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An Open Letter to Gareth Cliff

An Open Letter to Gareth Cliff

by Tumi Molekane / 19.12.2009

Dear Gareth Cliff,

I don’t follow you on twitter, I don’t listen to your radio show, I have never tried to watch your talk show and I can’t ignore you on Idols, I try. I am not a fair man, but if I were, I would say you make valid layman critiques of people’s talents or lack thereof. I would say you are a successful and loveable South African personality worth all the attention and endorsements you get. But I am not saying that. Oh no, I am saying you are an idiot.

The death of South Africa’s former Health Minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has brought the worst out of you. I heard/read of her death through a tweet of yours retweeted by someone I follow.

You wrote:

“Manto is dead. Good. A selfish and wicked bungler of the lowest order. Rotten attitude and rancid livers – all 3 of them…”

I thought you were joking about her career being dead or her political life, so I made a few calls and confirmed that she indeed had passed away. I considered her life, her family and her legacy and then went back to read with disbelief your statement. This motherfucker is out of his mind, she is dead. Dead. You still talking shit and she is dead. Many other people felt the same way.

DJ Sbu popular disc jockey and personality said:

“Gareth my brother, av lost family members 2 HIV/AIDS too didn’t agree wit a lot of her decisions but after her passion u tweet tht, ur an ass”

I can only imagine that the “passion” DJ Sbu is talking about is her years given in service of the movement that was at the forefront of liberating South Africa from the tyranny of Apartheid. And the decisions he did not agree with related to her controversial assertions about HIV and its relation to AIDS. Or her much publicised fight with the Treatment Action Campaign.

Suede blogger and twitter enthusiast said:

“Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, was a mother, a daughter, a human being. The respect you pay her in death is respect to those she left behind.”

You live, work and are a citizen of a country whose people respect and hold its dead in high-esteem across cultural and race lines. I am pretty sure even you are familiar with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s hearings which centred around parents wanting the remains of their children killed by Apartheid police agents. You know this, and instead of being sensitive to these people’s beliefs you deliberately go on a public forum and insult South Africa’s recently deceased former Health minister. You should know better. You can’t possibly be that ignorant or arrogant? Or can you? Your timing was also perfect. You chose to make that statement on Reconciliation day. A day charged with fostering reconciliation and national unity.

Of course there are people who agreed with your statement, followers that believe, “death doesn’t earn you an automatic pass to respect” or others who said, “why all the h8 towards Gareth Cliff? Is he not entitled to his opinion? Whether you agree or not, you can’t change his mind.” Or, “have to agree with the Manto comment. She has blood on her hands, why change our views just because she drank herself 2 death?”

I would not like to deny you your right to an opinion, neither do I want you to lie about your true feelings because Dr Tshabalala-Msimang is dead, although it must be noted that without much prompting you quickly changed your weekly abusive tirades on Michael Jackson to adoration once the pop star was late, even participating in a tribute to the king of pop. Was that you changing how you feel or opportunism?

I would only hope Manto Tshabalala-Msimang’s death would make you reflect on her life, that’s why we have funerals brother. We look back at a life and examine that person’s triumphs and shortcomings and draw lessons to which we can lead our own lives. Even the general secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign, an organisation which fought so acrimoniously her stance on AZT, was courtly enough to say:

“We don’t wish ill on any human being even though we had a very difficult time with her as minister of health. We are sending our condolences to her family and children.”

In my opinion the SABC should force an apology out of you in the least; at the most you should be fired. Even though you said the statement in your private capacity on twitter, you defended it on radio the next morning. That arrogant defiance is just as bad if not worse to me. Not too mention you are still the 5fm DJ to the 20000 people who follow you on twitter. But opportunely, your statement has raised some interesting issues. So I will take the advice of your 5fm colleague DJ Fresh who tweeted:

“I don’t agree with Gareth’s approach, but attacking the man and not the ‘issue’ is futile, debate101”

I also take issue with the way your statement defines her legacy. Did you know her? Did you know her family? Do you know what lead her to exile in Russia? What lead her to medicine? What sacrifices she made for this democracy? No sir, your experience of her is that manipulated, ridiculed and caricatured public persona. I refuse to let you present that as her legacy.

I don’t agree with insulting your president and ridiculing your leadership. Whether by Julius Malema, Helen Zille or the Mail & Guardian? I think this kind of disrespect has far reaching consequences for us as a nation. Instead of reading articles that explore with the aim to promote understanding why, for instance, President Zuma has so many wives, we in turn humiliate and mock the man. Before we examine former President Mbeki’s standpoint on HIV we call him a kook. We further undermine our laws on freedom of speech by parading opinions as facts and hiding behind newspaper profit margins and censorship. This is no way of building and nurturing a non-racial, democratic South Africa.

