Dear Editor

Porritt and Bennett trial: 16 years on and no end in sight

My response to your excellent editorial in nose229, “Justice delayed is justice denied”: It is incarceration without the pronouncement of guilt. It is an abuse of human rights and the right to a fair trial. It is shameful.

Tony G
Online comment

• I have far less sympathy with Porritt and Bennett than I have for their victims who lost massive sums of money due to the illegal actions of the accused. Yes, our legal system is at fault but only in failing to take stronger action against the delaying tactics that the defendants have been employing for years now.

Perth, Australia

• Don’t feel sorry for Porritt. He deserves everything he gets.

Dave Hill
Eston, KwaZulu-Natal

‘Rape victim didn’t confide in me’

I have noted the allegations made by Mr William Segodisho in your November issue (nose229): “Paedophile priest and the Catholics’ 17-year cover-up”.

In an affidavit, Segodisho alleged that as a teenager he had attempted to report his having been raped by another priest to Father Mkatshwa, but that Mkatshwa had not wanted to hear about it.

I must inform you that I have never met Mr Sogodisho or Father William MacCurtain and was not aware of
Segodisho’s story until it was published in the media in recent weeks. I have given a statement to SA Police Service investigators, stating this fact. At the time that Segodisho alleges the incident took place, I was Secretary-General of the Southern African Bishops’ Conference and was based in Pretoria. I had very little contact with priests in Johannesburg parishes except for casual meetings, and very seldom went to the Cathedral of Christ the King, where Segodisho claims to have met me.

Mr Segodisho needs to check his facts, because he is clearly mistaken when he claims that he met and related his plight to me.

I do, however, condemn the alleged actions of Father MacCurtain and support the efforts of the Catholic Church in dealing with such conduct.

Fr Smangaliso Mkhatshwa
Chair Moral Regeneration Movement

MTN, pay back the money!

I read your issue with the complaint many people have about “content charges” on their cell phone accounts.MTN will not refund these debits even after they confirmed that I had not used or subscribed to any service. They should not allow these “service providers” access to their clients’ accounts without the clients’ permission.

Gerry Steytler
Via email

You are absolutely right. Tell us more and we will follow up with MTN.  Have you signed up for our online campaign? If not, go to: https://dearsouthafrica.co.za/noseweek-2  – Ed.

‘Civil war’ report slanted

Is Wessel Ebersohn’s report on a “low-intensity civil war” just north of Pretoria (nose229) supposed to be journalism? Such a clearly slanted, and racially peppered opinion piece?

It is very disappointing that the editor did not insist on at least a modicum of balance, for something that is presented as an article. Why did he not send the author across to the other side and elicit the views of the “homeless”, who are presented as a hostile and invasive entity?

This belongs among the reader’s letters, if even that. Shoddy work, Noseweek.

Göttingen, Germany

All snug piety in Göttingen, Germany then? Come on! Wessel Ebersohn is a widely respected author of the highest integrity. Noseweek is honoured to publish his work. The article you speak of is, in my view, a fair reflection of a tragic situation all the players find themselves in. – Ed.

• Can we get this on to Carte Blanche?


Bull in Survé’s china shop

I wonder where Iqbal Survé and his Independent Media Group would be without the ANC as his guardians?

Jeanette Noble

Making new friends in China? – Ed.

Can you believe it?!

Would you believe it? In my postbox this last week I received Noseweek,
issue 192 – for October 2015!

Lorna Seymour

That was the time of the previous great Post Office strike – the one that really rang the death knell for the SA Post Office and all but destroyed Noseweek – when postal hub Witspos was dumping mountains of undelivered mail in Germiston warehouses. – Ed.

Subsistence fishers cast adrift

Over 400 subsistence fishers for rock lobster had their rights revoked to make way for the new so-called “Small Scale Fisheries”.

I represent the Nearshore Crayfishers Association, a group of subsistence West Coast Rock Lobster Fishers who have been grievously harmed by the government over the past three years.

For some reason the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) seems to think that they can simply discard us and replace us with the new Small Scale Fishery, the department’s current “pet project”.

To illustrate the point:
1. Of the 892 Near Shore Commercial quotas (that is us), only about 420 were renewed. More than half of us lost our sole income at the drop of a hat. The only “justification” we received for this was that DAFF had a “duty” to ensure viable quotas for the Small Scale Sector (all new entrants with no legal dependence on fishing).
2. Some 3,600 new applicants in our sector have been treated just as badly. DAFF enticed them to apply for quotas, gladly accepted their application fees totalling more than a R1 million and only then announced that no new entrants would be allowed in our sector. Now these people are summarily excluded from the Small Scale sector as well.
3. The latest insult to injury is the TAC (Total Allowable Catch) reduction split: DAFF shifted the bulk of the TAC reduction on us.

We took a 57% reduction – greater than any other sector in the Rock Lobster Sector.

Our sole income for at least 15 years has been the legal harvesting of rock lobster. Our quotas have been extremely small, reducing us to subsistence fishers even if we carry the name “commercial”. Some 90% of us come from a previously disadvantaged background and support extended families.

We are fishermen and possess few other skills. All are at least middle-aged by now; starting a new occupation from scratch would be extremely difficult. We do not have insurance, medical aid or pension funds and cannot claim UIF. We have invested in boats, fishing equipment and vehicles.

DAFF’s latest decision on the TAC split is literally the straw that will break the camel’s back.

Where’s the logic? If you look at the Offshore Sector you will find that 25% of the TAC has been given to only two companies, Oceana and Premier Fishing.

One very important fact to consider is that we simply cannot afford reliable boats, outboard motors and towing vehicles. In many cases we use vessels and outboard motors that are over 40 years old.

We are reduced to risking our lives every time we go to sea, while the big offshore companies just get richer.

Theoretically we could of course take this matter to court but we do not have the resources. Knowing this, DAFF simply ignores all our pleas.

Please contact us if you have any suggestions or would like to help: www.backabuddy.co.za/charity/profile/nearshore

After exhausting all other possibilities we have now finally requested an urgent meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene on our behalf. We will be reporting back to let you know how this has worked out.

You can contact us at legalrecordsa@gmail.com or call 081-855 2488.

Anton Kruger
Nearshore Crayfishers Association


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