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Ngenya inkathi, uDeBeers wayenamaOda Okubhekela Akhe yedwa angamashumi amane nanhlanu, futhi nangaphandle nje kukothola iMarange kudala, uDeBeers wahluleka ukusebenzisa lezizizinda.
Ukuxhashazwa Okungekho Njengokungafani neBotswana neNamibia, ojenene abasondelene noRobert Mugabe abalawula ezombutho zaseZimbabwe bayanqaba ukuzwelana ngokulawula ukusabalalisa.
Kodwa izikhulu ezingathembekile futhi ezizibhekelela zona zeState Department yaseWashington zabuye zavumela izifiso zikaMugabe ukuqinisekisa ngesihlalo seNqubo yaseKimberly ngo Ubani owaketula iNqubo yaseKimberly?
Ukuboshwa kukaMaguwu kwabonakala sengathi kwakuhleliwe: UChikane waphikisa ngokuthi wathola kuMaguwu izincwadi zombuso ezimayelana nezokuvikela ezazibhalwe umbutho wempi, ngenkathi uMagawu ephikisa ukuthi uChikane wayezofuna lemibhalo ngesikhathi somhlangano.
Abezomthetho baphula umthetho ngokumyisa emagumbini ahlukene amaphoyisa asezimweni ezimbi kakhulu noma babazi ukuthi impilo yakhe isebucayini.
UMaguwu wadedelwa ngokuqala kwenyanga kaJulayi futhi asulwa wonke amacala ayebhekene nawo ngenyanga kaOktoba. UChikane, ayizange iKP imsole phambi komphakathi, futhi akazange asule.
Lokhu kuholela embuzweni omkhulu: Empeleni emva kwalokho, mhlawumbe okuhle kungaqhamuka kwimikhuba yeKP eNtshonalanga neAfrika, ukuchazwa kwamadayimani anokungqubuzana kukhiphele ngaphandle ezinye izonakali eziphambili zomhlaba: Ngesonto eledlule, uMagawu wagcina evunyelwe ukuvakashela izimayini zaseMarange.
Ngaphatheka kabi kakhulu ngendlela ukumbiwa okwenzeka ngayo ikakhulukazi ngoba akekho onakekela izimali. Kodwa lokhu sikubheka njengendimba ekufanele sidlule kuyona sithemba ukubhekisiswa izinhlangano zemiphakathi.
Umhlangano engaba nawo Ngqongqoshe Wezimali uTendai Biti maduze-nje waveza obala ukuthi wayengakalutholi ulwazi ngokudayiswa kwamadayimane okwenzeka ngoDisemba kanye nangoJanuwari.
Uma inzuzo yamadayimani ingakwazi ukufika esikhwameni semali yombuso kusho ukuthi sibhekene nengwadla. A good example is the way a lead editorialist in the Sunday Times grappled with the next round of crony-capitalist tenderpreneurship two days ago: In June the incumbent, Robert Zoellick, will be replaced after serial disasters in both government and finance stretching back a quarter century.
This is mainly thanks to Pretoria finance, energy and mining officials, Johannesburg Eskom bosses, and the Melbourne and London mining and metals houses.
Such eco-financial insanity continues because the crony capitalist Minerals-Energy Complex remains intact: To that waste and resource outflow must be added banal corruption, such as the Chancellor House an African National Congress fundraising arm and Hitachi R40 billion deal for Eskom boilers which will apparently not be delivered on time, hence risking another round of load-shedding.
Indeed, state and market failure were joined by civil society failure at the COP The harshest auto-critique was from Professor Ashwin Desai.
She used the opportunity to say how important civil society was and promised to study a memorandum. She was gracious and generous.
In there was a huge march here, with some 10 people in the streets, a completely different march: The Durban Declaration was a visceral indictment of our ruling class as an agent of global capital and its economic policies which were deepening inequality and increasing poverty.
Patrick Bond directs the UKZN Centre for Civil Society, where public seminars will be held tomorrow and next week on mobilizing for socio-environmental and political justice.
The final outcome of COP17 was historic and precedent setting, ranking with the conference where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted.
The biggest polluters, it turns out, who got off scot-free on emissions cuts as well as on North-South fairness. There is no mention of economic development as the priority for developing countries.
There is no mention of a difference between developed and developing country action. As climate chaos hits, Africa will be the worst-affected continent.
These efforts are intended to unlock the enormous mineral belt of coal, platinum, palladium, chrome and other minerals, in order to facilitate increased mining as well as stepped-up beneficiation of minerals.
We are looking at a new kind of city at Waterberg. Did he notice that the largest platinum operation, Implats, fired 17, workers just a week before his speech, whom when rehired will suffer a substantial cut in their pensions?
Malema, who became exceptionally wealthy in recent years allegedly by influencing Limpopo Province tenders for large payouts, was predictably hostile.
It is possible that the research was a smokescreen to legitimise the personal opinions of Comrade Paul Jordaan and that is not how the ANC works.
The credibility of the report is damaged by long passages that bear a remarkable resemblance to the work of retired North American mine-tax expert Charles McPherson.
In reality, such instruments would be abused to fund corporate welfare for the politically connected. The overall problem is not housing, though, which remains an area of vast underinvestment.
It is the incessant construction of white elephants and prestige projects. The World Cup stadia are nearly all losing money on operations and maintenance.
The power stations have already raised the price of electricity by more than percent, with another 25 percent increase scheduled in April.
The public-private highway tolling partnership with an Austrian firm is so unpopular that on March 9 the trade union movement is threatening a national strike.
The utterly unnecessary airport revamps are, again, for elites only. What it needs to attract investors are big projects.
If return on investment is the line of thinking we may never see the infrastructure. He said the New Zimbabwe lecture series also faced bans in and was only saved when the MDC threatened to withdraw from the unity government.
Bond was to deliver the first lecture of the series. It is heartening that sufficient interest in the global financial meltdown and ecological crises exists to risk attempting the lecture again, hopefully next week.
According to Mangongera, the lecture series was a platform for critical thinking and debate on issues Zimbabweans were faced with daily.
The Mercury phoned the police station on Thursday and spoke to a man who identified himself only as the station commander.
When the incident, as told by Bond and Mangongera, was relayed to him, he responded: The idea behind the series is to offer a platform for public debate on issues that confront Zimbabweans every day.
The hope is that Zimbabweans can also learn from the experiences of other coutries and from time time eminent scholars and personalities are invited from abroad to share their thoughts and experiences.
Billed to speak were renowned Zimbabwean academic, author and publisher, Dr. As the convenors of the New Zimbabwe Lecture Series we sent out invitations and flighted advertisements in the local press for the event.
As the the United States and Europe grapple with the effects of economic recession and growth stagnation, the rest of the world including Africa have not been spared.
Given the current state of globalisation and the integration of economies, the financial crisis has resulted in recession not only in the European Union and United States but across the whole globe.
Markets in Asia and Africa have been adversely affected and economic growth is stuttering. Given these conditions, what are the policy options for Africa and Zimbabwe in particular?
What lessons can Zimbabwe draw from the financial crisis and how can it safeguard itself from the economic shock? How will the financial crisis impact on internal political dynamics in Zimbabwe?
As is required by the police under the obnoxious Public Order and Security Act POSA we sent them notification more than a week ago that we would be convening this lecture.
Ideally we were not even supposed to notify them as the Act only refers to political gatherings and clearly an event of this nature is not a political gathering.
But because of our previous experiences where we have had the police barring public seminars on the pretext that they were not sanctioned, we thought it prudent to notify them.
We wrote the police more than a week ago but we never heard from them until the day of the seminar when they called one of our team members to Harare Central Police Station.
There he was told by one Superintendent Gowe that the meeting would not go ahead. My colleague protested that the New Zimbabwe Lecture Series was a bona fide platform that had held similar events before and that the police had been furnished with the same application details but he was was told off.
