibility for the confusion on the proper way to treat HIV and Aids.

'Now I've not been gagged formally'
She also urged Mbeki, along with other leaders, to take a public HIV test and criticised his appointment of Professor Herbert Vilakazi as chairman of a task team on traditional medicine, given that the latter was marketing an untested product, Ubhejane, as a cure.
The last time a deputy minister criticised superiors, he was fired and later expelled from the African National Congress. That was in 1996. Bantu Holomisa, the former Transkei military dictator, had among other things accused Stella Sigcau, the then public enterprises minister, of having accepted a bribe when she was a Bantustan leader from hotel magnate Sol Kerzner. Later Holomisa went further and suggested that senior party leaders, including then Deputy President Thabo Mbeki and Sports Minister Steve Tshwete, had accepted favours from Kerzner. Nelson Mandela dismissed him as deputy minister of environment affairs in July of that year and in August he was expelled from the ANC for bringing the party into disrepute.

'I must only say what she says and this is official'
On Monday, communications officials in the health ministry did not respond to calls, and Health director-general Thami Mseleku referred queries to government spokesperson Thabo Maseko. The presidency was also not available for comment at the time of going to press. Maseko said it was "extremely premature" to say whether any action would be taken against Madlala-Routledge. He said the deputy minister was in Cape Town and he was trying to reach her to clarify what was said in the interview. Only when this was done, would the government issue a statement.
Madlala-Routledge recently took a more high-profile role in communicating government's HIV and Aids policy, at a time when Tshabalala-Msimang took a back seat because of ill health and Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was tasked with revitalising government's image on the issue. This came after South Africa's disastrous PR drive at an international Aids conference in Toronto, which resulted in the Cabinet assessing the damage wrought by Tshabalala-Msimang's combative approach, which had also alienated key NGO and civil society organisations in the fight against the pandemic.Although Tshabalala-Msimang had in the past effectively gagged her deputy from speaking on HIV and Aids - a fact confirmed in the interview this week - Madlala-Routledge was regularly meeting the Treatment Action Campaign.
The TAC has credited the deputy as being "instrumental in mediating between us and government". TAC chairman Zackie Achmat on Monday said his organisation supported Madlala-Routledge's statements critical of the president and the minister. "This is indeed the first time a serving minister has come out loud and clear on the issues we have been raising in the last eight years and we hope others in the Cabinet will support her statements," Achmat said.
Achmat hoped Madlala-Routledge would not be censured or victimised for being outspoken. He said that since the TAC's nemesis, Tshabalala-Msimang had gone on sick leave and Madlala-Routledge took up the cudgels, the messages coming from government on Aids had been encouraging. "It is time we put away the conflict and confusion of the last eight years and we think the deputy minister represents that new beginning," he said. Madlala-Routledge is no Bantu Holomisa. While Holomisa is a general and fighter, Madlala-Routledge, a former deputy defence minister, is a Quaker and a pacifist. Holomisa was among the most popular ANC leaders elected to the party's NEC in 1994. Madlala-Routledge has never been elected to her party's top leadership structure. However, she joined the SACP in 1984 and once served in its central committee.
Unlike the charismatic Holomisa, Madlala-Routledge has had a low public profile since she entered government. She was appointed the defence deputy minister in 1999 and the deputy health minister in 2004. But like Holomisa, Madlala-Routledge, 54, has become increasingly outspoken, particularly on HIV and Aids. Two weeks ago she also took on the male-orientated military justice system, and raised concerns about the irregular promotion of one of the country's top general, Mxolisi Petane, who faces a sexual harassment charge.Madlala-Routledge is a tireless champion of women's rights and was the co-author of South Africa's 1995 report for the 4th World conference on Women in Beijing.
She has long supported the rollout of anti-retrovirals and was concerned about the mixed messages being sent by government of the treatment of the disease, leading to a widening rift with her boss. In August it was reported that the pair did not see eye to eye, and that Tshabalala-Msimang had effectively gagged her deputy from speaking on HIV and Aids. Last weekend, Madlala-Routledge confirmed this had been the case. "Now I've not been gagged formally. It's not like there's a letter telling me not to talk about HIV/Aids but I've been sanctioned because I've spoken in parliament and told I may lose my job."I must only say what she says and this is official. For me that is gagging but I've not observed the gag. I've just said what I think ought to be said and nobody has told me to shut up."
Has the mother of two sons now gone too far? Some believe she has, and that Madlala-Routledge's criticism of the health minister and the president has "brought the government into disrepute". In an interview with health-e in November, Madlala-Routledge credited her mother, a former school principal, for the values she says she lives by: honesty, truth, integrity, commitment and courage. Her latest interview at the weekend was described as "brave" and "courageous" by those who know her. Ironically, it might well be the deputy minister who will lose her job, despite the fact that in the eyes of the public and government's detractors, it should be her minister who should go.Whether the president will want to elevate his deputy to the stature of martyr, while he and some of his Cabinet are still branded denialists, remains to be seen.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on December 12, 2006

