Dear Editor

Scorpions, fish and fatcats

You are to be congratulated and applauded for exposing Hassen Adams and his cronies for the frauds and fatcats that they are.
Few businessmen in the Western Cape have the ability to polarise and divide and to play politics like Adams does – to his own financial advantage. Adams continually claims to be a “champion of the poor” – he is always citing the poor as the basis and beneficiary of his plans and schemes – yet you always find one of his many companies or financial interests benefiting at the expense of the poor.
Mr Adams also has a unique ability to play the race card – with such regularity that few would believe that anything is possible were it not for the “empowerment model” that he expounds.
He’s the sort of “business” person the Cape could well do without. Perhaps the Scorpions should take a closer look at this ANC fatcat!
Robert Daniels
Elsies River

What you have revealed about the Hout Bay rip-offs can only be described as shocking. Next to be exposed should be the “fronting” in the Durban Ushaka Marine Development and the unscrupulous exploitation of an already marginalised community there by so-called empowerment individuals/organisations.
It has become clear that BEE deals enrich a small elite, generally with strong ANC connections. Surely this cannot be what President Mbeki had in mind when he fought the last election on a “contract with the poor”?
Martin Birtwhistle

Du Toit's toyi toyi

You have been led by the nose by someone with a very suspect agenda when writing about my book, The Great South African Land Scandal [nose58].
My first complaint is that you suggest my book is being read only by the nation’s “white farming community”. In fact the English edition sold more copies than the Afrikaans edition – and the majority of these sales were in the cities. It has been the fastest seller in years in one of the country’s top book chains. Ratepayers’ associations throughout the country have bought hundreds of copies. We have even received orders from South Korea.
Secondly – and this is more serious – you have used a lie in a Farmer’s Weekly editorial as the basis for your criticisms. Nowhere in my book did I say African farmers are unable to farm. I only referred to the farms that had been handed over, not to farming in general. I even mentioned that there are successful black farmers in South Africa who should be emulated by those to whom farms have been given! And I referred to sustainable small-scale farming systems, which were available to emerging farmers and which I recommended the government use!
The book was not racist at all (as if it’s anything new when government calls someone racist if they don’t like what you say!)
A whole chapter was devoted to the Dunn family of Natal, who as you know are the descendants of settler John Dunn and his Zulu wives. If anything, this family has suffered more than most.
The book is the thing that matters, not me, or my degree, or who my researchers are married to. The important question is: is the book factual? So, has anybody found any lies or falsifications in the book? The answer is no – hence the sales. If the powers that be and their journalistic proxies don’t like the message, don’t shoot the messenger. Just try and get the problem sorted out.
Philip du Toit

A Nazi business

Your article about the Du Toit who is causing all the “Du Toit Toying” at Land Affairs is extremely relevant. I believe it is the same Philip du Toit who, in 1985, tried to mislead me by claiming he was an advocate.
I had his statement on tape, and laid a charge at the Johan Coetzee Police Station. There the police dragged their feet, claiming that they had sent the tape to the Bureau of Standards to have it verified. Later I found out that they did no such thing.
After pressure from me, I was informed that the (then) attorney-general – Baron Klaus von Lieres und Wilkau – had “declined to prosecute”. But when I wrote to the baron, informing him that I intended to proceed with a private prosecution, he informed me that he had changed his mind, and would prosecute Du Toit after all. Later, he sent me a letter to inform me that Du Toit had paid an admission of guilt fine of R50!
It is interesting to note that Von Lieres took early retirement because he was “too ill” to fulfil his duties as attorney-general. However, not long after he was not “too ill” to cream off about R6 million of taxpayers’ money as defence council for Magnus Malan.
I have done some research on the policeman who stonewalled me, as well as other persons who were involved in these happenings. What I unearthed simply reinforced my suspicion that they formed a network of people descended from a group who had openly supported the Nazi-cause in South Africa during the Second World War.
Prof Johan F Prins

