Dear Editor

Desperate DA

On reading your editorial about the misdeeds of the DA-controlled Overberg municipality (nose114), it struck me that you appear not to have asked DA leader Helen Zille for her comment. As a sometime DA supporter, I think that they (like other parties) are so desperate for power that they choose and appoint dubious partners.

I look forward to your taking it up at the top, as dealing with the municipality concerned isn’t getting us anywhere.

Vic de Valdorf


Brain drain

The letter from Colin Reeves (nose113) alerted me to the fact that I may also have been caught up in this scam.  I also did the “Brain Teaser” (to what end I now wonder) on 20 February. I had to supply my cell number to get the result and, if I recall, in order to do so a PIN number had to be entered. After that I received a regular “brain teaser” which I promptly deleted without reading. Having read Colin’s letter I went to the deleted items on my cell and found an SMS, delivered on 19 March, a month later, giving me the option to “unsubscribe” to this R50 a week service! I immediately did. On enquiry to Vodacom I was told that my account had been debited with R250. The authority, they claim, was given when I agreed to Integrat’s subscriber terms and conditions. What’s interesting about this scenario is that “terms & conditions” normally deal with the legal stuff, disclaimers etc. 

Who would have thought that hidden in there was an agreement to enter into a R50 a week subscription to receive an SMS teasing my brain? I have tried to access Integrat’s terms and conditions but cannot trace them. (The lady who answered the Integrat phone also put the phone down on me when I demanded my money back.) 

Vodacom claim that they have not deducted the money but Integrat has. Why then is my account debited by Vodacom? No doubt they are relying on my asking myself the question: is the time and energy I will spend on recovering my R250 worth it?

Marguerite Davis

By email

Lodge a complaint with the Dept of Trade & Industry’s harmful business practices unit. – Ed.

Credit where credit is due

More recently you have started featuring the work of a cartoonist, Stent, which is always topical, enjoyable and well created. Why is this Stent not featured on your credits together with the other cartoonists?

Thank you and your team for your important investigative work. It’s always a pleasure to renew our subscription.

Tony Shapiro

Cape Town

Boys will be boys

A well-read friend alerted me to your articles about the activities of the notorious Lonehill brothers (nose111). Numbers of us locals, each of whose quality of life has been negatively impacted by the selfish, inconsiderate and illegal shopping mall developments around Fourways, were of the opinion that these guys were of the same flock. Discussions in the suburbs, promoted by your article, brought clarity to the situation, as neighbourhood authorities stressed the slight differences in origin of both these brash #?!$ brotherhoods. You discussed the Lonehill boys  – we have been severely bothered by the Fourways boys.

Look into the goings-on of the holders of the thrones to the following kingdoms situated between the Lonehill and BelAir Malls: Cedar Square, The Buzz, and Fourways View. Each has an anchor nightclub (or two).


By email

Tools of Zionism

I used to think Mr Nose could not be swayed by money, threats or propaganda. I must now conclude that he has become the object/victim of Jewish/Israeli propaganda, as displayed in the articles by Roth and Strachan (nose113), that serve as cover-ups for the atrocities recently perpetrated by Israel in Gaza.

I grew up in Nazi-occupied Friesland. My family actively opposed the Germans and hid and cared for the Jews in our midst. Both my father and his elder brother, my guardian, paid with their lives. I became a war-orphan, cared for by the survivors of the Resistance. I always wondered why these rather simple people sacrificed themselves for people that did not always appreciate their efforts. (Apparently they considered it their “Holy” duty.)

In my retirement I have made an in-depth study of the Jewish occupation of Palestine, and find that the treatment of the inhabitants of Gaza by Israel is on a par with what happened in NW-Europe in 1940: A virtual concentration camp has been created. Israel is now desperately trying to divert attention from their mistake, by asking “friendly” publications/journalists to publish the type of article written by your columnists.

You obviously fell for the   ploy. For me that means that our ways part here, unless you will also publish the Palestinian side of the story.

