Dear Editor

Man, o man!

If you unscramble the letters of  “Caster Semenya” you get: “Yes a secret man.”


Mas de Panis, France

Just for the record

Thank you for allowing us to download the electronic version of the September edition of noseweek. Our blind and print-handicapped library members, who eagerly await our books, and particularly the recorded edition of noseweek, are victims of the postal strike and we are grateful for this gesture of expediting the latest edition to us.

We will be recording nose119 immediately and sending it to our library members. It is on their behalf that I thank you.

Pauline Hoffman

National Director

Tape Aids For The Blind, Durban

Ray of hope

My copy of nose119 arrived more than a week late because of the postal strike. No government department should be allowed to have a union affiliation, let alone go on irrational strikes which are totally disruptive of the economy.

I agree that the source of the problem is a weak government. One cannot point to a single government department which is not in disarray or involved in some form of illegal activity.

So we go on moaning as there is little else to do except to hope that, one day, something will click into place and allow South Africa to become an efficient and vibrant state. At least noseweek offers a ray of hope by demonstrating that it is not afraid to tackle problems head-on.

Deneys Sutton

Pater Noster

Waiting for full service

For two weeks I have been every day to my local post office (Northway, Durban North) to collect post. The attitude of the newly installed all-black staff, on my asking when we can expect full service to be restored is, simply: “Screw you, pal ... we actually don’t give a damn”.

Johnny Everitt


Daily lives coming unstuck

Your comments about where “the real problem lies” is worth some investigation. One could start with a score card ala M&G; it would be interesting to ascertain just how many aspects of our daily lives are coming unstuck at the incompetent hands of the present administration.

Rod Morgan

Kelvin, Johannesburg

Still prefer hard copy

Because of the postal strike I had not received my latest noseweek, and was rather peeved. Then, along came your kind offer of access to the September issue online.  I still prefer the hard copy, but thank you for looking after your subscribers.  

Sue Wingrove   

Glenwood, Durban  

King of the castle

I had a look at the Mervyn E King website, as suggested in your editorial (nose119) – and I think you’re just jealous because you don’t have a pic of yourself embracing Nelson Mandela on your website.

Talking of which, don’t you think that the ex-President should levy royalties on those celebs great and small who use photos of themselves with him for self-promotion? Maybe I should write to Merv and suggest that it be part of King MMXXICMXXII (a)?

Emil Rorke aka King Zero


Medical suicide

“Visit safer South Africa” in nose118, refers. I’ll say things aren’t a lot better in the UK. According to your figures, there are 120 iatrogenic deaths per 100,000 there, compared to 75 in the US. Not that anybody will ever confirm it, but I’m prepared to bet that the number in RSA is many times higher. And if they ever implement the hare-brained NHI scheme, double that again. My doctor once said to me: ‘If you want to commit suicide, just check into a government hospital’.

Tony Lavine

Linbro Park, Gauteng

So you’d rather Discovery Health paid for your death bed lie-in, and not the taxpayer. As a taxpayer, I’ll go along with that. Ed.

Getting in a Twisp

Being a Twisp smoker, I read with interest your article about Twisp e-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes).

Scientific American’s report regarding the FDA findings is a bit one-sided. Thanks to articles like yours, I did a fair amount of research before exchanging my deadly smoking habit for another, less deadly one! 

The FDA apparently analysed 18 cartridges from two companies – but there are many, many companies out there.

Look at website rodutobaccotruth.blogspot.com/2009/07/fda-crusade-against-e-cigarettes.html for a more detailed insight into the FDA findings. According to Twisp, Twisp liquids do not contain substandard ingredients which would show traces of diethylene glycol (cheap propylene glycol) and nitrosamines (tobacco residue) – these were the two main culprits in the FDA report (and yes – I chose to believe Twisp).

E-cigarettes have been around since 2004 and are considered 95% safer than traditional cigarettes, with no second-hand smoke effects to others.  

