Monday, April 30, 2012

The 18th Annual MTN South African Music Awards

The Winners Are:

Best Alternative Album
The Dirty Skirts for Lost In The Fall

Best Kiddies Album
Wendy Oldfield for Singalong Kidz Volume 2

Best Smooth Urban Music Album
Zahara for Loliwe

Best Contemporary Faith Music Album
The Plain Truth – We Are The Shining Ones

Best Classical and Instrumental Album
CH2 for Ping

Best Collaboration
Zahara featuring Georgy for Incwad’Encane

Best Jazz Album
Jimmy Dludlu for Tonota

Best Pop Album
Lloyd Cele for One

Best African Adult Album
Zonke for Ina Ethe

Best Rock Album
Shadowclub for Guns and Money

Best Traditional Music Album
Soul Brothers for Amaphutha

Best Traditional Faith Music Album
Solly Mahlangu for Mwamba Mwamba

Best Street Urban Music Album
AKA for Altar Ego

Best Sokkie Dans Album
Snotkop for Ek Laaik Van Jol

Best Adult Contemporary Album
Elvis Blue for Elvis Blue (2CD Special Edition)

Best Maskandi Album
Thokozani Langa for I-Protection Order

Best Kwaito Album
Big Nuz for Pound for Pound

Best Dance Album
Mi Casa for Mi Casa Music

Special Award:  Best Selling Album
Loliwe by Zahara

Special Award:  MTN Best Selling Mobile Music Download
Facebook by DJ Cleo

Newcomer of the Year
Zahara for Loliwe

Duo/Group of the Year
Mi Casa for Mi Casa Music

Male Artist of the Year
AKA for Altar Ego

Female Artist of the Year
Zahara for Loliwe

MTN Record of the Year
Mi Casa for These Streets

Album of the Year
Loliwe by Zahara

Sunday, April 29, 2012

How to turn on your guy

#19 Get him in the mood

Get him in the mood by being playful. Come out of the closet wearing one of his suits over your underwear and pretend you're him!
For Christmas, dress yourself up as a present and tie a red bow around your body. It will be the best present he'll get that year!
A study shows that the combination of pumpkin pie and lavender increase blood flow in male organs by 40%! Bake that pie and light that candle!

Let's face it, things in the bedroom don't always go as smooth as they do in the movies. So, laugh at your mistakes! It will make it more intimate.
The next time you're driving along a back road, ask him to pull over then jump in his lap! You'll both feel like young teenagers all over again.
Guys love something new. The next time you're in the bedroom, get a wig and dress up as a busty blonde from the south or maybe an independent brunette businesswoman from New York. Use your imagination!

The next time he's at the bathroom sink, surprise him by sitting on the sink in front of him and pull him close. He'll be reminded of you every time he's brushing his teeth!
Warm your man up by giving him an a massage! Try spicing it up by lighting some candles and playing some Barry White! Barry is guaranteed to set the mood quick.
Every man is extremely thankful for yoga pants. The next time you're waiting for him to come home, throw your yoga pants on and start stretching in the living room. He'll get so excited to come home and see the hot yoga pants in action!
Use two neckties to blindfold both you and your guy. The fact that both of you are sightless will drive him (and you) wild!
If you have the day off but your man has to go in, send him naughty texts throughout the day. He'll come running home!
Every man loves a challenge. He'll be into it if you challenge him to a game of mini golf or bowling! You never know what a playful game could lead to!
Who needs furniture? Before you and your man move your stuff into a new place, get it on in every room!
While in bed, order him to pin your arms down and take control of you. He'll get excited to know that you want him!
While they're cutting the cake at a wedding, steal him away into the next room and go crazy oh him. The thought of being caught will be exhilarating!

If he's away, call him and let him know all the things you want to do to him. He won't be able to stand being away from you!
Instead of making out in the elevator, take the stairs. Stop him in the stairwell and start to go crazy on him!
For his birthday, save some money and give him what he really wants. Write him a list of the naughty things you want to do to him throughout the day!
Turn him on by wearing your hottest heels around the house. Cook him dinner while you have them on!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dullstroom is beutiful.

SAPS leading Freedom day Machadodorp in the most beautiful national anthem. OwnYourFuture

Friday April 27th is Freedom Day. It seems incredible that it was 18 years ago that we were about to stun the world with a peaceful election as we transformed from apartheid to a constitutional democracy.

In 1994, for many of us, freedom focused on the right to vote in the same queue as those compatriots who had been denied the vote forever. Freedom meant the ability to hold our heads high and show the world that we were a remarkable country. Freedom resulted in our President being adored both locally and abroad.

Freedom galvanised a nation into turning the economy from near bankruptcy to unprecedented prosperity. Freedom commenced a process of social delivery on a scale seldom achieved by any other nation. Freedom meant being awarded the right to deliver on the rugby, cricket and soccer world cups. Freedom enabled us to punch above our weight on the global stage.

In 1994 our freedom focused on the big picture and gave us hope.

The freedom we celebrate on the 27th April 2012 will not, for many, be a celebration of this continuing momentum. It will rather be in the form of some deep soul searching, some anxiety about freedoms that are under threat, some lamenting of freedoms that have been taken away.

We will question why the face we present to the world is that of a nation losing its way; where political leadership is characterised by in-fighting and expediency; where blue light cavalcades mow down citizens with impunity; where African style corruption and graft is ubiquitous; where media freedom is under threat; where judicial independence is being challenged; where teachers don’t care for their charges; where gang rape is videoed; where traffic officials treat law abiding citizens like scum; where businessmen who speak out are vilified by the state and deserted by their colleagues. 

In 2012 our freedom is focused on future prospects and gives us melancholy.

Freedom means many things to many people, but for us South Africans in particular it means freedom from oppression, from exclusion, from racism, from legislated discrimination, from illegitimate authority.

Our constitution urges us to “heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; to lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people; improve the quality of life of all citizens and the potential of each person; build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations.” 

