Dear Editor

Go get that Tiger!
There is much I could tell you about the loathsome Mr Dennis (“Put Tiger bosses in the tronk”, nose106), most of it unflattering.

I have heard him say (on more than one occasion): “I deal with management positions; it’s just unfortunate that people fill them.”

He loved to glare at one or other senior manager and scornfully ask: “Must I come there and show you how to do your job?”.

On each occasion he addressed that question to me, I was tempted to take him up on his offer: he would have encountered the same untenable situation I was in at the time, thanks to his and his team’s ill-considered actions.

I wish you well in your pursuit of this man; he deserves to be publicly disembowelled.

Judging by his remuneration and other monetary benefits (I can’t even add them up they’re so huge!) it is no wonder that Nick Dennis, CEO of Tiger Brands, was all powerful and “ruthlessly autocratic” (nose106). That’s when most of their customers could hardly afford a loaf. I’m disgusted.
Pam Herr
Fish Hoek

Rootman – the facts
Where did you get the notion that Frans Rootman (nose106) had been either a Parabat or in the Special Forces?

As far as I know, Frans Rootman was attached to Military Intelligence and was involved in diamond sorting for Unita.

Before that, he was with the Panzers, which could mean Special Services Battalion (SSB), but not Special Forces.
Mike McWilliams

From Frans Rootman himself.Ed.

Nseleni toxic shock
Thank you for your article on the toxic production plant planned for Nseleni (nose106). I really hope it will persuade the authorities to think again.
Mark Doherty
Nseleni Tree Nursery, KZN

Horns and dilemmas
As a long-time reader and subscriber to noseweek, I have followed the Investec saga with interest. I am naturally horrified at still more plundering of pension funds.

Your call to boycott Investec leaves me with a moral dilemma. I am, and have been for many years, a client of Investec Private Bank. Their service and professionalism surpasses any of the other banks I have dealt with, including Standard Bank, Nedbank, First National, RMB Private Bank and Ansbacher (I know, sorry!) And all of this for a very reasonable monthly fee – with absolutely no hidden charges.

In the past week alone, this contrast has been sharply illustrated in my dealings with Investec and Standard Bank: I managed to seriously mess up my current account with Investec. One phone call, and ten minutes later – problem solved. Any dealings I need to have with Investec can be done telephonically, or else my banker pops in to visit me.

On the other hand, I had occasion to deal with Standard Bank recently. My mother’s credit card statement arrived in the post a week after the due date. As a result, not only did she get charged interest at an extortionate rate (which we all know is the price of not paying your credit card bill on time), but Standard Bank has also implemented a marvellous little sleight of hand called a “late fee”, of R110. Forgive my ignorance, but I always assumed the interest on the entire outstanding amount (in this case R123) was the penalty for late payment.

As mentioned before, the only retail bank I have not done business with is Absa, but I don’t for a moment believe they are any different to the rest of the money-grubbing banks out there.

So you will see the conundrum I am faced with. If I take the moral high ground and close my Investec accounts, what are my options? Get screwed without getting any service (my experience with all the other banks I have dealt with)? Put my money under my mattress? The choices in the banking sector seem to range from slim to nothing!
By email

Isn’t that a bit like hanging in with Mussolini because he made the trains run on time? As we’ve said before, as far as general banking is concerned the choice is between bad and worse. But to be effective, one must choose a target and an issue and then make a stand. Maybe Investec are particularly offensive because they’re so devilishly clever at it. Secretly pocketing billions belonging to working class pensioners is the issue, not whether a bank failed to answer your phone call promptly and sneaked an extra R100 penalty on your overdue credit card account. Methinks. Ed.

Here’s to Tim ‘n’ Meg
Tim James’s piece on Jerepigo (nose105) was excellent. I am now a bit better informed. Also great was the Meg Jordi sketch that gave it the finishing touch.
Jem Bardsley

Misunderstood Derek Wille
Your negative reporting on attorney Derek Wille (nose105) refers.

I own the Lamberts Bay Hotel, which was threatened with closure by unlawful building by the Dept of Public Works next to the hotel. Thanks to the professional support and advice of Mr Wille we succeeded in stopping the Department from carrying out its plans and saved my business.

For me he did a great job.
Mariette Breytenbach
Lamberts Bay

How nice! Ed.

Distasteful Strachan
I read with acute distaste Mr Strachan’s piece of juvenile condescension (nose105). If he wishes to justify his attempts at multiple murder on the basis of a political ideology let him do so – but without his childish “rockspider” attitude, one I thought dead 30 years ago even in Durban schools.

To place this in a current context: if he did this here and now in the UK he would also be arrested at gunpoint, held for up to 28 days without charge and would face 15 to 20 years in jail; while his mooning friends would be facing up to seven years for aiding or supporting terrorism.

His total lack of insight into his own actions however is unwittingly revealed by his naming of the one policeman Van der Gruweldaad. An interesting role reversal, or transfer.
D N Wade
Reading, UK

Ever heard of fantasy, satire, humour? A short story? Your crudely literal reading has provided a sharp reminder of why we generally steer away from satire: it’s an aspect of English culture that is completely lost on most South Africans. As for Strachan’s alleged “attempts at multiple murder”: while his skills at manufacturing explosives were legendary – and they did land him in jail – he has, to our certain knowledge, never in his life attempted a single murder. Which should tell you something about Harold.Ed.

Free Lunch Mike
Check what Durban’s beloved Municipal Manager, Metro Mike, is up to these days: He’s the food critic for the Metro Magazine! What with all the free lunches and helping out in his brother’s construction business, there isn’t enough time left for such mundane matters as ensuring that potholes in the city’s roads are attended to.

There’s a new test here for driving under the influence: Those that drive in a straight line are assumed to be drunk. Sober drivers swerve all over the show, avoiding the potholes!
Willie Schultz

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