Letters from our readers 1989 No 5


Dear Learn and Teach, Please help me with my problem. Some white guys made me very angry on the 1st of July. I was busy working out which horses to play when two white youths in a Toyota mocked me. I have tried by all means to forget their bad behaviour as i am a guy of peace. But every time I think of their saliva landing on my favourite jacket, I get very angry. I want these guys to hear my worries and anger. I think my soul will be comforted if we shake hands but I think that is impossible. I ask the staff of Learn and Teach to advise me on how I should forgive and forget. William KABETE

William, it is difficult to tell someone how to forgive and forget — especially when they are so hurt and angry. But we at Learn and Teach feel that by wanting to make peace with these people, you are already more than halfway on your way to forgiving them.


Dear Learn and Teach, The one thing that slows down our struggle is ignorance. Your magazine is very good, but it is expensive. Won’t you please reduce the price. M. M. Motshekga GA-KGAPANE

Thank you for your letter. We try to keep the price of the magazine as low as we can. But even when we sell the magazine at R1 we are still not covering what it costs us to print it. And then we still have to pay the writers and the rent. So we really struggle to make ends meet.


Dear Learn and Teach, I am living on a farm. I am in Standard 8. I would like other students to also reach Standard 8 at school. There are a lot of children on the farm who do not attend school because the school is nine kilometres from the farm. The farm workers want a school on the farm but the farmer refuses to allow it. Please help us with this problem. E.M. MIDDLEBURG

Thank you for your letter. Starting a farm school is not easy, but this is how you do it. The parents in the area must get together and make a list of all the children who need to go to school. For each child, they must say how far he or she has to travel to school. If there are two hundred or more children, then you must find a farmer who will give you land on his farm for a school. Afterwards, you must write to the regional director for the Department of Education and Training in your area. If you have two hundred children and the land, the DET will give you money towards the school. The DET will pay 75% of the building costs, the full teachers’ salaries and the running costs of the school. Here is the address to write to at the DET: Department of Education and Training P/Bag X3903, NORTH END 6000 Good Luck! And remember to keep a copy for yourselves of the names of the children and the letter you send, just in case.


Dear Learn and Teach, I am whispering to all Learn and Teach readers with a sweet, hollow voice, asking how they foresee the situation in South Africa. Firstly, I want to encourage South Africans. We must muster up courage. We must never surrender. We must keep on fighting for our beliefs that: – One day the children of former slave owners and the children of former slaves will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. – Blacks will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skins but by the content of their character. – One day the President will stand in front of the crowd and say: “Liberation is yours. Black boys and black girls must join hands with white boys and white girls and walk together as brothers and sisters.” – South Africa’s ‘One Step Ahead’ (Mr Nelson Mandela) must be released. – People must not be impatient. We have given the South African government a long rope. Let them pull it in slowly — let them meet our demands. – Let our motto be: Whether we are defeated or not, forward we will go without fear of failure. F. M. HUHUDI


Dear Learn and Teach, I want to share the pain which is deep down in my heart about what is happening in South Africa. The government does not think that black people are human beings. Our brothers and sisters spend many years of their lives in jail without committing any crime. The government is one- sided. How many policemen have killed our fellow brothers and sisters. How many policemen are in jail for the innocent lives they have ended? Where is Steve Biko? Where is Stanza Bopape? Let’s come together. We are dying because of apartheid. Here in Cape Town there are whites-only beaches. If you go there, they sjambok you. They say that a dog is better than a black person. A.S. STELLENBOSCH


Dear Learn and Teach, I am not happy to write to you. My problem is Afrikaans. What use is Afrikaans for the black nation? When people talk, they do not talk Afrikaans. On our radio and even when we pray we use English as a second language. I think it is better for black people and English people to do away with Afrikaans. It is useless for us. Mugula Mutshaina VHULAUDZI

Thank you for your letter, Mugula. Many people see Afrikaans as the language of the oppressors. But there are many Afrikaans speaking people who support the struggle. There are also many oppressed people who speak Afrikaans. In fact, a group of teachers in Cape Town translate parts of Learn and Teach into Afrikaans so Afrikaans speakers can enjoy the magazine too.


Dear Learn and Teach, I am a married man of 32. I started working at Morula Sun on 18 May 1987 and was dismissed on 31 May 1989. When I asked why I was dismissed they told me that I had filled in my application form dishonestly. But I do not understand this. I have worked for the company for two years with no problems. I just want to know what I am going to do with my suffering family. I have 8 children and lots of accounts to pay. The hotel has banned me from their premises. What can I do? Reuben Letlape MABOPANE

Thank you for your letter, Reuben. We are sorry to hear about your troubles. It sounds like the Morula Sun has dismissed you unfairly. If you wish to take the Morula Sun to court about this, you can get legal advice from: Legal Resources Centre, 2nd Floor Standard House, 334 Main Street, PRETORIA, 0002 Tel: (012) 56-4905 If you need help for you and your family, go and see the people at the South African Council of Churches. Their address is:- S.A.C.C., Central House Building, Central Street, PRETORIA, 0002 Tel: (012) 323-5187 We are sure that these people will help you.


Dear Learn and Teach, I am a reader of your magazine. I need your advice. I was shot last year here in Dimbaza by a security guard. The case was heard at the regional court at Zwelitsha. My problem is this. I had four witnesses but they were not called for the case. So the man who shot me was found not guilty. I want to take the case further because I nearly died. I had to have 20 operations in hospital to get all the bullets out of my body. What can I do? M.P. Mlahleni DIMBAZA

Thank you for your letter. If you want to take your case further, you must go and speak to the Legal Resource Centre. Their closest office to you is in Grahamstown. Their address is:- 116 High St., GRAHAMSTOWN 6140 Tel: (0461) 29230 or 29251


Dear Learn and Teach, I am a person who likes politics. But I don’t have any political T-shirts. Please tell me where I can buy some. J.B. Molwantwa ZEERUST

Thank you for your letter. You can write to the following places as they print political T- shirts. Community Arts Project, Community House, 41/43 Salt River Road, SALT RIVER 7925 Cosatu Media, P.O. Box 1019, JOHANNESBURG 2000


Dear Learn and Teach, Please publish my poem, written for a friend who was killed in a car accident in July 1988. Who is this death we all fear? With his mysterious and Mystique qualities Is he someone with complete power Or is he an inanimate object always lurking above us Waiting to steal us away? Does he hide in his cigarette box Or in the knife that I use for my bread? Does he dodge between the flames before me? Or does he swim aimlessly through the oceans Like a shark hunting for food? Why does he play this game of hide and seek With all the creatures on this earth? He hangs back when you want him near And in your pride he reaches out And envelopes you in his dark, fiery hand. Zoleka Fokwana QUEENSTOWN


A note to Learn and Teach readers: We often get requests to publish our readers’ poems. We are happy to publish the poems on our Letters page, but we do not publish books of poetry. Here are the names and addresses of publishers who may be able to publish your poems: Ravan Press, P.O. Box 31134, BRAAMFONTEIN 2017 (Ravan also publishes Staffrider magazine. Staffrider is a creative writing magazine which publishes a lot of poetry) Skotaville Publishers P.O. Box 32483 BRAAMFONTEIN 2017

Cosaw P.O. Box 421007 FORDSBURG 2033

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