On this Freedom Day we need to re-focus on these imperatives. We need to demand of our government that it does the same. We need to recognise that many of our freedoms are under threat. We need to re-establish confidence and pride in our future. We need to re-establish trust between the proletariat and the leadership.
That’s not to say there is not a good deal to be thankful for, we have made significant progress over the past 18 years. But freedom is about much more than progress; it is about hope; it is about safety for future generations; it is about celebrating the good and being able to openly criticise the bad; it is about realising our potential as a great nation; it is about living our constitution; it is about what we aspired to 18 years ago.
In 2012 we need to stand together as we did in 1994. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How rich will SA be in 2042?

Article By: Cees Bruggemans

What would South Africa's profile look like, say, on a 30-year view?

Mostly stable (3.5 percent growth), very messy (noisy transition to who-knows-where), severe downside risks (from elite corruption and revolutionary young) with upward potential (the next productive generation coming up the ranks)?

For business and the economics profession, both premised on efficiency rules and result maximisation (best results in quickest time), engaging a ship adrift is a challenge.

What may look like equilibrium between Big Government, Labour and Business can also be described as an active and enduring state of policy paralysis.
In other words, going nowhere in a hurry.

If leadership is lacking in breaking this impasse from above, in getting us back to a better, faster supply side performance (infrastructure, labour market, education, state bureaucracy), yielding faster income growth and fairer spreading of opportunity, ultimately we may expect a crisis break from below, destroying the existing dispensation.

That is, after corrupt elites have first cleaned out and thoroughly thrashed the place.
But what if it actually takes a lot of effort and time to break things down completely while a new upcoming generation actively works to transform us back to a functioning, more efficient, better balanced, sustainable configuration?

Is it a sign of fear and impatience (two very different sentiments) that drive the forced short-term eagerness to get back to even keel quickly?

But what if the present set-up is as good as it is going to get for the time being, but with two crucial assumptions?

The outside world, given its outperformance (the East) and problems (the West), should keep creating supportive opportunities for an entity like us and the enormous African hinterland, as we have seen in recent years.

And within nothing remains the same under the relentless pressure of demography, technology and trade, along with increased urbanisation and major social changes.

What do you get over time when that is our context?

Two centuries after the British took over and started our accelerated modernisation, over a century after the Boer War make-over, half a century after the onset of the Apartheid interruption and two decades after the latest changing of the guard; it is remarkable just how steady our national performance has been throughout. We have recorded 3.5 percent average GDP growth this past century, with only short deviating bursts varying from 1 percent to 5.5 percent, punctuated regularly by recession setbacks.

Most importantly, per capita income is again growing (after a civil war hiatus), with income, wealth and opportunity being spread more than ever before in our modernisation drive. Broad social stagnation has finally been ended (with South Africa showing substantial social mobility now, unlike, for instance, Brazil) even if great imbalances remain (like Brazil).

When examining our national institutions, and the 9-million formally-employed and 4-million informally employed (those working fulltime) presently driving the economy, it is an engine that has been subjected to some severe wear-and-tear but that is as yet far from broken down.

It is an engine that still has a lot of active economic life remaining, even with a series of hard drivers waiting turns.

That engine can probably be pressed for another 30 years of active service without fundamentally breaking down, provided there isn't a break in the rules of the game

So the transition may be noisy and very, very messy where efficiency rules are concerned, but a complete collapse is not something that arrives overnight unless willfully wrecking the rules of the game.

The main downside risks on this score, besides the outside world (or nature) turning unsympathetic, probably comes from corruption in high places and desperation from below (especially from those having enjoyed some real education with no chance of gainful deployment and opportunity, economically, socially or politically).
These are the forces of destruction always present and waiting for a critical weakening of the societal core.
But it isn't as if these elements are the only ones present, vying for control.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Real Jesus of the ANC

 by Lindokuhle Nkosi Chris Hani

10th of April, 1993. One gunshot cracks through a driveway off Hakea Crescent, Dawn Park. Janusz Jacub Walus walks up to the car, and packs three more bullets through the drivers head, then turns to leave. At quarter to eleven, the first phonecall bearing the bad news is received in peach house on Bauhinia street. The phone will ring continuously throughout the whole day. Chris Hani has been assassinated. The black residents of Dawn Park in the East Rand are angry, terrified. Over a bowl of snap, crackle and pop; a five year old hears snippets of “they’re coming for us”, “they won’t stop until they get us all”, and “I won’t let them get away with this!” The curtains are drawn shut, the TV on mute. The radio cries from the corner of the kitchen. The shooter has not yet been found.

I cannot say for certain what my young mind understood back then. I knew that up the road a body lay lifeless. Silenced. I knew that the dust would be redder than normal. I knew to be afraid. The house was dark, unbreathing. A grave mass hovered above, violent with anger and energy, threatening to explode. The wooden butt of a gun peaks out from under my father’s leather jacket as he leaves the house, walking towards the one where Chris Hani used to live. “Don’t open the curtain. Don’t answer the door. No-one must know you are home,” he said as he left the house. I hid inside my cupboard until it got stuffy. Or I got bored. I moved to the lounge where I hid under the table. Hid and prayed.

Hiding under tables has formed a large part of my life. Cowering from the red of the Inkatha Impi’s. Recoiling from the red of armed, angry hostel-dwellers. And then from the crimson unknown. The scarlet of future bloodshed, of when they would come finish us off. There were people outside the windows. Voices, wailing. Sirens. Sirens and smoke. Smoke and guns. Vows being made upon his blood. Blood to consecrate his death. To vindicate him. To vilify him.

Dawn Park is widely described as a “racially-mixed suburb”. In all honestly, it was a biltong and boerewors area, with a small sprinkling of upwardly-mobile blacks. It was a “first step out of the hood” suburb, a starter pack, where the majority of its black residents still lived in the outrooms of small-holdings and plots. Integrated, maybe. Co-existent, definitely not. So it was with much anxiety that 19000 people visited the house on Hakea Crescent to pay their respects. Terrified, white people peaked from behind their curtains. Dogs were moved to backyards. Dawn Park was black and red. Black and gold and green. Mourning and singing. Frisson and tension.