Friday, November 16, 2007


Well we all know how that has turned out! 'Mama Jackie' has been found guilty and it is my understanding that she is off to jail! A fitting end for a charleton don't you think?
I am just saddened by the fact that people like this prey on the defenceless, children and old people - that is just absolutely reprehensible and disgusting - and very, very sad.
I trust that she will be punished to the fullest extent of the law!
'Soweto Angel' shocks Madiba
November 25 2006 at 12:47PM
By Kashiefa Ajam, Noor-Jehan Yoro Badat, Christina Gallagher and Lumka Oliphant

So astonished was Nelson Mandela at allegations levelled on television against the "Angel of Soweto", Jackey Maarohanye, that he asked for a copy of the programme. Zelda la Grange, personal assistant and spokesperson for Mandela's office, said this week: "Madiba and Mrs Machel were astonished by the reports in the papers on this issue… I obtained a copy of the programme from Carte Blanche because they want to have a look at it. One assumes that those involved with the Ithuteng Trust will investigate the allegations as a matter of urgency."

Maarohanye has been dubbed the "Angel of Soweto" by President Thabo Mbeki, and children around Soweto called her "Mama Jackey" because they felt she was the mother they never had.
'Please don't talk to me. You don't know how she operates'
Last Sunday, however, M-Net's Carte Blanche aired interviews with several children who had been expelled from Ithuteng Trust. They alleged Maarohanye gave them harrowing - but untrue - personal stories to memorise for the benefit of the media and sponsors. They also claimed Maarohanye had lied to the world, saying the pupils' pass rate had been 100 percent when it was not. It was also revealed that some tertiary institutions never received bursaries, with one suing Ithuteng for unpaid fees.
It was Maarohanye herself who had called Carte Blanche and said she was in hiding because she feared alleged threats by the police. She claimed the police were upset because she was raising queries about their investigation of a fire on the Ithuteng premises earlier this year. But the SAPS this week confirmed several charges in two cases against her, including public violence, housebreaking, theft, kidnapping and assault. She is currently out on bail.
This week, pupils and staff at the Ithuteng school in Klipspruit, Soweto, refused to speak about the allegations, saying they were terrified of "Mama". "Please don't talk to me. You don't know how she operates. I don't want to die," begged one boy, from Orlando. Another former pupil also refused to speak, saying she feared for her life. "I have seen things there but it is not for me to tell you because I don't want to be beaten up. That woman will do things to you if you cross her path," she said. Even those whom the Saturday Star contacted by phone refused to speak.
Another shocked reaction this week came from Nedbank, one of Ithuteng's donors. Lot Ndlovu, chairperson of the Nedbank Foundation, said they were shocked by the Carte Blanche programme but would await "full facts on the matter". He said that in 2001 the Nedcor Foundation (now the Nedbank Foundation) had donated R19 998 towards an Ithuteng Trust graduation ceremony and R232 627 towards airfare for a student trip to New York. "These donations were made in good faith. We had no reason to believe there was anything irregular about Ithuteng or its management," said Ndlovu.
A Sun International spokesperson confirmed yesterday the bursary money it had paid in 2001 to the trust had not been paid to the tertiary institutions. "From then on we dealt directly with the universities and technikons. We paid the rest of the fees in order for those students to graduate. But we've had no dealings with Ithuteng since then," he said.
Meanwhile, Carte Blanche producer Odette Schwegler said Maarohanye's response has been a curious one. "At no point has she or anyone else said this was not true. She is asking why this is coming out now when it could have come out earlier," said Schwegler.
The Saturday Star was unable to contact Maarohanye this week for comment.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


