The will of Audrey Sidebotham
Your scurrilous article is notable for its half-truths and omissions, and serves only to produce innuendo and inference of impropriety concerning my brother Dr John McMullen [the vet], and myself, among others. For my part I reject the inference that my brother referred Mrs Sidebotham to me for dental treatment. In fact she personally requested to seek my professional opinion. I had met her socially on several occasions over the 25 years that she knew my brother.
I agreed to attend to dental problems worrying her, in advance of a planned world voyage. You insinuate that I was party to persuading her to have unnecesary dental treatment. My clinical records and radiographs indicate otherwise. Furthermore your article errs in stating that I removed all her lower teeth. As you placed [the matter] in the public domain and the patient is now deceased, I am at liberty to correct your error: only irretrievably diseased teeth were removed and replaced with an immediate prosthetic appliance to serve her until return from the voyage. I never saw her again as she passed away [shortly] after her return.
I demand and expect a published apology. I note that in your disclaimer you claim that every reasonably effort is taken to ensure the accuracy and soundness of published article content. No attempt was made to contact me prior to publication.
This failure on noseweek’s part constitutes an unauthorised invasion of privacy as guaranteed by our constitution.
DR B K MCMULLEN (BDS QUB), Cape Town
Your views on the use of Dormicum, Dr? – Ed.
I read with interest about the actions of my local vet, Doctor Mac. I was heart broken to find that my vet likes drinking whisky almost, it would seem, as much as I.Gosh! If Dr Mac is indeed a scoundrel then he conceals it behind the façade of a very hard-working man who has tended to my various sick animals with the utmost kindness and dedication. If he drinks whisky morning noon and night I wonder how he manages to run his practice, and how I have failed to spot this disposition – it takes one to know one.
I’m going shortly to see my sick Mom. She’s 79 and doubtless we’ll knock back a few glasses of Nedberg Stein, get pissed and talk of old and new times. Isn’t this what friends are for? Is this really what Dr Mac is guilty of? Of being supportive to Mrs Sidebotham? And all dressed up by others to seem sinister because he got some big reward from her will? Oh, I can’t believe what you wrote!
TERRY MACKENZIE HOY, Cape Town
Write to us again when next you call at your Mom’s house with a bottle – and find her doped up on pills supplied by her vet. Or her housekeeper refuses to let you in – on instructions from the vet! – Ed.
Loved your article, which is full of fabrications, hearsay and journalistic disclaimers. Please phone John the Vet.
JOHN MCMULLEN, Cape Town
We phoned and arranged a meeting, but it was called off by Dr McMullen on the advice of his lawyers. – Ed.
Have just devoured nose33. As great a read as ever. Thank you for the dedication and diligence with which you prepare each issue. I admire your persistence in getting to the bottom of each story. If only the rest of SA’s media would take a leaf out of your book (so to speak) – we’d be far better informed of the real issues, and enjoy reading about them too!
PS Do you have a fanclub?
BARBARA SURMON, Cape Town
The recent case of judges’ salary cheques bouncing in the E Cape, says a lot about what banks think of the Treasury’s creditworthiness. What do the banks know that we don’t?
DOUGLAS WADE, Reading, UK
The De Beers saga
Will the last one to leave the country please turn off the light? It is said the De Beers deal was sanctioned by Thabo Mbeki himself, who claims to have an MA degree in economics from Sussex University. Why has Mbeki sanctioned something akin to GM’s de-listing and withdrawing from the American economy? De Beers shares have helped sustain the JSE for over a hundred years. Once the buyout and de-listing is finalised, De Beers will vanish from the stock market floor – mostly into the hands of the (cunningly) already-disinvested Anglo-American Plc in London, and the Oppenheimer family.
Presumably using struggle economics, Mbeki gave as his reason for sanctioning the deal the fact that there will be a R24b inflow of capital into the country. Maybe this will sustain the value of the Rand over the next few months.
After that, however, the Rand will continue its downward spiral. Only this time it’ll be more dramatic as international income from diamond sales is lost to SA forever.
De Beers and other companies disinvesting from SA are clearly doing so to keep their money out of reach of Third World politicians.
FRED RUNDLE, Johannesburg
Crime does pay!
I love your magazine! Please investigate how much government is earning through crime. We pay VAT on all services and commodities. For example: My car is hijacked. An insurance claim of R150 000 is paid. I buy a new car and an amount of R21 000 is paid to the Receiver. I was hurt in the hijacking and the ensuing medical expenses are subject to VAT. The same applies should you get burgled. TV sets, cameras and so on must be replaced, all subject to VAT. Crime does pay – even for the government!
HENNING BUITENDAG, Pretoria
‘I was De Crespigny's 5th wife’
I saw your piece on A de Crespigny in nose32. As one of his many wives, I’m interested to know when the next issue is coming out. De Crespigny has been married 5 times – I was his fifth.
LOLLY DE CRESPIGNY
BMW drivers rally
Your crude reporting on BMW Drivers arising from your “independent test” and “own unique survey” will do you little good with your readership. You should check how many subscribers are BMW drivers, and will not be endeared by your definition of them. The appalling caricature illustrating your report is tasteless in the extreme. I hope BMW may institute legal action against you for using their trademark without permission. Is your report prompted by envy? Do what the BMW spokesperson suggested: drive a BMW – then you will understand, and hopefully be able to write a responsible report. Stick to what you are good at, instead of trailing off into this useless, page filling rubbish.
GRAHAM HIGGO, Kenilworth
(subscriber and BMW owner)
Take comfort from the thought, expressed in the following letter from Canada, that Audi drivers might be worse oinkers! – Ed.
Tundra view on Yankee doo doo amd Bee Ems too
Your fine rag is very much like our own Frank, published here in the frozen tundra wastes of Canada. noseweek’s stories sound awfully familiar! Yankee appointee to national air carrier results in dubious aircraft orders and sudden disappearance of same so-called “Savvy Sky Saviour”. Hmmm! Air Canada got sucked into a deal to buy a flock of Airbuses at a greatly inflated price. Monies were kicked back and forth, from the Prime Minister’s office to retired Newfoundland premiers appointed to the airline’s board and taking a big cut. German arms dealers, bank accounts in Switzerland, Lichenstein and Andorra. After all was said and done, the Government privatized the airline! Beemer drivers Rude? I suspect. Audi drivers are worse, as they are wannabe Beemer owners. Nothing worse than a person with an inferiority complex driving a German car!
DAN WHALEN, Toronto, Canada
Copyright © 2021 www.noseweek.co.za