I try to imagine how South Africa would be had the situation played out differently. Had Hani lived. Let’s say, maybe, that Walus was a shitty marksman. Imagine that the bullets missed any fatal spots. That he, and not Mandela, had released a statement from his hospital bed. That the image that was immortalised in our minds was not one of Tokyo Sexwale weeping near his friend’s corpse, but of the two of them alive, together, with Hani at the helm of the country. That the headlines read: “Hani survives assassination attempt”.

His image never lived long enough to be tainted in the aftermath of liberation. He’s up there on the mantel of the incorruptible, but is it really plausible to think that he’d have survived the bling-ification of cadreship? The people he fought side-by-side with now live by the motto of “we did not struggle to be poor”. We have a “Teflon Don” upon whom charges don’t stick, leader for president, and Julius Malema is the voice of the youth. Perhaps we’re lucky then, that we still have that immovable picture of him to refer to. That we can say, as South Africans, that we know what selfless leadership looks like. Hani allows us to believe that we’re not completely fucked up. We get to pin our disappointments on part-man, part-myth; and pretend that fate conspired against us. That the country we live in is not of our own construct. Hani’s assassination is Jesus’ crucifixion. We reflect on it (maybe) on Easter without real consequence. Partake in the holy communion and unholy discourse, and wait myopically for his return.

Selena Gomez calls for action on the Sahel crisis

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gap sets up shop in South Africa

Gap Stores in SA

Gap Inc. opened two stores in South Africa this week as the global retailer set up a base for expansion into the continent – and said it expected more retailers to enter the country in the next few years as the local retail sector matured.

“We are excited to bring Gap’s casual American style and store experience to more customers in South Africa,” Stefan Laban, Gap’s MD of strategic alliances, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“South Africa is the natural next step for expanding our presence on the continent. The country has a thriving economy and high Gap brand awareness, so we believe there is tremendous opportunity for us in the market,” Laban said.

Gap’s opened its first store in Johannesburg’s Sandton City Mall on Tuesday, followed by a second in Cape Town’s Tyger Valley Centre on Wednesday – and according to financial news agency I-Net Bridge, plans to open a third in Pretoria’s Brooklyn Mall later this year.

Each store will house product from the international Gap, GapKids and babyGap collections, and the assortment will be customized seasonally to best suit the needs of local customers and the warm South African climate.

Gap’s move follows that of Spain’s Inditex Group – Europe’s largest fashion retailer – which opened its first South African Zara store in Sandton late last year, and its second at the Gateway Shopping Centre outside Durban in March.

Laban told I-Net Bridge this week that, as demand slowed in Europe and the US, more retailers were seeking growth in emerging markets such as South Africa.

Gap sells clothing, accessories and personal care products for men, women, children and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands.

Its products are available in over 90 countries through about 3 000 company-operated stores, over 200 franchise stores, as well as e-commerce websites. The company’s net sales for fiscal year 2011 amounted to US$14.5-billion.

SAinfo Reporter

Eight Ways Sex Makes You Beautiful

No fancy skin cream can top the beauty boost from knockin’ boots.
Bettmann/CorbisBrigitte Bardot
Brigette Bardot
We spend countless hours and dollars to doll ourselves up, but Mother Nature has given us women an au natural way to turn heads: S-E-X.

Sure, there’s a time and a place for perfectly applied eyeliner and not-a-strand-out-of-place hair. But really, what’s hotter than devil-may-care, mussed up bedhead and a swagger that just won’t quit? It’s time to channel your inner Brigitte Bardot, ladies!

Sex is the ultimate beauty enhancer. No product or procedure can beat getting down and dirty in making you even more gorgeous. Check out these eight reasons why.

1. Natural Makeup
Every morning, you apply makeup and by lunch, you already need a touch up! But if you spend 15 minutes a day doing the deed, your cheeks will naturally flush, your lips will have that perfect red pout and your skin will glow. Move over Sephora—sex is nature’s makeup! As YouDoc Dr. Michael Roizen, the Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Roizen explains, during sex, “You get excited, and you vasodilate. [Just like] vasodilation happens in the male penis, which is swelling it with blood…well, the same thing is occurring in all your mucosal membranes [to give] you that ruddy look, that redness or that glow. It’s all the same phenomenon.” And, might we add, the sex effect lasts for hours.

2. Save Face
Even if you stay out of the sun, you still may be at risk for premature pruning. “Other than sun exposure, the major wrinkler of the skin is your arteries,” explain Roizen. “Whether you have a wrinkle in your heart, which is a heart attack, or a wrinkle in your skin, it’s the same process.” Good blood flow brings nutrients and oxygen to the skin, which staves off wrinkling. Guess what increases blood flow and makes your skin act younger? You guessed it—sex.

3. Sex Does a Body Good
We all know that the sexiest thing a woman can have is confidence. According to sexpert Mary Jo Rapini, M.Ed, L.P.C., knocking boots gives every woman a swagger. “When I ask men: ‘What is the most attractive thing about your woman?’ one of the top three things is always the way she moves.” After getting frisky, you walk with an even more feminine gait. Your head is held high, your hips swaying from side to side—in other words, you’re getting your strut on. That confidence just reels the men right back in, creating a perfect cycle of sex appeal.

4. Doing “It” is the Best Hair Do
Sex can also contribute to a healthy head of hair. Roizen points out: “Each hair follicle has a blood vessel to it, and your blood flow is a major determinate of both internal and external beauty.” More blood flow means you’re nourishing your hair. Plus, you know sliding around in your sheets gives your tresses that va-va-va voluminous sexy bedhead.

5. Don’t Worry, Be Happy
There’s a reason wrinkles are called worry lines—but no amount of eye cream can put your mind at ease like the horizontal hula. “Sex is the best stress reliever,” says Rapini. Since orgasming is all about learning to relax and breathe, when you’re having sex regularly, the calming effects cumulate and you’ll enjoy long-term stress relief. Rapini points out: “The normal sex act itself takes between three and 20 minutes. That’s not very long, but it influences your whole day, it can even influence you for several days.” And that lack of tension will be all over your beautiful face!

6. Busting Out
During sex, you’ll have even more to show off. According to Dr. Roizen, during sex, “breasts enlarge 25 percent; nipple height increases a half inch.” You’ll be wowing your man sans Wonder Bra.