There is a myth that claims there is a definitive consensus on what the scientific community believes about HIV/AIDS. This is not true. When former president Mbeki put together an international AIDS advisory panel to ascertain why AIDS is defined different in Africa to the way it is defined in western countries and if AZTs cause more harm than good, he together with his health minister Dr Manto were vilified and demonised. I don’t know what was discovered or discussed at this International AIDS advisory committee but it seems like that scientific debate does not apply to HIV/AIDS. 2008 Nobel Laureate Dr Luc Montagnier who discovered HIV claimed the following:

“We can be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected, our immune system will get rid of the virus within a few weeks, if you have a good immune system; and this is also the problem of African people. Their nutrition is not very equilibrated; they are in oxidative stress, even if they are not infected with HIV; so their immune system doesn’t work well already. So its prone, it can, you know, allow HIV to get in and persist. We should push for more, you know, a combination of measures; antioxidants, nutrition advice, nutrition, fighting other infections – Malaria, TB, parasitosis, worms – education of course, genital hygiene for men and women also.”

This seems amazing to me, don’t you think Gareth? Like something we should explore, especially since we claim to care about the scores of people dying of this pandemic. I would like to think Dr Manto believed this and tried to give it her scientific attention, after all beetroots and garlic constitute a great nutritional diet.

So there brother, even when you don’t know it, you are helping us get further as a country, for without idiots like you revealing your ignorance, intelligent motherfuckers like me can’t call you out.

Be good.

67   111
  1. Dr Jack Kevorkian says:

    Ok Tumi, Gareth may not be a doctor in the public service but I am. I worked for 5 years under Manto’s mismanaged rule and ARV’s saved my life no less than three times following needle stick injuries & blood splashes. no nutritional supplements ever saved me. in fact, let me be more specific. AZT saved my life 3 times. You would be best NOT to comment on any efficiacy / side effects of drugs or even the benefits of nutrition in treating chronic health problems without having some sort of qualification in a health field.

    I celebrate with the rest of my colleagues in Manto’s death. Her passing is akin to the passing of some real assholes of African history like Verwoerd, Malan, and (hopefully very soon) Mugabe.

    Her family mourns, shame. Everything dies, it’s a fact of life. BUT they sure as hell have enough money from her cubic zirconium lined legacy to continue living their lives. Not so for the rural african family where the sole breadwinner dies of AIDS, leaving behind an HIV positive wife an 2 HIV positive children with no source of income besides a paltry disability grant and 2 child care grants.

    Gareth Cliff is a wanker anyway, he’s like a white Julius Malema who makes inflammatory statements to incense the masses. But in this case, he was right. Manto was a rotten person, a power-mongerer, a corrupt elitist with a very questionable degree from a USSR university who could NEVER ADMIT SHE WAS WRONG.

    good riddance to bad rubbish.

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  2. Malcolm says:

    nicely done. while i believe we need to tolerate all opinions in order to grow and question, i too believe that people in powerful media positions such as mr cliff need to take responsibility for the bigotry they perpetuate through the misinformed and often hate-provoking bullshit they speak.

    sure, he’s a supposed “shock-jock” and that stereotype is supposed to come across as provocative. provocative=good. ignorant=bad. cliff=idiot. it is unfortunate that a large portion of media consumers, particularly those listening to mainstream radio or sucked into the pop nonsense that is idols, base their daily opinions around the watercooler on what they hear from the mouths of people like him.

    the amount of hate speech i have heard over the years uttered by this moron makes my skin crawl. and i try to avoid him like the plague. my mind shudders at what kind of person we have wondering the streets who hangs on his every word…

    sure, manto was not popular for her decisions. sure, you could argue genocide even. but we have no idea what was going on behind closed doors to reach those unfortunate decisions, and if the TAC could, after years of toe-to-toe-ing, say that it was time to forgive her, then who the f*ck are we too buy in to cliff’s hatred? on reconciliation day no less.

    perpetuate the bullshit, dude, it’s the only thing you know how to do…

    (i’m guessing he can get away with this on twitter since it’s not regulated by the broadcasting complaints commission…)

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  3. HIGO says:

    “…liberating South Africa from the tyranny of Apartheid” – PFFFFT!

    She couldn’t liberate a foot from a sock. Good riddance.

