Dear Editor

Mayor’s forgotten his promises

Did you read nose210, Solly Msimanga? What a damning indictment of your tough-talking and promises as the new DA Mayor of Tshwane. What a shame!

Lucy Pearl Klein
via Twitter

Shaming the law profession

The article “Courting Disaster” (nose210), on some of the main “players” in the Pietermaritzburg law profession, led me to wonder what the many honourable lawyers such as the late Leslie Weinberg who practised there, would think of the current scene. Have these people no shame?

Lew Rood

Can we trust our ‘guardians’?

As an avid reader of Noseweek, I wonder whether your sleuths have uncovered anything on the robbery at the State Security headquarters in Pretoria a while back. Amazing, given the vast amount of dollars involved, that the matter has gone quiet – or is it possibly a matter of the “guardians of law and order” at the top enjoying the rewards of their labour?

Alex Hegland

Fair question.Ed.

What news of Protector’s report?

What is happening with the Public Protector’s State Capture Report?

Linda Algie
via Twitter

Another fair question.Ed.

Fake agave’s bitter aftertaste

Since Noseweek’s story “Sweet Talk” in March (nose209) about the production of dodgy Agave produced in St Francis Bay by Brian Neary, we have received several emails from him and from his ex-wife Hanlie Rothmann.
“You have been fed false information by a disgruntled former employee who was fired for theft of petty cash funds and a company iPhone, and is being charged by the SAPS, and by my ex-wife Hanlie who is bitter and resentful and cannot stomach the idea that I have moved on in my life…” Neary wrote to Noseweek.“In the last two years Hanlie has received R34,000 per month in a divorce settlement. Now that this has come to an end, she has demanded I continue paying, failing which she threatened to disrupt and discredit my business activities – which she has done.

“We deal in various products including Xylitol, Agave, Table Sugar, Erythritol, Cocoa powder and Fructose and purchase some stock from Tongaat and other suppliers. But for Noseweek to state our products are not pure is devoid of all truth. In your wisdom you have taken the words of a thief and a fraudster and so damaged my company’s image. I am giving you the opportunity to withdraw your article and place on record that these assumptions you have come to are not necessarily truthful, failing which we will with all due force take Noseweek to Court and sue for many Millions.

“Your article has cost us a National client who cancelled our contract to supply Xylitol powder. This was worth R18 million per annum in turnover. 

“I expect that due to your actions we will probably lose many clients; sadly most just buy plain sugar from us.”

In conclusion, he declared: “If you had taken time to visit our factory before jumping to conclusions, I am sure this unpleasantness would not have occurred.”

Brian Neary

Neary appears to have forgotten that, far from inviting him to view the factory, when approached for comment, he told Noseweek’s reporter to “do what you want to do. I am not going to talk to you. Go fuck yourself. Alright?” and then hung up.

The salient points in Noseweek’s article were the fraudulent organic Agave certificates flagged by the US Department of Agriculture, naming Neary; the suspension of the current organic certificate; and comments made by staff, farmers and the SAPS.

Rothmann was not interviewed for our story, however
Noseweek did report on a letter she’d sent to Neary’s customers. She now confirms there was a divorce agreement but contends it had been broken by Neary “time and time again”. She says all she wants is her money and, feeling short-changed, she decided to expose Neary’s crooked enterprise with her public letter.

Noseweek has noted Rothmann only decided to expose the allegedly fraudulent Agave business after she stopped receiving a share of  the proceeds.

When thieves fall out, the truth will out, is one way of looking at it. Hell hath no fury… is another.Ed.

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