7. Sexercise
While it might be hard to motivate yourself to get to the gym, if you’re ready to spend some time on your back—or on all fours, or in a pretzel shape—sex can give you a great cardio workout. According to Roizen, “From an arterial standpoint, having sex is the equivalent of engaging in Zumba.” The more you do it, the more it does for your bod!

8. Fountain of Youth
If a woman has an average sex life, her real age can be two to eight years younger than the number on her driver’s license, notes Roizen. “You end up being functionally younger … it’s a consistent effect,” he says. It lowers your risk of the three major killers: heart disease, cancer and all others—which is really depression, suicide, mood changes and things that cause attitudinal changes.” If you keep getting frisky with your partner, you can both turn back the hands of time.

So, gorgeous, the next time someone asks you what your beauty secret is, you can tell her it’s your sex life. And how!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Radio Islam scoop MTNRadioAwards

MTN Radio Awards aims to recognise the very best of South Africa’s on-air and behind the scenes talent
 more info
Here are the awards for Radio Islam 
more info
And the award for Best Community Radio Show goes to ‘Screaming Reels’ from Radio Islam.
Well done to Radio Islam for ‘The Big Picture Programme’ for Best Community News and Actuality Show. Congrats!
Congrats Ejaz Khan from Radio Islam for winning the Best Community News and Actuality Producer award :)
Well done to Radio Islam for winning Best Community Project for ‘Children of Heaven’. Congratulations!
Well done to Yusuf Moosagie for Best Community Afternoon Drive Presenter. Congratulations!
this is ejaz khan
Congrats to Radio Islam for the winner of the Best Community On-Air Packaging
Congrats to Radio Islam for the Most Loyal Listeners.

House fire in Belfast, 14 April 2012

ER24 crews were called in to assist with the treatment of a man who had suffered extensive burns at an alleged house fire in Belfast this afternoon.

The local provincial services had collected the patient from his home where it is believe the fire had started. At this stage the details surrounding the cause of the fire are not known, but the man was in need of urgent medical attention due to the extent of burns he had suffered in the fire.

The paramedics on the ambulance had covered the man’s wounds and dressed them in Burnshield, while the Advanced Life Support paramedic from ER24 had placed him on life saving external respiration equipment to keep the man breathing. Paramedics made all attempts to stabilised the man while they transported him to Midmed hospital in Middelburg for further care.

The man was handed over to the hospital staff in a critical condition.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Why blackz are fools

Black leadership needs to be redefined.

Every African nation that has gained independence from a European oppressor almost always ends up being poverty stricken despite the abundance of natural or manpower resources.

There are various reasons for this, but the end result is the same. The criticism is sugar-coated and behind our backs – and sometimes in our faces – we are seen as fools by other races.

Many post-colonial black Africans have proven to be the most unproductive and those who have tried to claw themselves out of poverty have been failed by their own people more than by history itself.

Our faith as blacks is based on the fact that the God we believe in lives somewhere in the sky.

But what many do not realise is that God lives within us.We seldom listen to ourselves, let alone look for opportunities within ourselves to develop.

This is ironic since we are a generation that has a majority of religious worshippers.

In fact, our oppressors only exploited us because they saw God-sent labourers, not to mention that they see God within themselves so they worked together to exploit us and build an economy.

Unfortunately, seeing God within ourselves as blacks has proven to be a challenge.

Do you ever wonder how much depth, reasoning and unification world leaders had to apply in order to make racism and segregation acceptable?

Successfully implementing the two in their respective nations for centuries had to be a work filled with determination and firm belief in the “rightness” of their actions.

Ironically, when the time came to take a global stance against colonisation and oppression, the oppressors did so without even raising an eyebrow, conveniently forgetting that they were the main proponents in the first place.

This might not be the best example, but the underlying lesson is global cohesion. Can our race really get to those heights when we struggle with local cohesion?

In the land that we wish to claim today, what has made the Jews wealthy or Afrikaners see opportunities in the labour that we offer?

What has led the Indians and Somalis to see prosperity in our streets that we vandalise when putting on demonstrations or marching against injustices?

Why do we bow down to the Walmarts and Vodafones at the expense of local entrepreneurs?

It might be that people who do not have faith, foresight or an understanding of freedom are often involuntarily at the mercy of developed nations and communities.

Their ignorance and dislike of self only fuels the businesses of those who take advantage of them. This is unfortunately a reality that is facing Africans, from leadership right down to the grass roots.

Our picture of progress has always been associated with what the whites, Europeans or the West have or have achieved. For example, the German sedans, striving for a beautiful house in the leafy suburbs, having the best in French or Italian fashion wear, listening, broadcasting and emulating American music and films.

The list of these foreign things we desire is endless.When we talk about liberation, peace and wealth, it’s always referred to as something whites took away from us.

We need to re-establish through history and redefine using the present who we were before colonisation and what it means for our current communities.

The answer is definitely not in the material things that we’ve chosen to define our success like the Louis Vuittons, Range Rovers and plush mansions.

I would like to see us rekindle the humility, sense of brotherly and sisterly love, community sharing and development that we have lost.

Let us redefine what success meant for us before we were colonised. Like the Bible says: “Do not envy thy neighbour”. Let us rather find greatness within and work together to develop and nurture it.

Our task is to build a foundation of academies and give our children and future generations the opportunity to have a global view and perception that will keep them inspired. Children in the townships should not just learn from TV that there’s a big world out there.

They need to also learn this from their schools, government and leaders. We have a responsibility to give them the belief that they can rise above the poverty many of them are born into.

Without creating this sense of purpose, we will keep fighting for land and, sadly, once we get that land, we won’t even know how to manage it, let alone work together to develop it.

We are already suffering the “we’ve got it now, what do we do with it” syndrome?

For instance, once we achieved our hard-earned freedom and had our first black multimillionaires and billionaires, our first tenders, deeds to land, many have no idea how to use those to develop communities.

There will never be an answer until we create a necessary sense of purpose and stop thinking money or the material things are what will make us progressive.

So whether you are a powerful politician, a rich businessman or a domestic worker, if your being is not rooted in pride of who you are, the foolish mentality will continue to grow.