An hour before the scheduled time of the event we received a call from the hotel where we had booked space for the event informing us that they had been instructed to lock up the space.
They could not confirm to us whether the people who gave the instruction were police officers but could only say they were not in police uniform.
We visited the venue so we could notify people that the meeting had been cancelled. By the time we got to the hotel there was a fully loaded police truck parked in the front.
Officers in full anti-riot gear had been dispatched to cordon off the hotel entrance. We asked to address the people that had come for the seminar in order to inform that the meeting had been cancelled.
The leader of the police team told us that he was under strict instruction not to let anyone address the people and warned that if we did he would promptly arrest us.
By that time a big group of people had already gathered in the hotel lobby. We defied the him and addressed the people informing them that the police had barred the meeting.
I took the leader of the group aside and I asked him how he genuinely felt about what the police were doing. I told him that this was an academic exercise and that the police had no right to stop such a meeting.
But what can I do? Later on as I drove home I felt embarrassed that we had flown a man all the way from Durban only for him to be denied an opportunity to share his ideas.
Is this the Zimbabwean society we want to build? A society that fears ideas? How can we progress as a country if we close platforms for information exchange and debate?
Countries that have progressed have done so on the backdrop of robust intellectual debate, from which new ideas emerge.
Is the Zimbabwean political class so paranoid that it can send a whole truckload of police officers to bar Zimbabweans from talking about issues that confront them?
The New Zimbabwe Lecture Series will be submitting another application for the same event next week. We will not rest until Zimbabweans get a genuine opportunity to search for answers to the problems that confront them every day.
Charles Mangongera writes from Harare. E-mail feedback to cmangongera gmail. Public meeting on financial and ecological crises banned Kubatana.
Is this the state of the GNU we want? The politicians decided to force one on us when none of them could get their own way.
The gist of the statement after the meeting? Yes, these are issues. And something should happen about them.
Although tax revenues are essential for establishing independent states of free citizens, taxes in Africa are often regressive, tax administration ineffective and many commodity exports from Africa are tax exempt.
The influence of multilateral agencies on tax policy in Africa has, in many countries, decreased government revenues. Multinational companies exploit tax loopholes while secrecy jurisdictions enable tax evasion.
So what is the role of governments, parliaments and taxpayers? What needs to be done to achieve tax justice? The solutions suggested in this important book include raising awareness about tax issues, promoting a culture of tax compliance, increasing tax transparency and enhancing international cooperation on tax matters.
If you're an African non-governmental organisation of limited funds, please email info pambazukapress.
The act of tracing tax policies and practices reveals the history of the relationship between the ruler and the ruled, state and citizen.
In Africa this relationship can be traced back over millennia. It was an early example of the special privileges that continue to proliferate across the continent.
African governments depend heavily on the resource rents from these commodities, but many are exempt from taxation. Tax holidays and other hidden subsidies granted to multinationals in secretive agreements deprive governments and their citizens of significant tax revenues.
Tax injustices in Africa prevail for a number of reasons. Secrecy jurisdictions are defined as places that intentionally create regulation for the primary benefit and use of those not resident in their geographical domain.
That regulation is designed to undermine the legislation or regulation of another jurisdiction. Chapter 1 begins by exploring the meaning of tax justice in the African context before examining some of the main channels for tax leakage from the continent and the impact of these leakages on government revenues.
The chapter goes on to examine the policies that have contributed to making taxes in Africa regressive, and ends by looking at problems around ineffective tax and customs administrations.
The tax avoidance industry is always keen to make a clear distinction between tax evasion, which is illegal in most countries, and tax avoidance, which usually involves exploiting legal loopholes.
This chapter looks at some of the key players involved in exploiting such loopholes: It also examines the role of governments, parliaments and taxpayers, and asks what all stakeholders should be doing to help achieve tax justice.
It then looks at some of the international organisations trying to tackle various aspects of tax injustice, particularly the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD , and discusses the role of a range of African organisations and the growing contribution of civil society.
Key among these will be: Finally, a glossary of tax terms is provided to help readers understand some of the technical terminology around taxation.
Tax revenues are necessary for any state to meet the basic needs of its citizens. In Africa, tax revenues will be essential for establishing independent states of free citizens, less reliant on foreign aid and the vagaries of external capital.
We hope that many of the ideas presented here will be realised and that tax justice can help all African states achieve a greater degree of self-determination.
Until 27 year-old fruit seller Mohamed Bouazizi committed suicide by immolation in the provincial town of Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia was packaged as an IMF success story.
US security assistance historically has played an important role in cementing relations. So like in South Africa where the state just announced tax filings by a record four million people, the pressure is intense for authorities to bring survivalist home-production businesses into the net.
Police harassment worsened, and Bouazizi killed himself after his fruit cart was overturned and goods confiscated. He died of the burn wounds last January 4.
Before long, another self-immolation occurred, politically, when the notorious sex pest Strauss-Kahn allegedly raped a year old Guinean maid, Nafissatou Diallo, who fought back with a charge that, ultimately, could not be prosecuted in the criminal courts, though a civil trial looms.
But the legacies represented by both immolations continue: Lagarde was effusive about Jonathan. The preceding paragraphs are based upon leftist ideological argumentation, but this is not the only narrative about Tunisia.
He blames the series of revolutionary uprisings in North Africa on limited access to capital. He was never able to get an official right to put a stall in a public place and so, he never had a property right to it.
The only way to get the police to accept it was to pay off a bribe of several dinars every day. When they take that away from him, the space, he knows he does not have much of a future anymore.
The kind of papers that the Municipality dishes out are not good enough for the bank. So women are not protected because of Shariah laws of the country, where property would go to the eldest son, even if the son is not able to benefit from the asset.
The same is true in Egypt, where repression by the post-Mubarak military against progressive democrats has worsened.
The re-emergence of political Islam in the Middle East and North Africa, especially Tunisia where progressives do have influence over economic policy, requires new narratives.
The revolutionary alliance in several countries between political Islam and democratic civil society, against Washington-backed dictators, has not yet ended.
In a speech last December, Lagarde attempted to coopt the ideas of the Arab Spring. Who would have foreseen that this act of desperation against a violation of human dignity would ignite a flame that would eventually illuminate the entire region, toppling governments and leading to mass awakening of social consciousness?
It is a period when hard choices must be made, when post-revolutionary euphoria must give some way to practical concerns.
And here, I want to pay tribute especially to the people of Tunisia, who are going through a smooth and inclusive process of transition. Just as Tunisia provided the first spark of the Arab Spring, so now can it light the path forward for other countries in the region.
We will provide financial help if requested. And with our technical assistance, we are helping countries build better institutions for a better world.
We are helping Egypt make its tax system more equitable. We are helping Libya develop a modern system of government payments.
We are helping Tunisia improve its financial sector. And we are helping Jordan with fuel subsidy reform.
Across Africa they pushed for privatization of the safety net. We will never listen to such things.
We will not accept anything that compromises our national interest. The poor people of Tunisia are the prime priority for us because at the end of the day those are our people and we will not bow to any pressure or any kind of policies that would exacerbate the plight of the poor people.
The IMF can say what they want but we will do what is right for our people. And they have crashed even further since. Making matters worse, an additional oversupply of million tons was anticipated through , partly as a result of a huge inflow of United Nations offsets: By all scientific accounts, by it is vital to wean the industrialised world economy from dependence upon more than half the currently-consumed fossil fuels, so as to avert catastrophic climate change.
Caveat emptor to carbon buyers, sellers and speculators. These trades are mostly in the EU where the Emissions Trading Scheme was meant to generate a cap on emissions and a steady 1.
Unfortunately, the speculative character of carbon markets not only encouraged rampant fraud, Value Added Tax scams, and computer hacking which shut the Scheme for two weeks last year.
