Dear Editor

Secret recipe

Your Coca-Cola story (nose147) was neatly summed up in a quip from a listener to Radio 702’s business programme: To err is human; to blame someone else shows management potential.


• Your story in nose147 about the shenanigans in the soft drink business made great reading.

Years ago I was told that a whole building on Coca-Cola’s corporate campus in Atlanta was devoted solely to housing the court records of its innumerable cases. Seems like nothing’s changed.

Hope I never get thirsty enough to drink the stuff.

L P Holgate

The way up is down

Great article on Enver Motala – “Motala in double trouble” (nose147). Now, however, I’m disturbed to read that he may receive a pardon. So if you steal, rob, commit perjury, and financially violate the uninformed, you can expect to be exonerated and appointed to the highest echelons.

South Africa has lost its moral compass and is fast becoming the laughing stock of the world.

Hannes Greyvenstein

Not very nice work

I’m glad you took the time to expose the Oasis brothers Ebrahim (nose147). I only managed a few weeks in their employ before I walked out.

What a horrible place to work: at first they make as if you’re the best thing since sliced bread, but soon you’re just one of their slaves. I was employed in a senior position as my predecessor became ill; his predecessor hadn’t lasted long either. 

The two more-senior brothers, Nazeem and Shaheen, became rude and obnoxious, with false accusations of coming to work late (they could have checked my access details as a tag had to be swiped).

After I walked out I started hearing stories from people who had had dealings with these brothers; most could hardly believe I had lasted the few weeks. I am told a par-ticular employment agency no longer sends job-seekers to Oasis, as all of them come back disgruntled.

Could it be that the brothers are running for the title of “Worst Company Directors Ever”?

Name withheld
By email

• At last someone has had the balls to expose Oasis, especially because they’ve managed to create a perception of integrity,  particularly amongst the Muslim community. 

There are many other employees whose stories follow the same theme. I suppose the Ebrahims will be suing Noseweek for defamation, as with Judge Siraj Desai and others.

Name withheld

Noseweek has received several letters in like vein from former Oasis employees. See our follow-up story in this issue Oasis feels the heat. – Ed.

Curved balls

Dave Oswald, private investigator and insurance claim consultant – really?  Your piece on the Oreport/Clayton saga (nose147) makes interesting reading.

I have worked in insurance claims for over 40 years and sometimes wonder whether I have learnt anything at all. But I have learnt this: that when PIs and claims experts depart from objectivity and start playing the man instead (“I want to see this bastard nailed and behind bars… as per Oswald PI”) then the result is invariably the same – a very expensive balls-up.


Another Fine mess

On what possible basis can the police justify sending five officers to Colin Chaplin’s home because they think he may be sending offensive letters to his ex-girlfriend Lauren Fine?

Given the high incidence of serious crime in South Africa, this is a complete waste of both taxpayers’ money and the limited resources of the police. I also find it odd that Fine was allowed to pay for a forensic specialist to be present – on what basis?

I suppose the only good thing to come out of it is that if they were so thorough yet found nothing to implicate him, then they have exonerated him in the process. It still seems a bit extreme, if you ask me.

Denzyl Seymour
Morningside, Durban

A good life

Are principles really necessary if one chooses to have a life free of stress?  I thought it would be easy, and seem to have managed quite well over the past 10-or-more years.

I think it started to unravel with Vodacom who, if I remember correctly, had a monopoly as a service provider for mobile phones. Anyway at that time I could think of no reason to own a cell phone. Then came MTN as another provider and I thought, well maybe,  but there was talk that the two providers were in bed together so I abstained and made my first principle – no mobile until a third provider came in. I chose the third provider, only to find out that the three were sleeping together. Now I don’t trust any of them, but as I am a “pay as you go” and hardly use my mobile, no one is making much money out of me.

Principle number two came about through the shenanigans of the old Lotto Board who held on to the money as if it were glued to their fingers but managed to distribute millions to a well known sports club, while those feeding the hungry were left to find other means of keeping people from starving.

After many letters to the press and Mr [Sershen]Naidoo lying to the public about how the funds meant for charity were allocated, I swore to never buy another lotto ticket.  And I have stuck to that principle.

Why am I telling you this? Because, through Noseweek and your stories of fraud, theft and corruption by just about every corporation who, I’d thought, lived by ethical behaviour, I am having to make more and more “on principle” decisions that are driving me quite scatty.

Having just read how Coca-Cola screwed a much smaller guy and left him penniless (nose147), on principle (number three) I shall not allow a sip of Coke past my lips. This quite honestly is not a difficult one as I hardly drink Coke, Appletiser or Valpré.

Woolworths have done much the same to a small guy making ginger beer,  and although their vegetables are fresher, I wonder what screws they put on the farmer or in fact any of their suppliers and how many have gone under.

Then try and find a locally made item of clothing in their stores; check the labels: China, Mauritius, Lesotho, Swaziland is where it is made – countries using slave and child labour.

OK, we can also blame our own unions for closing down our factories, but I also hold Woolworths responsible for being too greedy. So with Woolworths, it is only half a principle and I feel guilty.

