Monday, 23 January 2012


I hate bureaucracy and I particularly hate bureaucrats.

I have just wasted an entire morning trying to get someone in South Africa to see sense. They want documents from me that I cannot provide. Why do I need to beat these morons? Well, I suppose I could just throw in the towel and let the Old Mega Insurance keep the money, but the stubborn streak in me says I won't. I had a small pension plan there many years ago. I made it paid up when I left there 25 years ago. Now I want my money.

It's not as if I'm trying to take millions out. I'll leave that to the Zumas, Mugabes and Malemas of this world. What I have translates into about €2,000 - not a fortune by any manner of means. But I'd prefer it in my bank and not theirs!

The problem is they now have no record of my leaving SA or of my tax clearance. I provided an affidavit as instructed. Ah! Not good enough, the Commissioner of Oaths has only stamped the German side. You must have the English side stamped as well! Useless to point out that the said official is not likely to affix his stamp to the English version if he can't read it and be sure it says the same as the German version. Oh no! Ah, and you must provide proof you are not resident in SA! OK, so I provided, as instructed, proof of my tax status in the UK. No, not good enough, you must give us a letter from the HMRC to say you are registered there! What the blazes is a Tax Return and Statement of Tax then? Ah, but you could be secretly living in SA and just paying tax there. You must also provide us with a certificate from Germany that says you are permanently resident there.

No problem, here it is - in German. No! It must be in English! Go and get an English one ...

I struggle on. It's only taken 9 months to get this far ...


  1. Tell them that you are the German secret service and that the Monk has been defrocked, bankrupted and is facing charges on international fraud and that you require to impound all of his possessions. Threaten immediate and severe reprisals if co-operation is not forthcoming.

    More likely to work that being an honest citizen; only the bad and the bold seem to get away with things in our times.

  2. True, or change my name to Zuma and threaten to call my "uncle" ...