Letters

Dear Editor



HERSOV AND AA LIFE

NoseWEEK 19 exposes Anglovaal Chairman Basil Hersov by quoting statements he made in Matthew Curtin’s interview entitled “Anglovaal does not see what the fuss is all about.” (Business Day 1 Nov 1993).
What you do not mention is that in this same interview, Mr Hersov comments on Anglovaal’s Life Company, AA Life, as follows: “The company’s in profit, and raring to go.”
Why, therefore, 2 years later when AA Life was disposed of by Anglovaal, was there nothing for shareholders? Furthermore, why did AA Life declare dividends which were not paid?
A Reader, Rosebank

AMWAY

I was very disturbed to see your response to Amway. It is clear that you are not fully informed about the workings of this fine corporation.
Amway has been cleared by the highest courts in the world and has been set as the standard by which all other Multi-Level Marketing Organisations are judged. Now if the chance to change your life and start your own in-home shopping business is not worth R400.00, then that is up to you. What would it cost you to set up a conventional type of business: R50 000, R60 000, R500 000??
As with any franchise, there is no guarantee that you will be successful. Amway gives you the opportunity and teaches you how to do it. If you fail DON”T BLAME AMWAY! When one finger points forwards, three point backward. For MP David Graaff to invite people to get in touch with him “if they get their fingers burned” is ridiculous. He may as well offer to help anybody who has tried to go into business and failed.
Irrespective of what people might say, as far as the prices and quality of the products is concerned, Amway offers a unique guarantee that is most “UNPYRAMID” like. You have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all their products for 90 days. You may also return your “Starter Kit” should you not be satisfied.
As happens throughout the world, Amway gets the blame for the failure of those distributors who don’t do what needs to be done to succeed.
Typically, one of those who have failed (as in letter #3, nose19) has to blame something, so it is his “upline” and the products. The fact that he has not bothered to dilute the products as recommended is an illustration of his frustration. The manufacturing policy of Amway is “high concentration”.
I have personally done extensive tests on those Amway products that can be used in “measured” doses and have found that there is nothing else out there that compares.
I do not speak for Amway. I speak for myself and from my own experience in the few months that I have been involved with this opportunity.
Peter D. Joffe, Amway Distributor, Parklands, Johannesburg
We recommend you re-read nose19- ed.

MARILYN AND ART APART

“Art and Politics cannot be separated” is a quote which could well have come from the censorship years of apartheid SA. It was, in fact, written by Marilyn Martin, Director of the National Gallery in 1997, and reflects the undue influence of the gallery’s policies on art in this country.
What future is there for the natural development of an indigenous art culture in such a climate?
While Ms Martin also states in her introductory article to the exhibition of gallery acquisitions from 1985 to 1995 that ‘… they (artists) cannot be coerced to toe any line, politically or aesthetically’, the Gallery’s purchases belie this, and artists know that survival may well depend upon toeing that very political line, with creativity and artistic merit a very poor second to political content.
In a small market such as ours, the National Gallery in general, and Ms Martin in particular, play a disproportionately large role in the artist’s progress. Ms Martin is an awesome influence in the art arena. Not only is she the director of the most important state gallery in the country, she is on the selection boards of a number of corporate collections.; she selects works for various exhibitions abroad, and she is to be found on the lists of judges in innumerable competitions.
Should one person wield so much power?
We have seen the negative outcome of state control of art content in Russia and Germany. Documenta, a regular exhibition like Johannesburg’s Biennale, was established as a desperate measure by the German art community to re-establish control of the arts after WWII. Artists here had hoped that art would fly free in the new South Africa. We need to ensure that it does.
The Nightwatchman, Noordhoek

PALLO’S ANIMAL CIRCUS

It is despicable that animal experiments are still being conducted – and condoned – by people in high places (Animal Crackers, nose19). The development of a human rights culture is a great achievement, but it should not override the rights of other living things.
Solzhenitsyn said: “Nowadays we don’t think much of a man’s love for an animal; we laugh at people who are attracted to cats. But if we stop loving animals, aren’t we about to stop loving humans, too?”
The embattled Ministry of Health could save a fortune by enacting legislation to outlaw the testing of drugs on animals. There are about 400 alternative methods available today which are far more scientific, more cost-effective, and far more reliable. They include things like cell, tissue and organ cultures, computer simulation and the use of human volunteers. You always have to test a drug on humans anyway.
In may drug tests, animals respond totally differently to humans. For example, parsley kills parrots; caffeine causes birth deformities in rats and mice but not in rabbits or humans; penicillin kills guinea pigs but is safe for most humans.
Remember Thalidomide? Declared safe by vivisectionists, it resulted in tens of thousands of children being born with deformities.
Pam Herr, Fish Hoek

GANG BOSS TOOK LIBERTY

Your article “How Standard helped gang boss Stanfield solve his big financial problem” in nose19 presents, to my knowledge, a materially correct account of events on the day of the Stanfield Family Trust’s R4 million investment with Liberty Life.
However, the tone of the article may create the impression that Liberty Life and myself erred in accepting the investment. Although I am no longer in the employ of Liberty Life, I feel obliged to correct this impression.
When Liberty, like most assurance companies, accepts business via outside intermediaries such as Standard Bank Financial Services, it does so to a large extent reliant on a relationship of trust. If there is no mutual trust between assurer and intermediary, the relationship is unworkable. It appears that in this case, the “facts” as they were presented to myself and to other Liberty staff on prior occasions, were nothing less than an effective cover story.
Furthermore, at least one Standard Bank branch manager was intimately involved and present at the deposits into Liberty Life’s bank account. This did not lend an atmosphere of illegitimacy to the proceedings.
Within Liberty Life, the first indication that the origin of the investment in question might be suspect arose after reports of certain police actions surfaced in the press, many months after the investment was concluded.
Nick Pothier, Sea Point

THE WRATH OF MUHAMMAD

We need not despair because Texans have chosen to maintain sanctions against South Africa! By God, The Prophets and CNN, El Nino is going to flood Texas by New Year’s Day, and I will rejoice in the justice of the Laws of God and physics.
Thanking You
Yours faithfully
Muhammad Jadwat, La Mercy Beach, KZN

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