Dear Editor


Congratulations on Noseweek’s 20th anniversary, a brilliant achievement and a great contribution to journalism and the interests of our society.

In June 2001 (nose33) you might remember a cover of me being called a shit (sung in chorus) by Nedbank’s directors. You were kind enough to phone me and ask if I had any objections which I definitely did not.

A golf society to which I belong started an annual tournament at the River Club Sandton called the SMIAS (SM is a shit) to which I donated the trophy. More power to your computer.

Steve Mulholland     

►The arrival of nose165 this morning effectively put a stop to the boring things I had meant to do!  It also sent me scurrying to my bookshelf. I wonder how many of your readers could produce similar pics:


I admit I was flattered that you chose to include one of my letters in your selection.

My regret is that R13 petrol makes me choose not to be in Cape Town on 25th July.

Mike Young

A touch of red in ANC’s true colours

Your Rian Malan interview (nose165) starts by revealing large areas of consensus between the anti-communist historian Stephen Ellis and communist and other leftists at a Rosa Luxemburg Foundation seminar. It also reveals that the SA Communist Party agreed to launch the armed rebellion in December 1960, a year before the first uMkhonto weSizwe bombing of a pass office.

There are tantalising clues that this decision came even earlier. The apartheid regime crushed the ANC’s Passive Resistance Campaign in 1952 with mass jailings – and then passed a law adding mandatory whipping for any future such campaign.

The following year Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, and other ANC leaders, agreed on the necessity to try to launch an armed rebellion. They sent Sisulu in 1953 to the Soviet Union (Russia) and China to appeal for aid. The communist Chinese government declined and apparently so did the Soviets.

So it would seem that it took Mandela, Sisulu, and Kathrada another six years of charming and lobbying to get the SA Communist Party to go along with this and help them finally get Soviet aid.

Keith Gottschalk.
Political Studies Dept,
University of the Western Cape, Bellville

Kia’s a great little car – if it starts

Help. I bought a brand new Kia Picanto in 2008. Within a few months I was having trouble getting this humble little car started, but the dealer from which I purchased the car had gone out of business.  My nearest Kia outlet said I needed a new battery but that made no difference.

I have written to Kia in Gauteng, the CEO of Kia South Africa and to Kia in Korea – who sent the problem back to Kia, Gauteng. I have also written to the Motor Industries Ombudsman and to the Consumer Protection lot – all to no avail.

The starting problem came with the car and has nothing at all to do with servicing. I googled “starting problems with Picanto” and discovered I am not alone. There appear to be many Picantos (not just in SA) with this problem.

The Picanto is a great little car, if you can get it started. How do I fix it?

Alison Weston

Similar but different

No wonder Australians do not like South Africans if they behave like South Africans in Australia by parking and blocking beach access for the disabled. And Anne Susskind “felt innocent and quite blameless”. I am sure her article was cathartic.

Cecilia Wedgwood
Orchards, Johannesburg

Hard to compete

May I bring your attention to the fact that PetroSA is calling for tenders from contractors who can teach PetroSA personnel Mandarin.

You are so right about every single dorp, town and city in South Africa having Chinese shops being operated by young Chinese who cannot speak a word of English or any other known South African language.

How does this work? The are not registered for VAT or any other tax. Are their businesses registered? I doubt it. Beijing would appear to be driving this.

The Chinese have taken over the textile factories in Mooi River and Newcastle; they do not conform to SA labour practices and do not even pay minimum wages, yet Cosatu does nothing about it. The Chinese are opening mall after mall in Johannesburg and other cities.

Please continue with articles on this subject.

Berry Dyson
By email

Golden oldies still have shine

I am an avid reader of Noseweek and possess all the editions from nose1 to date, with the exception of  three early editions… that some miscreant has obviously borrowed and not returned. Can you help? [Yes!] The moral is not to lend my treasures. I often browse through early copies which provide a history of corruption and still prove a delight to read.

Arthur Phillips, CA

New Germany, KZN

Spying free-for-all

The French were outraged by the Snowden [Edward Snowden, US NSA whistleblower] revelations, but then Le Monde revealed that France was doing the same and made reference to several dedicated data centres for electronic eavesdropping, including in Djibouti.

So everybody is doing it and that is also why governments are not giving each other too much trouble over the matter – the political powers highly value their access to secret information on anything that might challenge their power.

The cost of obtaining the ability is cheap when compared to, for example, developing a new fighter plane. Ditto even for the development of a modern passenger aircraft. Therefore it is affordable to most (if not all) governments.

It is time to challenge the fundamental idea that governments may do things secretly. Go for transparency and receive early warning of doubtful and immoral behaviour as a bonus. Fewer apologies and stressful coverups will also make it nicer to be the government.

Gabrie Jansen
Kempton Park

Rudeness scores no points

Tom Eaton’s “Sport or religion?” certainly gets under the skin, maligning and insulting its way along. Oh for some of those old journos who, given a precept like this would, with satirical elegance, have had us in stitches, bursting to see the quivering lips of those who thought they might be on the receiving end. Eaton is just rude.

Hoisting oneself up to the rafters of a great (T S Eliot) is so passé – and then the quote itself – every second ladies’ mag seems to be using it at the moment. Common. Once he has relieved himself on sports lovers from his ill-gotten heights, Eaton wimps out! “So why are we like this?” he dares ask. No Mr Eaton, when you’ve removed yourself from the pack, “we” is only conferred upon “you” when “we” let you back in. Can’t just pitch up and expect a game now, son. First write something decent. “We” pay good money for “our” Noseweek.

Shape up lad!

Congrats on 20 years!

Brian Rogers
Cape Town

Give Lennie a regular slot

I was delighted that your June issue included the return of Lennie the Liquidator after an absence of a few months. Whenever I notice a new copy of Noseweek on the shelf, I immediately check to see whether it contains the next instalment of the intrepid liquidator Lennie. If it does, I purchase a copy, if not, I generally don’t.

I appeal to Noseweek to institute a regular monthly feature devoted to the exploits and escapades of Lennie on the liquidation trail. No doubt it will enhance Noseweek’s appeal and add to the cult image of Lennie (to which Noseweek has already made an invaluable contribution).

I am a great fan of Lennie and also enjoyed the manner in which you artistically enhanced his photograph. I would appreciate a digital copy of it so I can frame it and hang it on my wall.

Keep up the good work.

Bernard Katz

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