Lip Service

2004-10-15 11:40

Johannesburg - A selection of quotes from and about southern and South Africa published in the media during the past week.

"This is definitely not a happy birthday for me." - Benoni's Sonia van der Merwe at the Secunda High Court trial of the four men accused of murdering her parents, brother and sister in law in February.

"Be cautious." - SA Weather Service forecaster Willem Landman to farmers ahead of warnings of reduced summer rainfall.

"We are now, day by day, regaining a noteworthy political and economic stability." - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe at the end of a visit to Mozambique.

"In the old days plastic bags were free and you had to pay for condoms. Now condoms are free and you have to pay for plastic bags." - Sexologist Dr Bernard Levinson at the results of Durex's eighth annual online global sex survey.

"When you are young, you think your eyes will last forever but they don't." -Margaret Makgabo after hearing that she was selected for free surgery to have cataracts removed at the Pretoria East Hospital.

"I think more than anything else he taught me to use two four-letter words: cure and hope." - Wise Young, a researcher of spinal cord injuries who was one of the people who treated "Superman" star Christopher Reeve who died on Sunday of heart failure at the age of 52. Reeve became paralysed after a horse riding accident.

"I've met suppliers and inspected factories all over the world. But this is the first time I've been exposed to the realities of who actually makes these products and how many mouths they need to feed." - Sebastian Conran, son of homeware guru Sir Terence. Conran jnr is creative director of the Conran Africa collection, launching in Woolworths this week.

"At gunpoint you give them the keys, don't you?" - Davina Bishop, personal assistant to the director the Hospice Association in Houghton after she and colleagues were held at gunpoint by four robbers.

"Success is not about summitting but about getting back to the bottom safely." - Physician Marcus Hauser's advice to aspiring Kiliminjaro climbers in the face of a high death rate among people not taking the mountain seriously enough.

"I want to share my thoughts and inspirations with a broader audience and introduce the beauty of Afrikaans to the public." - Former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader Eugene Terre'Blanche who is about to release an anthology of his poetry, written while in prison for attempted murder.

"Asexuality: it's not just for amoebas anymore." - A t-shirt sold by an asexuality activist group the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. According to a study in the forthcoming "New Scientist" magazine, around 1% of adults have absolutely no interest in sex.

"I thought Moshoeshoe was too spectacular to hide in a book and I wanted to jolt South Africans into saying 'My God, we forgot this great man in our past'". - Journalist Max du Preez ahead of the release of the documentary "The Renaissance King on SABC 2 on November 4.

"We love our son dearly. Donovan has given us no reason in the past to doubt his integrity." - Statement by the parents of Donovan Moodley arrested in connection with the murder of student Leigh Matthews.

"I reluctantly agreed that such moneys as I may expend on his behalf would be regarded as loans to him, on the clear understanding that no interest will be payable thereon due to my religious beliefs." - Plea details of fraud and corruption accused Schabir Shaik presented at his trial at the Durban High Court. The state alleges that the money was a bribe.

"I do not recall whether I ever mentioned these incidents to Zuma." - Shaik on loans made to Zuma's late wife Kate.

"I undertook to look into his affairs, to restructure his debt and/or to make arrangements with his creditors for the settlement thereof and to put his children on a bursary scheme in my group of companies. He was, however, insistent that he would only accept my assistance on the understanding that whatever funds I may spend on his behalf, will be repaid to me." - Shaik on how he offered to help Zuma overcome financial problems.

"Despite my protestations, Zuma insisted that an interest clause should be inserted. I told him I will donate any interest that I may receive to charity." - Shaik again.

"Not guilty to all such counts as presented to me." - Schabir Shaik's plea.

"Ja Ja." - Independent Democrats' deputy president Themba Sono tells the Durban High Court of his reaction to promises by Shaik that he would make him rich.

"I was screaming out in pain but nobody took any notice." - A letter written by an awaiting trail prisoner read to the portfolio committee on correctional services. He said he was raped by a gangster in holding cells.