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Business Day''s report on Durban conference
By Bill Murphy, Chairman
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
May 13, 2001
The GATA African Gold Summit was a huge success.
Before I get into the reasons why, I would like to
thank James Turk, Frank Veneroso, and Reg Howe,
who from four to seven days on their own time to
fly all the way to Durban, South Africa, to bring
some surprising transparency to the gold market.
They were all terrific and are an inspiration to
On top of that, Rhoda Fowler, president of the
South African public relations firm Media Link, is
a one-of-a-kind gem, and so is her staff. Not only
is she the most reliable person I have ever had
the pleasure of working with, but Rhoda believes
GATA is correct and wants to help us help her
country and its people.
As there is much to still do in Africa, Rhoda will
continue to work with GATA and remain a vital cog
in GATA's Africa war machine -- as it is becoming
more apparent that that is what we have here. I
will get into this some other time, but right now
we are finding that mainstream economic interests
are sparring with the truth. And in South Africa
there is an Afrikaner-Zulu-GATA faction that is at
odds with the British and the big banks.
I have not slept in two days and am a bit dim and
getting dimmer, so I will try briefly to give you
the highlights of what the Durban conference was
On Wednesday morning, May 9, I was interviewed on
the Tim Modise radio talk show, which is one of
the most popular in South Africa. Tim is known
throughout sub-Saharan Africat. He is unique in
that he is held in the highest regard by both the
white and black communities. He was a wonderful
LeMetrople Cafe member Boudewijn Wegerif, who gave
GATA its name, reported the following from Sweden
last Thursday to many of his followers:
quot;Yesterday the GATA chairperson, Bill Murphy, was
interviewed at length on the most popular national
radio program in South Africa, the Tim Modise
show. This was heard all over the country -- also
by my son, Marc Wegerif, who is co-founder and
executive director of a land restitution
organization, NGO/NKUZI Development Association,
in the Northern Transvaal. Marc emailed me that
'there was a lot of support from the callers to
the radio show. I did not hear anyone trying to
oppose Murphy's arguments, but I could not listen
to the whole show.'quot;
Tim Modise announced GATA's telephone number in
Durban, and it rang off the hook.
Because GATA decided to have its own summit and
went to Durban, we caught the attention of an
enterprising journalist for Dow Jones Newswires,
Adam Aljewicz of Johannesburg. Adam was the first
one to accept an invitation to our summit.
I did a lengthy phone interview with him on
Tuesday morning and was not surprised when he told
me that afternoon that his editors in London were
balking because of this legal reason and that.
But Adam would not accept no for an answer. Later,
he remarked that we made sense and added, quot;After
all, look at the covered-up Hamanaka copper
Well, lo and behold, Adam's story was distributed
by Dow Jones and provided the most ink GATA has
received in the United States and throughout the
world in over two years. Not only that, other wire
major services also ran with his story, changing
Adam came to GATA's reception dinner that night at
the Durban Hilton and I had much fun with his
story, as gold rallied more than $5 that day, the
biggest in a dog's age (a gold dog's age). I gave
him the credit.
Adam was most attentive throughout the summit,
asking question after question and trying to get
to know the GATA players, like Reg Howe. Will
anything else come out of it? I do not know. But
this is one smart guy. Has a Woodward/Bernstein
story of a lifetime, and I think he might just
GATA Secretary/Treasurer Chris Powell already has
told you the biggest names at the summit, so I
will not repeat that. Initially, we booked the
room for 40 people and we ended up with around 53,
more than we had expected.
The South African Broadcasting Co.'s coverage was
awesome. Peter George, the renowned Cape Townian,
who was present and himself was interviewed by
SABC, asked me how we managed to get such TV
coverage. Answer: Rhoda Fowler and Media Link and
a great story.
In addition to SABC, E-TV was there and did an
extensive interview with James Turk. E-TV is a
highly regarded independent TV station and is run
by Marcel Golding. Marcel is one of the leading
black entrepreneurs in South Africa and the former
president of the National Union of Mineworkers. He
has known Frank Veneroso for 20 years.
Radio is much more important in South Africa than
here in the United States, and I did 10
interviews, covering all the country's major radio
stations. GATA was being talked about everywhere.
Frank, Reg, James, and I all did our thing. We
encouraged questions of any kinds -- especially
ones critical of what we were saying. There were
To his credit, the Ghanaian mining ministry
representative wanted a statement made about
Ashanti clarified, and it was done. I later found
out that this man was someone who can make things
The Ivory Coast delegation -- the mining minister
and two deputies -- were all over what we had to
say. They were most impressive and I think they
appreciated that we had a French interpreter there
for them. They have already requested transcripts
in French of the presentations.
I could go on with many more positives, but time
will tell what worked well enough to get the
Africans to take action.
There is also a good deal happening behind the
scenes which I cannot go into, but I can say that
a task force will be assembled in South Africa
this coming week to investigate what GATA
presented in Durban. Some of the people in this
task force will be of the more radical type who
are not afraid of the mainstream and status quo
thinking that has petrified some in South Africa.
They have not been and will not be afraid to take
on the big banks.
I learned more in a very special Saturday meeting
with someone who knows the goings-on in Africa.
GATA's issues are very important there because of
* The Chinese are buying more gold in Africa than
is generally known.
* The Chinese are offering billions of dollars in
loans to appropriate Africans at very low interest
rates -- as low as a half-percent interest.
* The Chinese are as cocky as this person has ever
seen them and they are everywhere in Africa.
* The relationship between Africa and the Bush
administration is deteriorating. The recent
meeting of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell
with African officials did not go well. My source
tells me to look out for increasing friction in
the near future.
This is a big deal and LeMetropole Cafe members
have known why for some time now. The Chinese are
quietly buying up the gold market. They are smart
cookies and surely know what Frank Veneroso told
the summit -- and that is that the gold loans are
10,000 to 16,000 tonnes, not the 5,000 tonnes that
the gold industry claims is the case. Frank
explained the six ways he came up with the same
conclusion -- and I hope to have the transcript
available for you soon.
That means that gold is a national security issue
for the United States. Next time, instead of a
surveillance plane, the problem might be Taiwan
and it might arise at a time when our banks are
tottering. What if China tells the United States,
quot;We want Taiwan or we are going to sell our
billions of dollars of reserves and replace them
with gold reservesquot; -- after quietly loading up on
gold at cheap prices?
There is much more to come. But for the moment I
am drained. Got to get some sleep. It was
important to me to share my exhilaration with you,
for we are now quietly winning the day.
The enveloping horn is doing the gold cartel in,
and the stuffed shirts can't bear the thought of