An increase in the number of attacks on policeman - how can that be? Didn't our esteemed President say that there was 'no crime', so clearly the statistics have been fabricated!
On a serious note - surely something like trauma councilling and debriefing should be complusory - and why does it come out of their medical aid? Surely the cost should be something that the Department of Safety and Security picks up. It's just crazy to expect the medical aid to pay for it! Something is not right with this picture.
Police reeling as attacks on officers mount
Edwin Naidu
November 12 2006 at 11:25AM
The police are buckling under the pressure of a shocking increase in the number of attacks on policemen. The SAPS's recently released annual report reveals that attacks on policemen went up by 76,7 percent to 1 274 during 2005 to 2006, compared with 721 attacks in the previous 12 months. This increase in attacks on policemen is the highest in five years. Compounding the stress on the force were the high annual murder rate of policemen, poor pay, uncertainty over the future and their unrelenting exposure to gruesome crimes, said Bilkis Omar, the senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria.

The annual report said 585 policemen had been murdered in the past five years, 95 of them in the past year. Most of those killed were not on duty.

'Most of the deaths were stress-related'
The men and women were murdered despite increased efforts to improve police officers' vigilance and the training they were given on how to respond to dangerous situations. Omar said stress had resulted in a high number of policemen committing suicide. Charles Nqakula, the minister of safety and security, told parliament recently that, between 1998 and 2002, 508 officers took their own lives. "Most of the deaths were stress-related," Omar said. She said policemen often refused trauma counselling in a display of macho bravado, because the counselling was not confidential and because of fears that the cost of counselling would exhaust the benefits allowance of their medical-aid scheme.
Omar said public-service regulations obliged the SAPS to help policemen when they had dealt with trauma-inducing incidents, such as the rape of a young child. Those traumatised should be debriefed by their commanders and then offered counselling, she said.

Policemen often refuse trauma counselling
But because the debriefing was not compulsory many officers did not take advantage of it."Debriefing is a serious challenge for the police, given the high crime rate," she said. Omar said the police had faced many challenges during the past 12 years, including having to deal with the transformation of the apartheid SAP into today's SAPS, affirmative action and the continuing restructuring of the service.
The police feel that they are poorly paid and unappreciated by the government, and the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union criticised a claim by Trevor Manuel, the minister of finance, who said on Tuesday that the police were fairly paid. The union said the salary for entry-level policemen was R5 740 a month. Several policemen told The Sunday Independent that the minister spoke from a position of privilege. "Manuel does not have to survive on less than R5 000 a month. We have families to feed and children to send to school on the amount he probably spends on groceries," said a frustrated Johannesburg policeman.
A senior police official confirmed that stress was hampering the police, despite programmes to help them deal with it. "We have a problem but we are tackling it vigorously," she said. The attacks on, and murders of, police officers continue. Most of the increase in the number of attacks on policemen could be due to the increase in rioting in protest against tardy service delivery to poor communities, the police annual report said. Most attacks on policemen occurred while they were pursuing suspects and making arrests.
Research, according to the police, did not support the view that policemen were most often killed for their firearms, or that there was a connection between police corruption and police murders. "When policemen are off duty, they are at greater risk of being killed because they are not usually wearing their bullet-proof vests and they are less vigilant than when they are on duty," the report said.
Trevor Bloem, the spokesperson for Nqakula, said counselling services for policemen were under-utilised because of the belief that accepting counselling was a sign of weakness and would be prejudicial to prospects for promotion. Bloem said that, despite training programmes to make the police more streetwise in countering attacks, the number of attacks had risen. But, he said, there had been a decline in police murders, which suggested that the training was having an effect. In 2001 to 2002, 139 police officers were killed and the following year 150, but during the past three years the numbers had come down from 108 to 94 and 95.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Sunday Independent on November 12, 2006

