Dear Editor

Abe: Gone with the wind

Many years ago I was commissioned to caricature the late Abe Swersky, by one of his partners in a hotel business. When I delivered the drawing, Abe told me the nose was too big! On the second attempt the nose was still too big. I then made him look like Clark Gable and he was at last satisfied.

Myke Ashley-Cooper
Miami, Fla, USA

Your obit for honest Abe was exactly what one would have expected of Mr Nose, thank goodness.

Now what about your other mate, Mervyn King? I see his name has been linked to the illegal stripping of the Picardi Pension Funds. Putting the skills he learnt at the Frame empire to good purpose?

Peter Soal

More Investec looting

It was with bitter satisfaction that I read your latest Investec/Fedsure revelations (nose107).

Our little company fund, the “Cobar Retirement Benefit Fund” was pillaged of around 46% of its assets by the Investec takeover of Fedsure. After this looting the members chose to withdraw, effectively closing the then-depleted fund, but a sizeable (to us) surplus remained in the fund for “Surplus Apportionment”, in accordance with the Government ruling. 

Our broker recommended we use Liberty to administer the apportionment – wrong advice! For the past year we’ve been battling with Liberty to release these funds to ex-members (the apportionment scheme being already approved by the FSB). The most recent excuse was that the funds were “with terminations”. Every week some other excuse is offered!

CR Pearce

Build toxic factory in Karoo

Alfluorco intends to produce a very dangerous product (nose106): hydrogen fluoride is very easily dissolved in water, producing an extremely aggressive acid, used for example to etch glass. It eats very aggressively into human tissue, and is hard to stop.

A toxicity level value of 3 ppm (parts per million ) converts into a maximum of 1 liter of gas in 204,000 liters of air (two hundred and four thousand ). The gas will instantly dissolve in the humidity in the air, thereby making a dangerous acid air and rain.

This project should definitely be stopped in the KZN Midlands. Maybe it’s possible in the Karoo where the air is dry?

Thanks for your magazine.

Arthur Vink
Molans-sur-Ouveze, France

Harold: Humour liveth

Harold has Excelled himselleff!! Absolutely his Best Ever – must be the mampooer up in Durbs!

Extra ham sarmie at Xmas, 4shaw. Please pass my congratulations to the good fellow. Humour Liveth, after all!

Bob Hadley

If DN Wade (nose107) has a problem with Harold Strachan’s history as a supplier of bombs for the ANC, should he not have a problem with Armscor making weapons for the apartheid regime? It was, after all, a war. And if more of us had been prepared to do just a little, then people like Strachan would not have had to do so much.

It should also be noted that, unlike certain fat cats we could name, Strachan did not join the struggle to become rich. He’s not sitting in high government office, living it up on the taxpayers’ money. In the end, he is the most honest of soldiers. He volunteered because he believed it was necessary. He did his bit, and got captured and imprisoned for doing it. And when it was over, he went home, and asked for no reward.

I don’t know him, I’ve never met him, and I am sure I don’t need to defend, or praise him. But I will anyway. I think he’s bloody marvellous. If he ever puts down his pen, or shuffles off this mortal coil, I’ll still be buying noseweek, but it just won’t be the same.

Ron McGregor

Never a truer word said in all seriousness. – Ed.

Who gives a fuck anyway about the sensibilities of DN Wade, Reading UK? It is a mark of maturity in the country that we can write about our dismal history with a touch of humour.

Harold Strachan

A nose for deals 

It is with interest that we note that premier Rasool was dealing with 32 golf estates, as quoted by Reverend Edwin Arrison (nose104). The (now ex) premier has a nose for property deals. Think of the V&A Waterfront, and the denial at that stage that the site of the Somerset Hospital was involved. No wonder the country has been without proper leadership for the past few years – the office bearers have all been busy with money-making deals.

Albertus Ziervogel
By email

Donate directly please

I have over 25 years’ experience as a fund raiser and have served as vice president of the Southern Africa Institute of Fundraising (SAIF). I commend you for exposing U-Care’s appalling methods in nose101. I am vehemently opposed to anyone creaming off any form of commission on donated money, as are all donors (companies, trusts – local and foreign – and individuals) with whom I have discussed this practice in the research for the 26 books that I have written on fundraising. The professional bodies for fundraising in the UK, USA and Australia all preclude their membership from commission-based fundraising. This is also SAIF’s policy.

