Dear Editor

Stannic scam

I read with dismay about the role of Stannic in the Terrafin fleet credit card scam (nose43). In time it would be nice to read a follow-up about some kind attorney who’d acted for the 60-odd drivers who’ve been defrauded, on a no win, no fee basis, and recovered their losses.
Clearly nothing whatsoever would be achieved by going after Terrafin, but Stannic might pay up rather than go through a long and well-reported court case.

Arms and the Manuel

Britain’s massive loan-for-arms to SA (nose 43) explains why Ian Plenderleith – previously of the Bank of England – has been sprung upon us as deputy-governor of the SA Reserve Bank.
And it goes a long way to filling in the emerging picture of SA and Britain as new best friends.
A local illustration: the peace of our small town was broken in December by a Hercules cargo plane going over the town day and night for three weeks, with burly boys parachuting all around. British SAS will be training British paratroopers in Oudtshoorn annually, we are told.
Justine Nofal

Regarding Trev signing away South Africa: get with it! The ANC was given SA by the Anglo-Americans, simply because most big companies now list abroad. Did you really think they cared about apartheid? No, exchange controls meant they had problems raping SA. So the NP had to go. Anyway, thanks for pointing out how we’ve been sold out yet again.
Tony Wilson

Sundowns blows it

I could not agree more that Sundowns Football Club is run like a dagga store (“Management at soccer club is load of balls, complain fans”, nose43).
I’ve had the misfortune of litigating with this club on 15 occasions – in soccer tribunals, private arbitrations and in the High Court. I’ve not yet lost.
Sundowns MD, Natasha Tsichlas, has done more damage than good to soccer in this country. In one case her evidence was thrown out as not credible and a string of Greek speaking witnesses could not help her either.
There’s been talk of mining magnate Patrice Motsepe buying Sundowns. That might bring some sunshine to the people of Pretoria. Otherwise they might need something more potent to blow away the blues.
Mafika Sihlali
Rosebank, Jo’burg

All the dagga stores we’ve known have been well-run, profitable businesses. – Ed.

Chinese whispers

Of all the articles in nose43, “Got any gifts for me, my China” made me most angry because the behaviour of officials at Johannesburg airport reflects on me.
Your articles about low life in high places are fascinating, but I am removed from the action.
When visitors to SA are fleeced, that’s different. Overwhelmingly South Africans are open, hospitable people and it’s to our discredit that our public service don’t reflect that.
William Thomas

I read with great interest your story about the appalling treatment of Chinese nationals at SA’s airports. I would like to corroborate this. I returned from a trip to Hong Kong in January and when I got to customs a well-dressed Chinese man was being verbally abused by a burly (white) official.
The businessman had obviously not filled in the customs form correctly. The official said: “You stupid Chinese think you can get away with anything”. The businessman retorted that he did not understand the questions on the form.
The official then said “you want to do business in this country then you must learn the blerry language.” His bags had clearly been inspected and his personal possessions were strewn over the table.
At a time when SA is desperate for foreign trade, such behaviour must be strongly condemned.
Iona Minton

Nose out of joint

Your forté is investigating and reporting on fraud and corruption. Congratulations. Now how about looking at yourselves. I’ve done the homework for you.
In nose43 you announce under the heading “The price of liberty and truth” that the price of a subscription to noseweek is to increase from R150 to R195 from 1 March. This is a 30% increase.
Your issues have always had 28 pages. Nose43 had only 24 – a 14.23% reduction.
It appears that, to push your production to an issue a month – and in the absence of suitable copy – you then fill four pages with drivel such as “Alive and kicking” and “Last word”. Those pages constitute 16.66% of issue 43.
I’m sure you agree your subscribers are being screwed out of sight. Perhaps I should commend you for being a fast learner!
Tino Rupping

Yes, we are proud of our reputation for producing the best investigative journalism. So let’s get the facts straight: 1. The number of pages in each issue has varied from 16 to 32 (quality comes before quantity). 2. noseweek has never been exposés cover to cover. Too much can be, well, too much. One needs pages that allow you to pause, think, or laugh to regain perspective, too. For that reason we have always included cartoons and original, analytical think pieces. Naomi Klein and Harold Strachan “drivel”? You must be joking! 3. At the increased price you are simply paying what it costs us to produce. Where’s the fiddle in that?
We note you’ve renewed your subscription, so despite the talk, you still know a bargain. – Ed

Thumbs up

Noseweek was great in 2002. I wish you and your team success for the future.
Nathaniel Schemla
Paris, France

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