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[img_assist|nid=344|title=Community leaders|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=320|height=227]Hundreds of people walked from Wild Coast Sun to meet the people of Xolobeni.

Despite the pro-mining lobby tricking many members into not attending (by announcing a food-basket handout for the same day) it is apparent that the community, as represented by hundreds of people present, sangomas and the headman, are totally opposed to the strip mining of 22km of their pristine grassland and dunes.

In fact they have threatened to revolt, like the Pondo Uprising of 1960, if the government grants the mining license.

These pictures do very little to convey the beauty and incredible historic / archeological value of this portion of the irreplaceable Pondoland Center of Endemism.

Benny the Tour Guide can be contacted on 079-1985 975 / or through Sonya on 074-336 7862 - for a guided day-trip.

See for yourself why we must protect our children's ecological heritage.

[img_assist|nid=308|title=hole in the wall|desc=|link=popup|align=right|width=318|height=240]There are many things in this world that are beyond my understanding or capacity to articulate clearly. I feel not only inadequate, but also threatened by the situation surrounding me at Hole in the Wall, or rather, I truly fear taking a public stand. I don't have the clarity or writing capability to do the story true justice:

Sometime in 2003 the headman, Mzoxolo Ngubenani, was shot and killed while in Rustenburg. According to local sources, his estranged wife, Nowinase, had left him about 15 years prior to his death and she had been living with another man in Johannesburg. Shortly after Mzoxolo's murder she returned to the region with a son of approximately 9 years of age whom she claimed was his legitimate heir, and she was then installed as regent / headman by the king of the abaThembu, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.

Jeff Moloi wrote a short article which was published in the Enroute newspaper. My response, which I also posted to Jeff's facebook group, precedes the verbatim quote of his article:

Can the Transkei afford to keep the Wild Coast “wild”?

Just last week there was the 3rd meeting in terms of the SDF (Spatial Development Framework) for the Kwa Tshezi Development Association. (The Tshezi district is basically from Umtata Mouth down to Hole in the Wall, under Chief Ngwenyathi [Ward 23 under clr Mvunge]).

Naspers owned Media24 is attempting to create a local portal in competition with Google.

There isn't really enough room for another new search engine operator and pesky web crawler, plus if ever there was a company that needed re-branding - Naspers could compete for top of the all-time list.

The Afrikaans publishing house with Broederbond roots has grown into Africa’s most successful media conglomerate. A few years ago Ton Vosloo, the chairman of Naspers was considered a mouthpiece for the conservative Afrikaner establishment that conceived, legislated and maintained apartheid. Vosloo was a member of the Broederbond; the secret society of lawyers, judges, parliamentarians, cabinet ministers and business and political leaders who ran the government and sought to empower the White Afrikaner population.

http://ntww1.csir.co.za/plsql/ptl0002/PTL0002_PGE157_MEDIA_REL?MEDIA_REL...

Researchers at the Meraka Institute have released an Open Source spelling game which supports all 11 official South African languages.

I'm hoping it may just turn out to be useful for computer classes at the 5 schools around here.

It's about a 40meg download, and is also available for Windows.

Luckily I bookmarked some of them before Safari crashed. I knew it was going to crash. . . had so many things open. *sigh* I need a memory upgrade.

http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=340659&area=/insight/insi... on the Traditional authorities.

http://free.financialmail.co.za/08/0530/features/hfeat.htm on the Xolobeni debacle.

[img_assist|nid=291|title=Arb pic of the day (Kham soccer field)|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=320|height=151]Phew, from the open rubbish dump in front of the hotel to the lack of a pedestrian sidewalk on the main road to the abandoned campsite it seems there's a lot of (insert pejorative) here. I arrived in the wake of the storm earlier this week, and a series of power failures afflicted the one half of the village. The funny thing was the property in which the project house is had no power while the neighboring property (in the same fence) did. So I went to the Beach Party at Coffee Shack. The power failure lasted from 5'ish 'til about 9 and blanketed the backpackers' side of town in blackness. It was quiet weird and probably just long enough, too, for me to have too much to drink and imperceptibly cross that point, from one split syllable to the next, from interesting to annoying. Like the mosquitoes and the flies here.

