Dear Editor

Thanks for the Discovery
Thanks for researching the FirstRand/Ansbacher/Discovery story (nose92) – and well done to International Law and Tax Institute for taking them on. In the light of what you revealed about Discovery Group’s dealings, I’m really worried that Discovery Health (my costly medical aid) will take a wobbly. What guarantees do members have? I have also wondered for a long time what the Discovery Vitality programme is all about financially, as it seems to me to be cross-funding some other parts of the Discovery Group.

More news from noseweek on this topic, please.

Pam Herr
Fish Hoek

Your wish is our command! – Ed.

Fidentia all over again
Discovery is starting to look like another Fidentia. Imagine what the prevailing culture and values of the organisation must be that stoops to levels as low as is suggested in nose92.

My view is that all doctor groupings should suspend all interaction with a company that has become publicly tainted to this degree. We can start talking to those members of management that retain their positions once this mess has been cleaned up.

Dr Johan Botha
ENT specialist

The best medicine
As a medical doctor I was shocked to read the article (in nose92) in which you mention two directors of a major medical aid in this country. Scurrilous accusations such as these do not deserve a place in your august publication. I feel an apology is in order ...

Ha ha, just joking. It’s in fact common knowledge that doctors regard Discovery Health with the same disdain as they would finding doggydoo on their shoe. Discovery has a number of policies that are unfair to both their clients and the providers who make them so much money. Nothing would make me smile more than to see the likes of Messrs Gore and Swartzberg being led screaming through the doors of Pollsmoor.

PN Whitehead

You had us there for a moment – until you described us as “august”! – Ed.

FirstRand Brothel
This is the second time you have placed an article that implicates me indirectly [noseweek’s story about Ansbachers that, inter alia, implicates Discovery directors in impropriety] as a member of the board [of FirstRand Bank].

You could have contacted me and told me what you have on Laurie Dippenaar, when you know very well that I serve with him on the board of FirstRand. (According to your information I serve on a board of a brothel.)

Consequently I resign as chairman of noseweek’s publishing company and wish you well.

Frederik van Zyl Slabbert,
Parklands, Johannesburg

Those Ansbacher accounts certainly look like the contents of a whore’s handbag! I have had occasion to inspect both. OK, forget the whore’s handbag; all you are required to do is have a closer look at those accounts in the court record. Then let us know which upsets you more: us or them? For the rest, see editorial. – Ed.

Slumming it in Pretoria
We have read with great interest your article on how a “developer”, while thumbing his nose at authority, turns a heritage site into a slum (Port Elizabeth’s designer slums, nose92).

We have the same problem in Pretoria. If a developer can’t get a demolition permit from PHRA-G or SAHRA he simply allows vagrants to move in and within a year he gets a permit to demolish a “ruin”.

May we reprint your article in our next newsletter, as we could not have worded it better?

Anton Jansen
CEO: Tshwane Building Heritage Association

Permission granted – with our good wishes that you may have success with your public-spirited campaign. – Ed.

Beautiful Business
I was expecting a real skandaal when I read that Temple Beautiful was a subject for your nosiness, but was disappointed.

So what if a few daft people with nothing better to do get their rocks off at some weekly pseudo-spiritual gig? Chris Erasmus and his followers can hardly be blamed for breaking up a marriage. Surely those individuals within the unhappy union are to blame – no matter what excuse they use to finally extricate themselves from it?

I was hoping for some abuse of power story – maybe that Erasmus had conned his “devotees” out of huge sums of money and bonked all the young girls – instead they’re offering sex-workshops – no different to everything else on the market these days. Can you blame him for jumping on the bandwagon? Sounds like Beautiful Business, actually.

Needing those kinds of affirmations to feel “worthy” and “spiritual” in the first place, maybe that’s the only scandal?

Melody Mitchell
By email

Channelling the famous
What a pleasure it was to read about the so-called Temple Beautiful in nose92 and find those old dears Rose de la Hunt and the now sexy Natalia Baker joining Jesus Christ, Saint Germain, and Merlin the magician – not to forget the founder of the Temple, Chris Erasmus, whoever he may be.

Many years ago I was seeking solace after the loss of a seven-year-old daughter and afterwards a young second wife who had died, and tried to make contact with them. Off I trotted to the “best medium in South Africa”, a dear old effeminate chap by the name of Stewart Lawson who was channelling various folk, including my two lost ones. Needless to say, his messages of light and love had absolutely nothing in them that could be proved to be from either of these two. I was waiting for some pretty definite statement such as, “Please look under our bed and there you will find the taped ten shilling note I had hidden there when I was alive, to prove that I could come back to chat with you!” 

Later, after attending one of these supposedly spiritual gatherings advertised in Odyssey, I allowed myself to be suckered into learning how to channel (at a price of course) by one of the sweet young things I met there. What great fun I had channelling folk such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and other well-known entities. I met another dear old character, Rosemary Howell, the author of books on Tarot and the local representative of an international flying saucer magazine, and we started having some fun channelling with a few other wacky friends, including a shoemaker (who shall be nameless to protect his famous filmstar clients).

Eventually I had to tell Rosemary that it was all a load of bullshit and we both gave up this self-deluded nonsense forthwith. 

How sad that so many folk who are grasping at straws get conned into this type of fake activity!

Myke Ashley-Cooper

Gift horse
Hilary Prendini Toffoli mentions (Bites and Pieces, nose92) that George Sinovich, the owner of the Riboville restaurant, named it after the 1974 Durban July winner, “his father’s horse.” Riboville was, in fact, owned by Dennis and Peggy Mosenthal. As the horse won at very long odds, perhaps Mr Sinovich’s father backed it – and won so much  that he felt he owned it!

Peter Graham
Property 4, Durban

Werewolves of East London
As the editor of the Anomalist.com, I would like to link to your stories of an anomalous nature. Is it possible? 

Rick Stokes
NewsEd, Anomalist.com

We have checked you beautiful website to find that The Anomalist is a daily review of world news on “maverick science, unexplained mysteries, unorthodox theories, strange talents and unexpected discoveries.” These appear to include UFOs, werewolves, witches and rare genetic mutations. In order to consider your request, please advise which articles in our more recent issues fit the bill? – Ed.

Pregnancy and weight loss?
I have a question that somehow gets different anwers every time: Can I use Bioslim One-a-day while I breastfeed and can I still use my oral contraceptive? Awaiting your soonest response,

By email

Maybe the Anomalist has a point? Okay, noseweek knows everything. Yes you may while breastfeeding, provided you have at least three nourishing meals a day. It’s also a great contraceptive, provided you keep taking The Pill and stay away from men that don’t have their trousers on.  – Ed.

Hazel Crane
Your article (nose91) seeks to link me in some way to Hazel Crane and suggests that I intervened on her behalf during a police raid on her residence.

I note for the record that I never met Hazel Crane; I have never spoken to her and I was not involved in any way in the supposed incident to which you refer.

In short, the allegations which seek to link me in any way to the late Hazel Crane are untrue. I did not previously have an opportunity to deal with these allegations because the journalist who wrote the article did not contact me to check the facts.

R Lalla
Divisional Commissioner: Crime Intelligence SA Police Service

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