Comment

THE State of Emergency has finally been lifted — except in Natal of course.

It is our view that it was not necessary for the government to impose the State of Emergency in the first place. It is sad that the National Party — of which FW de Klerk has long been a member — took five years to realise and accept this.

In these long years — since July 1985 when the emergency regulations were first introduced — thousands of people, including children, were detained without trial; our organisations and hundreds of people were banned and restricted; many were killed and some disappeared without trace.

Also, many newspapers and journalists were harassed and some were even banned. Like other media organisations, we at Learn and Teach Publications were raided, our publications were seized — and were not returned to us! In many cases, we were not able to report events and valuable information to our readers.

In spite of all these problems we continued to publish. And it was thanks to our sellers that our publications were able to reach our readers. Learn and Teach sellers ran great risks when selling the magazine — many had their magazines taken away by the police and some were even arrested. But they never gave up!

We welcome the lifting of the State of Emergency and the release of some prisoners. These are the results of our struggles and pressure on the government. Our determination and courage never failed us — we waged successful campaigns and defied apartheid laws. We also unbanned ourselves and our organisations. The sacrifices we made paid off. Therefore it is a victory for us.

But, it is a victory with a heavy price: Our comrades went on long and painful hunger strikes lasting many days in their efforts to make sure that they were released from detention and that the State of Emergency was lifted. Many of the scars of those hunger strikes and many months in detention have not yet healed. And, therefore, credit for the lifting of the state of the emergency should go — not to de Klerk — but to the people.

We believe, however, that the lifting of the State of Emergency is a step forward. It contributes towards a climate suitable for the holding of negotiations. But the ball remains in the government’s court to take more steps and bolder steps so that the negotiation process can start. The government should stop dragging its feet. As the ANC says, piecemeal and partial solutions are no answer.

Like many other people, we call on the government to lift the remaining emergency regulations in Natal and, above all, to fully meet all the demands in the Harare Declaration.

It is our view that it is not difficult to do so.
Now is the time. FW de Klerk must act, and act decisively!

Comment

WHAT a year this has been!

Since president de Klerk’s speech on February 2, we have seen more political change in one year than in the whole of the last 40 years. The eyes of the world were on us this year as the ANC, the PAC and other political organisations were unbanned, as Nelson Mandela was released and as talks about talks began.

But 1990 was also a year of terrible violence — and even as we write, the violence continues. The war in Natal has not ended, nor has the violence on the Reef and in other parts of the country.

We are also saddened by the rising cost of living. Inflation continue to cause more pain and hardship than most people are able to bear. Unemployment is worse than ever.

As we go into the new year and towards a democratic government we are faced with urgent problems. We need to get negotiations on the road so that we can well and truly throw the last spade of sand on apartheid’s grave. We need to educate our children — and adults need also to be given the chance to make up for lost opportunities. We need housing, decent health care. We need to learn and educate each other about the killer disease AIDS, And we need to learn — and practice — tolerance towards our fellow human beings.

The country is changing — and so is Learn and Teach magazine. We have big plans for the new year, plans which we hope will lead to a better, more educational and more exciting magazine.

January to April next year will be a time of planning for the staff at Learn and Teach Publications — so we will only be bringing you your first magazine in April. After April, the magazine will come out monthly. Those readers who have subscriptions should not worry — you will still receive the correct number of magazines.

A few months ago we ran a survey. We would still like to invite all our readers who have ideas about how we can change and improve the magazine to write to us. We would appreciate any suggestions and will give all suggestions serious thought.

So, this is our last issue of the year. Just as we began the year with a cover story about the release of Nelson Mandela, so it is fitting to see this year out with a dedication to Oliver Tambo, president of the African National Congress, who has come home after 30 long years in exile. Welcome home, OR!

Finally, we would like to thank our readers, sellers and funders who have continued to support us for the last nine and a half years and to wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful new year. Roll on 1991!

