Letters to the editor: June 5 to 11 2015

Judge morals, not race

Jacob Zuma’s mimicking of a white accent in the pronunciation of “Nkandla” was unacceptable. And this was after a statement by Kgalema Motlanthe to the effect that the ANC caucus is treating opposition parties in a rough and inappropriate manner, something that has not happened since 1994 (Animal Farm has nothing on Nkandla briefing).

The ANC clapped hands in full view of TV cameras and viewers. It tells us something of the character, political maturity and standard of political education of these MPs. Both Zuma and the man who was once an ally, Julius Malema, use witgevaar to advance the so-called national democratic revolution.

White people such as Denis Goldberg, Harold Wolpe, Rick Turner, Anton Lubowski, Ruth First, Beyers Naudé, Barbara Hogan and Marion Sparg fought and some of them died for us to be free. Helen Suzman, Frederick van Zyl Slabbert and those who went to Dakar to meet the ANC also contributed.

Ben Turok, Raymond Suttner, Ronnie Kasrils and other stalwarts of the struggle such as Jay Naidoo and unionists such as Zwelinzima Vavi and Irvin Jim, to name a few, are vocal in their protestations against the looting.

It is not a white race matter, it’s about morals, ethics and good governance.

Cyril Ramaphosa tried to bring calm to Parliament, but before the ink had dried, the president invited chaos and embarrassment into the august house.

It is in this Parliament that he revealed the “security reasons” why his wife’s tuck shop had to be built for R500 000. Later, he said he was not aware of these upgrades. – Delisile Nhlumayo, Secunda

Stick to the provable facts on shootings

David Bruce (Top policeman touts his own agenda) is selective in his response to the points I raised a week earlier. He tries to obfuscate the discussion by introducing more statistics and, again, relies on a subjective interpretation of events. For example, there is no empirical evidence to prove correlation between utterances by politicians or others and an increase in police shootings.

He refers to “evidence against the unit” but fails to elaborate what it is; relying on an interview five years ago with an Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) member. I am privy to all the “evidence”. I invite Bruce to become familiar with it too. It is irresponsible to rely on unstructured interviews and statements to reach conclusions.

In addition, an IPID member who testified in my hearing, was caught lying and refused to be cross-examined. Her evidence was rejected. This witness resigned from IPID shortly after the start of an internal disciplinary hearing into her conduct.

Bruce advances reasons why the case against the “Cato Manor unit” may fail. If the prosecution succeeds, his imputations will be proven. If not, blame instability in IPID, Hawks and the National Director of Public Prosecutions. Has it occurred to him the members may be innocent?

Accusing me of having an agenda is insulting. The only agenda proven was discerned by the independent chairman in my hearing. Advocate Nazeer Cassim ruled I was a victim of an agenda to get rid of me. That deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba faces criminal charges for unlawfully authorising my prosecution indicates sinister elements. I share Bruce’s concerns about the police’s excessive use of force. But it’s incumbent on him as a researcher not to unscientifically conflate diverse issues. He should stick to empirically proven theories. – Major General Johan W Booysen, Amanzimtoti

Editor’s note: This correspondence is now closed.

Stop District Six whites’ re-eviction

Your journalist Daneel Knoetze (Cape’s eviction history repeats itself in the name of money) is the first person in a third of a century to remind us that the dozen whites remaining in District Six were also evicted under apartheid – even if, in their case, they were relocated not a dozen kilometres away but only 1km, to the flats on De Waal Drive.

Your journalist should urge the septuagenarians Judith and Ralph Pace to also register with the District Six trust as evictees. They are unlikely to read your newspaper, nor to know which legal and bureaucratic steps to take.

It would be bizarre if, precisely when coloured and African claimants are returning to District Six housing, the few white evictees are evicted for the second time, instead of being reintegrated. It would be a double irony if this re-eviction is at the hands of the Democratic Alliance Western Cape government.

Similarly, Fuad Isaacs (54) should be urged to approach the District Six trust as an undocumented evictee of apartheid. – Keith Gottschalk, Cape Town

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Editorial: ANC, stop hurting our country

The ANC either does not understand the best interests of those it was elected to serve — or it knows and doesn’t care

Mokonyane: ‘There was nothing untoward about the ANC’s Bosasa ties’

The former minister likened the controversial firm to any other private sponsor of the governing party

Mokonyane ‘sets the record straight’ at Zondo commission

Speaking before the Zondo commission, the former minister refuted claims by Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi that she had dodgy ties to the firm

Saving southern Africa’s oldest languages

The decline of N|uu dates all the way back to 1652, when the first Europeans arrived by ship at the Cape of Good Hope.

George Hallett: Nomad, raconteur and photographer who ‘became the camera’

The renowned South African photographer understood how to look for the tucked-away spaces that were the sources of both light and dark

A week of dodging bullets

Sani the barber and uBaba risk their lives, while Helen, Queen of the Karens, fires off another salvo

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Fees free fall, independent schools close

Parents have lost their jobs or had salaries cut; without state help the schools just can’t survive

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

White men still rule and earn more

Women and black people occupy only a few seats at the JSE table, the latest PwC report has found

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday