Letters

Dear Editor


NOSE35 TREASURY OF LOVE COVER

No thanks to nose35! The cover is offensive – and unfair to two of the few really effective people in government. The worth of what you say is now irretrievably diminished. Pity!
MRS S A BLUMENTHAL, East London


Love the cover of nose35. I bought it despite my subscription because it looked so enticing!
H OATLEY, Bedfordview


10/10 with the front page of nose35 – I just had to buy it!!
SEAN POULTER, Didata.


OLD NON-MUTUAL


I am an abused ex-tenant of Old Mutual at Cavendish Square, and your recent coverage of this grotesquely oversized troll had me rummaging in the attic for one of my favourite OM propaganda blurbs: “What could we give a homeopath to ensure that her business would flourish?” The ad was a full page tear-jerker about a sangoma named Tinyiko who had fallen upon hard times:
“Her premises were too big for her. The rental was too high and the lease inflexible.” Tinyiko turned to OM for help.
“Which is just as well, because no matter how small our tenants are, we quite clearly do what other landlords do not. We encourage them to spend less money o n rent [my italics] … Judge us by what we’ve done for our tenants. We’d like to do the same for you.” Shortly after this ad campaign Cavendish Square was “redeveloped” by OM.
Some tenants had been at Cavendish since inception – some 23 years – and what followed can best be described as rape. Leases were summarily cancelled and “renegotiated” at the landlord’s whim. New leases were onerous in the extreme, and virtually non-negotiable. The finger-in-your-till turnover clause in particular became a gun-in-your-back clause whereby the landlord not only required a percentage of your turnover, but now also commanded that should you not reach target sales (and consequently only pay standard monthly rent), OM might terminate your lease. The landlord’s auditors might also walk into the tenant’s premises unannounced to examine sales records – to be kept in a predetermined way – or you’re in breach. The mob could learn a thing or two from these blokes! The lease agreement would be better described as a subjugation agreement! There should be legislation to prevent tenant abuse in SA.
Ultimately the consumer pays the wages of corporate greed.
The Cape Argus did report on the Cavendish events at the time – and then lost interest. The Mail & Guardian published nothing beyond the Tinyiko advert described above. Congratulations on a brave magazine!
SHAFTED OLD MUTUAL TENANT, Cape Town


SA EAGLE


A friend in Bethlehem, eastern Free State, seems to be the victim of circumstances similar to those described in your article (nose35). He’s been all but ruined claiming R2m from SA Eagle. He was arrested in April and charged with arson. The case is depleting his resources. We’ve faxed your article to his advocate.
ROY VAN DER WESTHUIZEN
Editor, Di Skoorsteenki, Fouriesburg


‘DON’T CREDIT SA BREWERIES’


In nose35 you credited Coca-Cola and SAB’s subsidiary, Amalgamated Beverages, the largest bottler of Coca-Cola in SA, with the crushing of New Age Beverages. This is giving too much credit to that combination of acorn crushers. In fact NAB destroyed itself through gross mismanagement and rampant theft. NAB had a golden opportunity to succeed and screwed it up. Ask a few of the African-American superstars about their losses and their failed attempts to get Pepsi USA to fork out for what turned into a sad day for black empowerment.
The SA version of the Cola wars was short-lived despite the might of the monopoly and not because of it. Believe me, I was there.
TOM CRISP, Port Elizabeth


EXPENSIVE HEINEKEN A CHEAP SA BREWERIES STUNT?


Re: your article on SAB’s Project Sahara. Of particular interest is SAB’s marketing of Heineken, sold expensively in South Africa and generally as imported beer. A close examination of the can (bottles not currently in my fridge) shows that the beer is “brewed and canned under licence from Heienken” and, further, “brewed and canned on behalf of Heineken South Africa”.
I recall that until about January 2001, Heineken products were sold as being canned – not brewed – under licence, suggesting the product was imported, and was only canned locally.
It appears SAB want to tear the pull-ring out of the market by producing inferior local beer and selling it under the guise of (fine print excluded) expensive and imported beer. Naturally the one good thing flowing is profit. Get your taste buds around that frothy issue!
MARC HAMMICK, Johannesburg

SAB was asked to comment. At the time of going to press no reply was forthcoming. – Ed.



PROSECUTE THE SLEAZEBAGS!


Looking at the fascinating exposés in your past issues, I wondered whether you, or any other public-spirited citizen, can prosecute the sleazebags on the evidence you present. It would be a shame to let these egregious and blatant frauds get away with murder, either literally or figuratively!
LOUIS COETZEE, Chemical and Biological Standards, SABS, Pretoria


GET GASSED AND KICK THE HABIT!


After 25 years of smoking 40 per day, I entered Constantiaberg Clinic in 1998 to have a kidney stone removed. I had no desire to quit smoking, but in deference to the anaesthetist, I desisted from smoking the night before. After the op I found I had lost all desire to smoke, felt no withdrawal symptoms and have not smoked since – to the obvious benefit of my pocket and my health.
I’m R20 000 better off in just over three years! Medical friends suggested the combination of gases used during the op could provide a key, and urged me “as a potential benefactor to mankind” to take the matter to the highest possible level.
I’ve had no response from the Medical Association of SA. In the UK the General Medical Council referred me to an organisation called Action o n Smoking and Health (Ash), which, despite its promising title, hasn’t responded either. (Of course, if I’ve found the ultimate cure, quite a few anti-smoking lobbyists might lose their jobs.) So now, in the interest of millions who have failed to kick the habit, I have come to you.
RICHARD HILTON, Port Alfred


TONY Y AND HIS BENZES


There I was, perusing the motoring magazine section of CNA in the Tramshed, when what did I see but nose34, sandwiched between Wiel and Car, sporting on its cover a silver off-road Merc with a unique registration! Whilst on the subject of Tony Y: his claim to be a Merc fan who has owned “about two” Mercedes Benzes – is this the political equivalent of poetic licence?
Keep it up, as Liberace said to his urologist.
LOGAN MCWATT, Midrand


SA POST OFFICE OUTRAGE


Shortly after TV news conveyed the postal crew’s outrage at your article (nose35), “The Curse of the Hope Diamond” on Discovery told how the diamond in question was safely delivered to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington by standard US Mail! Clearly we’ve got some way to go, so continue meddling in SA Post Office affairs!
ROD JOUBERT, BEREA, Durban


It’s our money. We’ve the right to know!
ANTHONY DOS SANTOS, Cape Town

See Page 21 – Ed.


ABSA GETS AN ANSWER


The timing of ABSA’s advert in Business Day (Page 5, Sept 11, 2001) was impeccable. It pictured Manhattan’s Twin Towers centre-page, with the caption “Why Compromise?” – on the very day those symbols of stability and power came crashing down. They asked the question – and got an answer.
The US is the biggest perpetrator of terror on this planet. From the Indo-Chinese atrocity bombings, to attacks on Baghdad, to the sanctions against Iraq ten years later which have killed a million children, to the depleted uranium bombings in Kosovo.
COSTA GAZI, Buffalo City

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