Letters from our readers

Dear Learn and Teach, I read Learn and Teach and find it very easy to understand. I think it is very important for people to read it and understand the struggle. I think that to understand the struggle you have to feel the oppression on your shoulders and consult people and books. I think this people’s magazine teaches us how to pick up the spear and fight this merciless and unjust apartheid regime. I hope this magazine can give the people all the information they can get.
Comrade Sicelo
UMTATA

Dear Learn and Teach,
What wonderful satisfaction it was to get my regular copy of your magazine. I have been getting them for the past two years. I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to my favourite magazine and would like to wish everyone at Learn and Teach and its readers the best of luck and a prosperous year.
Andries N.P
MADIBOGO

Dear Learn and Teach, In the name of the Freedom Charter I greet all the ANC leaders who are trying to play a progressive role in changing South Africa. There is one thing I know: apartheid was not created by God. The forces of apartheid forced our leaders to leave their country. In our thoughts and our actions, we take forward their work and commitment. Let’s not let our leaders die in vain. Welcome home all our leaders. N.P. Lady Frere

Dear Learn and Teach, I want to tell you that here in Venda people die like chickens. Vhavenda people kill people and take some parts from their bodies. If you go and complain to the doctor, he will tell you that it is a dog who took the part or something like that. But I am a Christian so when I look at a doctor I feel that the doctors are working for money and the people who have no money are suffering. We are dying like flies in milk. Our President is Ravele. He is sleeping. Help us to solve this problem.
Worried
VENDA

Thank you for your letter. It is very difficult to know how you can fight against ritual murders. Perhaps you should speak to the Northern Transvaal Council of Churches. They are investigating ritual murders.

Dear Learn and Teach, We greet you in the name of God and ask him to bless you and us and our nation. Please help us to meet with Mr Murphy Morobe and the leaders of the MDM. Please pass our letter on to them. We, in prison are being treated badly. We cry to the nation. Please help us to contact a lawyer. How many people must still die in prison before we get help?
G.M.
PRISON

Thank you for your letter. We have spoken to Lawyers for Human Rights. They will send a lawyer to help you. But if anyone else has a similar prob­lem they can write to Lawyers for Human Rights.

Dear Learn and Teach, Greetings to all your readers. Thank you for a magazine that teaches us so much. I am a man of 38. I work for the municipality in Theunissen. I had an accident at work. When I returned to work, they refused to pay me for my accident. So I decided to ask Learn and Teach for help. I want books about working laws, notice pay, maternity pay and so on, I want to know what trade union I can join. Help me because I want to take action against my cruel boss.
A.M.
THEUNISSEN

Thank you for your letter. If you want to join a union, write to South African Municipal Workers Union. If you want to buy books about working conditions, you can write to Work Information Group and ask them what they have and how much the books cost.

Dear Learn and Teach, I am writing to tell you a story which one of my comrades told me. On 26 September 1985 at a certain village near East London, the youth gathered to protest against their removal from their village and their incorporation into the Ciskei. The headman called the police. When the police came, they told the youth to disperse and fired teargas at them. People ran in all directions. Some people ran onto a nearby farm. There a boy was shot dead. The police said that the bullet came from the farmer’s gun. So people began to boycott the farmer’s shop. The farmer spoke to the people and said he did not mean to hurt anyone. Then he slaughtered an ox and asked the villagers to forgive him. Comrades, don’t you think that the farmer should be punished if he is guilty?
A. R.
VIRGINIA

Thank you for your letter. We told your story to a lawyer. He said that the family of the boy who was killed must speak to a lawyers if they want to lay a charge against the farmer. The boy’s family can go to one of these advice offices in East London: Advice Community Development Centre or Afesis Advice Centre.

Dear Learn and Teach, I am appealing for unity among the stu­dents at the Sekhukhune College of Edu­cation. The students are split because of their political beliefs. They spend their time criticising each other’s organisations like Azapo, the ANC, UDF, SACP, PAC and others. On commemoration days, for example September 12, Steve Biko Day, a certain organisation claims that day as their day. We are divided by whites into races and bantusfans but now blacks are dividing themselves.
M.S.M.
APEL

Dear Learn and Teach, I am a Mangaung youth and a male student nurse. My big question is this: how can nurses take part in the struggle? It’s high time that people know that nurses also want a people’s government. It is also time for nurses to take part in the struggle so that when victory comes, and it will come very soon, nurses must have something to be proud of. I ask all comrades to help to teach nurses about the struggle.
M.T. M.
ROCKLANDS

Thank you for your letter. The National Education, Health and Allied Workers union has started a nurses’ project to organise nurses. If you want to find out more about it you can write or visit them at National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union P.

