Anyone reading my books would know I habitually refer to the UN as "that wonderfully incompetent organization." It is a reflex to me - an automated response for a man of my background and age. I believe it is the same as when your wife and soul asks you: "Do I look fat in this dress?" You knew the answer to that one since the age of 16...."No my love, you look beautiful and I am very lucky to have you in my life." Ask any man - he will tell you this. We cannot multitask and were the first attempt with many flaws, but we know the answer to certain questions. My late wife for instance was known far and wide as "Mrs Always Right" which is the reason we were so happy together. I know my limits in life but the Incompetents don't.
There is no doubt, I have seen it, heard it from clients and read a few books written by the long haired liberals who once worked for the Incompetents that as a bringer of hope, the UN have a great track record of failure upon failure. In a normal business environment they would not last two weeks but in long haired liberal cloud cuckoo land - forever. In Africa, wherever you see their blue-bereted soldiers you know you have a worse problem than before they arrived. They are known in many cases for rape, theft, child molestation and selling equipment on the black market. They are even trained, yes trained, to surrender peacefully when confronted with thugs and do so all the time. So what practical use do they have? I don't know for I have never seen or heard of them fighting or protecting anyone anywhere. In fact I wrote in several books and certainly advise all foreign clients to run away from them when in trouble - they are that useless in protecting you and only there to make money. Rather run to the "mercenary outfits" with harsh Afrikaans accents who will get you to your Embassy safely.
The UN is a joke when it comes to fulfilling their stated mission but we have to admit that they are quite good at begging for money. They have been doing that magnificently for many decades and will do so forever in the future. When they started off after the Second World War their staff pay was fixed at parallel rates to the US Federal Government rate. Today it is vastly more and they waste billions of dollars which come from where? Mostly the USA who is silly (my polite way of saying stupid) enough to give it to them and to ignore the millions of dollar of parking tickets raked up by them in New York. What does the US get back from this investment? A lot of abuse upon abuse and even more begging for money so that the abuse can continue. It is so ludicrous from the side, that only a long haired liberal cannot see the above and will tell you, with a suitably serious face, of the need to give back to society...that they have great ideas and principles and are trying to make a difference. Yep, I believe that and that is what makes it so sad. They are trying so hard to be Mr Nice Guy.
Hence a new breed of long haired liberals arrived - the NGO's and what is known as Third World Aid. Basically they collect money from white people who feel guilty for being born in a First World country. Why I would not know, for it is not their fault. Nor is it their fault that they worked hard at the opportunities given to them and now are able to donate to worthy causes. In principle there is nothing wrong with donating. I always bestow more than 10% of my income and many of my books are worth thousands in legal time writing them - to help the man on the street for free. But why feel guilty because you are white and privileged? It is madness and even more so when your government sponsored Third World Aid becomes a "right" and only benefits the elite few in Africa.
When I wrote The Egg Breakers - Counter-Terrorism in Sub Saharan Africa I took a good look at what happened in Kenya during the Uhuru uprising, and then in Rhodesia (now the failed state of Zimbabwe - excellent beggars too) and lastly to our own South African liberation struggle. What came out was interesting for non-Africans. My conclusion was that Third World Aid is not helping my late wife's tribe to win their war on terror. In fact it is working against them as the money is not reaching the common Joe on the street. Now it must be obvious to anyone that a terrorist (or freedom fighter, whatever) does not live amongst the rich but amongst the poor or middle class. These are the people who are able to tell you who are new in the area, who speaks ill of Uncle Sam etc. Not the elite few who are in charge of the country and holding the beggars bowl in both hands and praying sincere prayers every night that it never stops. Nor the established intelligence agencies (yes we have them also) that exist only to protect the ruling class from coups. Your liaison with them is fruitless in terms of intelligence and since you are known to pay millions for any information this is abused and you are fed nonsense too. That is why the terrorists are running down south but it is all in the book.
