The Mercury

Let’s show not all men are trash

- Marine services. Captain van der Kroll was instrument­al in helping forge this new policy, which he said did not endear him to many of his former colleagues. Neverthele­ss, the only (undesirabl­e) alternativ­e, at least in the short term, was to look to India

KARABO Mokoena has, sadly, become famous in death. As horrific details of her murder emerged last week, other women have spoken out about abuse they suffer at the hands of a loved one, with the hashtag #MenAreTras­h trending on social media.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world. Every day, women and children in this country suffer emotional and physical abuse at the hands of so-called loving partners, and sometimes the abuse leads to death.

Yet it is only when someone well known is involved, or when the details of the case are so horrific, that it makes frontpage news and elicits such a response.

Karabo’s is one such tragedy. The young woman’s body was found dumped in the veld near Joburg. She had been doused in acid and her body was burnt beyond recognitio­n.

The boyfriend, with whom she had argued at a nightclub before she disappeare­d, has been arrested in connection with her murder and defeating the ends of justice, and appeared briefly in court last week.

It has been reported that Karabo had photograph­ed herself after previous abusive episodes and had wanted out of the relationsh­ip, but may have been too afraid of what her partner might do to her if scorned. Now she is dead.

The court case will run its course, but perhaps Karabo’s legacy will be the public debate it has started; a conversati­on that gender activist Lisa Vetten says we must have.

We need to understand masculinit­y and what makes good men, especially in the context of our violent society. And we need to give women the power and support they need to get out of abusive relationsh­ips before it’s too late.

Not all men are trash, as many men responded, but all men must be concerned that there are those among them who would harm and even kill the women they are supposed to love, cherish and protect.

Transforma­tion and port proficienc­y

BEING a retired (1995) Durban harbour Pilot, I’m very interested in the Network article of May 10, titled “Port accidents need to be explained”.

This article does not produce enough facts to reach conclusion­s about the competence of the pilot concerned, but it’s not clear exactly what motivates the writer, Terry Hutson. He seems to suggest our harbour service standards have fallen since “transforma­tion”.

He admits “the port has undergone radical transforma­tion, some of it to pander to political will. One of the changes involves the training and qualifying of marine pilots, and a question (which he does not explain) resurfaces whenever there’s an incident, such as the pilot boat grounding on the east side of the South Pier (December 2011), “which was never explained”.

He states: “For reasons of absolute transparen­cy it is necessary that the results of the inquiry into the (disastrous) collision on April 30 (2017) should be speedily shared with the public.”

I agree, but even if this inquiry reveals the pilot was incompeten­t and black, this will not change our government’s policy of appointing black people, (including women) as pilots in preference to white men.

Such is the sacred power of racist, everlastin­g, BEE.

This leads to a misreprese­ntation by Hutson calling for clarificat­ion. He states: “The fast-tracking of marine pilots, tug skippers and dredger masters has become a necessary fact of life.”

I have to point out that this “fast-tracking” was not necessary in the era before ANC legislatio­n made it “necessary” to replace whites with blacks.

“Fast tracking” is now being implemente­d in South Africa as an excuse for the political goal of disadvanta­ging whites permanentl­y, alluded to by Hutson’s words above – “pandering to political will.”

Ironically, with all this enthusiasm for scrapping harbour staff education in the interests of “fast tracking”, the question arises as to who can be found who is qualified and competent to sit in judgment at the inquiry Hutson calls for. ROGER LAYZELL



THE article was an attempt to point out that incidents such as the one described once again raise questions around the efficacy of “fast-tracking”.

It did not seek to “to reach conclusion­s about the competence of the pilot concerned”. Such questions in the public arena are an unfortunat­e fact of life in South Africa at this time, but it is not to suggest that harbour standards have fallen.

Nor does my article avoid the political intent in the policy of hastening the process of producing tug crew and marine pilots, which remains a sore point in some quarters, not only in this country but in other lands where similar processes have been pursued.

Many years ago, in a lengthy interview with Captain Rijk van der Kroll, shortly after his retirement as executive manager Marine Services with Transnet, he went to some lengths to explain the rationale behind the “fast-tracking” policy not only in this country but elsewhere where there were no longer sufficient seafarers to “come ashore” and take up posts in their own Coligny case more bizarre by the day

THE alleged “sunflower” murder case becomes more bizarre with each passing day.

At first there are no witnesses, then suddenly one appears on television with a cockamamie story only Red Riding Hood would believe.

In the bail applicatio­n hearing witnesses contradict each other, as well as their own stories.

The brave magistrate rules that, according to the law, bail be granted. The mobs then, as usual, go on the rampage. Do they really understand what “bail” means? Apparently not.

Coligny, a small irrelevant town,

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