With the market now collapsing, the current perverse incentive is to flood supply so as to at least achieve some return rather than none at all when eventually the markets are decommissioned, as happened in to the Chicago climate exchange.
If they win perhaps other investors can follow suit and squeeze back the vast losses from the investment banks now selling the declining credits.
Africa can and must do better than invest faith and state resources in yet another Ponzi scheme: Trouble in Cato Crest Faith Manzi 19 January These are photos from a visit to Cato Crest - just below UKZN - in the wake of a contested demolition of shacks, which are to be replaced by small formal housing units.
Across from the bulldozed shacks are temporary, haphazardly built ones until people can move in to their houses. One woman is using her house to shelter a family of two women and their babies whose structure was destroyed by the heavy rains just before Christmas.
She informed us of corruption in housing allocation: Upon arrival at the tin shackland we were greeted by a sickening stench, since the toilets are right inside in the one person alley between the shacks.
These tin structures are connected to each other with no breathing space or privacy. So there is serious overcrowding and hardly any space for movement.
However, the water supply is also right alongside the tins. The place is full of stolen electricity wires lying across the road some with uninsulated cables - a danger to anyone especially the kids who run around barefoot since there is water in the road due to the building taking place.
Some children are not attending schools and are manning small spaza shops. These are conditions in which protests logically occur. Will civil society find a voice, or will it be suffocated by contending political parties?
Cato Crest demolitions halted Bongani Hans 19 January The controversy around the flattening of shacks to build low-cost houses in the Cato Crest informal settlement in Durban has been amicably resolved, with eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo announcing that the demolitions are to be suspended.
Addressing hundreds of residents in Cato Crest on Wednesday, Nxumalo said the demolitions would continue once his municipality found alternative accommodation for those whose houses were to be razed.
He said residents would find out about accommodation arrangements on February 5. It is estimated that more than 2 residents would have to abandon their shacks.
Nxumalo said the municipality had allocated more than R34 million to build more than 1 houses in the area. There are also many tenants of shack owners who will be left without accommodation when the shacks are demolished.
Nxumalo said these tenants would be given temporary accommodation and in future would be given houses. Residents had been asked to find temporary alternative accommodation and to wait for their homes to be completed.
The party also demanded that the municipality give assurances that tenants would also get low-cost houses. The DA says the evictions are illegal and are being challenged.
The party has opened cases of illegal eviction at the Cato manor police station. Gumbi said his party had told residents that the eviction notice was issued by the ANC instead of the municipality.
He said the eviction was illegal because it had not been authorised by a court. Residents said they had been told to remove their goods because tractors would demolish the shacks today.
Gumbi said he had to intervene when residents toyi-toyied and blocked roads after midnight. Irate residents also barricaded roads with burning tyres.
However, many residents were seen removing belongings and demolishing their shacks. They believed that the eviction was a temporary measure and was for their own benefit.
Others, who admitted to being supporters and members of the DA, refused to comply and said the eviction was illegal and they would not move until they were given alternative accommodation.
The DA chairwoman in the area, Mpume Dlamini, told residents that if they agreed to move they would never be allowed to return and their houses would be sold to other people.
Welcome Mpungose, who is a member of the ANC and also a member of the local community development committee, said they were working with local ward councillor Mzi Ngiba to clear the area to make way for about 2 new houses.
We want better houses to be built for people in this area. The houses cannot be built if there is no vacant land. Ngiba confirmed that excavators would be used to demolish the shacks today.
He said local residents had agreed to comply by removing their shacks. The reality of economic recovery is so contradictory that African elites in countries praised recently for their pro- Washington stance by the Bretton Woods Institutions such as Tunisia, Libya and Egypt , are now being challenged by popular movements demanding both democracy and socio-economic justice.
From North Africa these are moving to sites such as Senegal, Uganda, Kenya, Swaziland, Botswana and South Africa, and social protests at other sites of exploitation across the continent.
On one hand, it is among the most consistently contentious places on earth, with insurgent communities capable of mounting disruptive protest on a nearly constant basis, rooted in the poor areas of the half-dozen major cities as well as neglected and multiply-oppressed black residential areas of declining towns.
On the other hand, even the best-known contemporary South African social movements, for all their sound, lack a certain measure of fury.
The upsurge of protest since the late s invariably invokes images of the anti-Apartheid struggle and thus focuses analysis on continuities and breaks between the old anti-Apartheid mass action and the new mass action in post-apartheid society.
Yet their geographic and political isolation from each other have contributed to their having little leverage over the Alliance, which notwithstanding some resistance by unions and communists, embraced neoliberal policies in the transition from anti-apartheid resistance to class-apartheid government in But beyond the community protests, in many respects, the problems that have faced more traditional radical social movements in South Africa are familiar to students of social movements elsewhere: These are all the subject of considerable scholarship, both within and outside of the Marxist tradition, and within and outside of South Africa.
For Trotsky, this implied understanding the relationship among forms of capital both within Russia and across borders. The unevenness is also geographical, with small areas of South Africa operating within a circuit of luxury consumption and new technologies, but others such as ex-Bantustan rural areas continuing their decline.
The unevenness of sector and space is no surprise, of course, since capital has always flowed to sites of higher profitability not to establish equilibrating trends, but on the contrary to exacerbate differentials and enhance inequalities.
Unevenness is obvious across the cities and townships and towns and dorpies or villages where battles rage, among the sectors of capital, and across scales of struggle.
In what follows, we begin by describing the contemporary contours of protest in South Africa, and then return to the problem of the hegemony of the Tripartite Alliance and its embrace of neoliberal policies, even if this has itself been somewhat uneven and the source of some tension among Alliance members.
We then discuss the development of a strategic impasse among South African social movements, and present and critique several theoretically informed alternative routes out of or around the apparent cul-de-sac.
We conclude by rearticulating more precisely the stakes in proposing an uneven and combined Marxism; and rather than proposing solutions, we draw upon it to pose the strategic questions for an agency-centred South African left more sharply.
The struggle against Apartheid became at times a focus of the hopes of the revolutionary left around the world.
It represents a missed opportunity for the left not only in the more obvious sense that it did not result in a real challenge to the power of global capitalism.
It was also an opportunity to transform the historical relationship of Marxist theory and working class politics, and overcome the division which allows a dialectical Marxism to flourish in the universities and journals, while working class politics are dominated by the managerialism of Soviet Marxism or social-democracy.
Nevertheless, the question of how far to bend the stick remains. There is no question that anti-racial Apartheid also had within it the seeds of anti-class Apartheid.
They already had houses, but were now fighting a defensive battle just to stay on in the urban ghettoes. Those who clung on to spaces in the city in shacks appeared to be more patient.
For a while, the enormous legitimacy of the ANC explained this patience. Despite these efforts, and in part because of continual splintering of independent left forces and a failure to make common cause with the left of the labour movement, there have developed no common programmes and no bridging organizational strategies that can challenge neoliberalism on a national level.
Access Social movements often organize around sets of demands on the state that are, at least in principle, winnable. Service-delivery protests targeting the privatization of water supply or high charges for water use by the local water authority, the regressive kilowatt-per-hour charge on electricity, or the eviction of shack-dwellers from squatted land all imply the possibility of success.
A decade after the initial uprising, political work mainly involved technical issues and oversight over upgrading, liaison with welfare departments and a range of other interventions which pressed less for radical policy change but focused instead on merely getting existing policy implemented.
Activists had to also ward off competitors. This was especially so if an organization defined its role as ensuring delivery. It was paradoxical but increasingly common that movements took political positions sharply critical of neoliberal policies on the one hand, while negotiating for better delivery within those policy frameworks on the other.
In the South African context, however, this problem is deepened by the sheer weight and presence of the ANC. They thus, depend, too on historically accreted understandings of the spatial limitations exerted on these relations, and on the physical properties that may inscribe them.