Even Dr Joel L Nitzkin, chair of the Tobacco Control Group for the American Association of Public Health Physicians has written to the incoming director of the FDA asking them to reconsider their stance on e-cigarettes.

In closing, don’t shut down all the Twisp batteries yet. I am still loving mine. If you’re still sceptical, here’s a quote from a friend of mine who, after reading your article, said: “The e-cigarette sounds great to me: still potentially deadly – to eliminate stupid people – but safe for the innocent people around them.”

Gail van Jaarsveldt

Cape Town

Malema the Mouth

Every time Julius Malema opens his mouth, I am annoyed by his blatant hate speech. Is he the real mouthpiece of the ANC? By not removing him, they are clearly advocating what he says. 

Too often in the past political movements have hidden behind controversial persons such as this, whom everyone dismisses as “young and reckless”, or even naive. But the reality is that what he says is getting to the youth of the country, and influencing them negatively. The ANC may tell the nation to ignore it, but they do nothing to stop it.

So future dictators take their first baby steps.

Jason Fivaz

By email

Running to Canada

Re: your reminder to renew my subscription.

Much as I enjoy your monthly skinner, we are joining the rats leaving the sinking ship. No, not packing for Perth, we are off to Canada. Once we are there and sorted out, I will most definitely subscribe on line – impersonal, but that will have to do.

You will be hearing from me again.

Gem Trompeter

ex Constantia

Hope you haven’t told any fibs in your immigration papers – or we could be seeing you again soon. In any event, we expect a full report, in due course, on how Eskimo domestic workers shape. Do you also have to lock up the sugar there? Or will you be looking for a French housemaid (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)? Ed.

How not to get screwed

Noseweek makes for a refreshing read, even in faraway Ipswich, UK. And it’s nice to see that there’s a strong voice against corrution in SA.

You always report on bent professionals when they have gone far down the road in their criminal activity.

In the light of all the corruption by these so-called professionals, could you not publish a layman’s guide to what could be reportable actions?

For example: is an auditor allowed to practise while having multiple judgments for debt recorded against him?

Are accountants and auditors obliged to return documentation to clients? Is the late rendition of a client’s tax return, which incurs a penalty, regarded as acceptable conduct?

A Victim

Ipswich, England

PS: Might you be interested in a Cape Town southern suburbs accountant that has left a trail of unfinished business, and is currently the subject of disciplinary proceedings at the IRBA?

Male or female?Ed

Someone ate our pension

With reference to your carefully researched article “The rats who ate our pensions” (nose119): Gencor pensioners have, since 1999, repeatedly complained to Sanlam regarding the poor annual pension increases granted to us. All to no avail. Even Ted Pavitt, one-time Gencor chairman, wrote to the financial director of Sanlam, in May 2003, expressing concern about the poor investment performance and that the pension increase was only 2.5%. Even Mr Pavitt’s efforts were ineffective. 

The granting of poor pension increases is itself a serious abuse of pensioners. If Sanlam has looted possible surpluses in the Gencor group pension fund, why should we wait for their recovery when Sanlam has sufficient funds to exorbitantly reward its executives (at our expense)?

Some pensioners no longer trust Sanlam with the administration of their pensions. They now seek the right to have Sanlam pay to each pensioner the capital value of his or her own pension, as determined by independent actuaries (not by Sanlam’s).

Clifford Mey  &  David Braude


Perhaps it’s high time that  Sanlam disclosed whether or not they did indeed “extract value” from the Gencor pension fund.Ed

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Submitted by : Tony Beamish of PARISOT on 2009-10-02 23:18:26
I sincerely hope that if there is litigation over Caster Semenya, that Caster will not be forced to provide an affidavit. The content of a court affidavit in South Africa is normally - curiously - prefixed with a description of one's gender: "I am an adult male" or "I am an adult female". Now we might see an affidavit saying, "I am an adult hermaphrodite." It appears to me that Caster, unlike Leonard Chuene, would not lie.

(In court proceedings people tell the "whole truth and nothing but the truth" as they see or perceive it. Ed.)


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