Dear Learn and Teach, I am not a resident of Soweto but there is something in Soweto that worries me a lot. At the Zennex garage there is a cross­road. Every day people are knocked down there but the state does nothing about it. At least they could build a bridge to help people cross the road. I think there are many unnecessary robots in white suburbs. I think that the reason that there is not a robot at Chiawelo is because there are no whites. Dear Learn and Teach, what can be done about this problem?
A.T. Mauda
MATANGARI

We spoke to the Soweto Traffic Department about your letter. They say they are busy making the Old Potchefstroom Road better. That is why there are no robots. But once they are finished working there will be a robot at the Zennex garage. They do not build bridges for people to cross roads because they say nobody uses them.

Dear Learn and Teach, I am eighteen years old. I was once in love with a girl. The day after we fell in love, this girl went away for three weeks. We had intercourse once after she came back and then we had a fight. Eight months later she came to my house with her parents. She said I had made her pregnant. But her friends told me that she had had another boyfriend while she was away for those three weeks. The thing that hurts me is that I do not think it is my child but my parents are supporting the child. What can I do?
CSP
HEIDELBURG

Thank you for your letter. If you are not sure if the child is yours, you can have a blood test to prove that you are not the father. When the baby is at least six months old, you and the baby must go for the test at the Paternity Section of the South African Blood Transfusion Services. If the mother will not let you take the child for the test, you must get a court order. The test costs R375.

Dear Learn and Teach, I saw some advertisements in the “Imvo Zabantsundu” newspaper. The advertise­ments promise to help people buy butcheries, restaurants, combis, cars, tractors, supermarkets etc. and even to lend money from R1 000 to R75 000. But before they can help you, you must pay R30 or R80 or R100. You do not get your money back if they cannot help you. When I wrote to find out more, I wrote to three different places. But when their letters came back, they were all the same letter except that they had different addresses. These are the names of the companies I wrote to:
* RELIABLE BEST SERVICE
* ACE CONSULTANTS AND COORDINATORS
* CONTINENTAL CONSULTANTS AND CO-ORDINATORS
Do you think these companies will help me?
D.T.M.
GEORGE

Thank you for your letter. We phoned Ace Consultants and spoke to the boss, Mr Dlamini. He said he knew nothing of Continental Consultants or Reliable Best Service. When we asked him why the letters were all the same, he said that other companies have copied their letters. When we asked him why you could see where they had crossed out Reliable Best Service on their letter, he said that he had used Reliable’s letter. But now he was in business on his own. We then phoned Continental Consultants and guess who the boss was… Mr Dlamini again! If you want to borrow money, it is always better to ask the bank yourself. If you want to start a small business, get advice from places that specialise in small businesses.

Dear Learn and Teach, I want to correspond with readers of Learn and Teach, especially youth and students from the following countries: Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zaire, Uganda, Swaziland, Malawi. My name and address are (…)
M.A. Mayimva
Umkaas

Dear Learn and Teach,
I am looking for my sister, Ellenah Ngwamathe Motomane. I have not seen her since I was young. My parents said she lived in Maputo. My mother’s name is Welheminah Raisibe Maluleka. Her older daughters are Christinah Ngwamabatlo and Enneth. If anyone knows anything about my sister, please write to (…)
W.K. Lindi
Hammanskraal

Dear Learn and Teach,
Please publish my poem on June 16th.
I just can’t forget you, brothers and sisters
When you rose up in 1976
When you stood and fought
against Afrikaans
These cowards came and opened fire on you
But you never surrendered
You fought until you defeated them
And now we learn our subjects in English
It is all because of you
It’s you who fought for us
How can I forget you?
I just can’t forget you,
Not even for a single day.
Ralph Mabunda
ACORNHOEK

Dear Readers,
Do you have a problem that you would like us to help you with? Any thoughts or ideas you would like to share with other readers? Then write to us.