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Being a bit of a technophobe, I was both amazed and delighted yesterday, when my friend and mentor Vanessa said "I am so pleased to see how you have embraced your broadband - I was a little worried when you told me that you had gone that route."

Man, that made me feel all good and fuzzy inside, you see it made me realize just how much I have grown in the year since she last saw me. You see, I have always been a bit reticent around my computer, treating it a little like a demi-god because, well . . . because I don't understand the blessed thing! Oh, don't get me wrong, I know how to turn it on, I know how to use as much of 'office' as I need to do the things that I want to do and I know how to use the internet. But that's about all!

Well the truth of the matter, it's not all - look at me now, I am blogging on a daily basis - both here and on my business blog (, I have an RSS feed from my favourite site Business Warriors ( I speak, via SKYPE to my brother in Australia, my friend in the USA and various friends and colleagues here in South Africa. Hell, I even see them on my screen when I talk to them! Then of course there is the fun side of things, I have an i-pod (50th birthday present from my brother) and I am slowly but surely loading all my CD's onto it (currently around the 2400 mark) and when it the office I plug my i-pod into it's landing dock and listen to my favorite music all day. Because of the music and the fact that my i-pod has more capacity than my laptop, I now have an external hard drive and because of all my new toys I have a gadget that is like an electrical bank of spare plugs (I forget what it's called and quite frankly who cares - as long as it does the job!).

So am I any more or less of a technophobe than I was before - I don't know - probably! The fact of the matter is that I don't have to be an IT specialist to enjoy all that technology throws my way - that's why I am not in IT, it's not my thing! It's not my passion! I don't get as excited about it for the same reason that many people don't get excited about what I do! What excites me though, is when I learn how to do something new, or more to the point when I manage to do something by myself! Now that is an accomplishment!

I am still nervous about downloading stuff off the internet and will still check with my IT guru to ensure that it's safe to do so. If a message pops up that I have not encountered before or if I am unsure of anything, he also gets a call. You see I am very aware of the pitfalls of doing the wrong thing - wiping everyong off, crashing the hard drive and all those other things.

So yes, I probably as still a technophobe, but one with a bit of a twist!

Hacking IT: Networking with a twist
Ronnie Apteker 06 October 2006 at 07h00

One of the great things I love about the Internet is virtual networking. You know, the ability to make contact with people you never really meet in person. Email can be such a brilliant tool, if used appropriately. It can also be quite destructive if emotional elements creep in. Never have a fight via email. Never curse or rant or argue using email. It will only cause you further headaches. Trust me on this.

Email allows you to share things. Information, news, ideas, events, diagrams, pictures, sounds, songs, and so much more. And it allows you to entertain. Yes, emails can be pretty funny, especially if you send out jokes.

While I sometimes get overwhelmed with the amount of email I can receive in a day, and while sometimes I wish some of the jokes I get weren't so lame, I typically get delighted when a fresh funny story arrives in my inbox. I love nothing more than to pass it to those who I know will get a boost from it. Yes, sharing a good joke is a great thing - it is one of those things that makes life special.

Storytelling is a fundamental part of all good leadership. The ability to connect with people, to inspire them, to capture their imaginations, and to provoke them, are all necessary to facilitate growth.

