Monday, June 27, 2016


Dear South Africans, 
The Black Education Minister in the Gauteng Province, Panyaza Lesufi has just shown that he is the most level-headed social media user in South Africa. He’s educated us all brilliantly. Thanks so much Minister for setting such a shining example.
Let’s hope you are followed by the entire country.
On Sunday when Lesufi went on Twitter he was shocked to be bombarded by an unprovoked racial attack. An anonymous user called him a “Fucking Kaffir” paedophile.
The cowardly racist hid behind the name “Summer Starstead” using the handle @uncucklord.
To illustrate his “cuck” he took a picture from Lesufi’s Twitter feed of the Minister in the jeans he wore in case he had to jump over a fence to get into a Johannesburg crèche that was said to be separating white and black kids during meal times.
“Here you have Gauteng MEC for Education @lesufi ready to jump a fence to take pics of toddlers. Fucking Kaffir pedo,” was his inflammatory comment
Instead of blasting off against his incredibly uncouth detractor he showed the kind of maturity not yet displayed in similar circumstances in South Africa. He also didn’t rush off to lay a complaint to the Equity Court in the hope that it would be able to track down and nail this racist in the same way it had done with former estate agent Penny Sparrow. She was fined R150 000 for calling Black beachgoers monkeys.
No, he did nothing more than to politely tweet, “Don’t call me with the K-word please.” This just goaded @uncucklord to hurl further abuse at him with the use of the K-word and the question as to why he was not wearing “piss-soaked animal skins” as this was his “traditional attire.”
The Minister was referring to Hendrik Verwoed,
            South Africa's Prime Minister who was credited
with being the architect of apartheid
         Again he kept his cool with this reply: “This one keeps calling me with the K-word. I’m not going to block him. He must just enjoy insulting me.”
It was obvious that this gutter snipe stuff was coming from a White person.
The Minister subsequently told his 27 200 followers: “Racists can insult me as they wish, but my commitment to a non-racial, equal and quality education for all our children remains unshakeable.
“Their children will study, dance and play with our children in one class and drink water from the same tap. If this hurts racists hard luck.”

The Times reported that he said his parents had taught him “to respect those who hate you, as it is through respect that you can change your enemy.”
Well done again Panyaza. Nothing annoys people more when you don’t react as expected however much they insult you.
By taking punitive action against these gutless snipers too scared to show themselves you only turn them into heroes among their own kind. You put them in the lime light they are craving. And then the racialism wrecking ball carries on dividing our society.
Jon, a Minister Panyaza Lesufi ADMIRER.

P.S. Here’s a group who would have done well Mr Minister to have had your sensible approach. The case of course was very different. There was no racialism involved. All I did was take four journalists to task for using foul language on twitter. The significance was that they wouldn’t be allowed to use the same words when writing for the publications they worked for, so I argued that by using them on Twitter they were damaging their own and the reputations of whoever employed them. And even though they were in the business of criticising other people, all but one of them could not take it from me, so they BLOCKED ME on Twitter. The Blockers

*Note: “Cuck” is short for cuckold. It has been given all kinds of meanings most of them very racist and disgusting. But it is apparently most commonly used on Twitter to describe anti-white Whites. I can’t see where that fits in this case. Another definition which is appropriate is that it is an “unscrupulous person.”
You can’t of course have fewer scruples than Summer Starstead who the Minister assumed is a man, but if Sparrow’s actions are anything to go by there could be a woman behind it. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Dear Patients everywhere,
Mariskca du Plessis
          Dr Wynne Lieberthal was the smooth talking charmer who won every imaginable prize as an orthopaedic registrar in training at Wits Medical School in Johannesburg. He then fell from grace equally spectacularly.
          Professor Einhard Erken, who headed the Orthopaedic Department at the time, said this of him, “During his four years of training he turned out to be one of the most brilliant registrars the Department ever trained.”
          At the time Lieberthal had a skeleton in his cupboard that had so many rotten bones that it was a miracle that it hung together at all. It was certainly not for medical student demonstration purposes.
In the late eighties before he began training under the Professor the conman of his Mr Hyde side was causing waves all over the place.
Having started his own general practitioner practice in Johannesburg he embarrassed his two partners by featuring in a headline making story.
Even as a Fellow of the South African Photographic Society he couldn’t keep his deviousness out of his hobby. This earned him the dubious distinction of becoming the first person to be disqualified by the Society after being awarded first prize in a prestigious wild life competition. He resigned and handed back all the medals he had won.
Experts concluded that the mongoose and cobra in mortal combat in his photograph were stuffed.

