Letters

Dear Editor


Schlock of the new
Re: “Schlock of the Bushveld” in nose85 – jussis, but you ous are ruthless huh? Now what did dear old Daan do to get such notoriety thrust upon him? From where I stand, all “this perfectly pleasant person” did was to take a piece of proclaimed ground, a group of black empowered ladies (a prerequisite for any advancement these days), some plans which do not meet the lofty aesthetic tastes of the noseweek panel, and then have the balls to put it all together. For which he’s catapulted into Full Frontal Coverage, no less.

The adverse environmental impact of this earth- shaking plan, tucked away in the arse end of Mpumalanga, is, I’m sure, less than that caused by one more Sandton monstrosity, which will, as likely, go unnoticed.

I’ve just read the article again and cannot for the life of me see what this bliksem has done to upset you so. Unless of course, you’re just anti-Hun!
Michael Campbell-Young - Cape Town

Anti-Hun, now there’s a thought ... We do rather think schlosses belong am Rhein, rather than along the Elands. We’ve had pseudo Tudor, pseudo Gothic, pseudo Tuscan, pseudo Parthenon. In fact, we’ve plain had pseudo, so we thought we’d do our bit to nip any thought of pseudo Hun right there, in the bud.

As for comparing Sandton with the “arse end of Mpumalanga”, fact is the latter still looks prettier. True, you wouldn’t notice another pseudo anything in the jungle of pseudo that is Sandton. – Ed.

The right thing
Having read your article on Investec’s exploitation of Brett Kebble’s weakness (nose85), I don’t understand why Investec [and Alan Gray] didn’t report Kebble to the police and the Financial Services Board or other appropriate august body if they realised that Kebble was vulnerable and “cornered” [as a thief]. Surely that would have been the correct thing to do?
Pam Herr - Fish Hoek

That would undoubtedly have been the correct thing to do. Indeed, had they done so, their friend Kebble might still have been alive and well, albeit resident in Pretoria Central Prison. But it would not have been the most profitable thing to do. Investec would not have been able to exploit his weakness, and Stephen Koseff would not have been able to extort such a handsome cut of the spoils. – Ed.

Call to action
We have been avid and very appreciative readers of noseweek since we moved down to Stellenbosch from Harare three years ago.

Unfortunately we did not read it before arriving here and moved our family trust to Theodores/Investec Trust (Jersey) from Abacus, Jersey, when we took a loan out with Investec to start a new business in Stellenbosch.

We now find we have been grossly overcharged and wish to take legal action.
Would you be able to advise of a good legal expert to help us? We thought you may have had similar requests from people in a similar situation.
Ann Horstmann - Stellenbosch

Dr Gorvalla
A prolonged standing ovation to noseweek, once again, for the spot-on, continued, “scratching where it ain't itching” report on the CPUT. Just looking at the photograph of Doctor Gorvalla (nose85): would you buy a second-hand car from this doctor?
Roedolf du Plessis - Fresnaye, Cape Town

Generally corrupt meetings?
Did you notice the remarks of the Land Claims Commissioner, Thozamile Gwanya regarding the dispute between the District Six Beneficiary and Development Trust and the City of Cape Town?

Responding to the city’s insistence that the trust call a General Meeting, he said General Meetings are “not important to us. General Meetings become power struggles organised to kick out those in leadership.”  So much for democracy and the constitution of the Trust – if it has one!

The ANC, having failed in its attempt to take over Cape Town as a whole, seems now to be trying to take it piecemeal (Cape Times 3 Nov). Whatever the truth of the situation, it seems to me disgraceful that the District Six suburb, so prominent in the city landscape, has been left for so many years in its derelict state. Housing schemes have been developed in areas that entail long and expensive commuting, while this large and desirable site, within walking distance of the city, remains virtually unused.

Are we not due for an unbiased exposure of what is (or is not) going on?
Colin Carter - Camps Bay

Standard Bank rewards loyalty
I know how you feel about SAA Voyager and Standard Wank, so I reckoned you’d appreciate this:

Around 1999, Standard Bank offered its credit card holders SAA Voyager Miles if they joined SAA’s loyalty programme at a cost of R140 a year. This charge was called the “loyalty fee” and for every R5 purchase on a card, you earned one Voyager mile. (More recently this changed to R12.50 a mile.)  The miles could be redeemed for flights and special deals from time-to-time.

A few weeks ago, Standard Bank announced that, because SAA is launching its own credit card, the bank’s partnership with SAA has been cancelled.  This means that Standard’s credit card holders will no longer earn Voyager miles for purchases made.

The statement on their web site says: “Standard Bank is ending its partnership with SAA Voyager on 19 December 2006. All Standard Bank customers who previously collected Voyager Miles will be offered the opportunity to join the British Airways rewards programme”.

On calling their call centre, it turns out that you have to pay a loyalty fee for this new programme as it’s optional, and the SAA loyalty fee will not be carried over.  Yet, in October, I was debited the full amount of R140 for one year fee for their now defunct SAA loyalty programme. This is an overcharge of 10 months’ fee. It may not sound a lot, but, given they boast a huge membership, the overcharge could net them tens of millions.

It’s what South African banks do best: lie, steal and perfect the art of desensitising their customers to ever-higher bank charges. Now you know why the CEO of Standard Bank gets such large bonuses!
Peter Long - By email

Noseweek  Dodgy 500
Isn’t it time you published an annual list of dodgy companies and organizations mentioned in your magazine?

In this way, potential investors and the general public would know who to avoid in their business dealings.
Mitch Launspach - Krugersdorp

Good idea. Meanwhile, the search engine on our website should do the trick. – Ed.

Keep your eye on the ball
Very seldom do you miss the point, but your reply to my letter regarding the Spears (nose84) is off the mark. You quote 45% of the country’s “rugby enthusiasts” – the original article quoted that figure as the registered rugby players in the Spears’ region, while “enthusiasts” include all the spectators and viewing public who make the game sustainable. Secondly, 80% of the population have absolutely no interest in rugby.

With regard to “a promise being a promise”, all businesses (and rugby is a business) make unsustainable decisions which have to be corrected or reversed. Van Rooyen’s decision was a cock-up of noteworthy proportions and I give credit to the incumbent president for having the balls to reverse the unsustainable.
J Flack - Kloof

 

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