There is nothing inherently wrong with the localist orientation of protest. From a Marxist perspective, however, limiting protest to the local scale both narrows the immediate transformative potential of social movements and in the longer term, disadvantages both the movements and the people who compose them.
They are also focused on the circumstances of life in communities in which many people share abysmal living conditions.
As people active in these struggles, we can confirm that these were not originally meant to be narrow and localized. As an idea, it makes sense.
People live in communities 24 hours a day. With a huge mass of unemployed people stuck in these ghettos, many with experience in previous struggles, including that against Apartheid, it would be easy for demands made from these sites to be backed up with the force of mass organizations.
All that was needed was a focus on bread-and-butter township or shack issues and then an ideological extrapolation to broader political questions.
Focusing on the site of reproduction made sense in another way. Only the narrowest view of the working class would ignore this group.
And yet, the local community as a site of post-Apartheid resistance to neoliberalism has been much more difficult to sustain. Partly it is because of an assumption, seldom made by those actually living in townships, that there exists substantial ground for unity flowing from merely living under the same conditions.
Indeed, shack-dwellers often face the ire of those with a tighter, but still tenuous, hold on stable tenure in the townships. Township residents can be mobilized for violence against shack-dwellers and immigrants as much as they can be mobilized for solidarity.
Another source of optimism for the fusing of proletarian and precariat identities is alluded to by John Saul, recalling arguments made nearly four decades ago: But beyond the disappointments generated by a COSATU much changed by its entry into the Alliance and the decline of the shop-steward leadership that had provided much of its strength during the anti-Apartheid struggle, local communities were themselves difficult to coalesce around consistent analyses of the problems that led to their oppression, and abstraction from the local to multiple scales proved difficult once the problem of evictions, electricity, sewerage, and potable water were addressed.
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The thieves ordered every one out after emptying our pockets of money. I remember a particular woman whom they insisted must give them N, which they claimed she had.
This went on for close to one hour. Eventually we were all asked to lie on one another in the middle of the road, on which trucks and other vehicles were supposed to be plying, with our eyes closed or level to the ground.
The Nigerian police came ten minutes after the thieves successfully robbed us. Fortunately, none of the women in the bus were raped.
But the memory is unpalatable. And I vowed to myself never to travel by road nor undertake night journeys again in my life.
It took an extra 24 hours to arrive in Port Harcourt; a journey that should have ended seven hours after the incident. This was because we eventually had to spend the whole night at that spot, as we did not know the whereabouts of our driver and conductor.
The trauma, devastation and frustration were enough to decide, as I did, never to travel in the night again.
Yet there are many others who cannot take such a decision. They are probably getting robbed at other times too. Insecurity on the roads will be the next monster that will mar the Nigerian nation if nothing is done now.
We cannot quantify the value of effective security and smoothness of the roads for road travellers. The local economy and prosperity at the level of individual economic trading concerns - even for farmers who need to transport their farm produce to neighbouring villages, towns or markets - currently depends mainly on unsafe roads and crude marine transportation.
Another dimension to this is the rate of automobile accidents on Nigerian roads. Most of the time, it is because road users are either trying to avoid bad spots, are driving at top speed for fear of robbery attack, or driving cars that do not receive regular maintenance.
Alcohol plays a negative role as well. The public transport operators are not excluded from the problems. Marginal public regulation and control to ensure standards does not only add a dangerous dimension, it has become rationalised with inefficiency and poor service delivery by government workers in relevant ministries at the state and federal government levels.
The local government councils constitute a different problem area. They set up task forces that become a problem for the free-flow of traffic for road users on inter-state or inter-local government journeys.
The rail system has long broken down. But how did we get here? This is something working in many parts of the world.
For Nigeria, the rail system was basically a colonial creation to facilitate transportation of agricultural produce from the hinterland to the ports for easy export.
It was not intended to serve the local domestic transportation needs, which is why one must keep wondering why the post-colonial state in Nigeria has deteriorated so badly in service delivery.
Governments are fast withdrawing from public service delivery on the excuse of privatisation. Yet, there are many areas where this is not working.
The responsibility of fixing the roads is not any private investors. Maybe eventually, the roads will be privatised, at which point one can be sure that some poor people will never think of travelling again.
Resources for effective and efficient air, marine, road and rail transportation in Nigeria are available. This has been the truth, especially since the Nigerian state began to flaunt itself as oil resource rich.
It is clear that the oil resource has only encouraged corruption and class-oriented programmes. It is no surprise then that only the rich can fly in Nigeria.
Recently I was in the city of Geneva where the tram, which is free for commuters, is powered with energy generated from a lake in the city.
The poor are left to solve their own problems while the rich: But who will do the same for road travellers? The problem is even worse for riverine states and communities like Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Lagos, Cross Rivers and so on, where villages separated by water do not even have well organised transport systems facilitated by government to reduce the pain of the poor.
In some of these villages, for instance in Rivers State, oil companies make huge money from oil wells, but leave their host communities stranded with nothing, not even the assistance needed in the area of inter-village transportation of goods and persons.
A bill of rights that protects Nigerians from insecurity on the roads, compels government to fix the roads, resuscitate or build a modern rail system, ensures a developed marine transport system and so on, is also needed alongside the coming bill of rights for air travellers in Nigeria.
Please send comments to editor pambazuka. Kebble, Crony Capitalism 2. Bond goes on to illustrate how the naked cronyism of Kebble, still infests South African life beyond the grave.
Sodom and Gomorrah initially existed in an Eden-type setting on the Jordan River this, of course, a couple of millennia before Israel occupied the West Bank, stealing all the good land and water.
Before sin became pervasive, the Jordan Valley was politically comparable to at least the image of a contemporary Rainbow Nation, one born in of heroic struggle after a national liberation movement overcame apartheid crimes against humanity, led by Saint Nelson Mandela.
Good riddance, Brett Kebble Why, then, are the relatively minor machinations of the late Brett Kebble during the late s and early s of such enduring interest?
He ripped off maybe a billion and a half rand in his decade of CEO chaos. Kebble was, after all, extremely good at his game, up to the point the inverted pyramid crashed in mid More brazenly than any other previously-and-still-empowered South African, he utterly scammed the new political elite, investors and the cultural crowd with his patriotic-white-friend-of-black-empowerment-and-the-arts hustle.
Then there were shares, worth hundreds of millions, in uranium hopeful Afrikander Lease, in Harmony and Anglo Platinum, which have disappeared without trace.
The most detailed autopsy of the scamming was by Barry Sergeant, whose book Brett Kebble: The Inside Story , reveals how much was stripped through unsound financial engineering: A thorough forensic examination and analysis of the JCI group accounts from , including deconsolidation and reconstruction of the accounts, revealed that JCI had posted total losses of R million from to The virtuoso moved into a jejune phase of his business career, seemingly determined to prove that when measured as a conventional businessman, he was a complete and utter disaster.
Because of slack bureaucrats and newspapers, not much was evident to the outside world until mid Finally in August , the deathly-ill mining houses were stripped from his control by his leading creditor, Investec, and his main outside investor, the R billion Allen Gray fund which owned around a fifth of the three Kebble-controlled firms.
A few weeks later came the near-fatal shooting of Allen Gray investigator Stephen Mildenhall, so ordered by Kebble because of his critical audit of JCI and Randgold books.
Why did he go in this convoluted manner? He plays the great entertainer well. He has a good line in jokes to suit every occasion even down to a private secretary called Meininghaus , and is clearly a man of culture.
He quotes Shakespeare, is a nimble pianist and pays serious money for serious art. His brain operates on a higher level.
He can interpret a balance sheet at a glance, make lightning fast mental calculations, spot the gap and visualise the shortest way through it.
Kebble came of age in a time, before the world commodities boom and during the initial debt-loaded-dealing era of black empowerment, when any smart mining house was considering disinvestment not least for huge forthcoming environmental liabilities including Acid Mine Drainage and when any huckster could move in.
