Dear Editor

Fair is foul

It was like a breath of fresh air reading your cover story, (nose143) on how easy it is to lie and obtain an interim order in terms of the Domestic Violence Act. Some kind of justice!

I have been separated from my wife for three years; in that time I have been accused of being everything mentioned in your article and more.

I have been arrested on three occasions on orders issued by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court – most recently, spending a night in jail. I am yet to have a magistrate find any merit in any of my arrests, come the return day. To date, they have all been thrown out of court: when the court day arrives – after several postponements – she simply withdraws her complaint, only to get another interim order a few weeks later. The next will be my seventh court appearance but I am yet to get to tell my story to a court.

Point being: there are guys out there who (as in my case) just want to see their children and aren’t violent people, but are left with the stigma of being an abuser – by a woman who happens to be a great story teller, while being unable to produce a shred of evidence, so thank you for exposing some truth.

I will be appearing in court again in October, defending yet another interim order.

Enough is enough. This time I will be represented by Laurance Hodes SC. One of the points I intend challenging: until now it has been accepted that you cannot obtain a costs order in respect of Domestic Violence Act proceedings. I am using the best to try to achieve this, in the light of events in my case. If we succeed, I believe it will be a first.

Dorian Cabral
Director: Xtreme Fitness
Waverley, Johannesburg

A mother’s pain

I’m appalled by the story told by Bheki Mashile in his latest Country Life column (“Umjindi’s dumbest”, nose143). I can imagine that mother’s pain after what Barberton General Hospital did to her son. I’m a mother of a five-year-old and wouldn’t even know where to begin if it were to happen to him.

It saddens me that even today nothing has been done to the doctor and the hospital by the Department of Health.

Gugu Motsoeneng

(See update Good-hearted lawyerEd.)

A capable cadre

Your very pertinent editorial contrasting the performance of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela with that of Auditor-General Terence Nombembe (nose142) raises more questions than answers regarding the failures of the AG, assuming this is not from an excessive workload or inefficiency.

When the AG addressed the Cape Town Press Club in November, I asked (while emphasising I meant no disrespect): was he another cadre deployed by the ANC?

In reply, he explained at length how he came to have the job – which was open to all – by applying for it, beating all other candidates, then having to stand before the scrutiny of Parliament and the pertinent committee before they ratified his appointment.

While it may seem rich that the same ANC parliamentarians (who were allowed to get away with their Travelgate frauds) awarded him a 64% back- dated pay increase, it is not necessarily questionable.

Anyway, as a CA (SA) and presumably still a member in good standing of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants, any untoward behaviour would be swiftly  dealt with by them.

DJ Lavin CA

Would be, or should be, swiftly dealt with?Ed.

Calling time

In your article headlined “Lords of the Wind” (nose142) you make reference to an announcement I made regarding a deadline for objections to proposed amendments to the Land Use Planning Ordinance 1985... to make provision for wind energy generating and solar farms as a “consent use” on land zoned Agriculture 1.

In a statement issued on 9 June I did confirm that I was considering the general amendment of all zoning schemes in the Western Cape...  and that the closing date for comment was 17 June.

The impression created in your article is that the time set aside for objectors to act was only those few days between the date of my statement that you quoted and the closing date.

The proposals had, however, already been brought to the attention of all municipal managers in a circular, and had been published and advertised in the Provincial Gazette, as is legally required, on 17 May, giving objectors the customary month in which to lodge objections.

Anton Bredell
Minister of Local
Government, Environmental
Affairs and Development
Planning, Western Cape

True, but c’mon, who reads the Provincial Gazette? Ed.

Blind spot

It is shameful that a company with the profile of Deloitte, an auditing enterprise supposedly of the highest integrity, can continue to pursue matters in court in which there is clear “misdemeanour” by a senior employee (“Destroyed by Deloitte”, nose142).

No wonder their auditing fees are as high as they are – they’ve had to come up with some significant litigation fees over the last three-to-four years.

Here’s to Zanzibar!

Graham Anderson

Squeezed dry

As Capetonians, we were surprised that The Butcher Shop & Grill, Mandela Square, Sandton, was happy to see a party of six leave rather than serve them tap water in a jug.

We were told, “This is company policy. No, it does not have anything to do with your health, but if the other tables see we serve you water in a jug, they might also want it.” This despite the fact that we indicated that we would be ordering a couple of bottles of wine.

How sad to see a company so desperate to squeeze the bottom line! Can someone please tell them an estimated three litres of water is used to produce one litre of bottled water and that the plastic pollution caused by water bottles is a huge ecological problem?

Wilderness Safaris had the following information printed on re-usable water bottles issued to us in Botswana: “Most water bottles are made from a crude oil derivative. Millions of barrels of oil and $100 billion is spent on the production of plastic bottles. Despite our best efforts to recycle, 86% of water bottles end up in landfills.”

How can The Butcher Shop & Grill be so ignorant in this day and age? It seems the health of our planet will always play second fiddle to profit margins, which is why earth summits achieve so little.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if many more people staged a walk-out if they are refused tap water? It is only when their profit margins are affected that these unscrupulous companies will change their policies.

Estelle Hopkins


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