Tuesday, August 21, 2007


something for those who are following south african politics at the moment. international readers probably won't be able to believe a single iota of all of this, but in short;

our good minister of health, manto, has just been exposed in the media as being a drunk and a theif. she just received a liver transplant which at the time was attributed to autoimmune hepatitis. it seems she got the liver because she was the minister. she is more important than other south africans, it seems. she apparently was convicted in botswana for stealing and banned from that country for 10 years.

this is the person who had persistently denied the link between hiv and aids and promoted beetroot and garlic as better treatment than antiretrovirals. so you might understand my enthusiasm at her possible downfall.

possible??? yes, because our president stands behind her. actually the entire anc (the government of the day) is standing behind her at the moment. you see she is entitled. her personal interests are, after all, more important than the public. in fact the anc lashed out today against the media, actually citing her right to privacy (not being exposed as a convicted thief and drunk and jumping the que for a liver transplant) as more important than public interest (they actually said that).

difficult to explain, but other than the obvious ridiculous picture painted, i am really excited about the whole thing. it is the first time in a long time that reason may (yes may and not yet will) prevail.


Anonymous said...

Gee...you're right about international readers finding the story a but unbelievable. But hey, as you said in previous posts; "TIA".

Apparently the government has their own best interests at heart in a feeble attempt to protect whatever dignity they had left by citing rights to privacy.

I'm curious, what did she steal that warranted a 10-year exile? And how did she become a minister with a criminal background?? African politics absolutely boggle the mind.

Bongi said...

jason, she was a south african in exile in botswana at the time. after her conviction, botswana kicked her out, seeing that she was not a botswanan.

she apparently was seen with a watch that a patient had reported missing a few weeks previously. the police arrested her and took her to her home where they apparently found numerous items belonging to the hospital where she was working (as superintendent no loss).

what is interesting is that the anc exiles with her accused the botswanans of discriminating against her because she was south african. seems they were ok with the fact that she was a theif, even then. even now the anc is supporting her. the anc womens league has even said they should fight against the demonic patriarchism that has attacked her. no mention of the fact that the allegations are true or not. that they don't seem to mind. the anc's usual arguement is racism, but seeing as though the editor of the newspaper that opened the can of worms is black, they had to go with something else. he is male, so obviously (according to standard anc logic) he is anti women.

entitlement. that is the best word to describe african politicians. look at how our president has at no stage condemned mugabe's regime. mugabe is, it seems entitled tosteal his country into the ground just as manto is entitled to steal and lie etc. the people do not matter. power is to be misused for personal gain.

Sid Schwab said...

I thought of you when I read a long article about this in yesterday's New York Times.

Bongi said...

sid, even now i'd definitely advise anyone to visit south africa. one of the commentators on tia spoke about africa being beautiful because of the people. it is so much more complicated than that and that simple. all i can say is visit and experience the beauty and paradox that is south africa.

Anonymous said...

On a different but related subject, I read a blog posting that I thought I'd share, its called "a tale of cold showers and easy endings" www.dinahproject.com/blog.asp

Bongi said...

tabitha, i read that link. unfortunately the writer has her wires crossed. manto is female, not male. the person who had unprotected sex with a known hiv positive partner was the then vice president jacob zuma. the courts (in the ensuing rape case) judged that it was consentual sex. long story.

Bongi said...

and yes, he did take a shower afterwards, claiming that that would decrease his chances of contracting the virus