Why no charges?

Chris Waters,
Gordon’s Bay

I refer to the letter from Professor Richter.

Incident one is alleged to have to have been committed by two police officers and a military person.

Both training systems have changed over the past 40 years, except those now in charge often have political connections, but have no w connection with the ruling party (DA) in the Western Cape, as subtly referred to by Professor Richter in his summing up.

The removal of shack dwellers from the land at Empolweni.

I do not know what legal background is behind the action, only it is often (not always) the case that occupation of municipal land is instigated by either of two other political parties for obvious reasons.

There is no mention of the Professor Richter doing his homework before leaping into the fray (cause and reaction).

The second incident which took place was when the old Nationalist government was in power, and his feelings at the time have no bearing on the incident with his handyman, or on the current actions of the DA local government.

It only points out how a good a liberal he was in the 1970s.

Conclusion from someone who is apolitical: why has Professor Richter not taken his gardener down to the divisional police station and laid a complaint, as per the normal route?

Professor WA Richter, Somerset West, replies:

The letter by Chris Waters, in reply to my letter “ We are sliding to a gestapo mentality in South Africa” (Bolander April 22) contends that my reference to the assault on my worker by the police somehow reflects on the DA.

My unhappiness with the DA relates only to the demolition at Empolweni.

Surely anybody knows that the police fall under the jurisdiction of the government, namely the ANC.

I also referred specifically to a possible claim against the Minister of Police.

In regard to the Empolweni incident, it not evident what is meant by not “doing his homework before leaping into the fray.”

My letter was based on several newspaper reports, and specifically an extensive one of seven pages in the Daily Maverick of April 17.

In it all relevant aspects of the issue was addressed, as well as interviews with two spokesman of the City of Cape Town Law Enforcement Unit.

The demolition incident carried out by the nationalist government in the 1970s has a bearing on the incident at Empolweni as the same degree of callousness was displayed in both, which is surely a dire warning to present political leaders who proclaim an advance in human rights in the “new” South Africa.

Lastly, thank God I was a “liberal” in the period mentioned and opposed apartheid, otherwise I couldn’t live with my conscience.