The poor will get poorer and the success of our liberation struggle will depreciate, our well of resources will run dry, our lands will go to waste, unemployment rates will rise, the torch of the Mother Continent – South Africa – will diffuse, and if you don’t hear the sceptics say blacks are fools today, you will hear them loud and clear then.

Now that we have started a dialogue, the next step is to change our attitude towards each other.

Metane is a South African hip-hop artist.

- City Press

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Because of the ANC’s ubiquity in South African politics, it would be foolhardy to ignore a document that assesses the health of its internal democracy, since that reflects the country’s democracy as a whole. Judging from the party’s most recent assessment, democracy’s been bedevilled, and money is at the root of the evil.

From the Titanic, a letter from Ireland and a father’s parting gift

Thomas Millar Junior and William Millar were left in the charge of an aunt as their widowed father went in search of a better life for them across the Atlantic.
Thomas Millar Junior and William Millar were left in the charge of an aunt as their widowed father went in search of a better life for them across the Atlantic.

Josephine Matyas Special to the Star
The centenary of the Titanic disaster holds special meaning for Mark Simpson, a BBC Ireland correspondent who has reported on Titanic-related stories for two decades.

Mark, it turns out, is related to Dr. John Edward Simpson, an assistant surgeon who perished when the ship went down.

“According to eyewitnesses who survived the 1912 disaster, Dr. Simpson stood with fellow officers on the deck of the stricken vessel as it went down, resigning himself to his fate, making no attempt to board the lifeboats and instead calmly helping others to safety,” Mark Simpson explains.

“A few weeks ago, I received a call from another journalist who told me that I was related to Dr. Simpson on the Titanic. I told him it was rubbish. If I was related to the doctor, my father would have told me.”
Simpson's curiosity got the better of him, so he called his dad.

“Oh, yes, that's true,” said the elder Simpson. The doctor was his great-grandfather's cousin, and he
was just 37 when he set out on the ill-fated voyage. During the first leg of the journey, he wrote a letter to his mother and mailed it from Cobh, County Cork, which was called Queenstown at the time. It was the last port before the ship set sail for North America. In it, he chats about the ship's quarters.

The letter is one of very few discovered that was written on RMS Titanic letterhead. Passed down through several generations, it disappeared, only to resurface recently at an auction in New York.

Although the auction's $34,000 (U.S.) reserve bid was not met, a mystery benefactor stepped in and purchased the letter with the intention of returning it to Belfast, where it will be part of the new, permanent Titanic exhibition.

William Millar was just 5 when he stood on the beachfront at Carrickfergus and watched the Titanic, one of the largest ships in the world, pull away from the Belfast wharf.

In his hand, he clutched a penny, holding it so hard that it left an indentation in his palm.
On board the ship was his father, newly-widowed, 33-year-old Tommy Millar, heading to New York City in search of a better life for him and his family. William and his older brother Thomas Jr. were left in the care of an aunt.

In Belfast, Tommy had worked at Harland and Wolff as an engine fitter. His hands were covered with engine grease; his work was skilled labour, assembling and preparing the large engines to be outfitted on Titanic. His new commission as the ship's deck engineer was a big step up, a two-fold increase in pay, as he headed for a new start.

The little boy could not understand why the people around him were cheering as the ship sailed past. For him, it was a sad occasion.

“My grandfather describes how Titanic was like a big wall of steel,” says Susie Millar, William's granddaughter, who has kept the Titanic family link alive through her writings and themed tours of the Belfast area.

“He remembered how Tommy took the boys aside that day and told them he would see them soon. He gave them each a new 1912 penny and told them not to spend it until they were together again. Of course, that never happened.”

William remembered his father's last words about the pennies, and never spent them.
Over the decades, they were passed down through the family and are part of Millar's collection.

Titanic timeline

March 31, 1909: Construction begins when Titanic's keel is laid in the Harland & Wolff shipyards of Belfast, Ireland.

May 31, 1911: Titanic's hull is launched and the ship is towed to the outfitting basin.

April 2, 1912: Sea trials begin at 6 a.m. Departs Belfast at 8 p.m. for Southampton in England (arrives April 4, 1912, shortly after midnight).

April 10, 1912: Hundreds of passengers arrive for Titanic's maiden voyage. Departs Southampton and sails across the English Channel to Cherbourg, France. Hundreds more board here, including many wealthy Americans heading home after touring the great cities of Europe.

April 11, 1912: Arrives in Queenstown, now called Cobh, in Ireland. More passengers board and the ship departs for New York City.

  April 14, 1912: Strikes iceberg at 11:40 p.m. about 600 km southeast of Newfoundland. First distress call sent out at midnight.

  Lifeboats begin loading at 12:20 a.m., first boat leaves at 12:45 a.m. and final boat leaves at 2:05 a.m. Titanic sinks at 2:20 a.m.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The indomitable David Mabuza, still the king of Mpumalanga

ANC chairman in Mpumalanga David Mabuza was elected unopposed in the party’s congress over the weekend. Yes, in the same way that Malema was elected unopposed last year. The ANC clearly has no appetite to kick another troubling leader out. You’d think the lesson of waiting too late to ostracise such a man would have been learned. B
The way the ANC is structured is that it always seeks to point power upwards. More centralisation is good. Even so, provincial structures do exist, and the amount of influence that a provincial boss can exert is almost endless, if certain legal niceties are ignored. This arrangement has proven to be the perfect incubation for powerful regional party leaders, who turn out to be corrupt as well.
This growing trend ought to worry the ANC leadership, if it doesn’t already.

Two examples of this trend stand out: John Block of the Northern Cape, and David Mabuza of Mpumalanga.
Mpumalanga held its provincial congress over the weekend, where Mabuza and his entire slate were elected unopposed. It was expected that provincial treasurer and health MEC Clifford Mkasi would run against the party leader after the ANC Youth League in Mpumalanga touted him as their favoured candidate, but he declined his nomination.

The alliance partners of the ANC as well as the ANCYL complained that the entire process had been tainted by Mabuza. The SACP and Mpumalanga branch of  Cosatu have accused Mabuza of using his position as premier to enrich himself and his allies. “The Youth League has also complained of being marginalised during his term. The provincial youth league, Cosatu and the SACP consider Mabuza unfit to hold the esteemed ANC position,” the Mail & Guardian reported.