Everyone likes a compelling story, and we all love a good joke. So, in an effort to spread the love, and with the aim to inspire anyone who is reading this, here is a cool anecdote that I have cherished over the years. Please indulge me - I have been doing some soul searching of late and humour is one of the best ways to appreciate the journey.

So, here is a colourful corporate lesson, with a funny twist, that an inspired friend of mine sent me many years ago.
Lesson: A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower when the doorbell rings. After a few seconds of arguing over who should go and answer the doorbell, the wife gives up, quickly wraps herself up in a towel and runs downstairs.

When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next door neighbour. Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you 800 bucks to drop that towel that you have on." After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob. After a few seconds, Bob hands her 800 bucks and leaves. Confused, but excited about her good fortune, the woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.

When she gets back to the bathroom, her husband asks from the shower "Who was that?" "It was Bob the next door neighbour," she replies. "Great," the husband says, "did he say anything about the 800 bucks he owes me?"

Moral of the story: If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk in time with your stakeholders, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

If you have a good joke or an inspired story then please send it my way. And, if it strikes a chord with me, I will pass it on to the next person. Yes, this is the power of virtual networking. You got to love this technology!

Ronnie Apteker is one of the founders of Internet Solutions, the country's largest corporate Internet service provider. He is also a movie producer, an author of two books and sometimes a stand up comedian.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007




At some point you are going to need the contacts that you have met whilst networking.

Today is only Tuesday and I have already referred about 15 people, this week, out of my data base – all of whom I have met whilst networking.

You see in some instances, many of my colleagues ask me to refer people because, well firstly, they know that I have met with and chatted, on a one on one, type basis, every single person in my data base. Secondly, I have listened to what it is that they do and asked questions about their businesses.

Can I guarantee their work, or their commitment – no of course I can’t, but it is certainly a lot more trustworthy than picking someone out of the yellow pages!

So what does that mean for me – well firstly the person who has asked me for assistance, now on a subconscious level feel that they “owe me”. What this means is that the next time they hear of someone in need of the type of work that I do, they will be very quick to refer me because that will then even the score. That means that work will be coming in.

Secondly, the person who has been referred – knows that I have referred them and now on a sub-conscious level they also ‘owe me’. What this means is that the next time they hear of someone in need of the type of work that I do, they will be very quick to refer me because that will then even the score. That means that work will be coming in.

There are some instances where people, who I refer, simply feel that they are not in a position to refer me to anyone – now here comes the fun part. I have worked out a deal with these service providers – I get their time for free! So now I have my own contractual attorney – I never sign anything without her having a look at it (for free). I have my own Labour Attorney – I can give advice to clients and check my facts before I give the advice (for free). I have my own Accountant, who does my books and looks after my tax issues (for free), and so on.

In fact, I am far better off than any Corporate Company – because I have specialists who are passionate about what they do and are committed to giving good service and value for money – where have you ever found a Corporate Company that can make that statement, with conviction and honesty?

The bottom line is that I have built a ‘Virtual Company’ out of my networking. I have opened myself up to recognize the potential value, to my business, of every single person that I have met. I did that by meeting one person at a time, engaging in a conversation with that person, by understanding what it is that they do and by listening to what people want.

How strong is your ‘Virtual Company’ – do you actually have one?

Monday, November 12, 2007



The quote today comes from Lao Tzu, who says “He who gains a victory over other men is strong; but he who gains a victory over himself is all powerful.”

I recently heard a woman, who was being beaten by her husband say something along the lines of, he says “I force him to hit me because of the way that I speak, act, dress, walk (insert anything you like here)”. Not only am I amazed at how influential this woman is (and the many thousands like her) over her man – that she can make him lose control! I mean really! I asked her how she managed to do that – did she hold a loaded gun to his head and tell him that he had to hit her, now? Did she stand with a knife held to his throat and say that she was going to ‘gut him like an animal’ unless he raised his hand and beat her senseless?

