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In Warren Buffet’s defence
I do understand Chris Marshall’s abhorrence and frustration regarding the plethora of plastic waste carelessly disposed of by despicable people, but his remarks regarding Warren Buffet (Letters, nose240) are irresponsible and totally wrong.
Buffet has given in excess of USD 50 billion to various charities and organisations since 2000, combatting diseases, waste and a myriad other miseries.
He gives more to charity than any other person on earth (other, perhaps, than Bill Gates) and yes, he is extremely interested in conservation for the future.
Gold glitters when investors jitter
On the eve of the filching of gold assets by Old Mutual (“Old Mutual holds gun to Gold Fund investors’ heads,” nose240), this from an article that appeared on [markets analysis blog] ZeroHedge:
“It’s not just ‘tinfoil blogs’ who for years have been warning that a monetary reset is inevitable and the only viable fallback option once trust and faith in fiat is lost, is a gold standard.
“An article published on 12 October by the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), or Dutch Central Bank, has shocked many with its claim that ‘if the system collapses, the gold stock can serve as a basis to build it up again. Gold bolsters confidence in the stability of the central bank’s balance sheet and creates a sense of security. A bar of gold retains its value, even in times of crisis, whereas shares, bonds and other securities don’t.’
“According to the IMF’s latest data, the Dutch Central Bank holds 615 tonnes (15,000 bars) of gold mainly in Amsterdam, with other stores in the UK and North America; the value of this gold reserve is over €6 billion – nearly 70% of its total reserves.
“Why this sudden admission of what goldbugs have been saying for years?
Perhaps it has to do with the fact that on 7 October the Dutch bank announced it would soon be moving a large part of its gold reserves from Amsterdam to ‘the new DNB Cash Centre at military premises in Zeist.’ It’s almost as if the Netherlands is preparing for the grand reset, and is moving its most valuable asset to a “military” installation just for that purpose.”
This is exactly what everyone with sense should take seriously into consideration when investing to ensure their future – and why I wished to hold onto my investment in OM’s Gold Fund, by now probably dissolved into its highrisk equity funds with the assumed to-be-consenting non-votes of large numbers of ignorant or gullible Gold Fund clients, as Noseweek anticipated would happen.
Milly, Gennes, France
• I am so glad I cancelled my insurance with Old Mutual a few years ago.
End this Wonderboom disaster
Thank you Susan Puren for your excellent but disturbing report about the state of Wonderboom National Airport, once South Africa’s third-busiest airport.
As a ratepayer contributing more than R6,000 per month for services and properties I own in Tshwane, I am really concerned about how ratepayers’ money is spent by PAS [Professional Aviation Services] and the role played by a family business consisting of Mr [David] Alexander, his wife, and son.
The DA voters should be particularly concerned about the appointments of Lenise Breytenbach, Elmarie Linde and Sheila Lynn Senkubuge, all seemingly not up to their duties. I am having to rethink my opinion whether the DA-led council is functioning properly, and appeal to Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa to take the necessary emergency steps to end this disaster at the Wonderboom Airport.
‘A disappointed ratepayer’
See update in this issue. – Ed.
Marcel Golding’s farm antics
People who have millions always think they can push those around who don’t (“Billionaire Marcel Golding’s bid to evict lifelong farm worker thwarted,” nose240). That’s why they have so much money. It’s great that Armien Hendricks can stay where he is. But, what will the owner do now? Make his stay in the house unbearably unpleasant?
Pierre van Ryneveld Park
• Wonderful news that the Western Cape High Court found that the terms and conditions of the Constitution fully applied and gave judgment in Hendricks’s favour.
Shame on you Golding, shame on you.
Karoo school an inspiration
What a beautiful story, “The seeds of change”, (nose240). It gives me good hope for the future of our currently crippled country. May it be an inspiration to the many despondent South Africans who might otherwise still be considering emigrating.
MeerKat’s awesome perspective
When one reads of discoveries by South Africa’s MeerKat telescope (as well as others), it puts the human condition into perspective (“Not rocket science,” nose240).