They also said that they had intentionally been denied speaking opportunities at the congress on Sunday, apparently because Mabuza didn’t want their speakers to tell the delegates what they really thought of him. Ironically for the Mpumalanga ANCYL, its former national leader Julius Malema pulled a similar trick at the league’s national congress last year to ensure he’d run unopposed.

All of this happened against the backdrop of ANC president Jacob Zuma’s speech, in which he called for unity and asked for the enmity between different provincial factions to come to an end. It would appear that Mabuza happily complied by ensuring that his opponents didn’t get to speak or vote for another candidate.
Mpumalanga is not a stranger to what seems to be political assassinations. Caswell Maluleke, a council speaker in Ehlanzeni, was shot 14 times in April 2000. He was the mayor of Bushbuckridge at the time and had been appointed to help re-establish the defunct Bohlabela District Municipality in Limpopo. In 2009, Mbombela speaker Jimmy Mohlala was killed after he started speaking out against tender corruption around the construction of the world cup stadium in that city. Last year, Ehlanzeni chief whip John Ndlovu was murdered.

The most dramatic example of the rot in Mpumalanga was the highly public arrest of Sunday Times investigative journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika in August 2010. He was arrested for reportedly having a forged letter sent to Zuma by Mabuza, in which he resigned as premier. The case eventually fell apart, but the arrest and subsequent interrogation by the Hawks and the police was seen as being politically motivated. The move was very stupid, but the truly chilling part is that Mabuza not only knew he could get away with it, but his own party let him get away with it.

All of this happened while Mabuza was in power, and amid widespread graft and very poor service delivery.
Let us not forget John Block, the Northern Cape party leader who was arrested for corruption in late 2010. He is the finance MEC for the Northern Cape as well as being the party chairman. At his trial, he not only enjoyed the support of picketing supporters outside (who claim that the case is politically motivated) but also that of premier Hazel Jenkins, who has made a habit of sitting in the front row of the court when Block’s case is being heard.

So where does Mabuza’s re-election leave the ANC? Zuma for one will be sleeping a lot easier: his staunch supporter has won. What this steamrolling and bullying of opponents will mean for Mangaung has yet to be seen, since another candidate has yet to officially present him- or herself. As for his opponents, Mabuza has grandly promised not to make a provincial reshuffle to punish those who didn’t support him.

Where it leaves the rest of us is uncertain. There is the very real problem that ANC members are using their positions in government to run the province as their personal fiefdoms, and it seems there is precious little that can or will be done about it. From a political perspective, Zuma has nothing to gain by upsetting a major ally. Intervention in dysfunctional provinces hasn’t exactly proven to be a miracle drug and has only served to soil relations between provinces and the national leadership within the ANC.

There’s the frightening thought that these provincial men and women might take this habit with them into national positions. And who is going to step in to stop them, what with Zuma himself finding the very narrow path of strict legality so hard to tread?

Don’t forget David Mabuza. His face could one day be that of our slip into a very bad place.

Monday, April 9, 2012

P3 with 15''LCD, keyboard and mouse, Windows XP R1300.00

Cancer-stricken Robert Mugabe is 'fighting for his life' in Singapore hospital

  • Zimbabwean tyrant 'close to death'
  • He is believed to be suffering from prostate cancer
  • Close family members are at his bedside
  • Mugabe has already greed to hand over power to Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe was said to be close to death tonight.
The 88-year-old, who is believed to be suffering from prostate cancer, flew to Singapore by private jet on Saturday for treatment.
His wife, Grace, and close family members are reported to be at his bedside.

Vigil: Robert Mugabe's family are with him as the Zimbabwean leader, who is said to be close to death, battles cancer in a Singapore hospital

Vigil: Robert Mugabe's family are with him as the Zimbabwean leader, who is said to be close to death, battles cancer in a Singapore hospital

The tyrant has undergone several bouts of therapy in Asia in recent years.
But his condition has now deteriorated and there were claims tonight that he has agreed to hand over power to his feared henchman and defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Rumours over Mugabe’s health have been rife in recent weeks because of his frail appearance. There was heightened speculation today when the Zimbabwe government postponed a cabinet meeting at the last minute.


The Zimbabwe Mail, quoting a senior official of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, said the leader, who has ruled the country since its independence from Britain in 1980, was undergoing intensive treatment in Asia.
Mugabe was  supposedly in Singapore to oversee his daughter Bona’s enrolment at university.

But registration does not start until September and opponents said it was unlikely he would travel abroad to deal with such a matter in person.

Sources in Iran, which has a warm relationship with Zimbabwe, said Mugabe had agreed on his successor.

The Tehran Times said the tyrant had entered into a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ to hand over power to 65-year-old Mnangagwa, who helped orchestrate the violent opposition to Britain in the 1970s.

Aging: The dictator celebrates his 88th birthday in February this year
Aging: The dictator celebrates his 88th birthday in February this year

The former Zimbabwe intelligence chief was also widely blamed for the brutality following the 2008 presidential election after Mugabe’s rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, took an early lead in the voting.

He is also thought to have played a major role in the crackdown of the opposition Zapu party in the 1980s that left thousands of civilians dead.

There was no comment on Mugabe’s health tonight from either his family or from the Zimbabwe government.Mugabe’s aides have denied there is a medical emergency, claiming he is enjoying an Easter break in Asia with his family.

But Zimbabwe’s vice president, Joice Mujuru, has reportedly cut short her trip to Asia to return home and prepare for the possibility of Mugabe’s death.

The tyrant is understood to have travelled to Singapore eight times last year for medical treatment. A diplomatic cable released last year by Wikileaks said Mugabe was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 and given five years to live because it had spread.

He is said to have defied pleas from his own doctors to step down.

Taking over? It's been reported that Mugabe entered into a 'gentleman's agreement' to hand over power to Emmerson Mnangagwa
Taking over? It's been reported that Mugabe entered into a 'gentleman's agreement' to hand over power to Emmerson Mnangagwa

His ailing health has been cited as the main reason that a hard line faction of his ZANU-PF party has pushed to rush through new elections.