Don’t be daft! This is a man who thinks that because he is physically stronger than her, he can control her actions or vent his frustrations, by beating her up! Yes this man has gained a physical (and often a mental one too) victory over her – but nothing else! He hasn’t shown me that he a man. In fact quite the opposite – he has proved himself to be a bully of note. So ok, now he has proved that he is strong – and now what!

What perhaps would have impressed me is if he had controlled his temper and his emotions to such an extent that he just walked away! Now that would have made him a powerful man, in my opinion!

What are you in your personal life and in your professional life? Are you a strong person or are you a powerful person? Perhaps the question should be, which would you like to be, a strong person or a powerful person?

I know which one would be the most comfortable one for me to live with – do you?

Sunday, November 11, 2007


This is a bit of a tongue in cheek, funny for today - For all you fabulous women out there - I hope you enjoy!

... enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to...

... something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

.. a youth she's content to leave behind....

... a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age....

..... a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

..... one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...

.... a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...

... eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored...

... a feeling of control over her destiny.

... how to fall in love without losing herself.

... how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without; ruining the friendship...

... when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...

... that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

.. that her childhood may not have been perfect...but its over...

... what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

... how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...

.. whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally...

... where to go... be it to her best friend's kitchen table... or a charming inn in the woods... when her soul needs soothing...

.. what she can and can't accomplish in a day... a month...and a year...


This should have been yesterday's post!

Oh my, if this is all that embarrasses Cosatu, then we are knee deep, actually scratch that, we are neck deep in the brown smelly stuff!

Perhaps Cosatu should look a little closer to home - things like Manto, Zuma and yes even Mbeki! Now there's something worthwhile to be embarressed about!

SA High Commission is embarrassing - Cosatu
December 08 2006 at 07:24PM

It was "embarrassing" that a British union had to picket the South African High Commission in London to demand basic union rights for its members, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Friday. Cosatu said it was "shocked and embarrassed for our country" to learn that the Transport and General Workers' Union (T&G) had to picket South Africa House in Trafalgar Square in London on Thursday to demand basic union recognition for locally employed workers.
"The T&G has been one of the most faithful, consistent and reliable friends and supporters of the South African liberation movement for decades," said Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven.

Cosatu demanded full recognition of the T&G as the union representing the SA High Commission workers."Anything less would be a public, international disgrace for South Africa." - Sapa


This should have been Friday's post!

Ok people, listen up - especially all you tourists out there! This is Africa! In Africa we have dangerous animals - very dangerous animals. Irrespective of whether they have grown up, been reared, hand fed etc, etc, etc - they are still wild, dangerous animals! Doesn't matter if their trainers hand feed them, this doesn't mean that you can. If the trainer puts his head into their open mouths - doesn't mean that you can!

When you go out with the trainers, game farm staff etc, you do exactly what they tell you to, nothing more, nothing less. You don't fall behind the others, get off the track etc.

Never ever, and I mean never, ever - assume because a lion (leopard, elephant or any other of the big five and or any wild animal for that matter) is lying there in the shade with a bored, sleepy expression on their faces that they will not rip you apart in seconds - any of the wild animals!

This is Africa for heaven's sake - it's not a place for sissies!

Tourist 'to expose' game park after attack
Kashiefa Ajam
March 31 2007 at 12:23PM

Johannesburg might be an urban jungle, but it still has nothing on the real one - and Nazli Peer has the scars to prove it. Peer was attacked by a one-year-old male lion during a guided bush walk at the Kwantu Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape recently. Kwantu refuses to take responsibility for the incident, saying Peer had ignored instructions by the trainer during the walk and now Peer, a freelance journalist safely home in Johannesburg, wants to "expose" the reserve to protect other tourists from harm. "My husband and I were enjoying a few days off at an idyllic Eastern Cape private game reserve. Our days were a mix of guided walks into the predator-free, rolling plains surrounded by teeming wildlife.

