For the record

Neil McCarthy, Constantia

I recently returned from overseas and read with interest Nasser Solomon’s letter (“Stench of tainted history, Bulletin, August 23) edition of the Bulletin.

I was chairman of the then Constantia Property Owners’ Association (CPOA), now officially the Constantia Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (CRRA) for a total of 13 years in the 70s, 80s and 90s and also chaired a special committee which, in conjunction with the local authority, prepared a planning scheme, the main purpose of which was to prevent commercial spread from the Constantia Village Shopping Centre over the Constantia Main Road and Spaanschemat River Road.

In all my years as chairman of CPOA, I ensured that we adhered to the provisions of our constitution, which was essentially to preserve the rural nature and natural beauty of the Constantia Valley for the enjoyment of all citizens and future generations.

I refused to allow politics to enter into our discussions. We were operating in a political environment that the vast majority of Constantia property owners and residents were against.

Perhaps Mr Solomon forgets that Constantia was always a Progressive Party stronghold which was anti-government and anti-apartheid.

It therefore hurts greatly when Mr Solomon is alleged to have said: “The CPOA represented white/apartheid interests and was part of and complicit in the execution of repressive apartheid legislation that dispossessed and forcibly removed non-white families from their properties in Constantia during the 1960s and onwards.”

This is patently untrue, and I believe that Mr Solomon owes the Constantia Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association an apology.