I also wonder when I see the constant attacks from the entitled Third World countries on what was known as the West during the Cold War why they are even bothering with this aid. Surely when you donate that kind of money you expect something in return? Simple things like respect or thank you or an attitude of "I will learn from my silly mistakes which caused me to be a beggar and improve myself so I don't need to be bailed out again." Or do you follow the long haired liberal principle which Mr Roosevelt tried with one Josef Stalin back in the Second World War. To give and not to ask anything back in the hope that Stalin will "do the right thing in return." Yeah, we know how that turned out and looking back, it is frankly amazing that a man who served 4 times as POTUS could have been that silly. Of course, it was not his money to give away, but tax payers’ money, which always makes it easier for fat politicians. It is a nasty habit which all long haired liberals have - to give to what they think is worthy causes and not worry what happens further - their conscious is now clear. However, they are mistaken; it is unbiblical and secondly, silly. You have the right to ask questions and get prove before taking the word of some fund raiser on what exactly your money is buying for your country. Otherwise you are helping your own conscious and the fat NGO owners.
In Africa the short answer to the aid is nothing. You will show me nothing which was built (and is sustainable) since 1960 when the aid started streaming in. I though, will be able to show you the utterly incompetent ways to waste it on a daily base. Not to mention the bulging Swiss bank accounts and jobs for family members from the ruling elite at these very same organizations. This is the nature of your Third World Aid and it does no good - keep it. Don't bother us with it anymore for you are keeping us in subjection and benefiting only a few of the ruling elite who are making fools of you. A man who is not taught to fish will always beg for fish. Do you even know that there is a tax on painting buildings in certain African countries - because it then may looks as if they don't need the aid money? That is what your aid money caused - nations of beggars unwilling to help themselves because they don't need to. The rich white American will rescue their failed leaders if they beg a bit.
It is hard to imagine that slavery exists in today's age and amongst the "elite of society", but it does. Wherever greed and the love of mammon is the overriding factor in a business, a fair days wage is the first victim. You don't have to wonder about the ethics of professional men (and women) that pay their secretaries and other administrative personal a non-living wage. You know what they are which is not what they pretend to be. The truth hurts.
The poor will always be with us - my favorite book, the Bible says so and that they should drink red wine to be comforted. However, the Bible also says to treat your workers / employees / slaves even fairly. So why is it that we see so called "Christian" professionals treating their people like dirt? Why do I see middle-aged moms struggling to survive on the pittance they earn at lawyers offices? Or doctors for that matter - actually all professions are guilty of this. They pay their workers as little as possible and reap as much as possible for themselves.
If you think about it; the secretary earns on average less than a six hour fee which you pay your lawyer and she earns that per month. That is right, it is outrageous! Let me say again - what a partner in a law firm earns in six hours, less than a day, is paid on average to the secretary for the whole month. It is a scandal of epic proportions. Why are there are no unions or some sort of a reaction on it? Why do they get away with this, which is a disgrace in the eyes of God, society and everything which is decent in life - because they are educated men? That should increase the burden of responsibility, not decrease it!
Now I understand that economic times may be tough (it never is for professionals - I am one too - you just follow the Shoprite / Petrol Station principle and increase your fees), but this is unacceptable. You often see more than what you read and let me explain: When you speak to the professional he will tell you "times are hard and you need to tighten the belt, cost cutting exercises etc." At the same time you notice the new Mercedes or BMW and the needlessly off-road equipped Sandton 4wd with bush caravan in the garage. Or the obese bodies dining with clients at expensive restaurants every day. So how tough are times for you Mr Professional? I don't see you walking to work. Or taking the bus, which is dangerous, or a taxi which is a death sentence at times. Nor do I see you scale back on your overseas holidays, or the diving holiday to Mozambique, or the shopping spree in Dubai. Seeing is believing - tell your crap to those who care - long haired liberals and your own despicable friends which is not me - I despise people like you. I know of law offices where the personnel turnaround is 100% every six months, which tells its own story. It is sad and to be wondered why not more of that type are murdered by clients or abused staff. What you sow you will reap - it is a very simple concept in life. Some calls it karma - I call it payback and judgment is coming.
