Quote of the week

Senekal last week had nothing to do with solutions. It was all about politicians’ testosterone. It was all about politicians’ egos. What useful idea came out of all that heat and noise generated by all those politicians in Senekal last week? There is nothing. Nothing that makes SA a better place. Nothing that leads us to a better understanding of race relations in SA after 1994. Nothing that is a solution to farm murders – many of whose victims are poorly paid, desperate black people – or a solution to the incredibly horrendous murder and crime problem in this country.

Justice Malala
Sunday Times Daily
12 March 2007

Steinberg on Manto….

Jonny Steinberg’s thought provoking article in this morning’s Business Day is another reminder that our Minister of Health has been an utter, disgraceful disaster. It provides tangible evidence that her utterances on garlic and traditional medicine have directly led some HIV positive people to make fatal treatment choices.

Despite my fear of being thought a reactionary racist, I cannot but help wonder why people invoke the spirit of ubuntu to stop us talking about the MInister’s health, but no one invoked this spirit when the Minister gave advice to poor HIV positive people that inevitably led to their deaths.

Once again, this seems like a selective use of “culture” to stop us asking awkward questions. Questions such as: how many people have died because of the utterances of the Minister of Health? To what degree are we all complicit in these deaths for not speaking out, for not protesting at every meeting, for not dousing our Minister in fake blood, for not making a citizens arrest?

It might upset some people that we talk about the Minister’s health while she is sick, but perhaps it is slightly more upsetting that thousands of mostly poor South Africans have died needlesly because of her.

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