Our regular readers will have noticed that the New African in their hands today has a new look. We are always finding better ways to present the news, and so we have this. We await your responses. To give you even more value for money, we have also increased the size of the magazine, from 52 pages to 68, except when we do special reports, like this month, where the size will even be bigger.

New design.

Winnie's travails

I was pained when I went to the trial of Winnie Mandela who appeared before a white magistrate and a white prosecutor on 12 July on charges of fraud, She was hurled before the court by her own ANG party.

The strange thing about her court appearance is that it was deliberately orchestrated to coincide with the launching of the African Union so as to rubbish her reputation in the eyes of the African leaders and the international media.

So much for the New South Africa.

Thami Ka Plaatjie

Sec-General, PAC

South Africa

DA not in freefall

Pusch Commey's article, Opposition in messy scandal (NA, Jul/Aug) reads like a cheap gossip column. Purportedly about South Africa's official Democratic Alliance (DA), Commey's piece portrays untested allegation as fact, and unashamedly presents a ruling parry picture only. It may be grist to the mill of propagandists, but it does your readers and the truth no favours.

Recently, at a time politically convenient to the ruling ANC, allegations about donations to the DA from the German fraudster Jurgen Harksen were made. Most of these came from the conman himself. Any normal court of law would regard the words of a fraudster facing deportation from the country with circumspection--but not you.

In the event, the DA took action within 72 hours of the allegations and the Western Cape Provincial Management Committee set up an internal commission of inquiry to investigate the claims.

These allegations took place during a determined attempt by the New National Parry and its ANC ally to smear the only politically viable alternative to them. Helping this process has been a quasi-judicial inquiry of a sort that South Africa has seen before in its sorry past. None of this context is given your readers by Commey.

The DA has instituted a forensic audit of its books, and of the personal books of persons named by Harksen. The independent auditing firm, Ernst & Young, has conducted this audit. The results of this investigation will shortly be released. So much for a "desperate control exercise".

You claim that a criminal investigation unit, the so-called Scorpions, is "ready to pounce" on the DA over these allegations. This unit denies this. Even if it hadn't, these "pouncing scorpions" must be somnambulant, neglecting even to take up our offer of assistance. So much for "the criminality" of accepting donations from Harksen, even if we had.

You claim that the DA wanted to remove Peter Marais as Cape Town mayor because it wished his post for some other. You ignore his homophobic statements, his calls for Christians to ignore our national constitution. So much for informing your readers.

In fact, your little hatchet job on the DA goes so far as to misrepresent the reasons for the resignation of one of our parry's members, to misrepresent a deliberate smear campaign against the DA and to misrepresent judicial proceedings of this country.

The electorate in...

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