"I joined my husband for a guided walk into the bush with the eleven-month-old resident lion cubs raised in captivity at the on-site predator centre. We signed our indemnities looking forward to a unique experience." Peer and her husband Yusuf joined the animal trainer, a guide and four volunteers from Europe and the US on the walk the next morning. She said the guides were treating the two male lions to bits of meat on the way. Peer said she was immediately suspicious of the bigger lion: "It was impressively agile, scaling a tree and jumping for the meat. "I thought that it was like a circus. I was expecting something more natural."When Peer tied her jacket to her waist she was rammed from behind, as the lion pawed at it. "I half-fell to my knees, dropping the jacket instinctively. "I had just about regained my footing when it approached again from the front, jumping toward my shoulder, clawing me down." She said a moment later the lion attacked again and the lion trainer had beaten the animal off her. Peer claimed neither the guide nor the trainer was prepared for such an incident. They had no radios or weapons except the sticks they handed out to everyone who went on the walk. "As we walked back to the camp the lion began stalking me again. I was bleeding. He circled the group that surrounded me, hiding in the grass looking for an opening."She begged the trainer and volunteers to protect her.When the group returned to camp, there was no on-site medical help, nor anyone trained in first aid. The owner of Kwantu, she said, also seemed uninterested in her ordeal. "I'm exposing the issue to save any other local or international tourist from this kind of horror," said Peer.
In response to a letter sent to Kwantu by Peer's lawyer, Cape Town attorney Max Ebrahim, this week, the game reserve said Peer had failed to heed clear instructions given to her during the walk. This, they said, was in contravention of the terms and conditions which she agreed to.


This is more than ridiculous - this is downright fraudulent! It reminds me of the story that Jeremy Mansfield of Highveld Stereo fame ( told of the unmarked car flashing it's blue light, to get everybody off the road and out of it's way in peak hour traffic, only to pull into a shopping complex parking. As it was Jeremy was also going into that particular shopping complex and saw the guys coming out with packets of cigarettes (if memory serves me correctly - in any event they had gone 'shopping'). They had used their authority to go shopping! What a misuse of power!
Using the flying squad cars and police vehicles to transport yourself and other officers to and from work is tantamount to fraud. In the days that I worked in the corporate world, it was, is and has always been, your own responsibility to get to work - if you cannot get to work, then you have the wrong job!

Shake-up leaves police unmoved

Graeme Hosken
December 04 2006 at 11:56AM

A Pretoria News expose of how the capital's police were abusing and misusing vehicles to transport themselves to and from home has led to a "major shake-up". But the so-called shake-up - which also resulted in a month-long witch-hunt by senior police officers to discover who had spoken to the Pretoria News about the misuse of State vehicles - has achieved little, with vehicles still being used as taxis. The use of police vehicles as taxis has led to residents either being forced to go to a police station to fetch help or having to wait up to four days for Flying Squad members to respond to armed robberies, as in the case of the attack on the Catholic Comboni Study Centre in Willow Glen 10 days ago.

In June the Pretoria News report had revealed that city residents who were the victims of crime were being forced to wait for help while Flying Squad and Highway Patrol Unit officers transported colleagues home.