I speak of this in my book Tricks of Trade - Memories of a Rogue Lawyer where we looked at something called the "Open Grave Syndrome." I guarantee you; if you accompany me to most of the law firms (and private hospitals etc) you will find the following: A very nice reception with an impressive library stocked with legal books no-one reads (it is all online and computerized these days). You will see and smell very expensive leather furniture and find a Pretty One sitting behind the desk dazzling you with a smile when you arrive. The boardrooms are the same - quite well stocked with everything from cold drinks to percolated coffee with genuine paintings against the walls. They themselves wear pointless expensive watches, the old university tie to show you how educated they are and probably shoes made by child labor in a Third World country. This is part of the bullsh-t game which comes with a professional and these days you also find the mandatory picture of political leaders too. Nicely against the wall so they can be seen as patriotic.
You may ask me "so what?" The answer is simply this - who pays for all that? Any well-kept grave looks the same. Nice headstone, nice grass, nice flowers and probably overlooking the hills but inside....dead decomposing bodies. If you care to walk with me to where the slaves are in this very same law office, you will find small cubicles where attorneys sit surrounded by noise and files. The poor things have no privacy when they answer your calls and everyone listens to the answers given - a serious breach of confidentiality. How they concentrate I would not know. Frankly, it is my version of hell.
Considering the Pretty One as a receptionist? Very rash idea - when you see a lawyer (since our beloved president signed the Legal Practitioners Bill yesterday the distinction between attorney and advocate is rapidly leaving our shores) you are usually in trouble. The smart choice would be to have a middle-aged motherly type who fusses over you. Nor should your office be too grand for it may then be seen that you suffer from the "Open Grave Syndrome" and clients will wonder if you are charging them correctly for someone (you, the client) must pay for the add-ons. It is never for free where the professionals are concerned. Many tend to have a terrible "I studied so I am entitled" attitude in life and it shows clearly. They still have to learn about the University of Life, the school of hard knocks where you really learn what is important. A diploma / degree just mean you studied and passed exams. No big deal.
It is easy to abuse a woman with children who really needs the job. You see them every day; they have lines on their faces from worry. They wear old but clean clothes because they cannot afford new ones. They drive old cars or take the bus because they cannot afford any better. But they are loyal, they keep on smiling, they run your practice for you and take care of you when you have a bad day. What type of man (or woman) proudly states his support for Rhinos and neutered cats on the back of his car but will not pay his employees a living wage? A Christian God Fearing person? Nope, a servant of mammon and worse if you ask me. Your deeds have just betrayed your god - that is why they say that there are no lawyers in Heaven. What would a lawyer do there anyway? There are no disputes, no hatred and no misunderstandings, nor crime. You are not wanted and your skills are no longer of no use to anyone. Go on then - serve satan as you did on earth. However, I believe your secretary will not be with you at that place.
Last week the latest crime statistics were released. It seems that we have no less than 45 murders a day in South Africa - five times the international average. Practically, this means someone will be murdered by the time I finished typing this blog - a sobering thought which should worry you. They also speak of eleven thousand hijacked cars and another fifty six thousand stolen each year. About rape and child abuse I don't even want to talk because 90% of that happens at the hands of someone who is close to the family.
