Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sack Manto!

Scratch the surface of many a white South African and you'll find a racist.

That's why, on hearing white South Africans lamenting, often with justification, about the state of the country and the ANC government, my own inner prejudice tends to listen to what they'e saying with scepticism until I'm sure that their comments are not motivated by racism. So, on reading the Mail & Guardian article on a new website urging people to do their best to get Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang sacked, in which one of the co-founders of the site is named as Anton de Waal, I went to the site apprehensive that it may be the product of racism.

Well, I'm sorry that I was sceptical as the site has been created by people who are genuinely concerned about the way HIV/AIDS is being handled by the South African government. This should have been immediately apparent as the site is endorsed by Zapiro, a brilliant political cartoonist, whose political credentials are, in my opinion, beyond doubt. Go here to see a selection of his 'Manto cartoons'.

Although I've posted about Manto before, you may not know to what extent she's hindering HIV/AIDS education and treatment in South Africa. Here are a few choice snippets taken from the 'Manto Moments' section on 'Sack Manto':

"When I saw a report saying I had been silenced, I thought, 'Oh my God, maybe I am living on another planet'" - 8/10/06
Finally we are in agreement.... Ed

"I think the TAC was just a disgrace, a disgrace not only to the [health] department but a disgrace to the whole country. But I think, as South Africa, we really demonstrated that we are doing pretty well."
Manto After the AIDS conference in Toronto 2006 - 28/08/06

zapiro cartoon
"beetroot, garlic, lemon ... and buy a bottle of olive oil. All these things are very critical." - 8/6/05

"Dr Rath's work complies with and complements our programmes." - 10/5/05

"I don't remember saying I endorse the Matthias Rath foundation ..." - 5/5/05

"Raw garlic and a skin of the lemon -- not only do they give you a beautiful face and skin but they also protect you from disease." - 5/5/05

"It is very sad how the media handles this issue. I think garlic is absolutely critical. Lemon is absolutely critical to boost the immune system. Olive oil is absolutely critical ... just one teaspoon, it will last the whole month." - 9/2/04

(Aids)... "could also be a God-given opportunity for moral and spiritual growth, a time to review our assumptions about sin and morality". - 1/4/03

"Look at what Bush is doing. He could invade." ... Manto on why money needs to be spent on defence rather than treating AIDS
Sapa - 19/12/02

"Today I want to dispel this myth, because it is absolutely not true .[ that ARV's work ] The pharmaceutical industry and those who have a vested interest in the drug industry fuels this propaganda."
SAPA - 7/11/00

"We (the ANC government) have no plans to introduce the wholesale administration of these drugs in the public sector. ARVs are not a cure for Aids."
Speaking at Health Budget Vote in National Assembly - 8/11/00
Minister, nobody has EVER said that ARV's cure Aids! Ed.

While I doubt that voting for Manto to be sacked will achieve anything, nervertheless, I urge you to vote.

Go here and vote. NOW!!


Blogger Caroline said...

Something odd has infected blogger - the comment box jumped all over the place - I had to chase it - maybe I need to eat more lemons...

Very weird medicine... I've heard plenty of weird theories over time but none this dangerous!

8:32 pm  
Blogger angel said...

ugh... that bloody cow is as thick as a brick and i cannot believe- no scratch that- i CAN believe she's still 'in charge', especially since the anc (our government) supports one of their own and even accompanied him- singing and dancing- when he made his way to jail after being convicted of fraud!
so i spose declaring they'll 'stand by their man' when they're indicted/ suspected/ convicted of things like fraud, corruption and rape... implies that they'd never get rid of someone just for being stupid?

9:55 pm  
Blogger Dawn said...

It actually makes me want to cry - and not from laughing - it is too insane!

7:50 pm  
Blogger DougZAR said...

I criticise Manto and the ANC regularly, but it's not because I'm racist. If the Nats were still in power I'd be having a go at their abuse of human rights and perversion of democracy.

12:34 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Caroline: That woman is dangerous!

angel: I think you’re referring to Yengeni? I do agree that it is odd for government members to be seen to be supporting a convicted criminal.

Dawn: It really is quite unbelievable. You have to wonder how she can stay there. I don’t know to what extent Mbeki has moved away from his previous denialist theories on AIDS but one assumes she’s in her position with his support. That support would have been predicated on his AIDs theories. He often comes across as a vain, arrogant intellectual who’d find it difficult to admit his mistakes. So, now that the government has moved away from the previous ridiculous stance on HIV/AIDS, he tends to keep in the shadows about the whole issue out of embarrassment. Sacking Manto would be an even more obvious admission that the previous policies were incorrect thereby making the embarrassment even more visible. So, she stays and the country suffers!

It suffers international ridicule and, more importantly, a lack of guidance on an issue that is one of the gravest threats to the country.

DougZAR: That is the way it should be if you disagree with those who govern you. Disagreement is based on policy issues and performance, not prejudice. But, I’m sure you’ll know what sort of people I’m referring to when I say that you have to be circumspect about motives when hearing them go on about the government.

10:27 am  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

That blasted woman gets me so angry every time I hear or read about her stubborness to deal with the HIV / AIDS crisis.

She should take a leaf out of little Guyana's book...our Min. of Health is doing amazing work, along with lots of HIV / AIDS support groups.

2:14 pm  
Anonymous Mick Gordon said...

Scratch the surface off most people and you will find a rascist, a bigot, a classist, a chauvenist - whatever - everyone is burdened to some extent by their life circumstance and if you know anyone who is squeeky clean I would like to meet them. Try and overcome your hangups but never consider yourself free of them.

2:48 am  

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