On one hand we have those decrying the (unnecessary, to them) expense of such ventures. The money, they say, should rather be spent on improving the quality of life for the poor and needy.
On the other hand we have the curiosity that drives humanity to seek how the natural world and the universe operate. In so doing, new technologies are discovered that also improve the quality of life of all humanity. This has been so for centuries.
If the running of the world was left to the spending-on-knowledge naysayers, we might still be living in caves and hunting our food with spears and digging roots from out of the ground.
Zille’s passion is what we need
Helen Zille’s passion, patriotism and organisational strengths are what lifted the DA from a small opposition party (11% of the national vote) that was merely a thorn in the flesh of the ANC behemoth (at that time approaching 70% of the vote) to serious contender status, wresting Cape Town Metro and then the Western Cape Provincial Government from the grip of the predatory, corruption-riddled governing party. Progressively, the DA began taking control of many municipalities across the nation, and then, other major metros.
The ANC saw the writing on the wall some 10 to 12 years ago. Knowing that they could not match an ever increasingly influential DA in terms of good governance and accountability, they quickly set up full time back-room teams to constantly scour social media, with the aim of dragging up “dirt” on DA leaders.
Historically Zuma spent much of his time in exile in Russia, all the while understudying the Russian apparatchiks’ modus operandi, including disinformation/dirty tricks and even violence against any and all opponents.
South Africa’s sensation-seeking tabloid press (which by then included the Iqbal Survé-controlled Independent Media group) played their part in providing free-rein to what was essentially ANC propaganda, assisting their strategy to take down what was proving to be very effective DA leadership, which had the integral participation and contribution of Helen Zille.
It was put out there that the DA was a party “solely for the benefit of whites”. When Mmusi Maimane took over the national leadership, the ANC vociferously claimed he was not in charge, as “Zille was his madam”.
Helen Zille’s tweet that “colonialism was not all bad” was de-contextualised by the ANC trolls and then portrayed Zille as “thoroughly racist”.
The DA leadership, as it now is (and has been for several years), do not have the conviction, gravitas or unity to stand up to, or expose, the ANC’s political chicanery. They have also been unable to rouse and rally the rank and file of the party to derail the ANC bandwagon. Sadly, although President Cyril Ramaphosa’s emergence from the party ranks began as a hopeful sign, the ongoing dysfunctionality of the factionalised party, coupled with an absence of arrests or prosecutions, there is little hard evidence that the ANC is at last cleaning up its act.
The only reason Helen Zille is still relevant in South African politics is that many patriotic South Africans (and there are many) know her to be the only authentic individual who has shown the essential passion and commitment to our country needed to save us from our self-serving politicians.
Our current “politics of coalition”, which has managed to partially unseat the nefarious ANC and once had the promise and potential of far more, was engineered and made possible by Zille’s driving spirit. I honestly believe if we had patriotic, competent people running our government, Helen Zille would have already retired gracefully (and thankfully), to enjoy peace of mind in the time left to her.
As things stand, we can only hope that Zille is allowed back into the DA in a role senior and significant enough to clean up “the mess” (Zille’s words) the party is in. We can only hope that she manages to hang in there.
In view of our beloved country’s “dire straits”, we need Helen Zille (and others like her) more than ever.
Nelson Mandela Bay
Correction for the record
It often happens with complex historical stories, that errors with names and chronology creep in – as happened with our long and otherwise well-received assessment of the past and present performance of the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) in nose240.
It begins with our misspelling of George Hardie’s surname (we wrongly spelled it Hardy). Then we suggested he was associated with Gideon Roos, the founder of SAMRO in 1963 and with the establishment of SARRAL in the same year. He wasn’t with either, Mrs Hardie called to tell us. They were resident in London at the time.
George Hardie’s association with SARRAL began in the early 1970s when, back in South Africa, he was selected as the new managing director of a “reconstituted” SARRAL, and started building new membership.
Which might explain why Hardie is sometimes referred to as the founder of SARRAL.
Hardie remained a director until 2003 when he engaged in a battle with the new SARRAL board that was widely reported on in the media. Mrs Hardie refers to ”a can of worms” but refuses to elaborate.
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