As can be expected the "social media experts" had a field day criticizing the SAPS. Most don't believe the statistics anyway - 67% reckon not all crime is reported and hence the problem is much worse. That is true by the way. The first rule of Forensic Law is to get an attorney to give the instruction to the private investigator / corporate investigator or private eye. Otherwise he is bound to testify what he uncovered if subpoenaed by court. I have a lot to say about this, legal privilege, in my book Tricks of Trade - Memories of a Rogue Lawyer, where we looked at forensic legal principles. The message has not reached 99% of all such investigators - one day, I hope soon; it will bite someone so hard in the ass that they wise-up. Even the famous auditing houses seem to think that a legal advisor has legal privilege - he does not. Point being that you never know what you uncover with such cases - half of the time it is the wife / son who is stealing from the company. The other half it is the best worker who looks you in the eye whilst lying. Such cases are rarely reported to the police and many others are kept secret too. Not that I care. We don't do corporate investigations at JKLS but leave it to the professionals - the subject is boring to me except the legal aspects of it - forensic law.
I say in all my legal books the law is neutral. If not used (and at times abused) to suit your purposes it has no meaning. It must be enforced to have practical meaning. If you don't report you were raped or abused - how can you expect the SAPS or justice system to help you? Tragically there are patterns when it comes to child & spouse abuse. The same as drug abuse where you can actually see it if you care to look for the pattern - I have written booklets on this subject which you can download and educate yourself if you wish. As said, it is almost always by someone the child / spouse knows and trusts.
Back to the statistics - I read that only 1% of the population (according to polls) actually believe the SAPS is doing something about crime and 32% will tell you South Africa is more violent now than before. We are violent; I make a living by talking to people about the dangers in Africa and how to survive the worst case scenarios like hostage situations. Most, 95%, of my clients are foreigners, not Africans and certainly not from South Africa. Why is that? You would have thought those who are in danger have the greatest need of this knowledge. My views on this are controversial but that is me, I never follow the politically correct road anyway. What I found though is plain arrogance - we simply believe we know it all and no-one can tell us anything about security & the law. Quite a few colleagues said to me we have not suffered enough yet. We still need to feel the pain and then perhaps we will start listening and act accordingly instead of complaining on computer screens. They also doubt it will ever reach that stage, unless personally attacked.
I hope they are wrong. I hope that it is not necessary for more to die so that a relatively few (the security / legal industry) make more money. The arrogance is there all right and manifests in many ways. I drive around a lot to see clients and always, not most of the time but always, note the lack of speed limits. It is so seldom that you see anyone, from the heavy duty truck driver to the smallest car sticking to the rules of the road that you actually remember them. What does this show me? A total lack of respect for authority and disregard for the law (which is there for your safety)! In civilised countries that is known as "anarchy." If you feel you have a "right" to break the law in speeding or it is a joke to you to do so, you probably have other ideas also which show your arrogance about life in general. You probably would then know everything anyway and need no-one. You would also cry like a girl when things go wrong - it is soooo unfair that is should happen to you.
In fact it is not. It is entirely your own fault if you depended on the SAPS (who you slander at every braai and conversation as being pathetic) for your own safety and that of your household. Same with private security - by just doing a few things extra - and not depending entirely on armed response you may just save your own life. Ironically, armed response is NOT seen as a deterrent by the armed robbers. See my book Basic Home Security.
The SAPS is not as bad as many think. I ask again, why is the jails overcrowded (some say up to 400%)? Why is the criminal court role 4 years behind schedule? Perchance because the criminals gave themselves up? Or because the lack of a death penalty gives us more prisoners in the system? Or because lawyers take on too many cases and thus postpone most to a later date? No, criminals never give themselves up, they get caught, by the police. The death penalty debate - that adds about 150 prisoners to the system every year - which is nothing. The postponement of criminal (and civil cases to be fair) - yes but unimportant - who caught the criminal to be postponed? It is a non-argument.
It is no use to complain about crime and the SAPS. Do something about it. Otherwise you are part of the problem and start by looking at your own behaviour - show respect for the law. Since I started typing, somewhere in South Africa someone is now dead, waiting for the police to fetch his body. It is a national disgrace. In any civilised country the police commissioner and minister would have resigned and slunk away. But this is Africa, there is no shame.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in hostage survival training and reducing legal risk in Sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters. Koos is a widower and lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa.