Thursday, 8 November 2007

Political virus

Now this is seriously screwed up. Thabo Mbeki, the president of SA - a country with one of the highest (if not the highest) concentration of AIDS suffers - has not, and continues not to, believe in the AIDS virus. More specifically, he does not believe that HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, and is particularly against the drugs that have been created to combat the symptoms. "...from the reading he had done ... it was unclear what the cause of the Aids epidemic was." If I were to spend a day or two reading over the evidence, I'm sure I wouldn't be 100% sure of anything either - the science is non-trivial, but that doesn't mean that it's not right! Please! As it says at the end of the article, his Minister of Health (who, by the way, has also quite recently been in a huge scandal because her drunken, thieving past) also doesn't believe in the HIV/AIDS link, and has suggested beetroot as a cure for AIDS symptoms. Seriously? The freaking Minister of Health?!? And notably, the Deputy Minister of Health was just recently fired on trumped up corruption charges, but from what I can tell, it was really because she disagreed with Mbeki's viewpoints.

Ok, this is old news - Mbeki has been known for years to hold this belief. And world outrage at it has forced him to publicly disavow such statements. But, at least according to this book by Mark Gevisser, he still privately very much thinks the same way. If it weren't so f*@&ed up, it would be funny...

And by the way, from what I understand about the main presidential challenger for the upcoming election (in December), Jacob Zuma, he is far, far worse, on many issues. I've already met at least one very proud South African dude who's said that if Zuma gets elected, he's leaving the country.

Welcome to enlightened Africa...

1 comment:

Lauren_D said...

I remember hearing about that health minister person who got fired...AIDS activists were quite unhappy. The thing that sucks is that education is surest way to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and when ignorance of such magnitude exists at the height of power in a county, what hope is there? I guess the only possibility is grassroots action until the power shifts...