Thursday, October 29, 2020

 Dear Readers,

Gert-Johan Coetzee

          They evidently have short memories at the Johannesburg based Sunday Times. Eight years ago its ‘fashion’ fundi Lin Sampson slammed just about every aspect of the dress South African fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee created for a seventeen-year-old girl’s matric dance.

          Now in a huge about turn in the lead story in its Insight section recently, it described him as ‘one of the country’s most sought-after dressmakers.’

          Talk about eating Sampson’s words, which were very unpalatable, this article was, fortunately for Coetzee, not one of Sampson. It was written by Leonie Wagner.

          The one Sampson regurgitated was about Melanie Olhaus, who showed commendable ingenuity and daring to get Olympic swimming gold medallist Chad le Clos to agree to partner her at her matric dance. She did this by holding up an invitation placard in the crowd that gathered at Johannesburg airport to welcome athletes returning from the Games.

          But instead of concentrating on this aspect of what was a very unusual story, Sampson did her best to ruin the girl’s special occasion by letting her poisonous pen  run wild about the girl’s matric dress and Coetzee himself.

          She began: “Okay, so the dress was wrong. Anyone could see that. It was a bit like a Swiss cheese,” she went on, “a hole where you expect cheese, or a bit like a bathing suite that Ester Williams, a 50s swimming star might have worn – in the pool – and it was little more than an animated rag.”

          And if her own bitchy remarks were not enough she quoted an anonymous colleague, who I do not believe existed, as saying, “It didn’t fit.”

          After having a field day knocking Melanie’s dress Sampson turned her attention to the designer. One of his greatest crimes, apart from Melanie’s dress, was having designed one for one of the Kardashian sisters. That made him “a warrior of the junk genre de jour, of reality TV, of people who are famous for being famous (whatever that means), people who are not famous at all but think they are.”

          As if that was not enough of an insult she added: “With his platinum curls and sweet lips, he has a terminal case of celebriphilia.”

          In Sampson’s opinion Melanie didn’t even get her hair style right as it was “augmented with extensions that gave the appearance of boiling over.”

          The latest article in the Sunday Times told us that Coetzee has designed dresses for the likes of Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, Oprah Winfrey US singer Kelly Rowland and various other stars.

          Not bad for a curly haired farm boy.

          By coincidence Sampson’s byline that I have not seen all that often in the paper recently, appeared in the same edition as the one about Coetzee pictured on his family’s farm. Sampson was the author of The Drag Trade, about the queens of the Cape that appeared in the LifeStyle section.


          Jon, the Poorman’s Press Ombudsman and defender of curly haired designers.

          See also:lin-sampson-out-bitching-herself.html



 Dear Readers,


         For nearly two decades The Butcher of Rosebank was allowed to go on operating while the Health Professions Council that is supposed to police doctors failed dismally to prevent him maiming patient after patient.

         His serious criminal activities were completely ignored even though they were so wide ranging that they should have stopped him from practising medicine entirely. Other people have been jailed for less.

         I am a former Sunday Times investigative journalist turned Private Eye, now retired.  And it was while working as a self-employed PI specialising in life insurance that I was asked to investigate the dread disease scams perpetrated by Dr Wynne Lieberthal, his doctor friends and a bent broker. The 600 page report I compiled for the various life companies involved formed the basis for this 300 page book.

         It contains the names of perhaps 60 or more doctors and other people in the medical professions as well as the particularly tragic stories of people who came under the Butcher’s scalpel.

         Mariskca du Plessis, the girl on the cover was just 14 when the Butcher put her into a wheel chair for life.

         The Book’s Chapter headings tell a story of their own: Sensational photograph; Bad addiction; Spreading cancer; Another doctor catches it; Media frenzy; Doctors eat Doctor; After his blood; Ailing advocate’s secret; Missing surgeon and so on.

        To get a copy contact me at

Sunday, October 18, 2020


 Dear Readers,

         The Johannesburg based Sunday Times has introduced a new and very odd version of the BBC quiz show Pointless that is screened on our DStv.

         And what’s more it is the brain child of the relatively new Editor S’Thembiso Msomi, who writes a column in the paper every week. He took the very courageous and unusual step of giving his personal email address in his column. Did he think this through before revealing it? Had he lined up the necessary members of staff to help him deal with a possible avalanche of emails?

         Well if my experience it anything to go by it turned out to be completely POINTLESS.

I sent my first email on 21/9/2020 suggesting he included a certain story in his paper. And when I got no reply I repeated it on 30/9/2020 adding: “I wonder if you ever got this?” Again I got no reply. So last week I phoned the paper in an effort to speak to the Editor.

         It turned out that the Virus is so bad there that it’s a nightmare to find somebody to answer a phone. How you expect a newspaper with declining advertising sales to survive these days Mr Editor when you make it so difficult for anybody to speak to any member of your staff, is beyond me. Great news stories that could boost your paper’s circulation considerably could be passing you by daily. But that’s another story.

         Eventually I got hold of a reporter. I told him briefly what my problem was and he said he would pass it on to the Editor, who was expected to come in shortly. I gave him my telephone number. Well I’m still waiting to hear from the Editor. If he didn’t get my emails the least he could have done was to phone me to say so.

