Dear Editor

Swipe at Bizos unwarranted

Noseweek 163’s Winnie nostalgia trip was vintage Rian Malan, but why the nasty and dangerously misconceived sideswipe at George Bizos?

The suggestion that Bizos is somehow responsible for and could be subpoenaed “to explain the apparent fabrication of Mrs Mandela’s alibi” is misguided or malicious. The alibi defence was put up by the accused and supported by her witnesses. The case presented by Bizos and his two juniors – on the instructions of their attorney – was their client’s case, not theirs.

If legal counsel are to be called to account for the unpopular clients they may represent or the contrived defences their clients may fabricate, our constitutional right to a fair trial would be seriously eroded. This would strike at the very foundation of the rule of law.

Johann Kriegler

Green-eyed reputation thieves

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Imraan Coovadia and other green-eyed thieves of JM Coetzee’s reputation that JM is entitled to free choice of how and where he lives his life. Or that South Africa may have lost him in part because the nouveau literary set didn’t begin to appreciate him.

I still think Disgrace, disgraced for it’s so-called racism, was prophetic. I still think JM is one of the best writers South Africa has or possibly ever will produce. And that Nadine Gordimer was once a brilliant writer too, in the early days when her short stories reflected what nobody else wanted to see.

Rosemund Handler
Cape Town

Nobody has suggested Coetzee was not free to choose where to live (or what to think); what Coovadia did (as does another reader in this issue) was to ponder the reasons for JMC’s choice, based on available evidence, and as a further reflection of his pessimistic/damning view of South Africa’s prospects, dominated by black South Africans. And then to question how that squared with the supposedly more optimistic liberal views of his many admirers (and, maybe, even those of the Nobel prize adjudicators)
. – Ed.

Past perfect

Thank you for the thoughtful article on bringing back the extinct. (Resurrecting the woolly mammoth, “NoseArk”, nose163.) It’s too often [simply] reported with much breathlessness at its novelty.

However, curiously seldom remarked upon is the bring-back-the-quagga breeding project which has been running in Cape Town for decades now, quietly doing very credible science under the hype radar.

David Chaplin
Fish Hoek

The quagga project doesn’t involve gene manipulation like the projects that I was writing about, but rather is about selectively breeding “desirable” traits into a population of Burchell’s zebra that look like quaggas. Adam Welz

Slaves to prejudice

Your article, Mauritians are slaves to their past (nose163) made for enjoyable reading, probably as I have a personal interest in the matter – I am a descendant of a Mauritian slave – or maybe because it is a much-needed change from the normal hard-hitting corruption and hard luck stories of everyday South Africa.

Unfortunately as a country we are in a similarly unclear position. History records my Creole forefather’s accomplishments on the East African Islands, yet as a professional white male in the country of my birth, I am generally considered a non-person for suitable employment.

I can relate to Jean-Pierre Lenoir and others in the article, but feel and accept that in democracy there is very little that can move the situation forward; only time will tell.

Bruce Jones

Teed off by socialist nonsense

I am seriously vexed and irritated by Tom Eaton’s article “Handicapped by denial” (nose163). How can you publish such rubbish? Is your mission not to publish the truth? When Eaton talks about the incredible game of Golf he really doesn’t know what he is talking about.

 It strikes me as Marxist-socialist bleeding heart stuff when he says things like “golf is the defining symbol of bourgeois virtue” and makes out that he knows about golf and why people play Golf.

Playing Golf is not “escaping from reality” but teaches you many things about how to cope with reality, like there are no (ANC) hand-outs in the game, you play the ball as it lies and where your ball lands is where you hit it; so too you must cope with where you find yourself in life and if you miss a short putt it is not someone else’s fault, it is yours.

So it is in life. Ask any real golfer. And the camaraderie of playing with your buddies?

