There is a terrible disease sweeping across Africa. OK – there are several of them, but this one is really nasty. The symptoms include false hope, political gain and setting HIV/AIDS programmes back immeasurably.
We’ve mentioned South Africa’s own dear Health Minister – Manto Tshabalala-Msimang – on this site on more than one occasion, including her support for the Germanic conman Mattias Rath and her advice that a diet of garlic, african potato, turnips, lemon juice and olive oil can cure HIV. (Incidentally, even dear Manto is unwell). We even chatted briefly about the Deputy President of the ANC and his belief that taking a shower after having sex with an HIV positive individual will prevent you being infected with the virus.
Thank heavens that these individuals aren’t in positions of power and responsibility, hey?
Anyway – it’s all over now. Step forward Yahya Jammeh (ja, ja…) – who “just happens” to be President of The Gambia. He’s sorted all our problems out by discovering that a herbal remedy and a good dose of prayer will rid your body of HIV. And yes, that includes removing its integrated nucleic acid from every last one of your cells. Incredible. He treats people on Thursdays and claims he can cure them in 3 days. Which should make for a pretty good Saturday night out, assuming all goes well. Sky News interviewed him while he was actually doing the biz – a superb demonstration of multitasking and altogether fascinating stuff.
The thing is, I can see you laughing at these stories in your comfortable Western homes and offices. What you need to realise is the terrible truth is that people believe these claims, they stop taking their ARVs and then they die.
I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. The answers to curing HIV or the answers to the dubious methods of African politics.
Frankly, I’m just shocked that “Uncle Bob” Mugabe hasn’t got in on the act yet…
I’ve made a start on Ben Trovato’s latest compilation, Hits and Missives. Of course, it’s typically brilliant.
Interestingly, if you want the book, I’ve just noticed that according to that link, shopping with Exclusive Books “is 100% safe”.
Bit of a bold statement, isn’t it? One wonders exactly what that covers…?
Credit card fraud? Probably.
Loss of product during delivery? Probably.
Being gunned down by armed robbers who burst into your home while you were deciding between the latest Jeffrey Archer and Hannibal Rising? Perhaps not.
A little clarification wouldn’t go amiss.
Anyway, I digress. Often.
I enjoy Trovato’s no nonsense approach to topics and his irreverent sense of humour. Take the subject of his latest column in the Cape Times for Valentine’s week: wife beating.
Entry-level wife-beaters need to remember that spousal abuse is no longer the brutal sport it was when our parents were young. The application of minimal force through the use of smart slaps has become the feng shui of home-based violence.
The Japanese even have a name for it – they call it karate, the way of the empty hand – although they practice something else when it comes to killing whales.
Of course, ballacorkish.net would like to point out that any form of violence against women is entirely unjustifiable. Unless they really asked for it. (This category would include talking during the football or not having a suitably chilled beer ready for you upon your arrival home from work.)* But whatever your views on this tricky subject, I strongly suggest that you make time and effort to read more of Ben Trovato’s work. The man is clearly a genius.
The other things that was going to go into this post were the first photos of the work that began late last year on the Green Point Stadium for the 2010 World Cup.
However, they’re not in here because precisely bugger all has happened yet.
Maybe next time… (Ja right…)
* Yes, I’m joking…
No, not this site – although that was almost the case thanks to my ex-hosting package. Just like a terrible divorce settlement, they got the kids, the house and the car. Plus all my picture files. Grr. That’s why this place is looking a little bare at the moment.
Ah well, it needed a spring clean anyway. Look out for improvements and stuff over the next few weeks.
No, the subject of today’s title is none other than Dr Mantombazana Tshabalala-Msimang, who you would be able to read a lot about in previous entries on this site if they still existed.
Manto is still South Africa’s Health Minister – just. A bout of ill-health and a prolonged hospital stay for a mystery respiratory illness followed a storm caused by her questioning whether HIV causes AIDS, her endorsement of a diet including african potato, lemons, garlic and olive oil to cure AIDS, and her shady dealings with Mathias Rath: a German doctor who makes a living discouraging HIV-sufferers from taking their ARV drugs and advising them instead to take vitamin supplements to cure their illnesses. Vitamin supplements that he just happens to sell.
Manto’s job has virtually been taken from her in all but name. She has been replaced in most of her official duties by her deputy Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and the deputy president, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. But Dr Rath is still hard at work. He’s funding his crony Anthony Brink to bring a charge of genocide, no less, against the leader of the Treatment Action Campaign who have always vehemently opposed Rath’s (dis)information campaign. Needless to say, the TAC and Manto don’t exactly see eye to eye and many have speculated that she has a hand in this action.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people are dying of AIDS in South Africa every day. These are, for the most part, preventable deaths – the problem is simply the government is failing to provide HIV-sufferers in South Africa suitable treatment – the cause is the attitude and beliefs of the incumbent Health Minister.
You can read more on the Sack Manto Campaign website.