As Barron recalls, Analysts and journalists were swept along as much by his polished persona as by a gung-ho, devil-may-care attitude that made the local mining world as exciting as during the heady days of Barney Barnato.
As Barron continues, the SA financial industry stood exposed as inexperienced rubes: From the start he was a heavy share trader, trading up to a million Rand Leases shares a day.
It was a tendency that should have sounded a warning. The way he took over Randgold and others was impressive, but it was essentially pushing numbers round a board, not building solid shareholder value.
There was no cash in sight. He was simply using one company to take over another by transferring shares. Admittedly value was being added for shareholders along the way, but how much in relation to the value being added to Kebble family interests was a question that the sheer complexity of the structure Kebble was creating made almost impossible to answer.
The first disaster, remarks Barron, did not trip up Kebble for more than a few weeks: Share options worth millions were granted to the Randgold directors before the Bre-X bubble burst and Randgold shares plummeted to R2.
Kebble responded to failure by raising the stakes: In terms of the mining business he was still an upstart, but he intimidated those with far more experience who disagreed with him.
He phoned fund managers and demand to know why they were selling Randgold or related shares. Still excuses were found for his behaviour, still directors and advisers gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Barry Sargeant picks up the story: The overweening naivety of these various oversight entities will remain both unthinkable and unpalatable.
One reason he got away with it for so long was that Kebble had an awe-inspiring capacity to not only drop names of political heavyweights, but to deposit small fortunes into their bank accounts.
In the meeting Kebble links Ngcuka to the same group of alleged power-brokers who were to emerge in the hoax email allegations and in the so-called Zuma tapes that scotched the Zuma prosecution.
Kebble, who emerges from the two-hour meeting as an astute and polished communicator, tells Mphego and Lalla: The office is used not in pursuit of justice; it was used to settle scores, commercially and politically.
The decade of decadence left vast claims by jilted investors, not to mention the huge shareholder losses in corporate securities that Kebble had turned into loo paper.
Even after he was effectively bankrupt, Kebble continued to dish out financial favours, for which the trustees demanded repayment. The disgraced former ANC spokesperson Carl Niehaus was charged with R , and though he claimed it was for media work he did for Kebble, for whatever reason he agreed to repay the full amount.
But the ANC refused to repay on grounds, as we consider in the conclusion, that Kebble got value for money. Others did more venal heavy lifting for Kebble, and were paid accordingly.
That venture folded, but Gleason continued to deliver favourable press coverage or attacks on those with whom Kebble had commercial disputes.
But his predecessor, Fikile Mbalula now sports minister , the Malema ally who is anticipated to run against incumbent Gwede Mantashe for general secretary of the ANC in December , was a well-lubricated and occasionally-grateful beneficiary.
I knew Fikile drank quite a bit. They behaved like absolute hooligans. He said to me: The ill-fated Kebble-Khumalo relationship was sealed in a joint purchase of JCI in which Anglo American sold them more than a third of the firm for R54 per share.
But the price was high, not only in money terms. When Khumalo transgressed corporate governance norms inside the house, a long-simmering antagonism between the two men burst into a conflagration that cost Khumalo his chairmanship and left the relationship in permanent animus.
By , after the 50 percent crash of share prices on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange caused by contagion from the world emerging market crisis, they were in trouble and asset-stripped JCI.
Khumalo was accused of feeding the best gold mines back to Anglo at a deep discount the shares were down to R37 then and later ripping off Harmony gold mines by prematurely cashing in Simane partner shares from a black empowerment gift made by Kebble allegedly worth more than R1 billion.
The case went to court in The empowerment deal was plunged in controversy after the shares sold to Simane were thought to have been sold on despite a lock-in clause that prohibited this.
Mzi owes us a lot of money and he has not paid us. Well, close on R50m. He came and had a meeting with me one day at the time when this matter was being, as I said, plucked from the hands of the FSB.
This has to do with the share price, or the allegations of share price manipulation of four years ago? So we heard one day via the media that the Director of Public Prosecutions was going to investigate the matter further and would then make a pronouncement.
Whether true or not, a deal was done with Khumalo to settle for the R30 million in And yet within a few years, Khumalo was himself fried as Ngcuka was edged out of power by the Zuma Tsunami.
It was far less than the R million anticipated by trustees desperate to pray creditors. The polite hush became even politer. And why should it?
This is not to sidestep the crux of the dilemma, succinctly paraphrased by polemical magazine noseweek: The most corrupted victim-villain that emerged from the Kebble catastrophes is our ruling party.
Much worse than merely an allegation by disillusioned leftists like myself and the liberal opposition, this corruption is now a frank confession.
ANC Treasurer Mendi Msimang, who as husband of the notorious health minister Manto and a long-time exiled functionary, knew how power worked and in a court deposition, let the cat out of the bag.
The purchase price was R and Kebble bought it in for R3 million, then also becoming a director of Catalyst. The examples are too numerous to contemplate.
As some people say, our personalities are twofold, we have a bad and good side. Today I will like to say that Mr Kebble was a very good, kind hearted man, and his benevolence was quite remarkable.
But the kind of politics he introduced had far reaching implications to our society. It corrupted the soul of the national liberation and that corrupting has spread over to government, culminating in the collapse of service delivery in many parts of the country.
Not only that, Kebblism has encouraged venality, produced leaders who are embarrassing the ANC, leaders who claim to be poor but live lifestyles of millionaires.
There is a self-proclaimed black royalty. Some people were never interested in brotherhood. Either you have a view like me.
Or, you have a situation where you have the five white families who ran the country during the old order being replaced by five black families in the same position; a simple transfer of elites.
It stifled the economy and in many cases led to a lack of development. It enhanced and entrenched the apartheid system. That was the primary reason for the old-order attack [on me].
This, then, was South African Crony Capitalism 1. Kebble continued his class analysis of South African Crony Capitalism 2. What has happened since then is that the old order has gone and co-opted a few little Uncle Toms, pasted them onto their boards and companies, promised them all kinds of power and ability to do things, given them a selective and very discreet deal-flow and also set them up as people who would attack my philosophy There are no reports of the Kebble mansions in Inanda, Johannesburg and Bishopscourt, Cape Town hosting strange things of that sort, though the liquor flowed, by all accounts.
The most confusing confidante of the huckster was probably David Gleason, and you the reader may want to take some parts of his eulogizing seriously, though not the bulk: Neglect of this vital constituency, he believed, would bring radicalism and ruin in its wake.
He made no apology for this. In his personal political philosophy, with which I frequently disagreed, there is a close nexus between business and politics I agree with this.
He was anxious, he said, to ensure the choices made by politicians would encourage rather than retard business development. The factionalism within the ANC and the emergence of power centres concentrated on pushing the agendas of the newly rich, was a matter he viewed with profound concern.
His own leanings, increasingly I thought to the left, led him to lend support to deputy president Jacob Zuma. When then national director of public prosecutions, Bulelani Ngcuka, attacked Zuma through a smear campaign rather than a proper prosecution, he smelt another example of a gross abuse of political power.
He clearly felt this keenly. It made no sense to him that, considering all he was doing was embracing the very policies the ANC had evolved over the long years in the wilderness, he had been singled out as a pariah.
The answer, of course, was his espousal of the Zuma cause. This is not exactly popular among those in power, anxious to hold onto the important levers.
It is evident that Kebbleism fails partly because it picks the losers not winners, including the opposition DA. Barry Sargeant had taken a pot shot or two at Kebble as early as 10 years ago, but faced legal action and intimidation.
He stayed with the case, and has since written a book with some startling claims about Kebble. Martin Welz of Noseweek magazine used leaked documents to show that Kebble had never paid taxes, and raised questions about why the receiver of revenue and his team had not noticed this.
