The Executive Officer
Cape Institute of Architecture,
P.O. Box 3952,
Cape Town, 8000
South Africa
via fax 0027-21.424.3620

August 12, 2005

Subject: Natural Environment Award
Dear Sir/Madam:
Reading the Cape Times article on the Cape Times/Caltex Environmental Awards we were struck by the quotes from the Cape Times editor Mr. Chris Whitfield underlining the importance of these awards for environmentalism: "I would also hope that they have encouraged in some way the remarkable work of many in the field who, over the years, have helped to improve the quality of life of our citizens.
As the population grows and pressure on both the natural and built environments increases, it is evident that the work of the type of people who win these awards becomes critical to that quality." This, as we interpret Mr. Whitfield, is referring to the outstanding qualities and characters of the award winners.
With regard to the Natural Environment Award we nominate François Hugo of Seal Alert for his relentless work to rescue South African seals and fighting gross seal killing and maiming by fishermen, most rampantly executed on occasions like the Eblo Snoek Derby at Hout Bay. What should be South African's pride and a Natural Reserve, has turned into a killing field without anyone taking notice, at least not as far as we know.
The most remarkable feat is the fact that Mr. Hugo is running against the wind, as helping seals in need is a criminal offence in South Africa, and yet, shooting seals for fun goes unpunished. It is apparent that the animal protection and gun laws are not enforced on fishermen, and praise for Mr Hugo’s contribution to the natural environment is never mentioned. Further, with regard to our nomination, because Mr. Hugo is doing his seal rescue work single-handedly, and against all odds for many years, he certainly deserves this award. Stopping this massacre on seals would certainly improve the quality of life of man and animal alike. Moreover, this award might change the current destructive South African seal policy, turn the tide for the seals and restore South Africa’s image as nature protector.

See for information on Seal Alert: or

We remain,
Yours truly,

Action Against Poisoning


From: The Winsome Constance Kindness Trust

Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 11:09 AM

Subject: Caltex Environmental Award.

Ms Jacquie Cullis
Executive Officer
The Cape Institute for Architecture
71 Hout Street, Ground Floor, Cape Town,8001
Postal: P.O.Box 3952, Cape Town 8000
Dear Ms Cullis,
I have no doubt you have received a large number of nominations for the Caltex Environmental Award in favour of Mr Francois Hugo. I shall not belabour a point that you already understand in great detail.

I am equally certain you have already read an exhaustive list of his accomplishments on behalf of the brutalised Cape Fur Seals in South Africa. Simply thinking about the cruelty inflicted on these tragic souls is enough to turn the stomachs of any decent man or woman. I know it affects me profoundly and I recoil in horror knowing it is inflicted on helpless animals by human beings.
Mr Hugo not only thinks about them every waking moment of the day. He actually does something about it. This rare man is an ornament to your country, and has placed your community on the front pages of consciences across the world. He has done more to enhance the reputation of South Africa in wildlife circles than any individual I know. The fact that he exists gives me hope.
Mr Hugo is a courageous man without peer. He faces stiff opposition from vested interests and abusers alike, at great personal cost to himself, seeking nothing for himself. He is held in the highest regard by the venerable Mme Marchig of Switzerland and countless other humanitarians as well. I am simply one of many thousands, adding my voice in publicly recognising the qualities of this man.
Receiving an award would be the last thing on the Hugo radar screen. He would trade it in a heartbeat if it would save the life of one of his beloved seals. Nevertheless, unsung heroes like him should be recognised in civilised countries, whether they like it or not.
Francois Hugo has my unequivocal admiration. If he did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
I would be happy to speak to you if you wish.
Yours faithfully,
Philip Wollen

Philip Wollen OAM
The Winsome Constance Kindness Trust
Venture Capital for Good Causes
Telephone (613) 98221662