Dear Learn and Teach, I was born in 1965. Many years ago my father told me about a great hero. He said his name was Mr Nelson Mandela. I asked my father why we never heard Mr Mandela talk on the radio. All my father said was: “Don’t worry, my child, perhaps he will soon come out of jail.” So when Mr Mandela came out of jail in Paarl on 11 February 1990,1 was there. I want to say to Mr Mandela, that 27 years in prison is too much. The people who kept Mr Mandela in prison have no hearts. But we are happy now because Mr Mandela is back at home. I will never forget that I saw him for myself. Victor Mangena STRAND
Thank you for your letter, Victor. Some of us at Learn and Teach were also there when Nelson Mandela was released. And for us too, it was an unforgettable moment!
Dear Learn and Teach, Learn and Teach has been a source of information for me since I joined the Namibia Literacy Programme four years ago as a Materials Writer. During those early stages, we launched our campaign against skin lightening creams inside Namibia and to my delight, I found some articles in your magazine about the creams. Of late, I have seen that your publication is becoming very informative. One can only admire all your noble efforts in spreading the Namibian story to the world like you did with Issue number 4 1989. Wishing you all the best and congratulations on the release of your national hero Cde. N. Mandela. Cde L. 0. Sedi WINDHOEK
Thank you for your letter, Cde. Sedi. We are happy that you have found our magazine helpful and informative. We want to wish the new state of Namibia every success!
Dear Learn and Teach, Please print my letter in praise of the mother of the nation, Mama Albertina Sisulu. I kneel at your feet, thinking about the things you did and those you are still doing for the nation. I think of your husband. He was taken by the law for fighting for our rights while you were left alone with the children. This did not discourage you. Instead you fought to bring up your children and you fought for the nation too. I remember you leading the women to Parliament where you held talks with the President. Your bravery has always stayed in my thoughts. N.H. Shabangu KATLEHONG
Dear Learn and Teach, I am 23 years old. I was born in Leeuwfontein near Zeerust. This village was part of South Africa but on 31 December 1988 it was incorporated into Bophuthatswana. When I finished school I was supposed to go and work. My problem is that I do not have an ID book. My parents were not educated so they did not get a birth certificate for me. Now I am only doing temporary work because I do not have an ID. When I went to Bop to apply for a birth certificate, they said I must go to Zeerust. At Zeerust they said I must go back to Bop. Please help me, Learn and Teach, because I must help my brothers who are still at school. M. Sebina JOHANNESBURG
Thank you for your letter. Your problem is a difficult one. You can get a South African ID book if you left Leeuwfontein after it became part of Bophuthatswana. Otherwise, you can only get a Bophuthatswana ID Book. But you need a birth certificate. To get a birth certificate, you must have some proof of your birth such as a baptismal certificate, a clinic card or a school certificate. If you do not have any of these, you must find two people who remember when you were born. They must then make sworn statements at a police station, magistrates court or the Department of Home Affairs saying when you were born. Then you can apply for a late birth registration. It is quite difficult to organise all these things. If you want help, go to the Black Sash Advice Office. Their address is: Syfrets House/Khotso House (the name of the building is going to change soon) 25 Anderson St Johannesburg 2001 Tel: (011) 834-8361
Dear Learn and Teach, My problem is that I had a savings account with the Perm. In 1987 I found that R800 was taken out of my account. I was very worried as I always left my book at the Perm offices. When I asked the Perm to find out what had happened to my money, the woman working there laughed and said: “Geld is nie vir kaffirs nie.” Please, Learn and Teach, help me to get my money back. N. Kumalo DUDUZA
Thank you for your letter. I spoke to the Perm Head office about your problem. They are very sorry to hear that one of their tellers was so rude to you. They say they will help you to find your money but they cannot do anything unless they have your account number. So please, Mr Kumalo, send us your account number, the branch where you have your account and your full name and address. Then hopefully we will be able to find your money for you.
Dear Learn and Teach, I salute all who are determined to fight for a just and democratic South Africa. I want you to know what happened in Phillipolis on the day de Klerk announced that Mandela was to be released. We were moving up and down the streets rejoicing. Then the SAP came. Without saying a word they sprayed teargas at us. They also arrested some comrades. I want the Minister of Law and Order to give his servants some lectures on what they must do and what they must not do. The SAP must not do this again as it is disturbing our community. Angry Resident PHILLIPOLIS
Dear Learn and Teach, I am a disabled male of 23 years. I passed my matric in 1985. After I finished school, I tried to further my studies but I was not successful. For the past years I have tried to find a job but without success. I do get a disability grant but it is not enough to live on. Please can you help me. Stephen Hlatswayo KATLEHONG
Thank you for your letter, Stephen. We have spoken to the Disabled People of South Africa about your problem. They say please will you contact them and they will try to help you. Their address is:- Disabled People of South Africa P.O. Box 39008 Booysens 2091
Dear Learn and Teach, I want to share the pain that is deep in my heart. Our brothers were killed and their killers were never arrested. Now they are harassing people in Leandra again. Mabhoyi tells us he is our leader but he never even finished Std 1 at school. He tells us that our township is now called Lebogang. But the people never voted for that name. We don’t like it. We want our school to be called Ampie Mayisa High School, after Chief Mayisa who was killed because he resisted incorporation into KwaNdebele. We know that Mr Mayisa and Mr Nkabinde built that school. We want Mabhoyi to know that we are sick and tired of him. Viva Mpumelelo Youth Congress! Long Live the A.N.C! N.B. LEANDRA
Dear Learn and Teach, I want to say “Viva” to all your readers. I have a serious problem. I live in Bophuthatswana. It is said that we are independent and free. But the only thing that is free in Bophuthatswana is fresh air. These questions and answers show what i think of Bophuthatswana. What is Bophuthatswana? Nothing What is the capital city? Nothing What did Bophuthatswana wish to be? Something What is it up to now? Nothing We want a new leader who will form a government of liberty. We want someone who is a tree of freedom, like Mr Nelson Mandela. Freedom seeker BOPHUTHATSWANA
Dear Learn and Teach, I want to share my feelings with your readers. My complaint is that most young girls are not interested in political things. I experienced this when our leader, Nelson Mandela, was released from prison. I was with a girlfriend, listening to the radio. When they started talking about Mandela, she turned on some music. She disturbed me. So now I am making an appeal to young girls to take an interest in politics. Johannes SHILLIVANE
Thank you for your letter, Johannes. As you know, there are many women who have made a great contribution to the struggle, for example, Ma Albertina Sisulu. Perhaps you could try to involve your girlfriend by having discussions with her and gently encouraging her to take part.
