“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Zuma ordered to pay for 'unlawful' home upgrades

Google – AFP, Sibongile Khumalo (AFP), 19 March 2014

A view of the controversial homestead of South African President Jacob Zuma
in Nkandla on January 21, 2014 (AFP/File, Marco Longari)

Pretoria — South Africa's public ombudsman ruled Wednesday that some of the $23 million taxpayer-funded improvements to President Jacob Zuma's luxurious private residence were excessive and unlawful.

In a scathing report issued just weeks ahead of South Africa's elections, ombudsman Thuli Madonsela also ordered Zuma to repay part of the costs of the upgrades at his village homestead.

"Some of these measures can be legitimately classified as unlawful and the acts involved constitute improper conduct and maladministration," Madonsela said.

A view of the controversial homestead of 
South African President Jacob Zuma in
 Nkandla on January 21, 2014 (AFP, Marco
The long-awaited report, titled "Secure in Comfort" -- which also implicated several ministers -- found that Zuma violated the executive ethics code by failing to protect state resources and that there was "excessive" spending.

Madonsela blamed the government for the two years it took to produce the report, saying Zuma had taken nine months to respond to her questions.

"There is nothing political about the report, all I have done as the ombudsman is to discharge my responsibility. And I have done that."

The opposition Democratic Alliance said that in light of the "damning findings" it would urgently initiate impeachment proceedings against Zuma.

The ombudsman ordered Zuma to pay a "reasonable percentage" of the cost of renovations not related to security at the sprawling homestead in the southern village of Nklanda.

However the exact amount was not disclosed and Madonsela said it would be up to the Treasury to determine a figure.

In a terse statement, Zuma said he would study the findings and "will communicate his response in due course".

Renovations at so-called "Zumaville" cost taxpayers 246 million rand ($23 million) in a project touted as a security upgrade but which included a visitors' centre, swimming pool, an amphitheatre, private clinic and even a chicken coop.

South African President Jacob Zuma speaks
 during a press conference in Pretoria
 on October 14, 2013 (AFP/File, Alexander
"The expenditure incurred by the state... went beyond what was reasonably required for the president's security, was unconsciously excessive and caused a misappropriation of funds," the report said.

Opulence on a grand scale

Madonsela also ordered Zuma to "reprimand the ministers involved for the appalling manner in which the Nkandla project was handled and state funds were abused".

Zuma is running for re-election in the May 7 vote but his popularity has taking a beating and he was booed at the memorial for South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela in December.

The vote promises to be the toughest yet for Zuma and his ruling African National Congress (ANC) which has won every election since the end of apartheid in 1994 by a landslide.

A survey late last year showed that support for the ANC had dropped to 53 percent, a slide of 10 percentage points from a year earlier.

The splurge on the house - nestled in the verdant hills of Zuma's political stronghold -- has caused anger in a country where there is widespread poverty and where 10 million people live on welfare.

In contrast to Zuma's luxury lifestyle, some of his rural neighbours are without electricity or running water. Nearby residents collect water from communal taps and streams which often run dry.

The ombudsman said the allegation by a complainant that the Nkandla project constitutes "opulence on a grand scale is substantiated."

South African Bhekekile Ndlovu closes the
 gate to her parcel of land directly opposite
 the lavish residence of South African
 President in Nkandla on January 22, 2014
(AFP/File, Marco Longari)
It "leaves one with the impression of excessive and unconscionable 'Rolls Royce' security constituting an island in a sea of poverty and paucity of public infrastructure."

"The manner in which the Nkandla project was administered and implemented gave me the impression of a toxic concoction of a lack of leadership, a lack of control and focused self-interest," said Madonsela

The home, which Zuma rarely visits as he has official residences in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban -- also boasts its own helipad.

Madonsela said the upgrades were by far the most expensive for a sitting head of state, including Mandela.

Zuma last year denied that he and his family had benefitted from the security upgrades.

But Madonsela said "this is not true" and that Zuma had "unduly benefited from the enormous capital investment from non-security measures".

While presidents and former leaders were legally entitled to reasonable security upgrades, Madonsela said such additions as a swimming pool did not meet the criteria.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.