this post is a bit of a diversion from my usual posts but i think it may still be worthwhile. you see i want to promote a book.
i've just read the book steeped in blood (paperback or kindle) by david klatzow. what a stunning book. it really gives insight into the south africa of old and possibly what south africa of the future may end up being like. i really suggest that everyone gets hold of it and reads it.
unfortunately, david, i do feel i must challenge you on one point. towards the end of your book you say one of your surgeon friends told you a story of one of our cuban import surgeons who tried to do a tonsillectomy through the neck rather than through the mouth, the normal way of doing it. i know this story and have heard it often myself in the corridors in pretoria. unfortunately it is urban legend and nothing more.
i have worked with the cubans and they aren't too shabby. don't get me wrong, they are not a scratch on a south african specialist (although the standards are dropping as you rightly pointed out and quite soon they may be far better than home grown specialists) but the point is they wouldn't do something so bizarrely stupid.
i even suspect i know who your surgeon friend might be, especially if he presently finds himself in pretoria rather than johannesburg where you no doubt got to know him.
anyway, still an absolutely brilliant read for anyone who wants to get a peek into the workings of the apartheid government of old. go and buy it now.