The Zimbabwe Mail quoted a British-based Zimbabwe analyst, who wished to remain anonymous, as saying: ‘Mugabe’s health impacts entirely on Zimbabwe’s political landscape. Everything revolves around his health and his age.’

In February, Mugabe declared himself ‘fit as a fiddle’. Last month he celebrated his 88th birthday with a lavish party in the capital, Harare, reputed to have cost £650,000.
The leader was said to have feasted on a cake in the shape of a crocodile.

Mugabe was hailed as a hero by many Africans when he came to power 32 years ago with Zimbabwe looked on as a model for a successful transition from white rule.
But the nation’s fortunes have plunged together with Mugabe’s reputation.

He is now regarded as one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. He has been accused of murdering thousands of his own citizens and brutally crushing all opposition to his rule. 

His policies have also been blamed for driving Zimbabwe into bankruptcy.
Mugabe’s land reforms in particular, leading to violent seizures from white farmers, have been harshly criticised by the British and American governments.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Budding entrepreneurs 101: You gotta believe it

Despite having been identified as crucial to SA’s economic growth, entrepreneurship is still clotted in myths and stereotypes. To get a better idea of what it’s about, GREG NICOLSON visited Allon Raiz, an entrepreneur helping other entrepreneurs grow.
“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do,” reads a John Wooden quote above the urinal in the men’s toilet at Raizcorp. At reception, the company’s successes and challenges are framed alongside more quotes. Photos of its support programme partners line the hallways of the offices that feature a gym, dream room and chill room.

Allon Raiz sits in the boardroom, a wall of portraits behind him. The meeting is interrupted by Faith, the hospitality hostess, carrying tea and coffee. She offers her business card and a packet of forget-me-not seeds as a symbol of our “everlasting” relationship.

“They mean nothing,” Raiz says of the faces on the wall, beneficiaries of the company’s Arise division that works with broad-based black economic empowerment entrepreneurs. “It’s not about them. It’s about their children,” he says. “Many of these people come from highly disadvantaged backgrounds and many of them are highly successful millionaires today. The first thing that happens once they become successful is they put their kids into a private school or university. For me, that’s where you break the poverty cycle.”
Those pictures are of Raizcorp’s BBBEE partners, but over 800 companies, varying in character, have graduated from its “Prosperator” programmes since Raiz founded the company in 2000. The Prosperator model offers support to businesses throughout their lifespan rather than only for a short period, like most incubator models. They get access to specialists across key business areas, a mentor, office space, financial advice as well as training and development.

There is a range of incubator models in SA trying to help entrepreneurs and it’s difficult to compare, says Nadine von Moltke, editor of Entrepreneur Magazine. What sets Raizcorp apart, she says, is that its partners usually stay much longer than those with other models, something of which the company is proud. Rather than charge a fee, it takes a 30% equity in its partners’ companies with no dividend and 20% profits, which is capped. Justin Spratt, CEO of Quirk Agency and formerly with IS Labs, says, “It remains to be seen which model is successful in South Africa,” but adds, “I would encourage more vehicles like it in SA.” He says one of the key obstacles is access to finance.

Raiz believes financing is available for innovative ideas and often it’s better to start with what you can muster, but he takes issue with SA’s labour laws. He wants the government to shift its focus from small-, medium- and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) to what he calls “the 10-man band”. Large corporations are shedding workers and one man operations haven’t proved themselves, says Raiz, so government should focus on helping organisations with around 10 employees expand to 100 employees. For that to happen labour laws restricting small firms’ ability to manage staff must be revised. Raiz should know, he’s helped hundreds of businesses grow.

He outlines five key attributes for an entrepreneur’s idea to spark. The first is an opportunity or crisis. “In every entrepreneurial story one of those two present.” Then they must be able tolerate pain and have an ability to handle rejection. They must be able to take a risk and believe in their own capacity to muster resources. “In other words, when you see this opportunity you believe you can bring people together to take advantage of that opportunity. For example, you don’t have to be a plumber to put a plumbing business together.” Finally, they must be able to learn and read feedback. Most successful entrepreneurs have some, not always all, of those abilities, says Raiz.

If South Africa is to increase growth and reduce unemployment, it’s essential those abilities are fostered. Creating a robust entrepreneurial and innovative economy is one of the key drivers of growth envisaged by the National Development Plan. Moeletsi Mbeki, at an economic freedom conference in 2011, said, “Entrepreneurship is first and foremost the freedom of individuals to express themselves in economic terms and thus economic freedom entails entrepreneurship.” Brian Kantor from the University of Cape Town said, “Entrepreneurship is what makes an economy work.”

But Raiz says there’s no blood test to determine who will be a successful entrepreneur. However, he believes in character. Not once during Raizcorp’s eight-stage selection process will the company ask for a business plan. “We’re not interested in the business. We’re interested in the individual. We’d rather have a great entrepreneur with a bad idea than a bad entrepreneur with a good idea,” he says.

He’s careful to dispel the idea that entrepreneurs are born and wants to debunk some common stereotypes. “It’s very interesting that there’s a myth that entrepreneurs take risks. When you look at the risks it’s a very special type of risk. It’s self-belief risk. If there’s a crevice and it’s death if they fall, they don’t say, ‘What is the risk if I jump that?’ They ask, ‘What is my state of fitness? How far have I jumped before?’ then they’ll take that risk based on their self-belief.”

Many of the lessons he uses to judge budding entrepreneurs and help them grow come from his own experience. In his early 20s he hit a crisis point. He was working for a friend and was featured in the newspaper for one of his initiatives. In 1991 an interested businessman contacted him and sponsored a new venture, retail hotdog chain the New York Sausage Factory.

New York Sausage Factory was sold after a year and Raiz went to work for a security vehicle firm. “I can’t speak for all entrepreneurs, but the majority don’t view failure as anything other than an opportunity to learn. That’s quite a clich├ęd response, but it is, ‘What did I learn from this? What can I learn from this? Where is the opportunity from this failure?’ It’s part of the process and they’re really not afraid of it.”