Soon afterwards his partners kicked him out of the practice without a cent and he escaped any criminal charges because their lawyer’s advice was “One Jewish boy doesn’t put another Jewish boy in jail. Leave it to him he will dig his own grave one day.”
Lieberthal had been diddling them by paying cheques from patients into his private account. He also committed fraud by double leasing office equipment and motor vehicles that he leased and sold.
Shortly after he opened a second GP practice when he left the first one in “a big rush” there was the little matter of the theft of a Mercedes Benz 280 in the winding up of his estate. He had been voluntarily sequestration.
His insurance company had refused to pay his claim and his Trustee took this to court believing that it had been repudiated on “spurious grounds.”
These 38 screws & 17 rods were put in & taken out of a
woman's back in 28 spine operations in three years
He soon found out how wrong he was. Lieberthal had been up to his old tricks again. The claim was fraudulent. The car had not been stolen.
Houdini-like Lieberthal managed to wriggle out of this unscathed even though the magistrate referred the matter to the Attorney General with a view to prosecuting him.
Another of his talents was ripping off insurance companies. In 1991 he, his twin brother Hugh and several others got away with hundreds of thousands from several life insurance companies with an ingenious dread disease scheme. A case was opened with the police but strangely they took it no further.
Just before he went to Medical School he became addicted to pain killers after having had several back operations. He was treated as an in patient on several occasions and was still a recovering drug addict under Erken's supervision when he joined the Medical School.
Professor Erken
On leaving Wits in 1996 he quickly built up a thriving orthopaedic practice at the Rosebank Clinic where he specialised in spinal surgery. It was not until several years later that a blaze of publicity exposed the sham that was his looked-up-to public image as a respected doctor.
He had been coining it by often threatening patients with paralysis unless they had urgent, unnecessary operations. Others were scared into the theatre with stories of cancerous growths that did not exist.
          When all this was going on the Health Profession Council of South Africa (HPCSA) that claimed to be there for the well being of voiceless patients, was losing files stuffed with complaints, while Lieberthal continued to set new records for the numbers lodged against a single doctor.
          One of these files contained records of 32 cases of his negligence that had been submitted by three of his fellow specialists. This was possibly unique as doctors rarely speak ill of each other.
          The doctor friendly HPCSA that had procrastinated for years was finally galvanised into action by a wave of radio and press publicity that highlighted his appalling record. He was dubbed him “The Butcher Rosebank” by the media. The HPCSA then brought seven charges against him at a disciplinary hearing.
But not before his botched operations had maimed at least 70 people, some of whom died shortly after coming under his scalpel.
          It cost his medical negligence insurance company millions in indefensible claims.
          One woman had 38 screws and 17 rods put in her spine and then taken out during 28 operations over a three year period. They had to be removed when a very virulent infection set. She was reduced to crawling around on all fours in her tiny house where she lived alone.
          Possibly his worst mess up involved Mariskca du Plessis. In what should have been a routine operation to remove rods that had been put in her back by another surgeon to straighten her spine Lieberthal paralysed her from the waist down. He inserted screws unnecessarily that severed her spinal cord.
          That cost the Provincial Health Department R6-million to settle the girl’s malpractice claim.
          It was in 2002 when she was 14 that Lieberthal put her permanently into a wheel chair.  
          He fought the HPCSA allegations against him with every trick imaginable, but eventually after a hearing that lasted a year he was found guilty of a mere seven cases of unprofessional conduct one of which involved Mariskca.
          The disciplinary committee hearing the case was told that “not once did he express regret or admit that he had made a mistake.” His attitude of “I did nothing wrong” was said to be “frightening.” 
          He was barred from practising. Undeterred the wily medic got a job almost immediately as a GP with an Irish Army peace keeping force in North Africa. They of course were unaware of his dicey background.
          It was only after his year’s contract ended and the matter was raise in the Irish Parliament that this became public knowledge.
          His subterfuge here did not count against him in the eyes of the HPCSA that seemed to have a particularly soft spot for Lieberthal. After all the country was badly in need of orthopaedic surgeons – at all costs it seemed.
          It was not long before he was allowed back into practice, but only under supervision in a provincial government hospital.
          Without the knowledge of the HPCSA the doctor, who found it almost impossible to do anything on the level, got a job at a small government hospital in an out the way little town in the Eastern Cape. It didn’t have an orthopaedic section so he started one. That’s how much being supervised meant to him.
          The HPCSA ignored that infringement and suddenly he was in the news again in 2010.  He had just resigned as head of the orthopaedic department at the much larger provincial hospital in the coal mining town of Witbank, about an hour and half’s drive from Johannesburg.
          The Mr Hyde side of him was back once more with 13 new complaints having been lodged with the HPCSA.   
Left handed Lieberthal is accused of operating
on a man's back while his left arm was in a cast-
The Star 2005
          Again he was suspended but while these cases were still pending his strange relationship with the HPCSA enabled him to practicing once again. He was not allowed to do any surgery but he was given permission to become a general practitioner.
So he started a GP practice in the small Mpumalanga town of Sabie (Population 10 000) not far from the Kruger National Park.
If only the Medical Council had done its job properly by striking him off the register permanent a lot earlier many lives would not have been ruined.
Then too if the police and other authorities had done what they are supposed to do this habitual crook might have had his criminal activities cut short by getting the punishment he so richly deserved.

