Wednesday, February 6

Tribute to Sheldon Cohen by Steven Bacher

I just can't get these horrors out my head, this story haunts me. I think about his family sitting Shiva, about his wife and two sons. About his parents. I went to a wedding a few years back and was introduced to Sheldon's wife Leslie, the introducee used to work for Sheldon and knew the family very well. She told me something about him which sticks with me to this day, that once a week, he would have lunch with his sons. He would take time out of his madly chaotic business life, pick them up from school and give them perfect quality time. Come hell or high water he would do this weekly. What a wonderful gift he gave to his children. What a wonderful father.

His father, Jack, I see him crying. Apparently when he was shot he was on the phone with him, Jack then rushed to the scene and found him. How unbeleivably sad.

Does anyone know what is going on there? It is just one massive down-hill spiral. Johannesburg has become a gangland. I know. I lived there. I know how I lived. It is easier for me to look back now, big fancy house, beautiful garden, swimming pool, wanting for nothing, but awake at night listening for sounds, bolted doors, laser-beams in the garden, electric fence, industrial magnetic locks, armed response, pulling out of my driveway and back in, nightmares of all the terrifying possiblities. It was not real life.

That familiar fear sits in my throat as I type.

One of my best friends, tied up and robbed in her own home, the police said thank goodness she wasn't raped. Another friend murdered, shot point-blank in her head at work, for her worthless cell-phone. Another close friend, tied up, pistol whipped and robbed in his own home while his daughter slept upstairs, again the police said, well thank goodness she wasn't raped. A close friends' father-in-law tied to a chair at his work and then strangled to death with a wire hanger. Another friend, tortured with a stun-gun for hours along with his wife and children. Countless hi-jackings. And ofcourse us. My husband tied up, my tiny children witness to horror, guns and violence, and our only advice: 'Go and buy a gun'. A stranger murdered while mowing his front lawn, and thousands of other strangers whose lives are ended/shattered every minute of every day.

Now, as someone who has left, I feel this differently to when I lived there. I see the difference between my reactions and my friends and family who still live in South Africa. I feel it now, I understand the abnormality of it now. Then, I was totally de-sensitised, when you are surrounded by daily stories, daily headlines filled with those abominations - you cope. You have to, you cannot curl up and sit in a corner sobbing, you have to carry on. So the more death and violence you see, the more sensitivity you lose. You made it through another day, you have not joined the statistics yet. You are waiting your turn, and until it comes, you cope.

Like an ex-boyfriend who becomes a hopeless crack-addict, you still love them, but not what they have become. I am a South African and South Africa will continue to be my biggest love lost.

for Sheldon Cohen by Steven Bacher (thanks Lisa)

"There are days when I feel like getting on a plane and flying out of this country and never coming back to this murderous land.

Last night a close friend of mine and great South African, Sheldon Cohen was shot dead for no reason by scum of the earth robbers while waiting for his son to finish soccer training at Balfour Park. The bastards tried to rob a woman of her cell phone and for no reason ran past Sheldon and shot him in the neck. Sheldon was a great South African.

He was head of wits student magazine and an active member of Nusas in the eighties. He then went to study at Harvard University in the US and he obtained the best marks in the history of the illustrious university by a non American for the coveted Harvard MBA.

With job offers from any corporation in the world, he chose to come back to this country to make it better. He started the monitor group and then became a director of Amap formerly known as Tedelex.

He was compassionate, brilliant, generous, kind and hysterical at times, he was so talented in all he did. He is no longer with us. His two young boy's Zack and Noah don't have a father and his wife is a widow. And jack and Betty have lost a beautiful son.

He is just another of the 55 South Africans murdered every day of the year of every colour, the second highest murder rate in the world. We have become a sick nation whose leaders have no answer to the collapse of the moral fibre of filth that wait for us in every road and driveway.

They kill us, they kill our sons and daugthers , they kill our mothers, they kill our fathers .

They kill our spirit. And in the end they will kill us all. This is not socio -economic. This is evil personified.

Lucky Dube, Sheldon Cohen, it doesn't matter. I am becoming less and less proud to call myself a South African.

In fact I am becoming embarrassed to call myself one.

Just as much as I used to under Apartheid."


"Q: In which cases does removal of the fallopian tubes improve the outcome?
A: In recent years, impressive evidence has shown that hydrosalpinx (swollen fallopian tubes, filled with fluid) can reduce chances of implantation. It seems that the reason for this is that the fluid in the fallopian tubes contains inflammatory products that leak into the abdominal cavity and damage the embryo trying to implant itself in the endometrium. In cases of recurrent failure of IVF therapy, the condition of the fallopian tubes should always be assessed using a hysterosalpingogram and ultrasound scan. If the state of the fallopian tubes is very poorly, and might affect the implantation of the embryos, the benefit of their removal should be considered. The removal of oneor both fallopian tubes is performed by laparoscopy, where a laparoscope (a fine telescope) is inserted through an umbilical incision."