Comment

Over the last six months we have seen political changes that were unthinkable a year ago. In October last year Comrade Walter Sisulu and six other high-ranking ANC leaders were released. In February the ANC, the SACP and the PAC were unbanned, and Comrade Nelson Mandela was released. All these events are bound to change the face of South African politics. Our country will surely never be the same again!

We at Learn and Teach Publications, liUntitled0-4ke millions of other people, have for a long time demanded the unbanning of the ANC, the release of Comrade Mandela and all other political prisoners, the return of our brothers and sisters in exile and the removal of troops from the townships. Therefore, we welcome what Mr De Klerk has done so far.

We are, however, disappointed that not all that we hoped for — and have been struggling for — has yet been achieved. The State of Emergency has not been lifted altogether, not all political prisoners have been released and the position of the exiles is still not clear.

In other words, we echo the call on Mr De Klerk to meet all the conditions laid down in the Harare Declaration if he is really serious about a negotiated settlement and a peaceful future.

We have every right to celebrate the victories of the past few months. They are great victories indeed. But it would be a mistake to think that freedom is around the corner.

It was the long and heroic struggle of the people that pushed Mr De Klerk to do what he did. We must continue to push.

The unbanning of the ANC and the release of Comrade Mandela poses great challenges for us.

We must not rest, we must work harder than before, we must strengthen our organisations, build new ones where they did not exist.

We must organise more people into our ranks, win more and more people to our side and tirelessly inform and educate our people about the fact that the road to freedom is still long and victory has to be worked for, very hard.

To repeat the words of Comrade Mandela after his release: “Now is the time to intensify the struggle on all fronts. To relax our efforts now would be a mistake which generations to come will not be able to forgive…It is only through disciplined mass action that our victory can be assured.”

Letters from our readers

Dear Learn and Teach
I read the letter from Phuthiatsana of Witsieshoek who asked for Mandela’s speech at the Rivonia Trial. I am also interested in it and want you to send me a copy of the full speech. Secondly, we have a big problem with our new organisation, the Eastern Transvaal Youth Congress. We started this organisa­tion in September 1985. There is no progress be­cause we have no experience. We know there is a need for people to come together to fight for their rights, but we do not know how to help people do this. We do not have more fifty members.
Comrade
ACORNHOEK

Thank you for your letter, Comrade. We are send­ing you the longer version of Mandela’s speech at the Rivonia Trial. We have passed your letter on to the United Democratic Front and the Soweto Students Congress. We hope they will be able to give you some help. Things are difficult for all community and political organisations at the mo­ment. Maybe with some help from youth congress­es and community organisations in other parts of the country, you will progress. Even with 50 members, you can do a lot. Any reader who want to help the ETYC can send their letters to Learn and Teach and we will pass them on.

Dear Learn and Teach
Thank you for your magazine. Number 6 was very special to me because you wrote about my country, Namibia. Also, Mr Mandela’s speech was very im­portant to me because we do not hear much about the ANC and its leaders. But I had a problem with the language you used in the magazine. I did not un­derstand words like “batho ba, ba phapha…” Will you please give the English of these words in future so that everybody can understand.
Rikambura Kamunguma
WINDHOEK

Thank you for pointing out the problem you had with the Sotho we used in number 6. We will make sure we always write words in English in fu­ture. It is very difficult to write the township lan­guage Thomas uses in English. The words “batho ba” mean ” these people” and the words ‘ba phapha’ mean’they are flying.” But in the story, Thomas means, “These people, they think of everything.”

