Response to Denton Goodford and Levona Fredericks

There is still a bitter taste in the mouths of people who think I am abusing the name of Uitenhage High School on the Internet. Those are the same people who did not attend the annual Speech & Awards ceremony in October this year. I was there!

So here’s my response to Denton and Levona, my biggest critics on Facebook…

Do you really think I am trying to defame Uitenhage High School? All I am doing is stating the facts of what happened in October 2009 at the annual Speech & Awards evening. Were either of you there in-person to question my description of what happened? No. I can call 10-20-100 witnesses including the 5-winners of the Best All-Rounder Awards I started sponsoring from this year onwards. The easiest would be to speak directly to them, especially the winner of the Eugene Exford Leadership Awards, Charl-Jade Petrus, deputy head-boy for 2010!

Pointing out the truth of what occurred is not defaming the school or institution. And please do not talk to me about my cousin, Timothy Heynes. His leadership pales by comparison to Harry “Perd” Hendricks.

My own legacy Uitenhage High School is fortified by my achievements e.g. the CHAOS school newspaper I launched with Brad Minnaar and Theodor Adams in 1992. Since 2002 I sponsor the annual “Journalist of the Year” trophy and since this year a small cash prize with that. Since 1992 that is still going strong 17 years later! Mr Slingers would concur, and I am still very proud of this one particular accomplishment, which has become an institution in it’s own right with the learners. CHAOS has transformed the lives of every learner who has been involved in, starting with the group from 1992, which includes the 2nd editor Ghauderen Coetzee, a recent guest speaker at the Speech & Awards.

So please stand-up or shut-up. Stop talking about public and private communications regarding Uitenhage High School. It’s a public institution, and that alone gives me every right, protected by the South African Constitution to FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

Maybe you and the rest of the Ramon-haters should educate yourselves about what IS allowed or NOT allowed regarding freedom of speech in this country by reading up on the Freedom of Expression Institute. Post your own comments on Uitenhage High School group on Faceboook.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate the holidays!

BTW, read the original open letter to Uitenhage High School published on my personal blog here.


Open Letter to Uitenhage High School

Eugene Exford, Leigh Ann Goosen head prefects Uitenhage High School 1992I have been informed of a number of comments that has been made on a certain Facebook profile regarding a donation and trophy that I’ve made to Uitenhage High School, also referred to as Uitenhage Senior Secondary School in honour of my late friend and classmate Eugene Exford RIP 1999.

Him and his wife died 10 years ago in a tragic car accident near Colchester. His daughter and only child survived the accident. As an ex-headboy of the school and an exceptional leader amongst his peers, I thought it befitting that I should donate a trophy and prize money to a grade 12 learner for “exceptional leadership abilities”, in memory of my friend. I’ve presented this idea to the school and they’ve agreed to it, as well as a couple of other specific conditions that relate to the dispensation of the prize money. Part of these conditions were that the school must invite Eugene’s mom and daughter also to the event, in view of the initial presentation of the award.

Great was my surprise (and disappointment!) when at the time of the presentation of the award NO mention was made that the trophy was presented to the school “in memory of Eugene Exford RIP 1999” (as stipulated in the agreement I’ve made with them). I was sitting next to Eugene Exford’s mother AND his surviving daughter at the time. If I did not stand up and say something at this crucial junction, I would have failed in my duty to my friend, his family and one of the greatest leaders Uitenhage High has ever produced. I stood up to my feet and corrected Mr Ernie Heynes (the MC at the time). The other MC, Mr Joseph Paul Slingers, Jr was in the same class, 10D, with Eugene Exford and myself, and he also neglected to mention anything during the multiple opportunities he had as the co-MC for the evening.

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