Dear Learn and Teach, I am a girl of 19 doing standard 9. I would like to thank all the people and organisations who are fighting to save the lives of the “Sharpeville Six”. The judge in the case admitted that there was no evidence to show that anyone of the six actually laid a hand on the dead councillor, Mr Khuzwayo Dlamini. So I say that clemency should be granted to the six. The death sentence is an unfair sentence, especially in South Africa, where there is apartheid and racism. A punishment must teach a person a lesson so that he is warned. You don’t learn from dying so I say the death sentence must be abolished. Ngesi Beaufort West
Dear Learn and Teach, I am a new reader of Learn and Teach – I am very happy with this magazine because it teaches me a lot. I read about the Small Claims Court in Number 1, 1988. Now I am going to claim my money from a man who cheated me. He owes me R600 but when I go there to get my money, he tells me to come back next week. I have spent a lot of money going to him every weekend to ask for my money. Because of Learn and Teach, I know how to take him to the Small Claims Court. Gilbert Ncube Soweto
Go for it, Gilbert! We hope you get your money back.
Dear Learn and Teach, I just want to say ‘Forward with Learn and Teach’. Thank you for your magazine – I have learnt so many things from Learn and Teach. Most of all, I have learnt about the history of our people. Even under this state of emergency, victory is certain. Forward Learn and Teach! MN Fort Beaufort
Dear Learn and Teach, Please help me with this problem – it makes me feel like killing myself. I was arrested for stealing last year and I am worried that this record will mean that I cannot go to teacher’s training college. My elder brother has promised to pay for me to go to college, but what if they do not accept me because of this police record? What will I do with my life if I can’t finish my schooling. I think I have destroyed my future. JL Seshego
Thank you for your letter. We don’t think you need to worry about the college turning you away because you were arrested. We spoke to some principals, and they say they do not check if students have a criminal record or not. The only thing they check is your school results, so you must try to do well in your matric exams. They will call you for an interview at the college, but they will not ask if you have a criminal record. Don’t let this worry you – so long as you do not get into trouble with the police again, and you do well at school, your future will be bright.
Dear Learn and Teach, I want to get a licence to run a taxi. Where must I go for it? Albert Ethusang Germiston
Thank you for your letter, Albert. If you want to drive a taxi, you must get a Public Service licence from the municipal licensing department. If you want to run your own taxi, you must have a permit from the Local Road Transportation Board in the area you will drive the taxi. You can find the address under Transport in the government section of the telephone book. The application costs R10 and if you get the permit, it will cost R100. It takes about six months to get a permit. If you want to find out more about running a taxi, applying for a licence and permit, you can write to the South African Black Taxi Association. Write to: Mike Ntlatleng, Head – Communications Dept. SABTA, P. O. Box 269, Pretoria 0001. Tel (012) 325-1570
Dear Learn and Teach, I am unemployed. I was retrenched last December. I don’t see any chance of getting another job. So I want to get a licence to work as a hawker. I want to join the hawker’s association because I think it will help me to defend myself. Crayton Faye Tembisa
Thank you for your letter, Crayton. You can join ACHIB – the African Council of Hawkers and Informal Business. Their address is; ACHIB Room 803, Medical Towers, Jeppe Street, Johannesburg, 2001, Tel (011) 23-0542. They also have a branch in Tembisa at the Tembi Shopping Centre, Xaxa Section. You widget your hawker’s licence much quicker if you apply through ACHIB. They say it takes a few days through them, but if you apply on your own, you can wait several weeks.
Dear Learn and Teach, Thank you for all the hard work you are doing for the readers of Learn and Teach. I hope that you will help me to find my wife. She left me in 1977 with our child. Since then I have been trying to find them. Last year my brother-in-law told me she was working on a farm near Rosendal, but was leaving for Johannesburg to find work. She complained about suffering to bring up the child. Now I want to be together with my family again. Please heip me to find them. Sammy Khoaisi Weltrix
Thank you for your letter, Mr Khoaisi. We hope your wife sees this letter and gets in touch with you. It is eleven years since you’ve seen each other, so it might be difficult to get back together again. Maybe it will help if you go to see her family and ask them to help you find her.
Dear Learn and Teach, Please help me to get my certificates from the Transkei Department of Education. I lost my Std 8 and Std 10 certificates in 1986. I applied for duplicate certificates from the education department in Umtata and they sent me forms to fill in. I returned the forms with a payment of R2. I have written to them and sent them a telegram, but they did not reply to me. I really need my certificates, please help me to get them. L M Qushwana Cleveland
Thank you for your letter, Mr Qushwana. We spoke to the Transkei Education Department, but they could not trace your application. Please write again, by registered letter to Mr Mathandabuzo at Private Bag X5003, Umtata and complain about the delay in getting your certificates. Please give him all the dates and details of the postal order you sent.
Dear Learn and Teach, I am a 16 year old white middle class person. I regard apartheid as a sin and morally I support the liberation struggle. But I have not really done anything to help end apartheid. I have lived comfortably all my life and have done nothing to help others less fortunate than myself. RS Kew, Johannesburg
Thank you for your letter. There are many whites in our country who share your problem. But there are things you can do. Join a progressive organisation, such as Links (an organisation of white school students) or Joyco (Johannesburg Youth Congress). Read progressive literature and educate yourself – and educate your friends too. For information about progressive organisations, events etc. write to: Jodac (Johannesburg Democratic Action Committee), PO Box 93118, Yeoville 2143.
Dear Learn and Teach, Hello! I’m writing to ask for help with my English. I learned about ‘prepositions’ from the English lesson in the magazine. Now I want to learn about ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ speech. I will be very happy if you can do an English lesson on this. Johannes Taung
Thanks for the letter, Johannes. We have passed on your letter to the people who prepare the lesson in the magazine. They say they will try to write a lesson to help you. They also thank you for the idea – and say they will welcome other ideas from our readers. Please write to: English Lesson, Learn and Teach Publications P.O. Box 11074 Johannesburg.
Dear Learn and Teach, The South African government is waging war against God. They have banned democratic organisations. Now the next thing they are going to do is silence the media and the church. The Bishops, the Archbishop and the priests are under attack! The Lord said to his disciples: Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, rather fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. A.M. Bleskop
Dear Learn and Teach, I hope you will help me to get my ID book. I was born in 1961 and my mother died when I was very young. My mother was never married to my father and I have never met my father in my life. I grew up with a friend of my mother’s and I use my mother’s surname. I went to Home Affairs in Durban for an identity book. They told me to bring proof of date and place of birth. I explained everything to them. They sent me to the social workers, but they did not help me. I was called to the Home Affairs office again, and they told me they can’t help me to apply for a birth certificate because I don’t want to bring them the proof of date and place of birth. I have told them I don’t have the proof – what can I do? Thabiso Kgapole Durban
Thank you for your letter, Thabiso. We think the “proof” that the Home Affairs needs is just a sworn statement (affidavit) from you, and from your mother’s friends who brought you up, to say when and where you were born. You can get help in making this affidavit, and having it signed by a Commissioner of Oaths, if you go to the Black Sash Advice Office 27 Ecumenical Centre, 20 St Andrew’s Street, Durban, 4001, Tel (031) 301-9215. The Black Sash is open from 8 30 to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday and you do not need an appointment. They do not charge for their services.