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  4. Dplanet says:

    I feel physically sick when I read the comments of this wanker’s followers oh his pathetic blog (http://www.garethcliff.com/chronicles.php?articleid=700). Cliff has become a cult hero to disaffected racists who believe that the ANC and all Black people are incompetent – and that the country was ‘better run’ during Apartheid. I hope he is proud of that.

    Tshabalala-Msimang presided over decisions I wholeheartedly disagree with, but there is a time and a place to discuss these issues. The event of her passing, and on Reconciliation Day, is neither the time nor the place.

    We should remind ourselves that we are not talking about Hitler. We are talking about someone who dedicated their life to the emancipation of her people from White oppression. Her bad decisions may be unforgivable but they cannot alone define her life.

    I guess we shouldn’t really care what a self-obsessed reactionary like Cliff thinks about anything. What is more disturbing is what he represents, and how many people see him as some kind of ‘revolutionary’ who is ‘not scared to speak his mind’.

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  5. Johan Swarts says:


    Are you really calling worldwide scientific consensus on AIDS into doubt because of one measly paragraph and one measly reference to the authority of the man who “discovered” AIDS?

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  6. Busi says:

    The ends of this letter doesn’t justify the means. My goodness u say u’ve never followed the guys career yet u know about his opinions on michael jackson pre and post his death. I don’t agree wit what he did or how he did it, but I agree wit his intentions. She took from people who couldn’t fight for themselves, and if one person is gonna take her to book about it even in death. My condolences to her family but twitter isn’t about mincing words it’s a social networkin site damn it. And don’t try tell us he talked about it on his radio show so it justifies him gettin fired, it doesn’t, he talked about it on his show cause people were attacking his job. And to to the author, Open letters to radio dj’s? Seriously person, u need a hobby

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  7. filipa says:

    tumi – that last line just so well put! GENIUS!

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  8. Roger Young says:


    A: Social Networking is public space.

    B: Calling Tshabalala-Msimang to book is not exactly a bold step. It’s been done so often that it’s not even news. She was wrong. Lets however look at the intentions. Tshabalala-Msimang and Mbeki were calling into question the lack of holistic approach to HIV infections. The fact that the outcome of this questioning was an even less holistic approach was beyond merely regrettable, but, it could be argued, given her record that Tshabalala-Msimang’s initial intention was good. However Cliff’s intentions, given his record, could never be argued as anything u shameless self promotion.

    C: Over issues such as these informed opinion and debate is vital. For example, perhaps before telling the author of the above that he needs a hobby, you could perhaps, google him and see what his “hobby” might be?

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  9. Busi says:

    @Roger, I get what u sayin, but no i’m not going to google him, who he is or what he’s done doesn’t change my opinion of this letter… Agree/disagree with what he is sayin because of the context not because of who he is. My main issue is that with these open letters, statements from the ANC etc, what people are in fact doing is lettin this thing live, he said it on twitter so if everyone ignored him, unfollowed him (without needing to justify their actions by re-tweeting) it would’ve died. But no, everyone has to go around bashing him and all I see it doing is eventually making it to the ears of the people that everyone is claiming to want to protect. I’m on twitter too, but I’ve never liked Gareth, I don’t watch his show either. People are fighting his opinion but It’s their opinion that is causing this mess. I just want it all to stop. This is also the problem wit journalism today, they get their news from social networkin sites.

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  10. Mike says:

    Gareth Cliff is an idiot. However this nausiatingly sanctimonious article does little to put him in his place.

    Quote: “I don’t agree with insulting your president and ridiculing your leadership” – I suppose the Germans must be lauded for not cutting Hitler down to size when they still could. Excusing people’s actions just because they’re dead is a pathetic abdication of responsibility. By this logic we should just focus on Hitler’s triumphs rather than on his atrocities, and laud him for his great economic achievements prior to WWII.

    Be a good little boy and run along now, Tumi. Your mummy must be ever so proud of her offspring’s fauning reverence for the grotesque antics of his “leaders”.

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  11. me says:

    You accuse idot Cliff of opportunism, but aren’t you doing the same with this open letter? Calling attention to yourself, especially since you just released your new album…

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  12. Dee Cendent says:

    Dr Kervorkian, you claim that AZT saved your life, but your views on assisted suicide are well known and it’s no surprise to me that you champion a drug that is toxic and does not, in the long term, save any lives. As I am willing to concede that you might not be THAT Dr Death, I will say this to you: Taking AZT as a prophylactic for needlestick injury is a precautionary measure but there is no proof that you were infected in the first place, so here’s a challenge to you. Let both of us be injected with HIV (it has never been isolated so I am not sure how we’ll do that) so let us both be pricked by a needle used on someone assumed to have HIV. You take your AZT, I will rely on my immune system and it’s strength as a result of growing up white in South Africa. Then lets do a battery of tests after the window period expires and see whose immune system is stronger…I am confident that I will not have Aids and I am confident that your immune system will have been weakened by the AZT.

