Posts Tagged ‘Mystery’

Kevin Carter

On the 24th of July 1994 South Africa lost one of its greatest photographers, his name was Kevin Carter. He died under suspicious circumstances with his death being reported as a suicide. Carter was born in 1960, the year of the banning of the ANC, into a Catholic family that accepted Apartheid. He, like many of his generation questioned the regime and saw the inherent injustice that the Apartheid system carried; he would often have serious quarrels with his father about it.

He was conscripted into the South African Defense Force (SADF) as was normal for any young white male at the time that was not disabled or could not obtain a student deferment. He loathed upholding the Apartheid regime and was once severely beaten and called kaffir-boetie (“nigger lover”) by some of his comrades in the SADF for trying to take sides with a black mess-hall waiter.

After completing his military service he got a job at a camera supply store and this is where his journey began. He made his name as an upcoming photographer with the local newspapers. By the year 1984 riots began sweeping the black townships and Carter aligned himself with other young photojournalists who sought to expose the brutal regime. He was the first to photograph a public execution by the cruel method of “necklacing” where a tyre is put around the victim, doused with petrol and set alight. This was a common execution specifically for individuals identified as working for the oppressive state as informants.

He also captured images from the unsuccessful invasion of Bophuthatswana by white right-wing outlaws. Their intentions were to give support to the setting up of a black homeland which was part of Apartheid’s separate development policy. These images were quite jarring as they graphically displayed the dead bodies of the right-wingers after having been executed by black Bophuthatswana policemen.

This blatant exposure of the ills of the Apartheid state was reaching far and wide and increasing the calls that would rally the world against the immoralities of the regime. One begins to foresee the kind of attacks that would most likely arise from the tyrannical state known for having units of assassins and unscrupulously eliminating any opposition. Knowing the background of the government would surely lead one to worry for the safety of Carter.

On April the 12th, three months before his death, the New York Times called him and notified him that he had just won the most coveted prize for a photographer, the Pulitzer Prize. The prize was awarded for an eerie picture he shot in famine-stricken Sudan which depicted a gravely malnourished child being watched by a vulture waiting in anticipation for the child’s death. He was jetted to Manhattan, New York where he was celebrated and he wined and dined with the top echelon of the photographing industry.

Two months later he was back in South Africa. He did little work in this period. During a lunch with a colleague he mentioned that he was thinking of forming a writer-photographer free-lance team and traveling Africa. This clearly shows that he was harboring ideas for the furthering of his career. It is therefore strange that barely a month later he was found dead in what looked like a death by suicide.

The Pulitzer Prize gave him a much greater status and only served to popularize his pictures that visually divulged the usually state-censored inner workings of the Apartheid regime to the world. The prize also meant that he would not find difficulty in finding work as a photographer and was an omen of good luck for his future. Why then would this gifted, budding photographer take his own life? The absence of evidence pointing to murder leaves a shadowy cloud around the circumstances of his death. At the end only he would know the events which would lead to his ultimate demise.

When you think of nuclear weapons, you probably think of America, Russia, China or Iran. But you might be shocked to discover that South Africa had its very own secret nuclear programme that was developed during apartheid.

While sources disagree about the exact date that the Apartheid Government initiated their nuclear arms programme, many believe that the decision “develop a limited nuclear deterrent capabilities” can be traced back to as as early as 1974.

In order to achieve this goal, the government stepped up the production at their uranium enrichment plant at Valindaba, known as the “Y-plant”. Numerous nuclear tests were also performed at the Somerset West explosives installation near Cape Town.
While the Apartheid Government’s activities during the 70’s were mainly secret, their actions did alarm leaders in the Soviet Union and the U.S. The Soviets allegedly considered a pre-emptive strike on the Y-plant, an option that U.S. officials reportedly rejected.
In 1977, South Africa successfully managed first full-scale nuclear explosive device based on a gun-type design.

According to reports, a U.S. Vela surveillance satellite detected a distinct light event off of Africa’s southern coast in 1979. U.S. officials believed that the source of the light was a nuclear test performed by the Apartheid Government, producing an intense double flash of light. The Apartheid Government denied all knowledge of the event. Later, representatives from the government stated that South Africa could not have been responsible for the double flash as it did not possess a complete nuclear device until November 1979.

According to reports, the Apartheid Government managed to produce a total of six nuclear devices by the 1980’s. The Apartheid Government was able to do so by mastering the uranium production and enrichment process in order to develop a complete nuclear fuel cycle with advanced waste management techniques.