Or as Screwmaster over at slashdot (http://hardware.slashdot.org/hardware/08/05/19/1953215.shtml) would have it: it's the old "When Hairy Met Sili" scam.

Quotes from a June 2000 interview: http://januarymagazine.com/profiles/robbins.html

"Reality is contradictory. And it's paradoxical. If there's any one word -- if you had to pick one word to describe that nature of the universe -- I think that word would be paradox. That's true at the subatomic level, right through sociological, psychological, philosophical levels on up to cosmic levels."

"To say that you can't take life seriously and that life shouldn't be taken seriously is not to say that life is trivial or frivolous. Quite the contrary. There's nothing the least bit frivolous about the playful nature of the universe. Playfulness at a fully conscious level is extremely profound. In fact there is nothing more profound. Wit and playfulness are dreadfully serious transcendence of evil."

"The world is a wonderfully weird place, consensual reality is significantly flawed, no institution can be trusted, certainty is a mirage, security a delusion, and the tyranny of the dull mind forever threatens -- but our lives are not as limited as we think they are, all things are possible, laughter is holier than piety, freedom is sweeter than fame, and in the end it's love and love alone that really matters." --Tom Robbins

Commenting on his new children's book about to (this year) be published in the Fall as "B is for Beer", he described it as "an hallucinogenic hymn to beer, children, and the cosmic mysteries that sustain us all."

Check http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/books/317083_writer25.html for an excerpt from the story.

Upgrading to Drupal 6.2 leaves something to be desired as far as the image module goes.

It's bad enough for the average enthusiast that uploading images is not a core feature... but here's the fix that I found posted at http://drupal.org/node/219808

insert into image select upload.nid as nid , files.fid as fid , filename as image_size from upload, files where upload.fid = files.fid and files.filemime like "image/%";

Nkosinathi Somgidi was born on the 12th October, 1991 - which makes him about 16 years old. According to Goodman (who owns and manages the security force here), he had the boy arrested some time ago for apparently assaulting his son while his son was on guard duty at the hotel. Goodman says that Nkosinathi spat at his son and slapped him in the face (through the fence at the hotel entrance).

I enquired whether it was true that the 16 year old Nkosinathi had been in prison for 2 months already up 'til now, and he replied that's not true, because he's being held at Mapuzi police station holding cells and not in "prison". I then asked Goodman why the incident occurred - but by that stage he was so thoroughly incensed at the fact that I was questioning his authority that he refused to talk to me further, and would only talk to "Mister Brown" (senior). I walked away with him still shouting at my back "How can you accuse me?"

http://blog.fastmail.fm/2008/04/22/microsoft-closing-external-hotmail-ac...

Summary: Microsoft are disabling WebDAV access to all hotmail.com accounts. This means Hotmail Pop Links and Outlook Express access to hotmail.com accounts will stop working at the end of June 2008. You should download all your Hotmail email ASAP and tell people to stop using your @hotmail.com email address as soon as possible.

For many years, Microsoft has provided external access to hotmail.com accounts via a protocol called WebDAV. This is the protocol FastMail uses on the Options -> Pop Links screen to allow downloading of email from hotmail.com accounts. It’s also the same protocol that Outlook Express uses to access hotmail.com accounts.

A survey done in 2003 by the Mussel Rehabilitation Project sampled 480 households out of a total of 982 households in Lower Nenga. The results showed that 186 (38.75%) were female headed households and 20 (4.17%) child headed households. 184 (38.33%) households had pension grants, 204 (42.5%) child grants, and 49 (10.21%) disability grants, whilst 172 (35.83%) of the households had migrant workers and 15 (3.12%) had somebody working locally.

