Letters from our readers 1988 No 4


Dear Learn and Teach, I was really happy to win the book by Miriam Makeba in your competition. It made me feel special to be one of the few winners from many other readers. It is also nice to hear that people like Baba Jordan from faraway places like Lesotho receive the magazine. I would also like to say congratulations to the other winners. To those who did not win, I say do not lose hope. PJ Mofokeng EMBALENHLE

We would like to thank all the people who entered the competition. We’re only sorry that we could not give everybody a prize. Heyta daar!


Dear Learn and Teach, I am writing this letter to you because I find your magazine very interesting. I would be very happy if you could write a story on the life of Sam Nujoma, the leader of South West African Peoples’ Organisation (SWAPO) in Namibia. NN OKAHANDJA

It is very nice to receive a letter from Namibia. We are happy to hear that you find the magazine interesting. We will try our best to write a story on Sam Nujoma.


Dear Learn and Teach, I really love your magazine and the way you help people with their problems. I have a problem. I worked at Hartebeesfontein for more than 10 years and I was dismissed after a strike in 1985. Then in 1986 and 1987, we took the bosses to court. Then someone at the NUM offices told us that we lost the case. Since then I have been unemployed. I did not claim my UIF because I was hoping to get my job back. Now it is too late to claim because the blue card has expired. What can I do? Ephraim Msokoli PARYS

Thank you for your letter, Ephraim. We asked NUM about your problem. They explained that the union and the bosses reached a settlement agreement. Under the agreement you can get the following: 10 weeks pay, one month’s notice pay, one and a half weeks pay for every year of service and all tax refunded. If you have not been paid this money, please go to your local Teba office to claim. Take your mine number and identity or reference book with you. We know life has been very hard for all the miners who lost their jobs in the strike. We wish you good luck in finding a job soon.


Dear Learn and Teach, I am 13 years old and live in Cape Town. I really enjoy reading your magazine. I have a terrible problem. In class people can be very racist and they also make jokes about Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I really hate this. Please could you advise me what to do. Gudrun H. WYNBERG

We are sorry to hear about your problem. We believe everyone who truly cares about the future of our beautiful country should do all they can to fight racism. The best way for you to do this is to learn more about the problems of this country. And then teach others what you have learnt. Get information about what Archbishop Tutu believes, and about what the progressive movement stands for. Write to the Children’s Resource Centre, 2 Lower Main Road, Observatory 7925 for such information. Their phone number is (021)47 8138.


Dear Learn and Teach, I greet all readers in the name of the Freedom Charter. I have a problem with the new identity books. I am a Bophuthatswana citizen. I applied for the book in August 1986 at the magistrate’s offices in Krugersdorp. Every time I go there, they always tell me to try again after a month. Lesego T.R. JOHANNESBURG

Thank you for your letter. Many people from Bophuthatswana have not yet received their new identity books. The reason for this is that Bophuthatswana and Pretoria have been having talks about citizenship. They only started sorting out applications for identity books this year. We think you should go to the Bophuthatswana consulate in Johannesburg to speak to them. The address is: 6th floor, Nedbank Mall, Commissioner Street, Johannesburg, 2001. The telephone number is (011) 331- 5931. You can also write directly to the Director General of Home Affairs to complain about the two year delay in getting your new identity book. The address is: Mr L. Kok, The Department of Home Affairs, Private Bag X200, Pretoria, 0001.


Dear Learn and Teach, I work at a chemical company. At work we have a trade union which is fighting for our rights. My problem is that some people at work do not want the union. They say they don’t like the union because they are not interested in politics. Even when we try to talk to them about a living wage, they don’t want to listen. But when the union helped us to get transport to work, these people also want to ride in the combis. Can Learn and Teach help us to get these people to join our union? Samuel ALEXANDRA

Thanks for your letter, Samuel. It is sad that some people do not want to join the union. The only thing we can suggest is that you carry on talking to them – try to change their minds about the union. They can see that the union has won transport and better wages. Tell them that the union needs them and by joining they will make the union strong. And when a union is strong, everybody’s life becomes better. Maybe your union organiser can also help you to speak to these people.


Dear Learn and Teach, Please help me as you have helped other readers. I am a farmworker in Sekhukhuneland. In February, three farmers came into my room and beat me up. They did not tell me why. The following day they told me they were looking for my younger brothers. Two weeks later, they came to my brother’s house with soldiers and beat him up. I want to open a case against them. Angry Brother STEELPOORT

Thank you for your letter. We were sorry to hear what happened to you. We think the best thing would be for you and your brother to go to the Sekhukhuneland Advice Office and tell them everything about the beatings. They will tell you if you can lay a charge. The advice office is at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ditsheoung village, Jane Furse. The office is open every weekday.


Dear Learn and Teach, I and my friends are willing to write some jokes for your beautiful magazine. Our suggestion is that we want to share the jokes with Africans who stay outside or inside our location. If you can add only one page for jokes we can be more than happy. Mtswala KWA-THEMA

Thank you for your suggestion. We at Learn and Teach are a happy lot, and love a good joke as much as anyone. Unfortunately we cannot put in a jokes page at this time, but we would like to hear any jokes you would care to send us. Perhaps we can put some jokes in the magazine at a later time.

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