It was with astonishment that I read the vituperation heaped on Leon Louw by the Department of Health's "spokesman" Fidel Hadebe, over the former's criticism of the new proposed antismoking regulations. A non-smoker myself, I have no irons in this fire, but Mr Hadebe would do well to remember that Mr Louw, in his capacity as a taxpayer, is his de facto employer. Mr Hadebe's intemperate response to someone else's opinion on the matter cast further doubt on his judgment; "Selfish and dangerously ignorant" being one such phrase flung at Mr Louw.

I for one am sick to death of the arrogance shown by so-called public servants to the people they are supposed to be serving, whoever they are and whatever opinions they may hold. Mr Hadebe would do well to learn some manners, with a modicum of humility to go with it, and start behaving like a professional.

Dr Gavin Lewis

Democratic Alliance MPL, Gauteng & spokesman: economic development