One thing even Lieberthal could not cheat and that was death. He died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in Sabie on Sunday 5 June. He was 61.
Oddly enough it appears the people of Sabie never saw his Mr Hyde side.
The social media tributes and condolences from people in the town painted him as their perfect Dr Jekyll far removed from the Lieberthal who had so seriously harmed so many of his patients.
On the town’s Facebook page where it is described as the “Town of the Year” there was this tribute, “Today Sabie mourns the loss of a great man. Not only was he our Doctor but he was our friend. Dr Wynne Lieberthal – we will remember him as the Doctor who became everyone’s friend. A brilliant mind who was passionate about helping and saving. He lived to serve. May God bless and comfort his family.”
Other tributes came from Jenny Moolman who wrote: “Very sad news. Dr Lieberthal, you will be missed by many. You were a very gentle, caring man, and one of the few doctors in today’s day and age who would see and attend to your patients any time of the day, even on Sundays. RIP and condolences to your family.”
And Cathy Rees added to the accolades with, “Wonderful GP and man. Compassionate and caring. Has left a huge hole in Sabie. Love and support to his family.”
If only his compassion had extended to saying he was “Sorry” to Mariskca du Plessis before he died. It would have meant so much to her.
Confining her to a wheelchair was compounded by the fact that he had never told her he was sorry for what he did.
Few of his orthopaedic patients that he operated on will shed a tear and those that he butchered will no doubt be relieved that he will never again be able to do the same thing to anybody else.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

CAPE TOWN SCANDAL: City won't stop dumping your money

Dear Cape Town Citizens,
Van Eeden

          Your Council continues to play in its favourite sand pit with thousands of your ratepayer’s money. It will be millions more before you know it the way the bungling is going on.
          This would be on top of the R5-million that has already been thrown away on failed experiments at a rubbish dump site that was closed for refuse 30 years ago.
            Ironically it comes just as all our service charges are about to go up by almost 10% - well above the inflation rate.
          The site is at Witsands next to a popular surfing and wind surfing beach not far from Cape Point.
          It is also a short distance from the troubled Black township of Masiphumelele and the Coloured one of Ocean View where they are crying out for funds to upgrade the facilities.

February & March earth moving takes place

          In February and March this year a regiment of huge earth moving equipment spent more than a month rearranging the sand dunes – something that has been going on more or less in the same way for the last 10 years.
          The purpose of this massive expenditure of R500 000 a year or more has been to stop what is left of the buried rubbish from being washed into the sea by keeping it well covered in an area where strong winds shift the sand around at most times of the year.
          My impression is that instead of solving the problem these machines make the dunes even more unstable and destroy any vegetation that could hold it together that might have started growing on them.

May 10 road has to be cleared of sand.

The job was done so poorly that less than two months after the dune moving had been completed a front end loader had to clear a nearby road that was covered in sand.

