Letters to the Editor

17 March 2003
Tainted money?
Your readers should be aware that the BHP Billiton donation of R3-m towards the new chemical engineering building is tainted money.

BHP Billiton has been instrumental (possibly along with de Beers) in having the Central Kalahari Bushmen forcibly evicted from their traditional lands in Botswana in order for diamond prospecting to take place.

In the nine months since the evictions, most of the concessions given to mining operations went to BHP Billiton. Anyone wishing to see the maps showing the sequence of this disgraceful episode should visit www.survival-international.org/diamonds.htm.

Other sources of information on this can be found in: Cultural Survival Quarterly Vol 26 (1) Spring 2002 issue (articles by Robert Hitchcock, Junko Maruyama & Kasuyoshi Sugawara). Already, other hunting groups, such as the Okeik in Kenya, have sent petitions of support for the evicted Bushmen to the Botswana High Commissioner in Nairobi.

Andrew B. Smith
Associate Professor

Report openly on crime incidence on Campus
Members of the UCT community are alarmed at the apparent rise in serious crime on Campus and on its periphery. An accurate knowledge of the incidence of such crime is needed to judge whether crime prevention measures are adequate.

Regrettably, the government will not allow the SAPS to release crime statistics. However, UCT is able to provide data on the incidence of crime on our own Campus, and I call on the Deputy Registrar for Properties and Services, and his professional support team, to publish each week in the UCT Monday Paper a log of reported crimes committed on Campus.

A community better informed about the true incidence of crime will be better equipped to protect itself, and to judge the level of resources that it requires be diverted to combating this threat to our safety, well-being, and productivity.

David Aschman
Professor of Physics and member of Council, UCT

We are concerned about crime on our campus and crime in the external environment. We agree with Professor Aschman that a well informed community is better equipped to protect itself, take informed decisions, and make a difference.

It is proposed that the current practice of warning students of "hotspots" on our fringes be extended to all members of the UCT community. This should be accompanied by the location, time and the nature of crimes that are being committed and tips on what to do when confronted of under certain circumstances.

This is within the scope of the newly-formed task team involved with pro-active policing measures. It is entirely appropriate that a regular article appears in the Monday Paper – "Zero in on Crime" – and on the inner web.

John Critien
Executive Director: Properties and Services

See also the main article Campus crime down but UCT remains alert in this eMP.

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