Letters

Dear Editor



Kortbroek and Cockburn


Great legs on Kortbroek (nose38 cover)! No wonder Mbeki is chasing after him. I’m less enthusiastic about the column by Alexander Cockburn. I’ve listened to and read his reports and have yet to find him saying anything positive about America, even post September 11. All he offers is justification for the atrocities and little condemnation of the perpetrators thereof. His pomposity is enough to bring on a bilious attack.
ALF WELGEMOED, Pietermaritzburg


E-TV pricks


Congratulations on the excellent piece on Kanthan Pillay and Quraysh “Bazooka” Patel. Has he [Pillay] actually tried to lay a charge of criminal defamation against you??? What clowns!
PAUL KIRK, kirk@mweb.co.za

Yes, Pillay has laid charges with the police against us for allegedly defaming him in nose38. He told the investigating officer he was particularly aggrieved by our having described him as “serial philanderer”. We were quoting his own web site! – Ed.



When Quentin Green [current CEO at TV Africa] resigned from eTV, three top sales people followed him. Now acting CEO Marcel Golding is phoning around for a new marketing director. So eTV has lurched from one crisis to another since its launch [see noses 29 and 38].
Golding grew up as a confrontationist with the power of the union movement behind him. But those tactics don’t work in advertising and media, something his partner Quraysh Patel should also learn. No medium deserves advertising support! It has to earn it. A good media planner can do a superb job without using eTV at all. You cannot run a media company that’s losing millions with cowboy tactics. If eTV doesn’t watch out, it will go down the tubes faster than Golding can say Union Power.
JOHN FARQUHAR, editor, Advantage

We act for Midi TV (Pty) Ltd, which broadcasts as eTV, and Mr Golding [chairman and acting CEO], Mr Patel [director], Mr Pillay [head of corporate affairs] and Miss Keene-Young [deputy channel director] in their personal capacities (“our clients”).
Your article headed “Backstage with the Pricks and Big Dicks at eTV” (nose38) is defamatory of our clients in numerous respects.
We realise that in view of the content and style of noseweek and the manner in which it has dealt with previous claims, it is not customary for noseweek to either retract and/or apologise for defamatory matter contained in its articles. For this reason, it is not our intention to canvass each aspect in which the article is defamatory. Our client will do so should you indicate willingness to provide our client with a retraction and/or apology.
This letter is written to give you notice that any future publication of the defamatory information contained in the article will merely aggravate the defamation. Our client intends instituting proceedings against both noseweek and Mr Welz in his personal capacity as a result of the publication of the article.
DAN ROSENGARTEN
Rosin Wright Rosengarten, Johannesburg

You deduce – incorrectly – that it’s “not customary” for us to retract or apologise for incorrect and defamatory reports. On the contrary, we regularly publish letters critical of our reports, corrections where appropriate, and, yes, even apologies. See, for example, in nose38 the letters from Kader Asmal and Marina Bang, and in nose36 the article on the Post Office’s reaction to one of our stories.
We therefore look forward to receiving a detailed account of where our article was factually incorrect and/or unjustified in its comment or conclusions, so that we may consider publishing a correction and/or apology.
Insofar as paragraph 4 of your letter might be intended to intimidate us from reporting further on developments at eTV, you will no doubt not be surprised that it has not succeeded. See page 12. – Ed.



Rand water's perspective


Your report on the High Court ruling against Rand Water’s control of boating on the Vaal [Free at last! (nose38)] needs to be put into perspective. Rand Water has been issuing boat permits at a fee since 1987. The aim was to promote user safety, by controlling the number of craft on the Vaal, and to limit water pollution. As there is no legislation governing boating on inland waters, Rand Water took it upon itself to operate the permit system, which was never intended to make money.
In December 2000 Markinor conducted a survey for Rand Water on the public’s view of our role in controlling the recreational use of the Vaal Barrage area. Boat clubs on the Barrage and 800 members of the public were interviewed. The results were clear – people want the water to be patrolled and expect Rand Water to do it. Furthermore, they are prepared to pay for the service. As a result of the recent court ruling, Rand Water has terminated the issuing of permits for boating on the Vaal River Barrage reservoir.
Although no regulations can be enfoced, there is still a need for information, first aid, advice and recovery of damaged craft. Rand Water will therefore continue to patrol the reservoir in the public interest, and is consulting with government departments over safety on the Vaal.
FRANCOIS VAN WYK,
Head, Catchment Management, Rand Water


Saambou, Fedsure, Inves . . . er ...


My take on the Saambou fiasco: In SA it’s done like this: crisis - outcry - commission = no publicity – selectively tell the public what we want to tell them = cover-up. My equation is BIG business government = screw the sheople.
LEO HIRSCHOECKER, Edenvale

See page 6 – Ed.



A mail joke (with disclaimer from Appleton).


Can you bare it, ladies? An email joke at your expense …
Yesterday, scientists for the USDA announced the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer. To test the theory that beer makes men turn into women, 100 men were fed eight pints of beer each. All gained weight, talked excessively without making sense, became overly emotional, couldn’t drive, failed to think rationally, argued over nothing, and refused to apologize when wrong. No further testing is planned.
ANOTHER GENIUS at Appleton, Cape Town
P.S. Unless specifically stated, Appleton Limited gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, or fitness for any purpose of any information contained in this e-mail.


NOSEPOME


Unlike poor Pinnocchio:
Telling truth makes your nose grow.
GUS FERGUSON, Plumstead

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