Dear Learn and Teach
We are workers from Delville Extension 4 in Ger-miston. At the supermarket where we buy our lunch, there is tax on all food. We are surprised to see that one cent buys nothing from this shop — everything is taxed. According to the tax rules, food must not be taxed. But we are forced to pay tax there. They charge tax on milk, fat cakes, plates, slices, meat, eggs and sweets. What can we do?
Delville workers
GERMISTON

Thank you for your letter. General Sales Tax is difficult to understand because shops can charge tax on some foods, but not on others. A general rule is that fresh, uncooked food does not have tax. It is against the law for shops to ask for tax on foods like fresh milk, fresh meat, fresh fish, eggs, butter, margarine, fresh fruit and vegetables. Bread and mealiemeal also do not have GST. But all cooked foods like fat cakes, cooked meat, fried fish, chips, plates and cooked eggs do have GST. The shopkeeper is right to charge tax on these foods. He can also charge tax on any processed food — that is any food which has been made — like cheese, yoghurt, tinned food, cakes, biscuits and sweets. Shops cannot charge GST on bread — even if it has been cut into slices — so long as nothing has been put on the bread. If the slices have butter or margarine, the shop can charge tax. If you feel this shop is cheating you, you can report it to the tax inspectors. You must give him the shop’s name and address. A tax inspector will visit the shop to check up on the taxes. Other readers who want to report shops which charge too much GST can find the address of the tax inspectors in the Government section at the back of the telephone book. The inspectors are at the offices of the Receiver of Revenue, under the Department of Finance.

Dear Learn and Teach
I am a Learn and Teach reader. I have not missed one copy since 1984. Now I would like you to put my story in the magazine. I was fired from my job as a shelf packer at the OK Bazaars. Will you come to visit me at home or shall I write my story for you?
Bheki Nkosi
WATTVILLE

We want you to write your story for our magazine. We are starting a new column this year called ‘Our readers write’. We will put your story on this page. We look forward to hearing from you.

Dear Learn and Teach.
My fellow comrade is in the Middleburg Prison for 18 months. He wants to study while he is inside. But the prison will not let him study. He wants to start Stan­dard 8 in January. How can we get permission for him to study?
G S Mfamana
29th of September Street
KWANONZAME

Thank you for your letter. We are sorry to hear of your friend’s problems. All prisoners can study unless the prison refuses permission for a spe­cial reason. Your friend should be allowed to study and write Standard 8 exams in prison. You must arrange for him to study through a cor­respondence school. You must also pay all the fees and buy his books, stationery and anything else he needs for studying. We suggest you write to the head of the Prison. Ask him for permission for your friend to study by correspondence. May­be it is the prison warders who are stopping your friend from studying. In the meantime, you can arrange a Standard 8 correspondence course through Damelin College.
P.S. We were very interested to see you live in 29th of September Street. Could you write to tell us how your street got its name? We would like to tell all our readers.

Dear Learn and Teach
I am in matric this year. I want to study some more, but my parents do not have money. Please tell me where I can get a bursary.
Johannes Mbiza
BAKENBERG

Thank you for your letter, Johannes. If you want to know about bursaries, you must go to the E.I.C.

Dear Learn and Teach
I am a very desperate mother of three. My problem is that I am a bit deaf. My ears were hurt when I worked in a noisy factory. When I am in a quiet place, I can­not hear anything. I worked at this factory for seven years, from 1973 to 1980.1 was fired for no reason. My problem is that I cannot find another job because I cannot hear well. Please tell me where I can claim for the damage to my ears. I also want to know how I can get a hearing aid.
Funky Mazibuko
KWATHEMA

Thank you for your letter. We are sorry to hear of your problem. Please go to the Industrial Aid Society to get help. Take any letters, or medical reports about your hearing problem that you have. The I. A.S. knows how to claim for damage caused at work. They also have doctors who can help you. They will tell you how to get a hearing aid. You might have problems getting money be­cause it is such a long time since you left the fac­tory. But go to the I. A.S. and speak to them. Tell them you are the person who was sent by Learn and Teach.

