Prof David Dickinson's letter (Academics take stand, June 27) refers. I really don't know what he's on about. So, I erroneously said in my column dealing with protests by Wits University academics to their conditions of service, "Thursday, July 18" and not "July 19". Big deal.

And nowhere did I level "cheap shots", as he alleges, at Wits academics. Quoting their own poster "Join the Picket", I referred to the three unions - Altsa, Asawu and Nehawu. Nor did I "snipe" from the sidelines. In fact, I quoted the poster as claiming that the university's management has cynically exploited the commitment of Wits' academics "to the teaching and welfare of students".

I am a supporter of proper compensation for teachers, whether in schools or universities and I wish Wits' academics much good fortune in their efforts to secure decent pay and terms and conditions of service. But I am thankful that Prof Dickinson, who chooses to read into what I wrote all manner of things that I didn't, isn't going to mark any examination to which I submit (not that I would read sociology, anyway).

David Gleason

Johannesburg