September 8 to 15 2006

Kirby’s nuclear ignorance

Robert Kirby writes complete nonsense (”Alex in wonderland”, August 25) when he says Russia’s Chernobyl nuclear power station ”went out of control because of what Nersa [the National Electricity Regulator] recently diagnosed at Koeberg”.

The primary reason for the accident at Chernobyl was a crazy reactor design that would never be allowed in the West.

Koeberg uses pressurised water reactors. These have been used all over the world for more than 45 years and the worst ever nuclear accident of any of them was Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979, which killed no one, injured no one and had no subsequent health effects.

The secondary reason for the Chernobyl accident was that the engineer in charge, Dyatlov, deliberately violated procedures and shut off safety systems during a commissioning exercise.

The Nersa report shows exactly the opposite for Koeberg. The reactor was shut down when it should have continued running. It was, in fact, overprotected.

The fundamental reason for the blackouts in the Western Cape is that there is a critical shortage of generation and transmission capacity. Koeberg’s staff, who generally do a good job, made minor mistakes, which presented no danger whatsoever and which in a healthy grid would have caused no blackouts at all. Unfortunately, with our sickly and overloaded grid they did cause blackouts.

I find it difficult to believe that Kirby has even read the Nersa report. Certainly, he shows not the slightest understanding of it or nuclear power. — Andrew Kenny, Noordhoek

Lies worthy of Goebbels

Ronnie Kasrils’s column ”Rage of the elephant, Israel in Lebanon” (September 1) is neo-Nazi propaganda worthy of Goebbels. He clearly supports the fascists in the Middle East. — David Bornstein, Sydney, Australia (ex-South African)

Since South Africa is no longer an apartheid state, Kasrils has no other way to channel his hatred for black people [than to] pick on Jews. — N Greenger, California

Kasrils is as ignorant as he is fat. — Ken Prissman

Can this ghastly monster stop trying to murder the hope of Zion and fight horrendous crime in South Africa? — Guy Wormser, London

Could this man be bipolar? Is he held responsible for what he says? He looks Jewish himself. — Harvey Stelman, Buffalo Grove, United States

Your paper should be exposed as an instigator and catalyst of hate against Israel, the US and any other democratic society based on a true code of laws and moral values. — Brian Feinstein

Every word shows a terrible racism … in most countries, that is illegal. — Consuelo Endara, Guayaquil, Ecuador

Kasrils is a Jew-hating ignoramus. Anyone who compares Israel to the Nazi regime has his head up his ass. He and your paper can go to hell. — J Henstern

Are all of you Jew-haters? — Shaya Shor

In the not-too-distant future you will be a slave to Islam, because of your hatred for Israel and its people.– Dan Reid, Canada

A garbage government succeeded apartheid with a Nazi ”mentality”, like Ronnie the Rattlesnake. — Al Best, Michigan, US

Israel has contributed more to humanity than all its neighbours combined. Wouldn’t they love to get their paws on its hospitals, universities, museums and concert halls? — Mildred Finkelstein, Sarasota, US

Anti-Zionism is purely racism, full stop. — Donna Carter, New Zealand

Tacit support for terror … — Craig Peskin, Boston, US

If Kasrils’s views on Israel’s right to defend itself were implemented, Jewish Israelis would be slaughtered in their beds. — Gary Katz, Long Grove, US

The worst one-sided journalist I’ve ever seen … — Dog Hater

One of the small minority of ultra-liberal, left-wing, self-hating Jews … — Michael R Rochester

How can you keep Kasrils on your staff with his biased reporting? — Frisco Lobo, Westminster, US

Disgusting, racist and evil views with regard to democratic Israel. Please refrain from publishing his hateful propaganda. — Val and Vay

The jihad planned every minute will not see South Africa as ”special, friendly” territory. You will be targeted like Russia after Hitler dealt with the other countries on its agenda. — T Mann

Hatred and misinformation like that given by the Nazi regime, which led to the killing of six million Jews … — Sandor Shuch, Phoenix, US

One can read accounts of the desolation and lack of development while the land was in Arab hands. Only with the return of large numbers of Jews did the economy and the land flourish. — Miguel Stroe, San Francisco

Apartheid only exists here in the minds of sick people like Kasrils. I do not see much difference between him and Hitler. — David Gershon, Israel Institute of Technology

Kasrils is a liar. — Lew Steinfeld, Brazil

We warn Kasrils and your newspaper of the consequences of cursing Israel. The G-d of the universe has made an unconditional, everlasting covenant with the Jewish people. — Ben Joseph

With someone like this crackpot holding any kind of post in your government, it is no wonder South Africa is little more than a crime-ridden, slum-filled disgrace. — David Aarons