Dear Learn and Teach, I wish to air my feelings about the way the “boers” are treating us in our motherland. My main worry is education. Ever since I started attending music festivals, I have never seen a black sound or lighting engineer. I think our local artists are suffering. Molope Thabakgone
Thank you for your letter, Molope. If you are interested in becoming a sound and lighting engineer, here are some addresses: Video Lab P.O. Box 6639 Johannesburg 2000 Tel: (011) 886-4141 (Marilyn Bogart) SABC P/Bag X1 Auckland Park 2006 Tel: (011)714-9111
Dear Learn and Teach, I want to thank you for your story, “Comrade Taxi Drivers”. It shows that people are prepared to fight for human rights in every walk of life. I want to appeal to the taxi drivers’ trade union to work in other places in South Africa. In Klerskdorp we have some of the problems mentioned by Learn and Teach because of unorganised taxi drivers. They do not understand what is going on in their country. As a result it is difficult to get taxi drivers to join community organisations. I think we must try to organise everyone, not just the people in Soweto. Let us not centralise things like this. R. Rasmeni KLERKSDORP
Dear Learn and Teach, I want to know how much money is deducted from a person’s salary? Is income tax deducted from overtime or basic pay? The Income Tax office wrote “onbekend” on my forms. If they do not know me there, why does my boss deduct income tax from my salary? They also wrote “Minimum Skaal: 4320 360 and “Maksimum” on my payslip. I earn R375 before overtime a month. Professor WESSELSBRON
Thank you for your letter, Professor. We spoke to the Receiver of Revenue and they said for your wage of R375 you should not pay any tax. But if your wage plus overtime comes to more than R505 a month (if you are single) or R745 a month (if you are married), then you start paying tax. You should speak to the Receiver of Revenue in Welkom about your tax questions. Their phone number is (0171) 23281. Ask to speak to an Assessor for individuals. Take a copy of your tax form and ask them what “onbekend” and “minimum skaal” mean. If you send us a photocopy of your pay slip, and tell us if you are single or married and how many children you have, we can try to help you further.
Dear Learn and Teach, I am writing this letter because I am worried about schooling in Namibia. Despite the new political developments in Namibia, students are still suffering. At our school, we were made to build houses for the teachers. In other schools people are still complaining about corporal punishment. I call on all students to unite with NANSO (Namibian National Students Organisation) so that we can stand together and fight against this treatment at school. IT. KATIMA MULILO
Dear Learn and Teach, I live in Dukathole township, in Aliwal North but I work in Johannesburg. In December 1988, I spoke to a Miss Coetzee at a company called Devon Construction about building a house. She told me I must send R750 as deposit. I took the money to Aliwal North in February and signed the contract. She told me my house would be finished by May. In May I went home. There was no house so I went to see Miss Coetzee. She told me that in three weeks there will be a house. By the end of July there was still no house. When I went to her office she was not there. I went everyday for a week but I never found Miss Coetzee. Then on Friday I got a call, saying she wanted to see me. She told me that my house would definitely be finished by December. But by December there was still no house. Now my wife is angry with me. Please, Learn and Teach, what can I do? Bernard DUKATHOLE
Thank you for your letter, Bernard. It seems that you have two problems. First you have paid R750 and Miss Coetzee has disappeared. We spoke to the town clerk in Aliwal North. He told me that Miss Coetzee left money she had collected with a lawyer, Mr Olinger. When we phoned Mr Olinger, he said he did have some money which Miss Coetzee had collected for houses but he did not have your money. You must get a lawyer to help you to get your money back. Go and see the people at the Legal Resource Centre. Their address is: Legal Resource Centre 401 Elizabeth House 18 Pritchard St Johannesburg 2001 Tel: (011) 836-9831 If you want to build a house, it is better to speak to one of the big building societies. You must pay a deposit and they will lend you money to build a house. They will also give advice on how to do this.
Mr P. Kekana is looking for his father’s brother. His name is Matsobane Abbiot Kekana. He left home in 1960/61. Mr Kekana thinks he is now living in Cape Town. Mr P. Kekana’s address is:- E.O.H. (East Wing) 8 Trematon Place Parktown 2193