June 8 earth movers are back doing exactly what they had done before

That was early in May. Now a month later on 8 June the same number of earth movers - a huge tracked bulldozer and excavator as well as two dumper trucks – were brought in once again to cover large sections of non-biodegradable material like glass and plastic that the wind had uncovered.  
Sand being dumped in June in exactly the same place as
it was put earlier in the year in February/March
March 7 net fencing is erected

The R200 000 net fencing on a 4 ha ridge that had been built up parallel to the sea also proved to be a complete failure.
          This “tried and tested” method was put up last March by Vula Environmental Restoration that claims to be dune restoration specialists.
          “The nets work by disrupting the airflow thus forcing wind to drop the sand load within the net field on top of the old landfill site,” Deon van Eeden the head of Vula told me. “The sand is then retained where it is required.”

March 13 first winter storms flattens or buries nets

          The system failed completely to retain the sand because the wind was so strong during the first two winter storms that most of the 5 km of netting was either buried completely or flattened. And a large area of rubbish was exposed between the nets.
Net graveyard
May 30 some netting removed to prepare for the dumping of more sand

          They then had to be partially removed so that tons more sand from further inland could be brought in to cover the exposed area.
          “The nets are maintained by lifting so as to retain their functionality and to continue to catch the sand in the target area,” Van Eeden said.
          It is weeks since the nets were trashed and very little has been done to raise them again.
Nets removed to make way for more sand to be dumped
          Vula's contract runs until March 2017, but as the nets have been so ineffective so far it would seem pointless in having them replaced.       
          In any event he revealed that they were only put there in a “test” section to “inform the formulation of the future management strategy for the Witsands landfill.”
After playing in this sand pit for more than 10 years I would have thought the Council and its experts would have finished experiments years ago.
I pointed out to Van Eeden that William Woodhouse, a Professor of Soil Science and a member of the US Army Corps of Engineers, who was an expert on dune stabilization, maintained that the most effective way of doing this was with vegetation. It was the only permanent solution as well as being very cost effective.
Van Eeden’s firm claims to have stabilized dunes with indigenous grasses and to be able to produce vast quantities of indigenous plant seed. So I asked him why the vegetation method had not been adopted at Witsands.
“The reason why the entire 19 ha has not been instantaneously vegetated is that there has not been a detailed study of the viability of this and there is not an Environmental Authorisation in terms of the relevant legislation to implement this,” he told me.
Mounds of sand that were covered naturally by the
          indigenous vegetation shows that this could possibly
be grown over the whole site

Councillor Johan van der Merwe the Mayoral Committee Member for Environmental Planning gave me a similar explanation when he said, “It was almost impossible to do this as the sand is naturally mobile and if it were to be successful this natural system would require several authorisations.”
          “These,” he added, “Were a Standard Operating Protocol as part of land fill closure.”
        It is a terrible indictment on the Council that 30 years after the dump was closed it has done nothing to overcome the bureaucratic stumbling block that would have enable it to try covering the site with vegetation – a method that all the international experts say is the one sure way of permanently stabilising dunes. And if it worked the Council might never have to spend another cent there again.
        There is no question that vegetation will not grow there because all around the dump site the dunes are covered with it growing naturally.
          Van Eeden confused the issue of whether to plant vegetation or not when he told me that the net system was “indeed non-permanent but it aids significantly in creating a stable environment and micro climate where seeds naturally occurring in the sand can germinate. It is clear from past efforts that the unstable environment is not conducive to self stabilisation.”
Another example of vegetation covered mounds in the
middle of the land fill site
          Both he and the Council’s experts don’t seem to have taken into account that Witsands is almost at what is known as the “Cape of Storms” and that is why the net system did not work making it necessary to bring in the earth movers once again.
           The cost of hiring these is mind boggling made worse because each of them has to be transported to and from the site on a low bed truck. Somebody is making a killing and they are not from either of the nearby townships I mentioned earlier.
          Nothing will stop the City from continuing to build sand castles over and over again with your money while it steadfastly refuses to adopt the only method that could solve the problem once and for all at a minimum cost.  
What is being done is about as futile as digging holes, filling them in and then digging them out again, only in this case it’s at GREAT COST.
          It is a disgraceful, outrageous SCANDAL that should stop immediately because it can only seriously damage the Council’s reputation.
          Jon, a Consumer Watchdog who does his best to make sure his bark is heard.

P.S. Before I put this on my blog I sent it to Johan van der Merwe and invited him to make any comments he wished. The reply I got was: “Please feel free to proceed without City comment.”
Earlier Posts: 
Cape Town's never ending money dump
Is Cape Town still wasting money on a rubbish dump closed 30 years ago