At one stage I thought to change my bank, but then found – through Noseweek – that every bank, perhaps not Capitec, is ripping us off, so decided one devil is as bad as the next. Anyway it is such a mission, I took the easy route. Hard to make an on-principle choice when there are no choices.

Oh, and I don’t fill my car with fracking Shell.

I do have an option of never to buy another newspaper, Noseweek or watch Carte Blanche. But then how would I be able to live, knowing that through ignorance I am supporting thieves and robbers?

So please, Noseweek, keep me on my toes. I’d hate to miss out on making more on-principle choices.

Jo Maxwell

Power to the people – and to Pinelands! Ed.

Inconvenient facts

It is disappointing to read an article riddled with inaccuracies – as in “An inconvenient Toefy” (nose147). 

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, on 16 November 2011, issued an Environmental Authorisation in response to an application for the proposed construction of an apartment block and associated infrastructure on Lion’s Hill Tamboerskloof.

The refusal was informed by key factors such as the National Environmental Management Principles, biophysical factors, services, visual impact, as well as need and desirability.  These are not “nice greeny things” as described in the article but are legislative imperatives that guide decision making. 

The department also recommended an integrated approach in the planning of the proposed development. Subsequently, the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (Nemba) list of endangered and threatened ecosystems came into effect on 9 December. This meant that certain Nemba EIA-listed activities must be applied to the entire erf – not just the Block E that was refused – and that the entire erf is subject to an EIA process.

The central issue is whether the EIA process, as managed by Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, was flawed. This is what the reader needs to be told.

The taxpayer expects decisions to be concluded within the legislative frameworks and that all the associated democratic processes are executed without compromise.  This will affirm transparency and accountability.

Aziel Gangerdine
Dept of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
Provincial Government of the Western Cape

The above is a compilation (by Noseweek) of those bits of a longer “Media Statement” that we found more-or-less comprehensible. The rest was rambling, jargon-filled, pretentious, dense and frequently incomprehensible.

The full text of Mr Gangerdine’s letter is available in our online edition, should any masochist wish to read it all.

Meanwhile, we suggest to Premier Helen Zille that she arrange for some plain English courses for those provincial employees who have to deal with the media.

Poached profits

Sadly the wrong party was castigated in your article “Turning rhinos into fast bucks”, (nose145).

The only person trying to make money out of the plight of rhino poaching is the filmmaker who took the footage at the request of the owner of the reserve on which the rhino was poached, Graham Rushmere, and the vet attending the butchered animal, William Fowlds, in the interests of using the incident as widely as possible to highlight the ongoing rhino slaughter in the Eastern Cape. 

This footage and that taken by the vet, was given to Braam Malherbe for this very purpose and passed on to the free-to-view satvchannel.com that dedicates itself to promoting African wildlife and tourism.

Malherbe passed the edited snippet on to Woolworths. Neither satvchannel nor Wool-worths were aware that the filmmaker had claimed royalty rights on the footage. As soon as this came to light, satvchannel replaced the 30-second snippet with footage of the event taken by the vet.

Woolworths feeds money into conservation through their My Planet Rhino Fund and neither they, nor satvchannel, nor Malherbe, a passionate conservationist and 50/50 presenter, dedicated to environmental causes, stood to gain financially from the footage.

What they did by showing the incident was purely in the interests of helping to curb rhino poaching.  By exploiting the situation to try to extract R410 000 from Woolworths, puts the filmmaker’s motives in a totally different light.

When put under pressure about the amount of money he was asking for, he said it would go to conservation after his costs had been taken into account – but he refused to divulge these.

Sandra Herrington (PhD)


SEVERAL weeks ago I wrote, by registered post, to the General Manager of the Standard Bank of South Africa, Simmonds Street, Johannesburg. Some weeks later, the letter was returned unopened as the bank had refused to accept it

All I wanted was to ask for the general manager’s comments on the performance of one of his branches – but no dice. After 35 years, my opinion of the bank has sunk to zero.

RE Lockyer
Fish Hoek

Free rounds

YOUR survey of advocates charging for double briefing was revealing. Does this happen in the medical profession too?

I am referring to hospital visits of surgeons/physicians doing ward rounds, seeing up to 10-or-more patients.

Does every patient pay for a visit? Or is there a reduced fee because he/she came for more than one?

Maria Louw
Port Elizabeth

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Submitted by : Philip Smith of QUEENSLAND on 2012-01-31 12:04:25
Re Maria Louw's question -

Some years ago my wife fell and broke her elbow. She was operated on at Olivedale clinic and later recalled that while she was in the recovery room somebody spoke to her.

At that time her arm was strapped against her body and she was coming out of the anesthetic, so she was somewhat confused.

The lady asked her whether she could move her arm, which any idiot could see was impossible.

Some weeks later we discovered who this “lady” was when we received a bill from a physiotherapist, for a consultation.

I suspect the entire medical profession is guilty of this “easy money” consultations that last for all of two minutes.

I sent a polite letter that read.

Dear madam,
Regarding the bill you sent for a consultation, that was not required, requested or useful in any way, the only sane comment I have is Fuckoff.

Rude letter to follow.

Your sincerely

Philip Smith


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