Right to research

In nose58 you inform readers that journalist Chris Louw “dug up” the fact that I was one of the researchers of Philip du Toit’s book The Great South African Land Scandal, and that I am the “wife of right-winger Clive Derby-Lewis, presently serving a life sentence for assassinating Chris Hani”. For the record, Clive Derby-Lewis did not assassinate anybody. He was nowhere near the scene of the crime. [He helped plan the assassination and provided the assassin with the murder weapon. – Ed.]
I am a BA graduate in Development Administration – Rural Studies. I am qualified to research in this field. This was a professional assignment for which I was paid.
Like the other researchers I was given a sheaf of press clippings about land handovers and told to find out what had happened to these farms. I asked the very first person that I met whether he knew of any successes – I was prepared to follow them up. He did not.
I am shocked that a magazine of your calibre would imply a person is somehow suspect in his or her work because of the person to whom she is married. If the ANC or IFP or anyone for that matter asks me to research something in my field, I will be happy to do so. Is it not my right, like that of every other citizen, to earn a living in South Africa?
Gaye Derby-Lewis
Monument Park

Du Toit’s book – and your research – undoubtedly have merit, but because the book nowhere examines the problem of failed farm handovers from a possible “Black” perspective it ends up having a white right-wing slant. That prompts critics to take a closer look at the author, the researchers – and their friends. Cumulatively, that could suggest an ideological reason for the slant of the book, don’t you agree?
Of course you are entitled to earn a living – and express even a right-wing point of view. We’ll defend your right to do so, while exercising our own right to criticise and hold a different view. – Ed.

Sentech sucks

Recently articles in the press have been agog with excitement about Sentech’s new “product”: wire-less access to the Internet. The reporters clearly had not visited www.mywirelesssucks.co.za, where many subscribers have voiced their disappointment with this product, particularly with the terribly slow access speeds it offers.
Following the appearance of the articles, I tried to re-access this site, and discovered it was down.
Checking an Internet website I discovered that Sentech’s attorneys, Bowman Gilfillan, had written to the owner of the domain www.mywirelesssucks.co.za insisting that it be taken down “by close of business” on 24 June – which he unfortunately did. They appear to believe that any critical mention of their client’s product is an infringement of their trademark! What a load of rubbish!
From what I have read, Sentech’s service does not provide “high speed” access to the Internet and you should check with users before signing up for it.
Myke Ashley-Cooper

For more on the Sentech saga see page 31

Anti profanity

I’m a retired pharmacist and pastor. I enjoy noseweek and appreciate the effort and research that goes into producing it. I share the conservative values that you seem to hold to, like honesty and integrity.
But I have a complaint – about the gratuitous use of the worst in profanity: the blasphemous use of my Lord’s name.
Admittedly, noseweek is not packed with such language, so I realise that you might just dismiss this complaint as being that of an old religious man. Perhaps, then, you will accept the comment regarding [Harold Strachan’s] Last Word offering (nose58), which I find poor story-telling, sometimes unintelligible! Oh, I hope I don’t sound pompous – I just wanted to let you know how I feel.
Please don’t publish this letter just so you can write a rude editor’s note after it!
Paul de Rosiere
White River

On the letter of the law you might be correct. But are Christians called upon to judge by the strict letter of the law, or with generosity of spirit? Having recently read Albert Nolan’s classic, Christ before Christianity, my guess – for what it’s worth – is that Jesus would have enjoyed Harold Strachan’s company! – Ed.

Limerick Competition - August winner

noseweek, with Pen & Art, is giving away a Parker Sonnet fountain pen worth R1,200 each month for the best topical limerick submitted to the magazine. Email your sanctimonious, scurrilous, rude, amusing or insightful scribblings to noseweek@iafrica.com; post to Box 44538, Claremont 7700; or fax to (021) 686 0573. Entries must be received by unlucky Friday 13 August and must be headed “July Limerick Competition” The winning entry will be published in the following month’s edition of noseweek. The editor’s decision is final.

Our Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Aspires to be Dame Rockefeller
Misdemeanours, it seems,
And insatiable dreams
Culminate in an endless bonsella
Dave Wheeler - Rondebosch

Limerick unfare

Come ON!! Your limericks are PATHETIC!! I submitted two that knock spots off the rhythmless, rhymeless flatus you’re passing off as acceptable fare – and both obviously wound up in the same file as the arms deal reports.
Alternatively, you graduated from the Tony Yengeni school of business, in which case I am enclosing a hand-drawn facsimile of a R50 note to do with as you see fit. (Maybe you can use it to buy a genuine fake Nelson Mandela painting!)
On a more serious note, I have read every edition of nose since edition 5. Keep up the good work.
Alf Welgemoed

Silence is golden. – Ed.
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