Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Hat Is Off To Mark Zuckerberg-The Zimbabwe Election Miracle

My hat is off to Mark Zuckerberg this morning. It's not because Facebook shares are skyrocketing up. It's because of what is happening in Zimbabwe. For the first time in 33 years I am seeing what appears to be a basically honest election in Zimbabwe. I am following the action on Facebook and on News 24. Will Robert Mugabe get kicked out? I hope so but cannot guarantee it. I credit Facebook with this wonderful change of events. Mugabe and his thugs know that the whole world is watching them every second and they are being very careful. Morgan Tsvangarai you are a man of great courage and vision. You are on my short list of most admired people.

Dear friends imagine if Facebook had been around in the days of Hitler,Stalin, the military dictatorship in Argentina, etc. It would have been a different world with far less dead bodies.

Mark you are a revolutionary and a great visionary. If I was talking to you in person, I'm sure that you would respond with the words: "You ain't seen nothing yet!!!!"

LIVE UPDATES: Zimbabwe elections | News24

LIVE UPDATES: Zimbabwe elections | News24:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Facebook Revolution And Africa

I first got interested in Zimbabwe when I was a student at Tulane University. My first wife and I befriended a man from Zimbabwe named Mutizwa Chirunga who was also a Tulane student. When his son was born, we were the only Europeans invited to the christening ceremony. In 1981 I went to Zimbabwe and spent some days there. In 1984 I became friends with a man named Brian Lawrence when I lived in Perth, West Australia. He was from Zimbabwe. In 1999 I became friends with a dear and special lady from Zimbabwe named Mandy Findlater. In 2004 I opened a retirement account at Imara SP Reid in Johannesburg. It is a company owned by people from Zimbabwe and an excellent investment firm. In 2006 Elena and I were talked into investing in the Zimbabwe share market. Our holdings were worth literally billions of Zimbabwe dollars for a while. (I always kid Elena that it was the only time in her life when she was a billionaire.) I have closely followed the political turmoil there. Each time an election took place there was violence and intimidation on a grand scale to insure that Robert Mugabe stayed in power. In this particular election the opponent, Morgan Tsvangarai, has made great use of Facebook. This seems to have made Mugabe's people more cautious. I have heard no reports of violence or outright intimidation. Instead it appears that Mugabe has resorted to handing out money and other kinder tactics to win votes. To me this is proof of how effective Facebook is to bring transparency to elections and other events. Mark Zuckerbeg you have created a social revolution in ways you may have never imagined!

Cape Town property: On Russian Radar

Cape Town property: on Russia’s radar

Wealthy Russians buying mansions overseas is hardly new: just see London. Now Cape Town is becoming one of the target cities, spurred by the lifestyle and scenery – and helped by the rand’s decline that is making high-end property that bit cheaper.
Luxury property giants Sotheby’s International Realty in South Africa says buyers from Germany and England are still interested, but the Russians are beginning to get noticed as well.
According to Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty: “Roughly one-third of investors in top tier properties in exclusive areas like Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandudno are from the UK, Germany and, increasingly, Russia.”
“We sold a landmark property, the Lichtenstein Castle in Hout Bay, and this was sold to a Russian entrepreneur for R23m ($2.3m),” Geffen says, adding that: “there was an offer put in for R250m ($25m) on a very expensive property in Camps Bay by a Russian. Unfortunately the deal didn’t happen, because the seller wanted 300 on the dot.” Geffen attributes part of the upswing in interest to the devaluation of the rand.
Sotheby’s Russian office has also seen an interest in Cape Town. Nadezhda Kot of Sotheby’s International Realty Moscow says (as quoted in South African media) “We are actively marketing South African properties to our clients and Cape Town in particular ticks all the boxes our clients are looking for in terms of climate, lifestyle and natural beauty, but are still value driven. The current weakness of the rand has certainly attracted attention in Moscow.”
So what does your cash get you? Speaking to beyondbrics from Cape Town, Anne Porter, chairman of luxury property sellers Anne Porter Knight Frank, says: “If you take the Waterfront, which is on the Atlantic Seaboard, entry level would be about R6m, with an average or R10m, but going up with the highest at R60m currently on the market.”
Both Anne Porter Knight Frank and another agent Pam Golding’s Atlantic Prestige office say that the Russians are showing a definite interest in the Cape Town market. Porter, who recently took a keen Russian couple to view a property, explains the general trend. “They are getting an incredibly good deal in terms of property as a result of the currency rate – although that applies to all overseas buyers,” she says, adding that, “South Africa has been perceived as quite a good venue: [it] offers an incredible lifestyle particularly in the Cape. We’ve got all the sort of things that people like, the sea, the mountains, the Winelands, the entertainment, and it’s a very, very cosmopolitan area.”
There’s no question about the Russians’ spending power. According to Knight Frank’s 2013 Wealth Report, which gives a global perspective on prime property and wealth, Russia now ranks alongside Switzerland and the US in the top ten countries for billionaires list. As of 2012, it had 102 billionaires, a figure set to hit 126 by 2020.
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  1. ReportSlanderous | July 24 7:48am | Permalink
    Beautiful place Cape Town.

    Russians have all the money as the price of property in Central London can tell you!

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