Dear Editor


Congratulations on your exposé of the Seifsa pension fund rip-off (nose78).
The R11 billion is not a surplus. Seifsa conned the Minister of Labour into forcing all employers in the industry to contribute to the fund that had in its rules the provision that employees withdrawing from the fund with less than 10 years’ service got only their own contributions back. The employers’ contribution of R11 billion is now left behind in the fund to be grabbed by Seifsa and Numsa. Please take careful note of the leading roles played by the Registrar of Labour Relations, the FSB, and those legal luminaries J Gauntlett SC and MJD Wallis SC.

Run of the Milne

I’d like to add the following tidbit to the biographical note on Joseph Milne that appeared in your report (nose78) about the dispute between his descendants.
Many years ago when I was an apprentice accountant, I had to do some minor accounting chores for the wife of the former convict, Joseph Milne. I was told by a senior clerk that Milne himself never visited the office: his wife (not his first wife) knew everything that had to be known about the Milne business empire.
After all, she had been Milne’s private secretary and, it was said in our office and further afield, he had married her to prevent her from being forced to give evidence against him during his trial. That was probably why he received only a three-year sentence.
By the way, are we supposed to feel sympathy for any of the current combatants?
Ben Temkin

You may or you may not – but noteworthy, surely, is how the consequences of the decadent pursuit of wealth ripple on through the generations. – Ed.

Shame on you!

I must express my great disappointment at your personal attack on Donny Gordon and his son Richard.
You could devote a whole magazine to exposing the human frailties of public figures and entertainers, but then you’d be no more than a gossip mag.
Indeed our Sir Donald came to the arts and other recreational activities late in life – but is it wrong to fast-track entry into that world?  His donation to the arts was a significant gesture.
Donald Gordon is a great South African; rather count and relate what he has done for us: Besides the untold sums donated to universities, old-age homes and a state-of-the-art teaching hospital, his foundation has funded many projects of value to us ordinary South Africans. The teaching programmes alone will contribute vastly to our young democracy’s future.
Your magazine is respected as the champion of the unjustly done-by and the enemy of corporate greed. Your readership would be more interested in the mechanics of the abuse and misappropriation of investor’s monies than in your uncalled for foray into Donny Gordon’s and his son Richard’s personal lives. Shame on you.
John Rintoul

“Other recreational activities”? I’m not sure the lady in question would appreciate being categorized in that way.
For the record: we neither attacked, nor judged the Gordons. However, with such a disproportionate percentage of the country’s resources in their hands, we reckon the mass of ordinary mortals are entitled to be interested in what they do with it. We are also interested in the standards they set when it comes to the division of assets on the dissolution of a marriage. – Ed.


The Baker beating

Having read in noseweek about Wayde Baker’s beating by St John’s boys at a party – and having run a “busful of bullies” for St John’s for 15 years (1984-1998), I think it would now be appropriate for St John’s to start a “shame” fund to compensate Lynne Baker for her huge expenses.
Lynne’s “higher form of justice” will prevail if pupils, past and present, each pay R100 towards replacing Mrs Baker’s home and paying for the surgery performed on Wayde. Small compensation – but appropriate!
May all schools be co-ed in the future: Boys’ schools BASH!
Alison Muller

Beer with us

Paul Scheepers’ letter “Castle sell-by date” (nose78) refers.
Far from being a sell-by date, the Julien Code date on the bottom of a Castle Lager can – and on the neck of the bottle – is the date when the beer was packaged.
SAB prefers to tell our consumers how fresh their beer is. 
The following numbers relate to the day and the year the beer was packaged on; the brewery it came from; the packaging line it was canned or bottled on and the time of day the beer was packaged.  As an example,  030 6 A 10 14 38 – 030 6 indicates that the beer was packaged on the 30th day of 2006 (30 January 2006). The A is the brewery; the packaging line was Number 10 and the time of packaging was 14:38.
Michael Farr
South African Breweries

Vodacom ripoff

As a typical South African consumer, I have become used to being ripped off for practically everything I buy, from groceries to medical aids, from vehicles to bank charges. I was also aware, but had no idea to what extent the cellular networks were “giving us one”.
I have just been on a business trip to Hong Kong and China, and while in Hong Kong enquired about pre-paid airtime and the various contracts available. For around R250 you get 4 000 minutes plus another 2 000 off-peak minutes.
How on earth can I pay Vodacom R800 for 500 minutes – a cost of 25 times more! There is no way this can be justified or accepted, or do we just add it to our “being fucked over” list and bend down a little further?
Terry Billson
Port Elizabeth

Cartels and rip-off prices are as sure a sign as any of weak government. – Ed.

Jeremy Gauntlett Sc
Pension Funds
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