Shot by drive-by assassins, the man is slumped in his seat, the car driven up onto the kerb. It is a scene reminiscent of Bogota or some banana republic, but in our case the dead man is Brett Kebble and the place is Johannesburg, the greatest city in Africa.
The first and most obvious thing to say about the murder of Kebble is that the economic consequences of not solving it quickly are beyond calculation.
We cannot allow our already tarnished reputation as a violent society to drift into the sphere of business being done through the barrel of a gun. This native bourgeoisie, which has adopted unreservedly and with enthusiasm the ways of thinking characteristic of the mother country, which has become wonderfully detached from its own thought and has based its consciousness upon foundations which are typically foreign, will realize, with its mouth watering, that it lacks something essential to a bourgeoisie: The bourgeoisie of an under-developed country is a bourgeoisie in spirit only.
It is not its economic strength, nor the dynamism of its leaders, nor the breadth of its ideas that ensures its peculiar quality of bourgeoisie.
Consequently it remains at the beginning and for a long time afterwards a bourgeoisie of the civil service. It is the positions that it holds in the new national administration which will give it strength and serenity.
If the government gives it enough time and opportunity, this bourgeoisie will manage to put away enough money to stiffen its domination.
But it will always reveal itself as incapable of giving birth to an authentic bourgeois society with all the economic and industrial consequences which this entails.
Wrecking a few companies is one thing, but wrecking a country through these sorts of personal manipulations of the powerful is a tragedy turned farce.
Because Fanon again warns of the logical result, right?: The party is becoming a means of private advancement. There exists inside the new regime, however, an inequality in the acquisition of wealth and in monopolization.
Some have a double source of income and demonstrate that they are specialized in opportunism. Privileges multiply and corruption triumphs, while morality declines.
Today the vultures are too numerous and too voracious in proportion to the lean spoils of the national wealth. The party, a true instrument of power in the hands of the bourgeoisie, reinforces the machine, and ensures that the people are hemmed in and immobilized.
The party helps the government to hold the people down. It becomes more and more clearly anti-democratic, an implement of coercion. The party is objectively, sometimes subjectively, the accomplice of the merchant bourgeoisie.
It was late September , just after Thabo Mbeki was palace-couped. To last so long in that immoral swamp required a firm constitution, and to then extricate from the mire was a heroic task.
The contradictions he faced during his era in power were overwhelming. Exploring and transcending both the exercise of power thesis and counter-power activities by progressive civil society antithesis , in order to find a new synthesis and yet new contradictions, is my objective in the coming pages.
His presentations last week celebrating writing, women and radical politics were thoughtful and humorous. That charm in turn calls for even more critically-sympathetic reflection about how a South African nationalist-communist spy might come in from the cold.
We might attempt this via the dialectic method, which respects tension and contradiction, which contextualizes so as to point the way forward to social progress, and which seeks to understand interrelations of economy, politics, society and nature.
The future president was acquitted after a trial in which misogynist patriarchy by Zuma and his supporters was on blatant display.
He was drawn in against his will in a peripheral way, making clear that Khwezi should sort out the charge with professional aid, not old family connections to the Minister of Intelligence.
But that moment was when the break with Zuma became irreparable. But now Kasrils feels there is far more at stake: He sums up the rise and fall of his vision for a socialist South Africa simply and accurately: For quite a period of time we saw the left rising and becoming strong and then post we see the rightwing agenda becoming so strong with its alignment to capital.
The critiques of capitalism, imperialism and nationalism by these revolutionary theorists still work well today, especially in a South Africa where migrancy, gendered roles and deep racial divisions in the division of labour, ecological degradation and capitalist crisis tendencies persist and indeed worsen.
Such packages will be of enormous benefit to our GEAR strategy. A tremendous boost to our economy and Treasury. These were men Kasrils relied on for life-and-death missions during the armed struggle against apartheid, though in at least in one case, Mo Shaik who is now moving from heading the SA Secret Service to a Development Bank of Southern Africa job , there was finally a reconciliation with Kasrils.
Flirting with Zimbabwe, flunking the xenophobia test Looking more broadly at morally-exhausted nationalism, what of the so-called Zanufication of the ANC?
We were their guests in exile and so we were mum over the Fifth Brigade [i. When asked about this contradiction, Kasrils replied: They were our guests on that occasion, and we were signing a standard Defense Accord.
According to some reports, the Zimbabwe army finally acquired these via Angola after all the other ports in the region were declared no-offload zones for the weapons by courageous dockworkers.
There was no grounding for such conspiracy theory within sound intelligence. It is one thing to know there is a social problem and another thing to know when that outburst will occur.
Mbeki was the spoiler by ordering that Morgan Tsvangirai agree to a run-off vote in June, a race from which he soon had to withdraw because hundreds of his supporters were being killed or injured.
What if this happens again? Absolutely, what else is there to do. Kasrils was livid, accusing me! There was great delight in February when Kasrils announced that at least liters per household per month would be provided to all residents of South Africa free.
Muller ensured that the consultancy that was most responsible for opposing Free Basic Water during the Asmal years Palmer Development Group was the outfit chosen to design its municipal implementation.
In other words, the struggle for decommodification in which Kasrils had initially appeared as a top-down hero, was now twisted into a system for even deeper state surveillance and disciplining techniques, such as pre-payment meters.
The case of Veolia Was Kasrils a water privatizer? Definitely not, he repeatedly claimed. From Chatsworth they filed the first court injunction requested by any South African community group against municipal cut-offs, on grounds of water rights.
They lost, but the anger at water commodification grew here and everywhere. This was true for Vivendi profit-taking and for two huge South Durban polluters which were its only water purchasers, the Mondi paper mill and the Sapref oil refinery owned by Shell and BP.
Their price of water was cut nearly in half by Vivendi, from R5. But at the same time, SDCEA activists were demanding these firms be closed, in part because they were primary causes of the world-leading asthma rate of 52 percent at the nearby Settlers Primary School.
Then there was the financial downside. I believe it was in that the French government decided to stop all new investment in South Africa, a year before the European Union made a similar ruling.
Kasrils then offered this specific praise: Health and safety violations were rife in Vivendi operations by the late s.
Perhaps most ironically, in Vivendi changed its name to Veolia, and quickly became one of the leading targets of Palestinian activists demanding sanctions and disinvestment.
Not only do the settlements contravene article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention forbidding an occupier transferring its own civilians into the territory it occupies, but in most cases the establishment of the Israeli settlements involved war crimes too.
To his credit, the grand opening can be revisited and Palestinian solidarity politics renewed in only one way, which he has provisionally agreed to: More water wars But there were many other contradictions associated with early 21st century water politics, and this is only a partial list of civil society grievances against Kasrils recorded at a meeting he hosted at the time of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in mid Because of the failure to resolve any of these state-society contradictions over water commodification and ecological destruction, Kasrils grand opening to the left with Free Basic Water soon appeared as a shut door.
The tensions ratcheted up, and in his April budget speech to parliament, Kasrils went after the jugular of the man who had actually surpassed him as the most notorious white revolutionary living in South Africa, John Pape, of the International Labour Research and Information Group in Cape Town.
I have nothing personal against the man but misleading working people by withholding concrete facts or deliberately providing them with incorrect information is no basis for long term political success.
But it is also destructive to use our views as a sledgehammer to hit people over the head. Sledgehammer tactics will silence differing opinions.
Apparently they would rather attack academics whose data does not fit their rosy picture of service delivery than do the difficult work of research themselves.
Those who do not pay their bills will continue to face the wrath of budget-conscious bureaucrats. Once the meager supply of free water is consumed, water flows will be restricted or cutoff if not paid for, despite the fact that millions of low-income households cannot afford to pay for the water they need.
The city of Durban, the first to introduce free water, is still cutting off as many as households a day.
As he wrote in This Day newspaper in April Here we have AIDS, and tens of thousands of our people dying from diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery each year.
