Heine's Ramblings and Rumblings

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Interesting Fact

Did you know that, the words”race car” spelled backwards still spells “race car”?

And that “eat” is the only word that, if you take the first letter and move it to the last, spells its own past tense, “ate”?

And if you rearrange the letters in “African National Congress,” and add just a few more letters, it spells: “Shut the fuck up you free-loading, progress-blocking, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, violent and hypocritical racists, and deal with the fact that you are wrecking your very own country with your corruption and nepotism and lack of accountability and that you cannot run a piss-up in a brewery, never mind something as simple as a municipality.”

Now isn’t that interesting?

Plasma Winch Rope


I needed to replace my winch cable , as it had worked very hard , especially when I had it on the Disco . I decided to go for a plasma rope instead , mainly because it is easier to work with and much safer as well . I sourced it from Bud Morris of Sunset Equipment fame.

You can read up more on plasma ropes here

And here’s a great video on splicing ropes

Click on image to view a slideshow

This gallery contains 15 photos

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Dakar Toyota for 2013

The Toyota Hilux that will compete in the 2013 Dakar Rally will be a completely different beast from the bakkie that clinched third spot in the 2012 event.

Toyota Motorsport team principal Glyn Hall says South African driver Giniel de Villiers and his German co-pilot, Dirk von Zitzewitz, will be driving a new car, with a lower centre of gravity and improved sand performance.

Tested on Namibia’s dunes already, the improved performance on sand comes mainly from a new 5 l engine delivering more than 570 Nm of torque, versus the 4.6 l engine used in 2012, at roughly 510 Nm of torque.

Hall says the extra torque “helps a lot with the performance on sand. When you want to power a car up a 300 m dune, there is no substitute for torque”.

He believes new engine regulations at Dakar 2013, again to be held in South America, will serve as a great equaliser in next year’s rally, as teams must now use production-type engines.

The X-raid Team’s Mini, in which Stéphane Peterhansel in 2012 secured his tenth Dakar victory, sported a prototype engine, and not a production-type engine, says Hall.

“So, Mini will have less performance, and we will have more. Maybe we will meet each other in the middle.”

The second biggest change to De Villiers’ new Hilux is that it is wider.

“When we redesigned the chassis, we explored the regulations some more, and put more structural components lower, thereby lowering the vehicle’s centre of gravity. This also gained us an extra 100 mm (width) inside the cab,” explains Hall.

The new Hilux will also feature new designed-and-made-in-South-Africa lightweight carbon-fibre doors, as opposed to the steel doors used in 2012.

The second Hilux to compete as part of the South African Dakar team will also feature these doors. This vehicle will again be driven by the team of Duncan Vos and Rob Howie, who were tenth overall in the 2012 event.

While De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz gain a new car, Vos and Howie will compete in an upgraded Hilux, featuring a revised suspension, more lightweight parts and a bigger engine.

As Hall and his team have achieved their 2012 ambition of clinching a podium position, the aim over the next three years is now to “try and win this race”, says the Dakar team principal.

Toyota Motorsport announced earlier this year that Imperial Toyota, a member of the JSE-listed Imperial Holdings, had agreed to back the Imperial Hilux team for the next three years, covering the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Dakar Rally, thereby expanding on its 2012 support. The co-sponsors Innovation Group and Duxbury Netgear have also again offered their support.

“If we can improve on last year’s unbelievable performance, we would be very happy,” notes Hall.

He adds, however, that the team is still looking for one last sponsorship partner in order to “meet its budget requirements”.

When looking at the 2013 Dakar Rally, the South African Imperial Hilux team will be facing a number of challenges quite different to the 2012 race.

The 2013 race will start in Lima, Peru, and not Argentina. This also means it will not start out on gravel, but will almost immediately hit some “pretty big dunes”, says Hall.

He says this means it will be a different rally altogether, with bigger gaps likely from the start of the race. It will also place some pressure on the drivers, as dune riding is the most technical part of the rally.

“Navigation is also tricky, as you do not follow a track, but a compass.”

Dakar 2013 starts on January 5, and ends on January 20 in Santiago, Chile.

The South African team will comprise 21 people.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

Picture by: Toyota
The new 2013 Dakar Rally Toyota Hilux

Picture by: Toyota
The Toyota Motorsport and Hallspeed teams tested the new Hilux in the Namibian desert

Picture by: Toyota
South African driver Giniel de Villiers and his German co-pilot Dirk von Zitzewitz

Picture by: Toyota
Toyota Motorsport team principal Glyn Hall

Picture by: Toyota
The new 2013 Dakar Rally Toyota Hilux


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Bribery and Corruption In Zimbabwe