Aside from exposing the details of monies lost to the myriad commission earners in the U-Care structure, somehow with pyramid schemes having been outlawed, some amazingly similar methods of selling anything from plastic containers and cooking pots to cleaning products have “morphed” and terms such as “network marketing” and “passive income” have entered our lexicon.

The public should rather donate their money directly to the charities of their choice.

My concern is that, with the ever growing number of U-Care “fund raisers” out there, the largely gullible public may believe that the charities listed by U-Care are being well funded and, should they receive a direct request for money from one of these organisations, the charities that they think are benefiting substantially from U-care may not receive the money that they ordinarily would have.

And please, please do an exposé of cellphone SMS fundraising. Please tell the public how much (little) of their R5, R10, R20, etc actually goes to charities!

Jill Ritchie
Somerset West

You obviously missed our piece on BeeAwina’s proposed SMS fundraising scheme in

Back to Rootman

You say Frans Rootman himself told you he was a paratrooper and special forces operator. I am surprised that you did not check on this, as your usual standards of accuracy would demand that claims from a dubious source be verified before publication.

Mike McWilliams
Prince of Wales(retired)
Hyde Park

Yes, your majesty!Ed.

Monamodi mentally sound

As the attorney referred to in “Head On” (nose107), I  wish to comment on certain issues. The writer portrays Refiloe Monamodi as brain damaged and unable to act in her own interest, or “being unable to appreciate the full consequences of her signature”. Dr Miller, (neurosurgeon) is quoted, but you failed to mention that he also states: “... the patient (Monamodi) is of sound mind, is fully orientated to time, place and person [...]; she is articulate and is therefore in a position to care for herself and her financial affairs to the extent that a curator is not necessary, nor should a curator be appointed”. This view was supported by two other neorosurgeons.

In short, Mrs Monamodi fully understands the legal process, entered into a common law contingency agreement, mindful of the financial risks that I as the attorney had taken, and in agreement with the terms thereof (which are in accordance with the Law Society Code of Conduct).

Furthermore, a trust was created instead of a curator bonis being appointed, at her own insistence, and this was sanctioned by a judge. It was also not opposed by the attorneys acting for the Road Accident Fund, who were happy on the evidence to abide by such an order.

Lastly, I don’t charge R2000 to have coffee with clients. Mrs Monamodi wished to consult with me prior to trial to go through her evidence. I agreed to do this with her at a coffee shop opposite the high court. The bill of costs reflected this time, and not the cup of coffee.

Deon S Goldschmidt

Leave that tree alone

I often hear that to get a trial date can take three years or more. (Gary Porrit hasn’t appeared after some five years.) That lawyer in the complex in Bryanston (noses103,107), Alec Brooks, must have some pull to have got the first case heard so soon; now it appears he can get a Supreme Court of Appeal hearing with five judges – all for a tree my parents planted 50 years ago.

Surely the courts and the judges have more pressing matters to attend to? Brooks should leave the tree alone as the justice system has already told him to.

The tree was there when he bought the unit in the first place. Maybe in this time of global warming he should just buy a smaller car, and leave the tree and the eagle owl in peace.

I would like to know what he would have charged a client for the time he has spent on this matter! Sometimes I can’t believe what I read – and this revolves around intelligent so-called upper class people!

Mike Foley

Missed opportunity Mike

The Honorable City Manager of the eThekwini Metro Council of Durban, Comrade Mike Sutcliff, lost a golden opportunity to honour another freedom fighter, Robert McBride, the Metropolitan Police Chief of the Ekuthuleni Metro Council. Why, you ask?

Why not, if his fellow freedom fighter Andrew Zondo is to be remembered for his bombing of the Sanlam Centre, Amanzimtoti, by having a street named after him? (There is even a move afoot to change the name of Amanzimtoti to Zondo.)

Our Robert had a hand in planting a bomb in Magoo’s Bar on the Snell Parade; what an honour it would have been to change the Snell Parade to Robert McBride Boulevard. Maybe the City of Tshwane will rectify the omission and and consider renaming Kerkstraat?

Derek van Bergen
Mount Edgecombe

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Submitted by : Barry Midgley of DURBAN on 2008-09-25 16:08:33
Obviously Harold does. Take heart from Max's old smalls - "Elke doos het a gouie randtjie" Translated into Durbs vernacular - Every prick has a point.


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