Letter Reignites Controversy Surrounding Paul Ratsara Plagiarism Scandal


You have a very logical mind and have proposed the most reasonable group of hypothesis concerning the issue to date.

(Gerald du Preez) #43

Sorry Jeremy - wrong again. Andrew du Preez, SEDCOM Director, has the same surname as mine, as do several thousand other South Africans. He is as much related to me as what you or George are.

Good try at a comeback.

(jeremy) #44

actually, that wasn’t the substance of my “comeback”, which was that a south african living in west rand district now was the source for my comment…you can’t deny that a church administration job, with its salary and benefits, would be considered a significant step up for many of the locals…

but touching on the aspect of my “comeback” that you mistook, are you suggesting that the du preez’s living in south africa aren’t more closely related than the vandiemans (or arnolds) who left, or especially an itchy, i mean a tichy, who has never seen table mountain…you can’t expect anyone to believe that…

(George Tichy) #45

As far as I know the Itchys, I mean, the Tichys, have no connections with the VanDemons, I mean VanDiemans… :wink: :innocent:

(Gerald du Preez) #46

Jeremy, my annoyance with you over the years has been your patronizing attitude to South Africans and your portrayal of yourself as having a thorough understanding of the SA set-up.

A point in case: I can assure you that becoming a church worker is not an upward mobility career move. Becoming a church worker in the West Rand - sitting within the economic hub of Africa - is even less so.

The “jump” between an administrator or a local field pastor is negligible. Allow me to illustrate via percentages: an ordained field pastor at the top of his pay scale would receive 100%. A departmental director at the conference level would be paid 101%. A conference executive secretary would receive 104% while a Conference president 108%.

Transfer those positions to the Union and that becomes, for the corresponding positions, 105%, 108% and 112%.

To give it even more perspective, the 100% factor is around R17 500 per month (US$1,400).

An average middle class home could cost around $96,000 and a litre of gasoline $1.20

If you moved “up” to the division, the proportions of increase would be similar as from Conference to Union, e.g. 108%, 110% and 115%.

Benefits? - not much difference between local pastor, Conference or Union employee. The same with the Division.

I’ve served as a local pastor, Conference President, College President and Union Director. I’ve also been on Salary Scale Committees on all levels, including the Division.


While we about it, the phrase - the locals - is condescending and patronizing.

Thirdly, your remark in one of your posts on this thread inferred that the majority of those in Africa join the church for the loaves and the fishes. That is an insult to the membership as well as to the Holy Spirit.

Not all of us “locals” are running around in skins waiting for some handout from the big bwana who comes in the white bird from the sky.

Finally, allow me to explain my relationship to Andrew du Preez in the contest of pre-1994 South Africa: in Christ, we are brothers; Andrew - White, Afrikaner, Caucasien from Bloemfontein, Free State.

Me - Black, English Speaking from Cape Town Western Cape. So the analogy of the Arnold’s, Barends’s and Vandiemans does not quite apply.

Thanks for the chat.

(Carlo Schroeder) #47

That is very educational, percentags of each post. But that doesn’t reflect the allowances and benefits which are received by pastors, administrators and females. The higher one moves up the ladder, more benefits are received, like housing, water and lights, telephone, educational support, medical aid and vehicle allowance. Now the higher one is on the ladder, things like cell phones, laptops and travelling. Allowance are now included. So you might get paid, R17500 a month, but the benefits might be the same or even more. Then remember, presidents and departmentals control the board, so they decide how much higher their allowances can be, compared to the worker and workers in the field.

(Carlo Schroeder) #48

P.S. women are not that fortunate, married men retain benefits and allowances, while women …

(jeremy) #50

well, it’s your word against someone living in west rand now…and it so happens that his claims coincide with everything i’ve been reading, for instance:



and keep in mind that although the arnolds for the most part, along with a few vandiemans and even fewer barendses, have left s. africa (only one of my mother’s sisters married a barendse), we still have family living in s. africa…what makes you think i don’t still have s. african citizenship, and don’t travel there…you can’t tell me that there aren’t many people who would jump at the chance to be employed by the church…what do you think the paul charles scandal was all about…

i think it totally applies…in a melting pot like s. africa, racial incidentals don’t correspond with or imply family lineage…obviously the du preez’ living in s. africa are more closely related to each other than to someone like george, whose roots are in czechoslovakia, even if he grew up in brazil…even in america, it is well-known that there are blacks who are genetically related to president jefferson, and likely to presidents clinton and trump, as well…

(Carlo Schroeder) #51

I am from South Africa, and proudly one. Born on the Cape Flats, and not afraid to call adog , a dog.

(jeremy) #52

i was also born in cape town…my earliest memories are of our house in wynberg, where humming birds and even wild parrots routinely flew through open windows…there was a huge fig tree in the back, along with quint and apple trees, and one orange tree…we even had a chicken coop…the front walkway was covered from both sides with grape vines - it really was a mini eden…my dad was a huge surfer, so we were at the beaches a lot…

don’t ask me why we ever moved from s. africa…i’m seriously considering retiring there some day…

(Carlo Schroeder) #53

I was born in Wittebomme, which is Wynberg. One street from the " new" Adventist church and four from the old one, which was confiscated in group areas act. What a small world .

