Reader’s letter: To stand or fall for what you believe


Frank Coetzee writes:

As someone who is 100% deaf, I am excluded from a wealth of information that can basically be absorbed effortlessly by listening to TV, the radio, friends and family. But when necessary, I have never hesitated to stand or fall for what I believe in.

When I want to know something, I read up and use that knowledge to do what needs to be done until I have achieved what I wanted to achieve. Yet I am always surprised by the lack of thinking for yourself, doing for yourself and standing or falling in what you believe in hearing people.

At ABSA many times I got into arguments with the entire management team, from senior to senior to the entire management team around my table arguing and arguing and I lost. But each time I was proven right, so much so that even head office came to visit us and admitted that their instructions were wrong.

Millions of rands of interest per day were involved in the cash management calculations and I believed that the very specific head office instructions on this should be investigated. By that time, I had already realized that I had the advantage of having learned directly from the bank manuals – whereas almost everyone relied on “hearing and learning from others” where, for example, the manager made a wrong statement, the rest would not do not question and accept it as correct without looking and thinking for yourself.

Momentum Life sued me for R1 000 000 after I took on their legal department. I have crossed swords with lawyers, big businesses like banks and won every time. I also believe that I was indirectly responsible for the collapse of Unifer after I even went to the board level about fraud that points to an internal syndicate.

I have already opened complaints at the provincial directorates against police commanders who were quickly and efficiently investigated and dealt with – as well as against a magistrate who thought he could ignore regulations and things or spin them as he saw fit.

My point with this writing is – if I as a hearing impaired person can stand up for what I believe in and make a difference, how much more can a perfectly hearing person achieve with the same belief in himself/herself and the backbone and willingness to stand or fall for it not?

If you don’t vote because your friends aren’t going to vote, does that mean you can’t think for yourself and will jump into the pond if they do too? When you hear everywhere about poor policing or other things, do you just accept it casually and without push or shove or do you do something about it?

In the end, the future of our children is based on only one thing and that is our ability or lack of it to stand or fall for what we believe. Every single voice, act and change in attitude that can have a ripple effect for the better instead of worse.