Your government should re-assign Kasrils as ”minister of anti-Israelism”, ”minister of distortion”, ”minister of revisionism” or ”minister of lies”. — Mitchell Shadowitz, Boca Raton, US

The prophet of Islam built his religion on revenge and violence, so why should we expect a different attitude from his followers? — John Wallace

There’s no point in attempting to debate with such a Nazi/Islamic pig. Do African Negroes believe he isn’t a former enforcer of apartheid? — Nathan

Why don’t you give the Arabs South Africa, and don’t forget to convert to Islam! — Joe Eshkeri, Spain

I expect Holocaust denial columns fairly soon. — Allan Clare, UK

Many of your advertisers are Jewish-owned firms. Time they withdrew for publishing the lies of a misplaced European neo-Nazi. — Leah Maggie Garfield

Anti-Semitic diatribes that would win Kasrils an editorial position in Der Stürmer … — Matt Topas

He prefers the violent dictatorship of Syria, Hizbullah and others. — James Marlowe, Jerusalem

Are you not complicit in spreading Kasrils’s lies and deceit? —Wayne Hinson

Khumalo showed disrespect

So the Zuma camp thinks Desmond Tutu suffers from ”selective amnesia” (September 1). That’s a lot better than unselective stupidity.

As for Elias Khumalo’s attack on the president and health minister’s Aids unorthodoxy, what was Jacob Zuma doing when he was deputy president? Either he disagreed and kept quiet, or he’s suddenly undergone a conversion.

Suggesting Tutu has been ”led by the president” on this matter is bizarre; he has been a vocal critic of the government’s failure to deal with HIV effectively. And to talk of him finding it ”easy” to accept an apology for apartheid is to ignore the enormous emotional strain he took as truth commission chair.

”Selective amnesia”? Maybe Khumalo has that too. He’s certainly forgotten the African tradition of reverence for your elders. — Philip Machanick, Taringa, Australia

I read Khumalo’s attack with dismay. He showed disrespect for a distinguished South African, held in the highest esteem by millions of South Africans and others worldwide.

Many South Africans doubtless want Zuma as president. But treating the archbishop with contempt in his defence is treading on dangerous ground. — Tuntufye S Mwamwenda, University of KwaZulu-Natal

If the appointment of the president followed business practice, the applicants’ fitness for the job would be thoroughly scrutinised. Skills, experience, character, strengths and weaknesses, and how these would impact on his effectiveness would be debated.

Zuma’s apparent weakness for the flesh is a clearly identifiable risk; there is an inherent threat that his judgement could be impaired or compromised.

He may well have many good qualities, and it is not an issue of morality. The questions is: is there a risk that he may not be an exemplary leader?

Nor is Zuma’s current stance encouraging. Any man with a vision for this country would step aside, acknowledging that the conflict around him is dangerously destructive to South Africa.

This is how I understand Tutu’s words. As a religious leader, he must remind us of the values we need to espouse as a nation. — Maria Corelli, Yeoville, Johannesburg

Zuma was not known as the workers’ friend while in the Cabinet, voted for a pro-business agenda in Parliament and never dissented from the policies of the ANC.

His sudden pro-worker utterances remind me of Groucho Marx, who once said: ”Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.” — Khaya Dlalisa, Johannesburg

A shameful silence

As a former student of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), formed from the Pretoria, Northern Gauteng (Soshanguve) and North West (Ga-Rankuwa) technikons, I can tell you that the merger changed many things — and not always to the benefit of black students.

One of the biggest issues, which has caused unrest at TUT, is the exclusion of students who cannot pay fees. If student leaders at campuses like Soshanguve, Ga-Rankuwa and other former historically black institutions do not voice their concern about the financial exclusion of the poorest students, who will?

TUT’s white-dominated management runs to the media to accuse our brothers and sisters of being ungovernable. These are the same people who during the pre-merger phase suggested that the Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa campuses be ”transformed” into service centres, with all major activities and academic programmes carried out on the main campus in Pretoria.

In no time, management staff of the two formerly black institutions were moved to luxurious offices. They are now keeping quiet, even though they are aware of the problems.

I also feel shame for senior academic staff from Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa who keeping a diplomatic silence. — Bilankulu Billy, former Soshanguve student, Polokwane


Njabulo Ndebele’s ”Let’s declare 2007 ‘The Year of the Dog”’ (September 1) was outstanding. I’ve worked for many years with the Animal Anti-Cruelty League, and have seen horrendous acts of cruelty. I’ve often asked myself why dogs are special targets when they are so loyal and intelligent. Very few media draw attention to the suffering of animals.

I pray every day that I will wake to a world where humans love, respect and help each other, going the extra mile to assist the elderly, the young and vulnerable, and those, both human and animal, who cannot speak for themselves. — Michelle Combrinck, businesswoman and new fan

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