Dear Learn and Teach
I am in love with my girlfriend. She is now pregnant. We have some serious problems. Problem number one is that her mother does not like me. She tells her daughter to leave me. Problem number two is that her mother tried to give her pills for an abortion. My girlfriend told this to her grandmother. We love each other. My heart is on her and I believe hers is on mine. We don’t know what to do.
Worried Young Man
TZANEEN

We are very sorry to hear of your problems. Maybe you could ask a relative to help you talk to your girlfriend’s parents. Maybe you can ask your girlfriend’s grandmother to help. Try to sort things out with her mother. If this fails, your girl­friend will have to chose between you and her mother. It is not an easy choice. Get all the help you can from friends and family. But remember, in the end, you and your girlfriend must decide on your future together. Let us know what hap­pens. Good luck!

Dear Learn and Teach
I am writing to get advice for my neighbour, Mr Simon Moholo. He worked for Union Wine in Bloemfontein for 26 years. He had to leave because of illness. Union Wine did not give him any notice pay or pension. Mr Moholo does not know if he can get a pension from the company. I looked at his pay slip, but there were no details of deductions for pension — only the total amount. Can you believe that a suc­cessful company like Union Wine does not have a pension fund? I personally think that if that is true, it is very unfair. I feel sorry for Mr Moholo who has nothing after working for many years. Stories like Mr Moholo’s must be a lesson to other workers who are not union members. If Mr Moholo had joined a trade union, he would have got help. What can I do to help him?
Philemon Tsese
ROCKLANDS

We spoke to Union Wine in Bloemfontein about Mr Moholo’s pension and other benefits. They told us that Union Wine started a pension scheme for black workers only in July 1986 last year. Before July 1986, Union Wine’s black wor­kers did not pay money to a pension fund. In South African law, employers do not have to have pension funds. Union Wine said that they paid Mr Moholo notice pay and leave pay. The manager, Mr Wolhuter, said the company gave proper pays-lips. He also said the company helped Mr Moholo to get a disability pension from the government.
He said Mr Moholo was sick for a long time and could not work again. But Mr Moholo is not old enough for a government pension. He can get this when he is 65. Mr Wolhuter also said that Un­ion Wine gave Mr Moholo a chair worth R300 as a gift. We do not think there is much you can do to help Mr Moholo if what Union Wine says is true. You could make sure that Mr Moholo gets his dis­ability pension. If he has problems with this, take him to see the social worker at your local ad­ministration offices.

Dear Learn and Teach
I am very interested in Learn and Teach Publica­tions. I would like to write a book. Please tell me how to do it. I have a long story to tell. It is from my childhood.
Diliza
KWANOBUHLE

It is difficult to write books and get them pub­lished. First you have to write your story, then send it to publishers to see if they want to print it and sell it for you. In South Africa there are a few publishers who are starting to publish stories like yours. First write your story, then send it to these publishers: Ravan Press or Skotaville Publishers. If you want to start by writing a short story, send it to us at Learn and Teach. We will try to put it in the magazine.

Dear Learn and Teach
I want to be a male nurse. Where can I go for training?
Rachidi Marobane
OHRIGSTAD

You can find out about training to be a male nurse from the South African Nursing Council. Good luck!

Our readers write

… This article was originally reproduced in the banned Magazine N 4, 1986The banned issue is now available online. 

There was, however, an update to this article, which we reproduce here:

PLEASE HELP US!

Do you live in a Zozo and hate your landlord?
Have you waited years and years for a house?
Are you adding onto your house — or building a new house?
Do you have to put up an umbrella inside, everytime it rains?

Learn and Teach is writing a book about housing and we need your help. We want to know all about your housing problems — whatever they may be. Or if you have solved your housing problems, please tell us how you did it — so other people can learn from you.

Please write to us.

Letter to our readers

Dear Readers

Since our last magazine, the government has made new laws. Some of these new laws are for people who write for newspapers and magazines. The government has made it very difficult for us to write.

We are not allowed to write about anything the police say is ‘unrest’. We are not allowed to write about anything the police or the army do. We are not allowed to write about boycotts. We are not allowed to write about street committees or people’s courts.

There are so many things we are not allowed to write. And we are not allowed to tell you if we change our stories because of these new laws.

But as always, we will carry on and we will tell you as much as we can. But you must remember that whatever we write, is only part of the story because of the new laws.

The Staff of Learn and Teach.

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