         In keeping with the theme of the Sunday Times’ version of the game my emails and telephone calls all turned out to be POINTLESS.

         Perhaps S’Thembiso your courage will extend to including this post in your column next week, if you ever see the email I am sending you with the link to it.


         Jon, the Poor Man’s Press Ombudsman and former Sunday Times investigative journalist in the days before COVID-19, when they didn’t play POINTLESS GAMES.


Sunday, October 4, 2020



 Dear Readers,

          After Glocky, an 8 year old Pit Bull, with a reputation for attacking other animals, savaged a much smaller dog on a Cape Town estate, its owner Jaric Tolken has been doing his best to convince everyone there that it is not dangerous.  

          The attack has split the residents on the estate’s WhatsApp group with some saying Glocky should be hounded out, while others believe it should stay. People are worried that a child could be its next victim as on any day unaccompanied little children can be seen skateboarding or just milling around the quiet streets of the estate.

          While collecting information for this post I sent Jaric an email telling him that I proposed to write about what happened and I wanted to get both sides of the story.

          I told him I believed his wife was due to have a baby shortly and “in view of this do you think it will be safe to still have this dog around. Only last week a toddler got killed by a pit bull in Pietermaritzburg. Isn’t there a strong chance that your pit bull will get jealous of the attention being given to your new baby?”

          He replied: “Thanks for being reasonable and hearing both sides.” He described his dog as “very friendly and loving towards humans.”

          “I’m not concerned about Glocky,” he went on. “What kind of person would I be if I kept a dog I was concerned about near my child!!!”


Glocky look-alike
laughing it off

          Apart from a couple of pictures of Glocky - a black dog with a white patch on its chest - he attached a lot of other pit bulls that looked very similar and they were all being cuddled or lying next to small children. He was clearly trying to convince me that this was what his dog was like with children.

          But when I asked him to give me the names and ages of the children I got no reply. So I Googled ‘Pit Bull pictures with children’ and there I found some of the ones he had sent me.

           I emailed him saying: “Jaric am I correct in assuming that your dog is in none of these pictures of pits hulls with kids, because you took them off the internet?”

          That set him off. He turned out to be just as unpredictable as his dog.

          “Fuck off and have a nice day.” he replied. “Kind Regards, Jaric.”

          It seems that Suzi Schalk hit the nail on the head on the WhatsApp when she had this to say about Jaric: “The dog frankly, is the way it is because of the owner, Pity he doesn’t see it that way.”

          What she said after that about pit bulls being great dogs and other comments in favour of Jaric that made him thank her for her support was extremely odd. You see Suzi and he husband Willi, not only live on the state, but they are also estate agents who sell houses there. A vicious pit bull that is a danger is hardly a great selling point for anybody who might want to buy a house there.

Glocky's handiwork but fortunately his owner says
he is "very friendly to humans"

          Not for the first time Glocky attacked another dog last month after a painter left the property’s gate to the street open. He mauled Bobby, a six year old Smoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle cross) and his owner Lesley Lilley also got bitten trying to separate the two dogs. The vet’s bill to stitch up Bobby’s wounds came to R5 608.

          On WhatsApp Jaric undertook to cover the vet’s bill “no matter what the cost”, but he has been a bit slow in coming up with the money. At the time of posting this he had only paid R1 000, although the attack took place a month ago.

Isn't that sweet. Another
Glocky look-alike

          Bradley Parsons maintained this was not an isolate incident as Gloky had twice attacked his boxers a couple of years ago. At the time Jaric initially agreed to pay the vet’s bill, but soon recanted. He told Bradley that he got Glocky from a farm where it was being trained for dog fighting and he was rehabilitating it. 

          Bradley believes the law should take its course. Unfortunately there seems to be very little likelihood of that. Apparently the attack was reported to the Police and all they did was to give Jarec a warning. This is in spite of Glocky having bitten various dogs and being credited with having killed several cats and even a porcupine, as the estate adjoins a wetland area where there is a variety of small wild animals.

          After another member of the WhatsApp group complained that he was paying for security when children could not play freely because of a dog, Suzi Schalk retorted: “That’s not the point and FYI children should not be roaming around freely in any estate, definitely not in these times, in my opinion.”

Another Glocky look-alike showing he is not only 
good with kids but with other dogs as well

          She then made out that she was a pit bull expert and that Bobby’s owner Lesley was actually to blame for what happened. “I know pit bulls believe me - they are to be handled carefully,” she maintained. “A stranger bear hugging a strange dog is idiotic. What on earth was this person thinking?”

          If it had actually happened it was not half as idiotic as what Suzi had to say. What did she expect Bobb’s owner to do when her dog was attacked unexpected in the street while she was taking it for a walk. There was nothing at all idiotic about her reaction. Most people would have done exactly the same.

          Lesley feels that Glocky needs to be re-homed far away or put down as it is probably going to continue being a problem on the estate.

          What do the rest of you think?


          Jon, another type of dog, one of the good ones – a Consumer Watchdog and a ‘Keep Housing Estates Safe’ advocate.