But while South Africa was able to produce a number of nuclear weapons, by the late 1980’s, the Apartheid Government was facing incredible political pressure, both locally and abroad.

One of the government’s strongest bargaining chips was the ability to negotiate with regards to their nuclear weapons programme. Under great international pressure, South Africa begun nuclear disarmament in 1989.

What happened to all of South Africa’s nuclear scientists? Where did they go and what have they been doing for the past twenty years? Some might be driven by money, some by ideology…but it’s hard to imagine that they have been sitting around twiddling their thumbs…There must be plenty of rouge nations or extremist groups that would the skills that only nuclear scientists could provide. Could nuclear experiments still be secretly going on in South Africa?

What do you think?

For a more detailed overview of South Africa’s secret nuclear history, click here

For more information about the South Africa’s disarmament process, click here

Gold Mine Massacre

Posted: August 17, 2010 in Uncategorized
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By now, hopefully everyone has heard about the incident that took place last week at Aurora Empowerment System’s Grootvlei mine, where security forces gunned down four unarmed men.

It’s been a week since the incident first took place but concrete details regarding the incident have yet to emerge. In fact, the mysterious nature of the incident has led to some to question just what really happened.

The Times recently published an article that raised concerns about why police left the four bodies of those gunned down underground for three days before removing them.

The shootings at the Grootvlei mine took place last Monday, but the bodies were only removed last Thursday.

Gauteng police spokesman Colonel Noxolo Kweza said police had been unaware of the shooting at that stage [Monday], but added that police had gone to the scene on Tuesday once an incident report had been received. No bodies were found.

Kweza refused to comment on claims by attorney Piet du Plessis, acting on behalf of several security guards and mine captains, that the shooting had been reported to the police on Monday.

According to the Business Report, five security personnel were involved in the shooting in which four illegal miners were killed in West Pit 3, the abandoned open pit mine that belongs to Aurora Empowerment Systems.

One of the survivors, Sam Sithole from Mozambique, said three white men entered the mining area and shouted “voetsek, voetsek” and started shooting. He immediately switched off his torch and pretended to be dead until the area went quiet when he slipped out of the tunnel.

His brothers, Marthinus and Kenny Sithole, died in the shootings.

There has been speculation about whether the men were thieves or unpaid miners (for a bit more background about the unpaid miners, see our post about Did SA Gov See Acid Water Crisis Coming).

Meanwhile, five suspected illegal miners were arrested on Monday, although the charges against them have been dropped pending further investigation.

Thulani Ngubane, a Aurora director, has defended the killing of illegal miners with the following statement: “It is simple… if you go out there and steal gold, should I just go down on my knees and pray? It doesn’t work like that. We have to protect our assets.”

Whoever the men who were gunned down underground were, it’s clear that there is more to the story then meets the eye…Why were they so violently gunned down? What will happen to the security forces involved in the incident? And why did it take police so long to remove the bodies from the mine?

Aurora is owned by relatives of both Jacob Zuma and Nelson Mandela, which leads one to wonder if any political strings were pulled with regards to how this case has been handled.

Pretoria Invaded?

Posted: August 4, 2010 in Uncategorized
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It’s been a year since the Prawns invaded cinemas in Neil Blomkamp’s hit film District 9, but it seems that a Pretoria resident has made a sighting of a different kind.

According to News24 Engela van der Spuy saw an unidentified flying object (UFO), which apparently consisted of three bright lights and astounded residents from Booysens in Pretoria for two consecutive nights for several hours.

Van der Spuy for the first time saw the UFO on Wednesday night shortly after sunset in the western sky.

Van der Spuy gives the following account of what she saw:

“I couldn’t make out the shape of the object because the three lights were too bright, but it almost had a heart shape because there were two lights on top, a blue light on the left and an emerald green light directly next to it, on the right side, with a big bright white light underneath it which shone straight down,”

According to her, the UFO hung in the air for two hours without moving and then, at about 20:30, slowly started moving down, diagonally to the left and still down, disappearing behind the horizon.

Henrico Swart, Van der Spuy’s neighbour, who looked at the UFO through binoculars said: “It has to have a very strange shape, because even through the binoculars I couldn’t make out the shape.”

The South African Police, the Johannesburg Planetarium and the South African Air Force were unable to explain the phenomenon.

Engela Van der Spuy said: “I don’t think it is a flying saucer, because we would’ve been able to see the saucer shape. This is something even stranger.”

What do you think? Is there a simple explanation of what the lights over Pretoria were? Were they extraterrestrial? Or was it man-made? Could it have been a new type of craft?

Regardless of what the lights were, Pretoria residents will now be watching the sky…