My feelings are best illustrated by the words of Sir Gerald Kaufman: “The present Israeli Government ruthlessly and cynically exploits [sympathy for victims of the Holocaust] as justification of their murder of Palestinians”.

Bob Visser


Roth and Strachan victims of propaganda? Come on! – Ed.

Ratting on Pick n Pay

I walked into my local PnP after reading your article on rat poisons (nose112). I went directly to the poison section, removed all the products shown, took them to the manager and loudly advised him I would buy all of it, and then burn it outside his shop on a Saturday morning if he didn’t remove it permanently. They did. I am pleased to say our local PnP is Finale(y)-rat-and-mouse-pellet free.


By email

I went into my local Pick n Pay in Constantia and asked the manager to permanently remove Finale from the store's shelves. I explained how it affected the environment. He said he was aware of the effects of Finale and they were removed from the shelf. He also said he would refer the matter to head office so that they could look at removing the product on a larger scale.

But, when I checked an hour later, the products were back on the shelf!

How Pick n Pay, or their competitors, can sell a product which, if ingested by a secondary predator can cause slow death over a whole week, is cruel and completely unacceptable.

I also find it intriguing that when there was an outcry from a sector of the public about a blasphemous article in the local student rag magazine, Pick n Pay responded by removing the magazines from their shelves, even though they were the main sponsors of the magazine. So why, after much pressure and public outcry, do toxic products still sit comfortably on their shelves?



Flying squad

Every week, the baggage handlers at OR Tambo Airport break into the baggage of my clients. So I thought I would go on to the SAPS crime reporting website and let them know that it is about to happen again.

At first sight the website is impressive, and with no difficulty I filled in the date, time and some details of what is going to happen.

Problem is, you need to provide a suburb for the place where the crime will be committed. So I chose Croydon, which, for OR Tambo, is the closest Kempton Park suburb I know. But then I had to provide a suburb for the perpetrator. The perpetrators could live anywhere from Thembisa to Sandton to Daveyton, so I left that out.

You also need to provide a suburb for the victim. As I don’t know exactly which of my clients will be hit this time, I cannot say. Also, the SAPS website does not provide suburbs for New York, Los Angeles or Houston in its drop down menus.

I tried pressing Submit without specifying the suburb, but the site simply flashes up a message telling you to insert the suburb. So I gave up. Nice try, SAPS, but you really must get someone a bit smarter to work on your website. I wonder how many tips they actually receive via this route.

Ron McGregor

Mowbray, Cape Town

Word Wakkerstroom!

I refer to “Bullied into Submission” and “Coal Comfort” in nose110. The greatest occupational hazard in government or parastatals these days, is to care about the environment. The martyrs, Dr Turton of the CSIR and ornithologist Mark Anderson, prove the point.

Whilst DA and ANC officials alike dig their fat, sweaty paws into the “development” honeypot, and indulge in cronyism and conflicts of interest, it is up to organisations like BirdLife Africa to take on “the rich bad okes”. The Wakkerstroom case alone will cost BirdLife in the region of R800,000 in legal fees. Justice does not come cheap, especially for the voiceless. It is time we started holding government officials accountable for the way our natural resources, wildlife and eco-systems are being obliterated by rampant, unabated greed.

We need to support all those who have the courage to take on the greedy Goliaths who would happily rob our children and show no respect for Creation.

Samantha Jane Martin


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Submitted by : Craig Thom of CHEMPET on 2009-05-13 12:59:36
You live in lala land if you think Birdlife SA will take on any of the bad boys. Birdlife is "owned" by their major donors, companies like Sappi & Sasol. Now Sasol needs coal don't they.
So Birdlife may rattle their sabres a little to satisfy their members, but in this case Sasol is the boss.
Birdlife will in the interim continue to have AGMs in the middle of nowhere so only 40 members out of thousands pitch up, thus allowing them lassez fair (sic?).
It would seem that despite what they say, they are an organisation to support their many full time employees, and not on for the birds.


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