Some of the guys in Pollsmoor are there because they broke the rules. Well, in Golf if you break a rule you call a penalty on yourself, and if you want to improve yourself you work hard on improving yourself – that is what this game teaches you, Tom Eaton. If these same guys had had the good fortune in life to have experienced the game of Golf possibly they would not be in Pollsmoor.

Rob Sowry

I keep telling my writers that criticising a man’s religion is looking for trouble. But consider this: if those guys in Pollsmoor and their buddies had had the good fortune in life to earn enough to be able to afford to experience the game of Golf (please note the respectful capital), they probably would not have ended up there anyway.Ed.

There are some real heroes…

With regards to your article on Sean Wisedale, and how he has lost it (nose162): sadly, as was mentioned also by Tom Eaton in his great article, we have lost touch with who our true heroes are. 

Sportsmen are put on pedestals for their achievements, when all they have are God-given talents which is very different to who they are. Sadly they remain incongruent with their ideal and real self.  

I just wanted to make you aware of a true sportsman and silent hero, who has no real talent, but a God-given set of values.

He leads a life of pure integrity. He is a humble adventurer, with a heart. His cause is greater than himself, he takes on these adventures in the name of animals and conservation.

He truly shows the nature of the human spirit, and I know of very few people who truly inspire as he does. Check out Davey du Plessis. (www.worldwonderer.co.za).

Robyn Wolff

Du Plessis is privileged to have a devoted mother who is brave enough to sing his praises in Noseweek. Ed.

Sasol pollution seen from the N1 in the Free State. So much for their claims (nose162) to having cleaned up their act



Article sinks business deal

We act for Mr Yusuf Adams, of Zambli 216 (Pty) Ltd and Smada Property Holdings (Pty) Ltd. Our clients have instructed us to address this correspondence to you, not, for immediate purposes, in contemplation of litigation (although these rights are reserved) but rather:

(1) to request that you take down the false and defamatory allegations [about our clients] which continue to be published in Noseweek online. [See the article, “Easy Pickings” in nose142], and

(2) to curtail unjustifiable and unlawful reputational and financial harm which our clients have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of the allegations published in Noseweek.

[The full text of this letter detailing the “falsehoods” allegedly contained in the nose142 article can be found here.Ed.]

The reasons for our clients responding only now, 17 months after the article appeared are, inter alia

(1) at the time our clients dismissed the allegations as frivolous and without merit, and were until recently under the impression that none of the stakeholders in their business could have believed the allegations to be true;

(2) the allegations were not re-published in the mainstream media;

(3) our clients have only recently been cognised of the extent of the reputational and financial harm caused by the article when, in September 2012, Zambli entered into a sale agreement with the Dipula Income Fund to sell the fund two properties which are currently being leased to the national Department of Public Works.

However, a financial institution has since disapproved of the transactions, citing Noseweek as the reason.

We await your urgent response.

Greg Palmer
Webber Wentzel attorneys

After thoroughly investigating your clients’ complaints, we remain of the view that our story was true, lawful and in the public interest. Therefore, we deny that your clients have suffered “unjustifiable and unlawful” reputational damage.

Unless you can advance more convincing reasons why we should do so, we do not propose removing the story from the
Noseweek website.

As regards the Dipula Fund’s decision not to proceed with the purchase of your client’s properties, we believe the fund’s decision was prudent in view of the contentious circumstances surrounding these properties and the possible consequences of an in-depth investigation by the Auditor General, the Treasury and the Public Protector of the leases concluded by the Department of Public Works in recent times
. – Ed.

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Submitted by : Pete Swanepoel of MONTCLAIR on 2013-05-29 13:45:07
Um, someone please tell Davey du Plessis' Mommy that raising funds to go on jols around the world is not "heroic". Fun, yes, better than work, yes, adventurous, yes, fodder for yet another 'look at me!' book, yes. But "heroic"? No.
Submitted by : Philip Curtis of Robertson on 2013-05-24 07:41:03
Why is the display of this page cut off on the left-hand side?


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