Letters

Dear Editor


WITH LOVE TO NELSON AND THABO, FROM CHRIS AND BASIL

Why is it that R2 bn of the R2,3 bn that provinces hold in overdrafts is held with FNB? And why have FNB so readily agreed to unsecured overdrafts of this magnitude? (Central Government has a policy of “no bail-outs” with regard to the provinces.)
A Reader
Cape Town
For love of the New SA. Or maybe they reckoned that, come the day of reckoning for all the bankers’ misdeeds of the past, the government might hesitate to bite the hand that has fed it. Good enough reason for an all-or-nothing gamble! – Ed.

ANOTHER HERSOV RIP-OV?

Consol Ltd minority shareholders have been told that their holdings will be purchased by Consol’s major shareholder, Anglovaal Industries, at 2800c a share and that, if their scrip has not been handed over by the end of January, their shares will be worthless.
Consol cite poor trading conditions as a reason to delist from the JSE. Their profit after tax, however, has been multiples higher than past trading period than at any other time.
The present share price is 2750c, but some years ago it was listed at 5000c. Taking into account that the whole market is now severely depressed, it is extremely unfair to force an owner – or shareholder – to sell his private interest at an unfavourable price which must inevitably result in huge capital gains for Anglovaal.
Anglovaal has, apparently, obtained a court order which sanctions this theft. On what grounds was the order granted? I received no notice of an intended court application; I have not been told how they justified the price they are offering, nor have I been given an opportunity to submit a counter argument. What sort of justice is this?
Jannie
Tokai
The usual SA-style justice. – Ed.

FAIRLY MASONIC
Dear Sir
Your article about a Freemason who was excluded – in his view unfairly – by the Montagu Lodge (“He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”, nose20), deserves comment.
What distressed me was the disjointed mix of the usual hearsay and innuendo about Freemasonry with which you embellished the core story. I am sure that similar stories abound in all sorts of organisations, be they church, sport, charitable, or even business. That does not require the immediate and absolute deduction that these organisations are inherently evil and that – by implication – a stigma attaches to their members.
You even resort to embellishing your story by quoting “lurid tales” and calling the organisation a “vast global conspiracy of middle-aged men”. I thought noseWEEK’s policy was to stick to the facts.
In my 30 years as a Freemason, I have never come across anything in the organisation which conflicts with my Christian and civic principles.
Hans Bargholz
Kensington
We see you, too, avoid the crunch question regarding the Masons’ attitude to AWB racism. As for Masonry and Christian principles, the Pope, for one, disagrees with you. And Mason’s oath of secrecy must always give rise to suspicion. Our facts about Masonic rules and ritual came from its official guidebook. Our comments are us. – Ed.

BIBLE PETE’S TAXING DEPARTURE – WHERE’S THE FOLLOW-UP?
Dear Sir
Why no follow-up to your article speculating on the real reason for Piet Liebenberg’s surprise resignation as head of the Revenue Service (nose17)? Must I accept that the allegations were untrue or, worse, that you do not intend to pursue this matter?
D Swanepoel
Pretoria
Untrue!? Ask the Minister of Finance for follow-up. – Ed.

A NOTE OF APPRECIATION
Dear Mrs Sullivan
[noseWEEK’s UK representative]
My noseWEEK is arriving regularly and of course contains thrilling attacks on many old friends. How kind of you …
Tiny Rowland
Chester Square
London

ART, OR ART THEY NOT?
Dear Sir
“Nightwatchman” should reconsider his own reactionary approach to art and politics (Letters, nose20), instead of accusing Marilyn Martin of furthering state control of art. Art cannot but reflect what is happening in the political arena. A gallery that displays art which comments on society is to be applauded, not condemned. If he objects because he does not like the thoughts the art stimulates, he, rather than Ms Martin, appears to be the promoter of censorship.
D Forbes
Woodstock

DOWLING’S HISTORY OF THE WWF
Dear Sir
Your feature on the “WWF” is of particular interest. I must congratulate you for a remarkable – and startling – exposé; your courage is an encouraging phenomenon in these times of diminishing integrity.
B P Dingley
Cowies Hill

Dear Sir
Calling Solly Zuckerman a “military researcher” (page 17, nose20) does him a disservice, for his lens was wider.
In his article [on the history of the WWF] Kevin Dowling states: “As a pioneer of the Operational Research Section, he exposed live animals to bombs and bullets in order to study their injuries and devise better ways of killing people.” Sir Solly exposed no animal, alive or dead, to either bombs or bullets. However, during the late 1940s, he was involved in experiments to find out if dogs could locate buried mines. Or, strictly, mine casings, as they contained no explosives. If this is typical of Mr Dowling’s research, then we must doubt what else he has to say.
Keith R Dyer
Durban
You clearly have not read Vol.1 of Zuckerman’s autobiography, “From Apes to Warlords”. There’s not much consolation to be had from his “wider view” either – see Dowling’s latest astounding instalment on page 13 for some of the ghastly details. – Ed.

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