The New York Sausage Factory was a total failure, says Raiz. He vowed to pay the investor back even if it took his whole life. Yet the investor said he didn’t back the business, he backed Raiz. After he explained what he would do differently, his sponsor said he would continue to invest, but established a team to help cover his weaknesses.

“For me, that incident was pivotal because it was about someone believing in you opposed to the business. Someone believed in me. Raizcorp is a ‘paid forward’ for what happened to me. It’s how we find people and believe in them.” This extends right down to Faith, the hospitality hostess. She’s been one of Raiz’s longest-serving employees and deserves respect when she interrupts a meeting with tea and coffee, he says. It’s also an opportunity to evaluate the character of aspiring partners. Will they respect or ignore her? asks Raiz, a wall of successful entrepreneurs behind his shoulder. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Who is Troy Martens. - New Voice for ANCWL from last year December.

THE ANC Women's League has appointed former eTV journalist Troy Martens as their new national spokeswoman.

FRESH VOICE: Troy Martens, the new spokeswoman of the ANC Women's League aims to give the usually restrained league a voice in the public domain. 
 Photo: Busi Mbatha
Martens, who started her new job yesterday, said the league had acknowledged that its work was not visible enough in the media.

"I am very happy to be here. The women's league needs to communicate its programmes to the public."
She said she was not new in politics since she had been involved with the SA Student Council - an affiliate of the ANC.

She also served as deputy president of the student representative council while studying for a national diploma in journalism at the Durban University of Technology.

She said journalists should report more on issues affecting women.

"The women's league is for women and has to be vocal on issues affecting women."

She takes over from Water affairs minister Edna Molewa.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools Day

Composed by Adnan Khalid (Darul Uloom London Student) 
As April draws near, non believers around the globe celebrate a holiday on the first of the month known as April Fool’s Day. The traditional practice of this day is to play some sort of practical joke on someone and make him the “April Fool”.

Pranks performed on this day range form the simple, (such as saying, “your shoes are untied!”) to the elaborate. Whatever the prank, the trickster usually ends it by yelling to his victim, “April fool!”
The history of April Fool’s Day is not totally clear. No exact date can be found pinpointing the first official celebration of the holiday. There are, however, many narrations regarding the reason the tradition is practiced. One narration states that it is a day the Spanish celebrate in remembrance of the day that they defeated the Muslims and swept them from power in lower Spain. According to this narration, the Christian army could not conquer the Muslims there and sent spies to discover why. They discovered that the Muslims were strong on faith and obedient to Allah. The tradition goes on saying that the Christians sent in alcohol and tobacco, which the Muslims used and became the means in which they lost their obedience to Allah. Then the Christian army invaded lower Spain and conquered the Muslims on the first of April and began celebrating April Fool’s Day ever since. As this story has been circulating between our Muslim brothers strengthening their beliefs about the history of this day I deemed it appropriate to clarify a few points about the history of April Fool’s Day. The truth of the matter is that this story is not true in many aspects.

First, let us confirm the historic fact that Muslim rule in Spain ended on the 12th of January in the Christian year of 1492 A.D. April Fool’s Day was not heard of until over sixty years later. The most authentic reports according to Christian historical books such as Encyclopedia Britannica as well as many others trace the roots of the holiday back to 16th century France. Prior to the year 1582, the new year was celebrated for eight days, starting with the 25th of March. The celebration culminated on April 1st. With the reform of the Christian calendar under King Charles IX, through the influence of Pope Gregory, the Gregorian calendar was introduced, and New Years Day was moved to the first of January. However, due to lack of communications in those days, many people did not receive the news for several years. Others, the most obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1. These backward people were classified as “fool” by the general public and were often subject to some ridicule. Hence, the tradition of April Fool’s Day began.

Second, we should acknowledge the fact that tobacco products were not even invented until after the time of the fall of Muslims in Spain. According to the State College in Framingham, they quote that smoking of any kind did not exist in Spain until after it was brought back from the New World in the times after King Ferdinand of Spain had come to power. Tobacco use did not become widespread until the 19th century.(Introduction to human biology, Framingham State College, Roger N. Morrissette, Ph.D.)

So regarding the rumor claiming that April Fool’s Day is a celebration of the take over of Muslim Spain, it is clear the whole thing is a fabricated story. It is in fact a lie made by the nonbelievers to mislead Muslims and in realty create a “Muslims Fool Day”! True Muslims would never propagate lies especially when it comes to the history of Islam. It is our duty to educate our brothers on these kinds of topics.

Regardless of the history of April Fool’s Day or not, there still isn’t any sort of a reason for a Muslim to practice such a foolish tradition. It is a in reality a holiday created by the enemies of Allah to prove how really foolish they are by denying the truth revealed to the world through the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). As Muslims it is our job to avoid imitating the nonbelievers in all aspects of life and this includes celebration of their holidays. No matter how hard you try to please them you will always fail unless you become one of them. And to become one of them is to earn Allah’s wrath. And to earn Allah’s wrath is to condemn oneself. Allah says in the Qur’an, “And never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you until you follow their millat (traditions, ways, religion, etc.).”(Chapter 2, verse 122)

Dear readers! Know that Islam is the only religion, which is free from faults and innovations. Such an easy religion to follow is Islam. The Prophet said, “Indeed religion is easy”(Bukhari). Allah just asks that we obey Him and His messenger sallalahu alaihi wasallam. Yet we try to go out of our ways to be obedient to those cursed people who have shown disobedience to Allah. What a pity for him who chooses to enjoy the pleasures of the world over the pleasures of the hereafter. By imitating the nonbelievers, all we do is show people that we are one of them and that they are beloved to us as we to them. The Holy Prophet said, “ A person will be raised on the Day of Judgment with whom he loves.” So whom do we prefer to be raised with, the Noble Prophet sallalahu alaihi wasallam and his companions or the celebrators of April Fool’s Day? The answer is obvious to all. In this age of innumerous trails and tribulations, we must try our hardest to stay steadfast on the straight path shown to us by our Beloved Prophet sallalahu alaihi wasallam, which is the only path with guaranteed success from Allah. In the long run, he will be successful who avoids such useless practices that are nothing more then a waste of time. May Allah keep us pure from such deceptions and avoid making us the “April Fool”.