(jeremy) #54

that’s totally a small world…:slightly_smiling_face:

but i don’t recall attending any churches in wynberg…the only church in cape town i recall was the athlone church…mom was an arnold, and if family stories are accurate, pa arnold (mom’s dad), who never said a word, even at home, was head elder at one time…my uncle ben, who took over pa’s building business at 15 or 16, when pa arnold died, may have also been an elder…i had two other uncles who worked for uncle ben…i think they may have also been elders…

those were really the days…mom was very particular about how things looked, so of course we were dressed to the hilt every sabbath…we even had to wear our sabbath clothes for breakfast, lunch and supper on sabbaths…there was family worship every morning and every night, with a double dose on friday night - we had to recite the ten commandments and the three angels’ messages…of course we weren’t allowed to listen to anything except classical music during the week, and on sabbaths, even this wasn’t allowed…i can remember getting into huge trouble for listening to chopin one sabbath…both my parents were pianists…we had tons of recordings…

one memory i have is that all the women wore hats, but a man could never wear a hat, even in rain…mom tended to wear peach, pink, or cream, with ostrich trim…dad was always in black…my one brother and I were always in white dinner jackets, with black bow ties - people thought we were twins…my little brother was generally in blue or yellow…of course only the KJV was used, and a lot of egw was read…although it’s interesting: all of us were meat eaters in s. africa…apparently we skipped egw’s counsels on diet…

even after we moved to piketberg, which i seem to remember was exactly 80 miles north, we only associated with the arnolds and barendses when we came down to cape town…the vandiemans weren’t adventist, so mom kept us away from this side of the family…

i really wonder if s. african adventism is like this now…i’m guessing it isn’t…

(Carlo Schroeder) #55

The first Adventist church I attended was Athlone, was invited by a classmate of mine, Charles Biel. I can imagine Adventist being mega strict, but maybe that was just the culture in SA in that era, and the hats, that is something I miss in the country I live in. I did attend Riverside primary school, which houses the church by the same name, and I attended Good Hope College or High school in Kuilsriver. I am the only Adventist in the family, and like many Capetonians, families are multi religious. You should visit CT again, many churches are scattered throughout the pinensula, and church services are presented in various formats, and languages. It is nice to have met someone from the Mother City, keep up the good work. I also have tons of family in Canada and Australia, apartheid really separate us, but we are still family. Maybe the church should remember that, we are different, but still family in Christ Jesus.

(jeremy) #56

well, the last time i visited s. africa, close to ten yrs ago now, it was with a performing group…we gave charity concerts for orphans of AIDS victims in lesotho, but we were performing in the city halls of all the major towns on the east coast - durban and port elizabeth are towns i distinctly recall…of course we also played in cape town, bloemfontein, pretoria and joburg, before circling into swaziland and lesotho, and then on to botswana and zimbabwe…we were actually the first group to receive permission to perform live in voortrekker monument, if you can believe it…

when i go again i’ll have to go by myself and blend in, using that distinct accent that i use with my brothers to this day…i’ll be able to instantly detect whether the adventism i come across is what i grew up in…i tend to think that my particular family, especially the arnold side, which was by far the dominant side, may have been a bit out of the ordinary…both ma and pa arnold with strict wesleyans turned adventist…i’m not sure all s. african adventists would have this background…but i think i’d be sad to see a s. african adventism that has veered too far from the heartfelt, determined adventism i grew up in…i really see no point in being an adventist unless one is all into it…

(Gerald du Preez) #57

Wow! That was pretty special listening to you and Carlo reminiscing about Cape Town.

In the spirit of Ubuntu I will let the matters rest that I could otherwise comment on.

I’ll agree to disagree on some matters but will continue to smoke the peace pipe.

(Gerald du Preez) #58

Just one comment - how long have you worked for the organization that gives you insight into the pay structure? Me - turning 65 next month and have worked for the church 37 years. My dad - deceased - worked for the church for 40 years. So I think I have a reasonable knowledge of the realities of a church worker and I can assure you that it is not a lucrative profession.

Two of my daughters work outside of church employ and earn double what I earn - with all my so-called benefits. And, yes, I’m a union director with a PhD so I do earn the “perks” you refer to - the same as an ordained minister living in De Aar or Pofadder.

(Gerald du Preez) #59

Which years did you attend Riverside and Good Hope? Our paths or that of my relatives and you might have crossed :+1:

(Gerald du Preez) #60

perhaps you should have responded to one of your west rand district countrymen, who not too long ago, right here on spectrum, charged administrators in TOC and SAU with essentially all i’ve implied in my comment here…he even had a few choice words for administrators in SID…

By the way - can you point me to my West rand district friend so that I can have the context? Thanks.

(Dr Miguel Crespo Fernández Calienes) #61

I am reading carefully, we, that are not members of any investigative body having access to the direct sources of the truth, have to get the information available before making our speculations. What is important is not “my truth” but the truth. Many times we have to change a position because we noticed that we were bypassing important facts. We are only part of what is called “the public opinion”, and remember that public opinion may be manipulated in one way or another.
That happens the same way in a lot of news that press publishes every day related to public personalities and politicians too. We hear the term “fake news” and frequently we don´t know whom to believe.
Of course that no one of us has the final word as yet, but what calls my attention is that all those who would like “to behead” Elder TW are very prompt to blame, and continue doing so again and again.
Bro Vandieman´s hypothesis is quite intelligent and plausible, perhaps Elder Ratsara did wrong or did right, God knows but we should be very careful in condemning. Jesus advise is in Mat. 7:1,2,12; and James 1:19.

(George Tichy) #62

What relevance do you attribute to the fact (true fact, not “alternative fact”) that the ghost writer confessed to having written 5 of 6 chapters of Ratsara’s dissertation?