'We will no longer tolerate ineffective service delivery'An internal report on the SAPS's fleet utilisation policy has been leaked to the Pretoria News. In an earlier report the Pretoria News revealed that there were inadequate control measures in place to prevent the irregular use or misuse of police vehicles in Gauteng. It stated that the province's police members place their personal interests above what was expected of them in terms of the SAPS core functions, with respect to the use of vehicles. The report said that members, including senior officers and unit commanders, simply ignored provisions controlling the use of vehicles.
The report revealed that of the 16 cars in Pretoria's Flying Squad, only four on average were used to patrol the city and its surrounding areas every day. The remaining 12 were used as transport or were kept at police members' homes so they could get to work for the next shift. The new memo comes as police sources in the Flying Squad this week revealed that the availability of cars, especially in the Flying Squad, had continued to deteriorate despite the unit receiving new vehicles.
According to sources, shifts are continuing to end as much as two hours early so that members have enough time to collect colleagues for the next shift. The shifts run from 6am to 2pm, 2pm to 10pm and 10pm to 6am. The memo stated that the current state of affairs and blatant disregard of departmental policy and guidelines concerning the use of State vehicles would no longer be tolerated. Following the expose, an immediate investigation was called for by senior Gauteng police officers.
Pretoria police communication head Superintendent Morne van Wyk failed to respond last week to queries on the outcome of the investigation. Last week the Pretoria News learnt through Director Nick Sithole, who led the investigation, that there had been a "major shake-up following your damning article". Asked about the outcome, Sithole said the investigation was finalised and members were charged and disciplined for contravening regulations regarding the use of State vehicles. "Senior police officers were sent to the unit to beef up command and control after it was learnt that there were serious flaws in the unit's command structures," he said.
But the claims of a shake-up have been met with scorn by city residents and citizen associations. Speaking on the four-day delay, Willow Glen Residents' Association member Andre Terreblanche said the delays were unacceptable. "It is clear that there is a complete lack of management skills in Pretoria police." This has to be addressed urgently so that the police can live up to their motto of serve and protect," he said, adding that there had to be proper planning, leadership and control when it came to policing. He said: "People are far too used to the idea of the police taking days to attend to crime scenes. We have to tell authorities that we will no longer tolerate ineffective service delivery." If there is an armed robbery or an emergency we need immediate response," he said.
Johan Prinsloo, whose sister's home in Garsfontein was burgled on Friday, said he had to wait for more than five hours for a police response. "How can this happen? What has happened to the service delivery from the police?" he asked. "I telephoned Garsfontein police station, but they were unable to help me. I then telephoned 10111, but they told me there was only one car and that it was in Pretoria West and that they could not help."This is absolutely ridiculous."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


On a personal level, I think that the whole thing is a lot more than just 'unfortunate'! Don't you? This is just really bad for South Africans in general. Table mountain is one of our draw cards, and these people are messing with the tourist trade. They are putting all of us at risk! remember folks, it is almost that time of the year again, there will always be people who would like to part you from your hard earned moola and possessions.

Be aware and be safe

Tourist groups robbed on Table Mountain
Helen Bamford
December 16 2006 at 10:45AM

Three groups of foreign tourists were robbed on Table Mountain by knife-wielding men within hours of each other this week. The 14 tourists included Germans and Australians. Table Mountain National Park security scoured the mountain above Kirstenbosch and Nursery Ravine where the robberies took place but the men evaded detection. They did find an overhanging rock which appeared to have been used as a shelter by the men. Police spokesperson Randall Stoffels confirmed that the tourists were threatened with knives and forced to hand over cash, cameras and cellphones. He said a robbery charge was being investigated. Park spokesperson Evelyn Holtzhausen said the incidents occurred on Wednesday.

The first victims were a German couple. About an hour later what is believed to be the same group of men allegedly robbed a group of four foreign hikers before attacking a family of eight Australians. Kirstenbosch estate manager Augustine Morkel said the three robbers were "African" men in their early 20s and had been wearing tracksuits and tackies, pretending to be hikers. "They robbed the groups one by one. I think they thought that if they took the cellphones no one would be able to call for help," he said. Morkel said the Table Mountain National Park had sent up extra security to Nursery Ravine and Skeleton Gorge where some of the stolen goods had been recovered. Holtzhausen said the group on the Hoerikwaggo trail, which included foreign visitors, had two guides with them, one of whom had security training. Park managers were "incredibly concerned" about safety on the mountain and had beefed up security after earlier attacks. Last month knife-wielding robbers attacked two couples in Kirstenbosch within 15 minutes of each other. An Irish couple on holiday in Cape Town were attacked first, followed by two Belgian women who live here. Holtzhausen said the Table Mountain National Park had 90 security guards and six dogs who patrolled the mountain. Cape Town Tourism general manager Mariette du Toit called the robberies "unfortunate".

This article was originally published on page 2 of Cape Argus on December 16, 2006