Keeping up to date with SA affairs

2008-11-21 00:00

WHAT is your connection with The Witness and Pietermaritzburg?

My family has lived between Pietermaritzburg and the midlands since I was five years old and I was brought up reading The Witness.

Where were you born, where did you grow up and where were you educated?

I was born in Durban and my early years were spent in England. We had a farm at Elands-kop which we had to sell due to the Group Areas Act. We lived in Surrey Road opposite the old racecourse. My schooling was spent at St Johh’s DSG. After completing my matric I did a secretarial course at the Durban Technicon.

Do you write letters to other newspapers? Why do you choose The Witness?

I don’t normally buy or write to other newspapers as The Witness supplies comprehen-sive coverage of almost everything.

How do you receive your news about South African current affairs and why do you follow it?

Like many people I’m most perturbed about the future of our country, I think it’s important that I keep up to date with current affairs.

Do you have any other passions or interests?

My hobbies include writing, reading, British humour, live shows, playing scrabble on the Internet and looking after my five cats and two dogs, cooking and socialising with my friends.

What do you think is the value of letter writing? What inspires you to write letters?

I enjoy the letters page and reading the opinions on a variety of topics. I get angry when I read of people’s inhumanity to humans and cruelty to animals and so put pen to paper. During the recent spate of xenophobic attacks The Witness asked readers’ opinion what could be done about it. I wrote suggesting that the death sentence be reimplemented. However, The Witness declined to print this letter.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing South Africa today?

The sudden resignation of president Thabo Mbeki is uppermost, together with a third of the cabinet handing in their resignations. I feel that as Mbeki was due to retire next year, he should have remained in office until then. Jacob’s Zuma’s remark that Mbeki and his cabinet had meddled inappropriately in the affairs of the National Prosecuting Authority may or may not be correct. Is Kgalema Motlanthe the right man to unify South Africa? Only time will tell.

What is your age, marital status and do you have children?

I am 59 years old and divorced. I have two daughters — Candice (22) and Amy (21).

What do you believe has been your best letter?

My best piece of writing was the feature article about my daughter’s ongoing battle with anorexia. However, I feel that my best letter was the one I wrote on behalf of the Animal Anti Cruelty League appealing for public assistance for the relocated animals.

Do you get any feedback as a result of your letters?

I do get some feedback but one sticks out in my memory. When electricity outages had reached alarming proportions an article appeared about a proposed plan for a hotel and offices at the Liberty Midlands Mall. I responded to this stating that the idea was ludicrous. Another writer echoed my sentiments. A few day later a very vitriolic article appeared in the paper titled: “We don’t need doom gang” (The Witness, April, 15). I thought silence was the best way to handle this so I never replied.

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