We are still waiting for Kasrils to make good on his promise. Good riddance if, in the next cabinet, he is moved somewhere less damaging to the public health.
The early s conflict was as acute in relation to Johannesburg water as it was for access to AIDS medicines. It was not hard to break with Asmal over his decision to hire the same corrupt construction firms to build the second Lesotho dam in , since those two dams were responsible for quintupling the price of water to consumers, as well as destroying sensitive ecologies.
In , Kasrils as the new water minister inherited the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which soon became the highest-profile corruption case in the Third World.
Even the World Bank began to debar some of the dozen multinational corporations convicted of bribing Lesotho officials, one of which the giant Canadian civils firm Acres International effectively closed due to the revelations.
Subsequently, as Kasrils confirmed with genuine disgust during our seminar, the main Basotho official guilty of taking bribes, the head of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority, Masupha Sole, served a few years in jail but in August was rehired as a top Authority official.
There was another problem, though: After copious evidence of mega-dam destructiveness, that Commission suggested quite restrictive conditions for dam-building, and as a result was rudely rejected by the World Bank and also by Kasrils and Muller.
There is also a new awareness of how a dam in central China I visited, Zipingpu upriver from the town of Dujiangyan , had caused the May earthquake that killed more than 80 people.
We can only hope that with his exuberance and unfailing energy, Kasrils continues to spiral up and outwards, gathering more former skeptics like myself along for his ride.
As that too proceeds, I will always think back to the March conversations with Ronnie Kasrils about his own contradictions, and seek to renew these in some way in search of a better understanding of power: The symbol was this: This meant a tempering of the public sector wage bill; a medium-term planned decline of social grant beneficiaries and a healthy injection into infrastructure.
The future was in roads, rail, housing, hospitals, colleges and the rest of the social infrastructure that would provide a foundation for prosperity for the next generation.
The Treasury, along with other notable examples like the Independent Electoral Commission, the SA Revenue Service and, lately, the department of home affairs, is beginning to provide a template for good governance.
The second is that the Treasury works to a profoundly political philosophy that is repeated year after year after year.
Thus, this year the infrastructure budget is the most notable feature and the education allocation is still the highest single amount of spend.
The bang for buck is a perennial downfall of education spending, but it is still investment spending, not a short-term consumption splurge.
Social solidarity is thus another enduring plank of the Treasury philosophy. When you look to Greece and Europe, and to struggling America, then it really is a truism that we should treasure our Treasury.
The Sunday Times asked a good question two weeks ago: Posted by Antti Alanen at This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him.
We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I'm going to miss him, as I'm sure a whole lot of others will too.
Frank Marshall, Revel Guest. Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy. Andrew Ackland-snow, Neil Lamont.
Digital Intermediate 4K master format , Super 35 source format. Based on the children's novel by Michael Morpurgo on the colt Joey, groomed by the tenant farmer's son Albert.
WWI breaks out, and the horse and the boy endure incredible ordeals. Albert enlists in the war, fights at the second battle of the Somme, and is blinded by mustard gas.
Topthorn dies from exhaustion, Joey bolts in front of a tank, lands into no-man's land, is entangled in barbed wire, and is saved by English-German collaboration.
There is a family film, storybook, and fairy-tale approach in War Horse. The obstacles and dangers are almost overwhelming, but when there's a will there's a way.
The slaughter of WWI is devastating but conveyed without gore. A grand saga to be compared with the works of David Lean, David O.
Selznick, and King Vidor. The cinematography by Janusz Kaminski is magnificent. There is a bit too much schmalz in John Williams's score. The performances are rather one-dimensional.
Shot on photochemical film and based on a 4K digital intermediate. Thursday, April 19, New classification exercises.
Now everybody gets to do their film classification themselves, and more than a hundred people have been trained so far. Fourth Season, Episode 7: Drama of anxiety set in the s.
Michael Brooke talks to him, and surveys his career to date. Hannah McGill sees the raw humanity shining through. Sunday, April 15, Books on my nightstand.
Translated from Swedish by Raija Mattila. One of the best biographies, of high literary quality, and film-relevant: Alvar Aalto loved Chaplin.
Aalto was also the founder of the first film society in Finland, Projektio , during his decisive years. Silkkitietä kulttuurien risteykseen [The History of Afghanistan.
Along the Silk Road to the Crossroads of Cultures]. I have known that the history of Afghanistan is complicated, but reading this book I realize it's even much more complicated than one could deduce by the articles in the foreign affairs sections of newspapers.
Johdatus uuteen Marxiin [Mega-Marx. An Introduction into a New Marx]. Everybody has an opinion on Marx but few have read him, and our knowledge, including those of us who call themselves Marxists, is usually biased.
Critique of Political Economy. The Art of Programming and Live Performance. John Libbey Publishing, Before WWI film programming was based on short films, and programming became a refined practice among cinema managers and other exhibitors.
During the last decades the art of early cinema programming has been revived in the Pordenone and Bologna festivals and in special events such as Luxembourg's Crazy Cinema.
Translated by Eero Balk. Leo Tolstoy's devastating account of his spiritual crisis after having published Anna Karenina and his way to God despite misgivings about the Church.
Writings from the Edge of Literature]. Topical again because of Hellemann's insider's account of the case of The Gulag Archipelago in Finland.
Hellemann was the Finnish publisher of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and many other critical observers of Soviet reality. I couldn't resist re-reading the rest of the book, including Hellemann's remarks about the Nobel prize he belonged to those who were able to predict it very well and the fate of book publishing.
The winner of the Finlandia Prize, the most prestigious literary prize in our land. Among other things, Liksom, a multi-talented artist, has been called a "post-gulag author" often dealing with the legacy of the late Soviet Union.
Cabin Number Six is a prose poem, a shock montage of images, experiences and encounters on a train trip from Moscow to Ulan Bator in the late s.
The Soviet empire is in an advanced state of decay. The protagonist is a young Finnish woman student, and her main travel companion is a middle-aged male thug whose liberally exposed women-hating views are beyond hard-boiled.
The thug is a son of a gulag veteran who sired him on his way to the WWII front. The tale is grotesque, macabre, horrifying.
In Mongolia the woman finally finds what she was looking for, a mountain with ancient engravings. The Ulan Bator guide has failed to take her there, but instead he has given her a lecture about the Mongolian legacy in Russia.
Mongols conquered Russia in and reigned for years. We created a bureaucracy the function of which is to serve the power, not the people.
We broke the moral backbone of Russians so thoroughly that they never recovered. We taught Ivan the Terrible, and he taught Stalin, that the task of the individual is to submit to the crowd".
Art from the sixties, seventies and eighties from the collections of the Association of Finnish Fine Arts Foundations. Viewed on 15 April Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, It brings together works from the collections of the foundations from a time when postmodernism gradually arrived in Finland.
On display there are one hundred paintings, prints and sculptures made by key Finnish artists, filling three floors of the museum. The make-up of a private collection is determined by its aim and purpose, while a museum on the other hand, in addition to all this, documents events.
The Foundations' collections are supplemented by works from the Amos Anderson Art Museum collections, as well as by a section showcasing new video art.
The standard of living was steadily rising. Artists were able to travel and to take in new international directions in art.
There were exhibitions of international art in Finland. Artists went abroad for studies and postgraduate studies, not only to Paris as was traditional, but also to Italy and in the eighties, increasingly to New York.
For a short period in the seventies, there was an interest for the realist art of the socialist countries. The eighties were the golden years of shared Nordic perspectives for young artists.
In the seventies, the whole cultural field was politicized and the Right and the Left were sharply divided. However, all political directions worked for improving the economic and social situation of artists.
A positive legacy of this time is the increasing awareness felt by artists regarding their own situation. In the eighties, focus was shifted towards new feminism and towards criticism against existing institutions.
Continental philosophy slowly made its way into art. In general, the era brought vivid discussion and, from time to time, even pointed dialogue.
When references shifted to an urban environment and to popular culture, the change was great. The media of art diversified and allowances were made for new attitudes and this is apparent in contemporary collections of art.
It is the final book of a series of four volumes shedding light on different decades of Finnish art history. The richly illustrated art book walks the reader through a period of Finnish art in the grips of continual change.
The first I missed and have only studied its superb book. This exhibition I would warmly recommend to an art-loving tourist in Helsinki.
As a part of my digital re-education I pay more attention to these matters and suffer more than before from glass shields on paintings.
Almost all paintings were displayed without a glass. Artists on display in the exhibition and in the book include: Posted by Antti Alanen at 1: Viewed on 15 April, Political participation and the wish to influence political decisions is nothing new, however, as the exhibition I Ain't Marchin' Anymore!
Examining the political tumult of the s and 70s, the exhibition will be open from 2 March to 7 May The turbulent year was a signal for many artists around the world, and the events were actively followed also in Finland.
Anxiety built up as the media related stories of victims of violence in the Far East, Prague and Paris, as the threat of nuclear war was imminent and the political youth movement responded to the suffering of the Third World.
The universal humanistic spirit can be discerned in the work of many artists of this period, but it was not until the onslaught of Finnish national icons by Harro Koskinen from Turku that the value debate became ubiquitous.
Visible protests against the symbols of state power as well as traditional values generated a media uproar and a series of trials the like of which has never been seen in Finnish art since.
But artist also examined such themes as consumerism, environmental degradation or the structural change of society, rural exodus. The democratisation of art aimed to bring art closer to the public, to make pictures for the common people who did not frequent galleries.
The formal requirement was that the pictures should be such that even viewers without any artistic training would understand the artist's aim.
Mundane realism thus rose from the streets and factories to become a theme in art. Exceptions to opening hours: There is a room devoted to the desecration of the Finnish flag, another room with the theme of ridiculing Mannerheim, a hall with mock logos of global companies, and further rooms with photorealistic images of workers in the style of socialist realism.
This was already the era of pop art, and now I can't help seeing dadaistic aspects in many of these works.
There are also naivistic influences in the retro imagery of certain works. The exhibition is intelligently mounted, the works look better on each renewed round, and the lighting does justice to them.
Saturday, April 14, The Descendants. Phedon Papamichael - digital intermediate: Dennis Kamakahi, more beyond the jump break. Super 35 3-perf source format , Digital Intermediate 2K master format.
Kaui Hart Hemmings's novel has evidently provided a solid basis for this adaptation. Physically and psychologically it rings true. The characters are well-rounded and three-dimensional in the sense of psychological authenticity.
Like Hable con ella, La mar adentro, and Million Dollar Baby, The Descendants belongs to the current trend of deathbed movies; in this story, Elizabeth King has signed a living will.
The movie is an account of a turning-point in the story of a family because of the mother's death but also because the destiny of the land of the prominent year old Hawaii family is at stake.
I have never visited Hawaii but the cinematography on location conveys a strong sense of the place. The visual world designs, colours, patterns is pronouncedly Hawaiian, and the Hawaiian soundtrack is excellent.
Shot on photochemical film, The Descendants looks good even on 2K DCP, especially in close-ups, medium shots, interiors and urban views.
Soundtrack details beyond the jump break: Olli Haikka, Jarkko Hentula. Original songs by Lauri Tähkä: Distributed by Finnkino with Swedish subtitles by Markus Karjalainen.
Viewed at Kinopalatsi 5, Helsinki, 13 April Härmä belongs to the Finnish genre of Pohjanmaa movies, into its most mythical current about the "häjyt" the badmen or "puukkojunkkarit" the knifeslingers who were the scourge of Southern Pohjanmaa in the 19th century, most devastatingly until ca Pohjanmaa is a province of great plains and rivers on the west coast of Finland.
Pohjanmaa movies and lumberjack movies have been sometimes compared with Westerns. The heyday of the badmen ended with the great famine of , memorably described by Santeri Alkio in his novels Puukkojunkkarit [The Knifeslingers] and Murtavia voimia [Winds of Change].
At the same time the favourite age of Westerns, the decades after the Civil War, started. JP Siili tunes boldly into a grand, dramatic genre mode.
Härmä is not a genre pastiche. It is a modern genre movie, and from familiar elements JP Siili has created an original work.
Härmä is the first Pohjanmaa movie which starts with tar manufacture. During the era of the tall ships Finland belonged to the leading producers of tar, but when metal ships became dominant, tar production collapsed, a social background to the knifeslinger phenomenon: Härmä is a family drama.
The ageing master of the farm Antti Välitalo Esko Salminen observes with dismay that his oldest son Esko Mikko Leppilampi has become a no good scoundrel and writes a controversial will bequeathing the farm to his younger son Matti Lauri Tilkanen.
Follows another example of the cinema's obsession with the cancelled wedding. The climax of the movie is a blood wedding, crashed by Matti, and heading to a knife duel between the brothers.
The whole village, who has had enough of Esko's rampage, has come to support Matti. The screening was well attended, and there was a feeling of intensive concentration.
I don't know what a Pohjanmaa expert would say about period authenticity, but there is a vigour and an energy in the narrative, with perhaps one thrilling episode too many.
The Pohjanmaa dialects are largely missing in the dialogue. I like the new Pohjanmaa songs written by Lauri Tähkä.
The performances are successful, and the golden boy Mikko Leppilampi is interestingly cast against type as the king of the badmen. We launch next month a Pohjanmaa retrospective in Cinema Orion, the first of its kind, with 16 movies.
My favourites include Härmästä poikia kymmenen the best of the knifeslinger movies , Varaventtiili, and Pieni pyhiinvaellus. Härmä is too new to be in it, but deserves immediately a worthy place in the tradition.
Green is the most difficult colour. In nature it's always beautiful, but man-made green usually fails.
Green is also my favourite colour, and green painted by me also usually fails. One of the secrets of green is that green in nature is not really one colour but many.
Look at a tree, and you see dozens of shades of green. It is a challenge for colour photography. In digital, green still usually looks either too gray and cold or too garish.
Green is the dominant colour in Härmä, and it looks mercilessly electric, uniform and colourized. Meanwhile, the composition, using the CinemaScope dimensions of the great plains, is dynamic and effective.
New Yorkin premiere Ketti Frings — from a story by Marty Holland. Hans Dreier, Earl Hedrick. Sam Comer, Bertram Granger.
Art Camp, Harold Worthington. Harry Lindgren, Walter Oberst, [M. Boyce] — Western Electric Recording. Los Angeles County Jail; courthouse: Blackwell , Barry Kelley D.
Blackwell , Gertrude W. Paramount Pictures — tv: The File on Thelma Jordon has been compared with Double Indemnity but it is less slick and does not try to be so clever.
Instead there is a current of emotional truth in the story of the frustrated assistant D. On the basis of a solid screenplay by Ketti Frings, Robert Siodmak maintains a strong but unobtrusive drive in his cinematic storytelling, and the performances by Barbara Stanwyck and Wendell Corey are memorable: Victor Young provides an effectively melodramatic score.
There are unusual scenes with the alcoholic Cleve and the rich, hard-of-hearing aunt Vera. The defense attorney Stanley Ridges has a field day, but the whole set-up has been designed by the prosecutor Cleve, yet it is Thelma who is pulling the strings and wins, although her victory finally proves unbearable.
The visual quality was what can be expected from 16 mm. The Gulag Archipelago An Experiment in Literary Investigation a book.
Originally published in Paris in Finnish translation by Esa Adrian first published in , , and New single-volume Finnish edition: Silberfeldt, with forewords by Sofi Oksanen and Martti Anhava.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "experiment in literary investigation" belongs to the books that have changed the world.
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