CORRUPTION by Zimbabwe Republic Police traffic officers is “worsening”, the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACTSA) says in a new report.
Researchers from the ACTSA travelled by public transport from Plumtree to Kwekwe on October 9 this year and documented incidents of bribe solicitation by traffic officers.
The Namibia-registered bus they travelled in was stopped SEVEN times between Plumtree and Bulawayo – a distance of 100km. The journey which should have taken slightly over an hour lasted three hours due to traffic officers negotiating bribes, ACTSA said in its findings released on Monday.
Foreign-registered vehicles are more likely to be stopped than vehicles with Zimbabwean number plates.
The report, titled ‘Stealing from the State and Impoverishing the Nation: Zimbabwean Traffic Police Officers Pocketing Huge Sums of Money through Bribes at Checkpoints’, says “the sin of corruption is now deeply rooted to such an extent that the culprits are demanding bribes publicly as if it is normal to do so.”
The researchers said: “Police officers between Plumtree and Bulawayo were more corrupt as compared to their colleagues between Bulawayo and Kwekwe. They were paid bribes at six of the seven checkpoints, which constitute 85.7% prevalence.
“There were five checkpoints between Bulawayo and Gweru and only one incident of corruption was recorded. At 11:24AM when the driver was stopped for overspeeding, he begged for forgiveness but the police officers demanded a bribe which he paid before being allowed to proceed. No receipt was issued.

“There were no incidents of corruption between Gweru and Kwekwe.”

ACTSA says its researchers boarded the bus as it cleared the Plumtree border post.
Stop 1: The bus exited the immigration and customs before 7AM and at exactly, 7:18AM on the way out, three male police officers, including a Criminal Investigations Department (CID) official, demanded US$10 or R100 to allow the bus to leave the immigration area without being searched.

The bus driver and the conductor resisted paying the bribe claiming that they had already paid immigration and customs officials. There were heated arguments until the bus was allowed to leave the immigration area but instructed to park outside the gate.

At exactly 7:26AM, two uniformed police officers (1 male and 1 female) different from all those involved at immigration followed outside the gate and demanded payment of US$10 or R100. They negotiated with the driver outside the bus and were paid US$5, which they accepted though they expected more. The bus driver was warned that in future he will risk more delays if enough bribe money is not paid.

Stop 2: At 7:28AM, the bus arrived at another checkpoint where a male police officer demanded a bribe, which the driver paid. In order to put pressure on the driver, the police officer demanded the driver’s licence and the vehicle’s registration books, which he kept holding, whilst demanding that the whole trailer be offloaded.

In order to avoid all the inconveniences the officer openly demanded payment of US$10, which he was given before giving the driver his driver’s licence and the vehicle registration documents.

Stop 3: The bus arrived at another checkpoint at 7:49AM, where again the police officer demanded to see the driver’s licence and the vehicle registration documents. He instructed the bus driver to follow him to a nearby tree where he was paid US$5 before allowing the bus to proceed.

Stop 4:At 7:56AM, the bus was stopped at another police checkpoint, where a CID official demanded that he needed to search the bus and ordered that the trailer should be offloaded. The driver lied and argued that the trailer had been offloaded at the border and it was pointless to offload it again. The official insisted and he was paid US$10 before allowing the driver to proceed.

Stop 5: At 8:39AM, the driver was stopped and asked to produce road permits which he did. Police officers did not ask for any bribe and the bus was allowed to proceed.

Stop 6: The vehicle was stopped at 9:02AM and the driver was asked to produce his driver’s licence and road permit which was done. The police asked for a bribe citing the need to avoid offloading the trailer. The driver paid R100 and he was allowed to proceed.

Stop 7: At a police checkpoint close to Redwood along the Plumtree-Bulawayo highway, a woman police officer demanded a bribe which she was paid. The driver inserted US$ notes in the ticket book and was immediately allowed to proceed.

The bus driver who paid the bribes said: “When you are driving a bus and have a trailer the approach is to ask all passengers to contribute money, which will then be paid to immigration and customs officials to avoid

“At Plumtree border post, we always pay a minimum of R1,000 to these officials and we budget for at least US$200 for traffic police officers from Plumtree border post to Harare. To us this is normal and the best way to proceed, instead of being delayed.”

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Botswana Bans Hunting From 2013

06 Nov 2012
Botswana’s president Ian Khama has announced that the government will no longer issue licenses for hunting wild animals in the country.In a progressive move to protect the country’s natural heritage and the tourism industry, he said that the government of Botswana, through the Environment and Wildlife Ministry, would stop issuing hunting licenses as of next year.

In the address to locals in Maun (the spring-board town to the popular Okavango Delta), Khama said that the issuing of hunting licenses has fuelled poaching in the country and prevented the tourism industry from growing sustainably and significantly.

The Okavango Delta, home to a remarkable diversity of animals, plants and birds, attracts thousands of visitors from around the world each year. It’s Africa’s largest wetland wilderness.

Hunting concessions are currently operated within the delta, as well as in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve further south.

Khama made clear that tourism is increasingly important for Botswana and contributes at least 12 percent to the overall GDP of the country.

“Our wildlife control measure through issuance of hunting licenses has reached its limit,” said Khama.