Embed a picture: <img src="http://url_name/img_name" border="0" align="right" padding-left="4px" />
Link to a URL: <a href="http://url_name" target="_blank">Link name</a>

<code><a href="http://www.wildcoast.com">Wild Coast</a></code>

http://www.wildcoast.com/html_tips . . . this entry is mainly just a test to see if filtered html is automatically linking URL entries. Which it wasn't. Hence the above torture.

Doesn't it ever bother people when they go to, like, www.yellowpages.co.za for example, only to find they don't have the business details of some very well known national company in there, because Supaquick (for example) don't pay Brabys to list them in their print service.

Some people honestly don't get the internet and the free information economy at all.

Upon reading the story about the decimation of the Transkei, a friend responded "Your account of the ancestors appearing as a tornado reminds me of the story circulating in the Xolobeni area about how the "animal/dragon in the earth" arose in the form of a tornado after the first prospecting took place - the most vicious tornado in living memory... the ancestors don't rest here, you are right."

Camagu

~*~

"Mining the Pondoland Wild Coast is the moral, cultural and aesthetic equivalent of quarrying Ayers Rock for granite, or the Great Barrier Reef for calcium carbonate." ~Richard Spoor

The Wild Coast is the most beautiful coastline on Earth; and is host to the Pondoland Centre of Endemism (PCE)... one of 34 internationally recognized biodiversity hotspots on our planet Earth.

This site is essentially a tourism information portal - where local businesses can register and upload their details and photos on the internet for free. Unfortunately, despite the fact that South Africa is a signatory to the Convention on Biodiversity, our government and certain vested interests are flagrantly threatening the PCE with titanium strip mining - and doing everything in their power to pave the way for autocratic control over the mining industry regardless of environmental impact issues.

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence- it is a force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."

"Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it."

~George Washington

SPECIAL ALERT!

Comments due by today !!!

Public Hearings: National Environmental Management Amendment Bill (36-2007)

The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism will be conducting public hearings on the National Environmental Management Amendment Bill (36-2007).

Deadline for written submissions: November 2nd, 2007
Public Hearings: November 6th, 2007

Attention:
Ms. Albertina Kakaza
Email: akakaza@parliament.gov.za
Fax: 021 403 2808

Click here to obtain a copy of the Bill.

Contact:
Ms. Albertina Kakaza 021 403 3765

(Note: basically the amendment appears to remove the mining industry from the NEMA (National Environment Management Act) and places overriding authority at the discretion of the minister of minerals and energy. Further, it vitiates environmental controls in favor of the commercial consequences - and allows decisions to be made by any minister or MEC .

Our autocratic demockery:

The level of collusion and deceit we've seen so far between TEM/Xolco and various government departments and state organs leaves me in no uncertainty that the amendments are related to the Xolobeni Mineral Sands application... amongst others.

Comments are due by tomorrow (2 November 2007), and the amendment bill can be downloaded here:

www.environment.co.za

This site was exploited a couple of weeks ago. My own fault, for allowing PHP input. It just never even occurred to me!

Anyway... I took the usual precautions and upgraded everything... but I didn't even notice the ramifications for a couple of weeks more... until I logged out to test a problem that someone reported... and found I couldn't log back in!

The exploit came from a Chinese based IP address; and my paranoid suspicions are that they are the best internet censors in the world... and far too good friends with our government. No matter. I blackholed the entire network block - since the only 2 hits I ever received from there were over the period of the exploit.

That reminds me... it's interesting to note that only about 15% of this site's hits come from outside South Africa. I guess no one is really interested in coming here anymore. What with the crime, and sheer banana republic lunacy. (Telecoms for one thing, corruption for another.) We're the laughing stock of the world... as the only country on the Security Council to have voted against censuring the Burmese junta. Why is that do you imagine? As a supposed liberal country that used to be dominated by an oppressive militaristic police state it strikes me as rather hypocritical. But then many things about this government are - if not hypocritical - then simply downright obscene.

The Transkei has been victim to the policies of the ANC for some time now. People don't realize that my sense of urgency (paranoia) is based on over 13 years of experience with them in this region... and it has been brutal.

Firstly, it was destabilized to rid the area of the influence of Holomisa and the UDM. . . by moving the capital to Bhisho and closing down all the parastatals (like Radio Transkei, Capital Radio, Transkei Airways [my Mom was there from day dot... marketing director, and the woman behind the scenes, if you know what I mean] Magwa Tea, TRACOR, etc, etc, plus the Transkei Defence Force [along with all the APLA & MK cadres Bantu Bonke Holomisa was hosting quite openly - altho he denies it]).

My estimate, including the troops at Umtata & PSJ, is in the region of 65,000 jobs that were lost. Then we were put on tax parity with SA and all the industrial incentives were removed.

RESULT == CHAOS!

Funnily enough, Mandela, on one of his visits to Umtata shortly after that, was caught in Umtata Pharmacy in York Rd. as the only TORNADO in living memory roared through that very street. His body guards fell on top of him, as the ceiling was raised 18 INCHES... but no real damage was sustained apart from some bruising to the remnants of his dignity.

My best friend has got billiary.

Poor Scruffy (not his real name... that's my pet name for him) is in so much pain he can hardly walk at the moment.

We rushed him through to the vet last week - and he curled up in a ball by my feet in the car - directly under the aircon airstream, and hardly even noticed the ride... except to get sick almost immediately... as he /always/ does in the car. The cold air lowered his fever considerably, and by the time we got to the vet I thought I'd been mistaken.

We took him to the state vets, and dear sister Amelia gave him such love and affection... and 8 seperate shots, plus a tasty vitamin drink.

She gave me 8 more syringes to puncture him with the following day.

Shame. He howled like a baby pin cushion.

I dunno though... if he's gonna be alright . . . I mean there was a noticeable improvement by the following day... but it's over a week now and he seems to be deteriorating a bit. We had to cut our usual walk short today because he was hobbling along like a crippled old dog. He's still eating though, which is good, but he doesn't particularly like the chicken livers I'm feeding him.

"The primary experience of Mysticism is direct communion with the unseen, the recognition of the Gods without by the God within, the touching of invisible realities, the passing with opened eyes into the worlds beyond the veil. It substitutes experience for authority, knowledge for faith, and it finds its guarantee in the 'common-sense' of all Mystics, the identity of the experiences of all who traverse the grounds untrodden by the profane." -Annie Besant http://www.theosophical.ca/OnLineDocs.htm

From the Daily Dispatch (12 Oct 2007)

By PIET VAN NIEKERK

THE local subsidiary of an Australian company which plans to mine dunes along the pristine Wild Coast, has asked for an urgent meeting with Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk to discuss his perceived “negative stance” regarding the project.

The request for the meeting comes after Van Schalkwyk told Parliament the proposed mining could affect current eco-tourism activities in the area, as well as conservation initiatives.

The minister, answering questions in Parliament last month, said that mining the 22-kilometre strip at Xolobeni, south of Port Edward, could transform the area which is a significantly threatened asset.

He further said this is an area “which is globally recognised but had a rapidly degrading biodiversity”.

I could be grasping at straws, but there's something interesting I came across in MRC's last quarterly report on their website... Not sure if they have addressed the issue, but if they haven't it may prove bad faith toward the community - especially as we know there hasn't been full consultation, nor negotiation:

Xolco is paying $18mil for their 26% share issue... for the privilege of having their ancestral lands mined... but what is that issue price based on? MRC very glaringly omit that info from the report, but have kindly included the Tormin Mineral Sands Project rationale that for their 50% stake Marodi will pay the subscription price of R5,531,636, which represents 50% of the value expended to date on the Project by MSR plus R2,000,000.