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  13. Roger Young says:

    @ Busi. I agree 100% I too think all this does is give Cliff more credence, exactly what he was after.

    @ Mike. Insulting and ridiculing are not the same as criticism and debate.

    @ me. At no point does Tumi reference his current activities or even his profession. But even if he had, would this disqualify him from having an opinion?

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  14. Nicole Turner says:

    When we look back on this time in our country, what will we remember? How people with people with opposing views were vilified and treated like monsters, how racism, fear and dogma thrived while hundreds of thousands of africans died from preventable diseases, their immune systems weakened by toxins and malnutrition, while those who tried to make us see that a holistic approach to health – of our environment and ourselves – while perhaps a more difficult path would ultimately save not just lives, but our planet as well, were hounded and dismissed as lunatics.

    The former health minister was not someone who I would go to any lengths to defend at a personal level, we all have personality flaws. I was a health reporter when she was minister and I remain impressed at how she transformed our health system from one that served 8% of the population to one that now delivers primary health care to the majority of South Africans. Committed to change and never courting popularity, she fought for what she belived and took on some of the biggest threats to our health . It was under her leadership that smoking was banned in public places and huge effort put into fighting TB, the real cause of many of those deaths attributed to HIV.

    I suspect history will be a lot kinder to the former president and his health minister than we have been and I also suspect that south africa will be full of people who will claim they never dismissed outright the claims of dissidents, that they were never part of the hysterical adherence to a flawed theory that makes money for the pharmaceutical industry, that they never believed all that bullshit about HIV….because there are a number of sober and rational people and that number grows all the time, who have taken time to look at the HIV causes Aids theory (until it is proved, it remains a theory and should – as such – be vigorously examined) and concluded that we are being fed a load of bullshit.

    The personal attacks on Aids dissidents points to insecurity and that is understandable, because I would be insecure defending a theory that is flawed, that just doesn’t make sense and has never been proved. What do we have to lose by being open to other theories and views? Why is the view that poverty, malnutrition and exposure to toxic chemicals causes immune system failure so threatening? Or do we need a villain to blame so that we don’t have to share the poverty or change the way we live, so that we can continue our destructive greedy lives comforted by the fact that the poverty of the majority ensures that whatever happens to us, we will get the best care money can buy.

    Every day I become more appalled at how white south africans hide their ingrained racism behind other issues, how suddenly they care about the state of schools in townships and the quality of life for the majority, how the present government is seen as demonically causing all the social ills apartheid gave us…I am even more appalled that the spirit of Ubuntu has not taken hold, that opposing views are not given time of day but there’s instead an unyielding hysteria that accompanies discussion of most public issues, and underlying this is a deeply rooted fear. Until we change, until we all open up, we will continue to live in the shadow of fear and there are no chemicals or drugs in the world that can save us.

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  15. metaMeerkat says:

    … are the comments being moderated.. kindly refer unpublished entry 1 hour ago…

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  16. Roger Young says:

    Comments are not moderated. There seems to be a problem in some browsers esp Firefox on Mac where comments simply do not post the first time. We have tried to address this tech issue but no-one seems to be able to figure it out. The best thing to do is, if your comment does not appear immediately. is to re-post. And always copy before you post just in case. Sorry.

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  17. me says:

    @ Roger Young. I don’t recall idiot Cliff mention his current activities either, but most of us know who he is. Ditto with Tumi. I’m just very wary of personalities calling each other out in public, reeks of a PR exercise…

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  18. Nicole Turner says:

    @metameerkat I think this happens if you take too long to compose your message, other people post and you lose your place in the lineup or the code is no longer valid. If like me, brevity is a word you can spell but don’t quite understand, try copying your post or writing it in word and then refreshing the page before posting.

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  19. BND says:

    You’re saying that the dead are not to be criticized? Why do the dead deserve such respect?

    “…you deliberately go on a public forum and insult South Africa’s recently deceased former Health minister”. Are you trying to say that government officials should not be insulted…even arseholes like Manto?

    Yes, in her day she was a freedom fighter who did much good, and for that she has respect. However, those actions do not excuse her actions later on in a her career. I’d be interested to know your thoughts on pre-independence Mugabe vs. current Mugabe. Following your line of thinking he cannot be criticized because 1. He’s a current member of the government and 2. he did all that good shit back in 80’s.

    She was a doos and when she was called on it she dug her heels in and became and even bigger doos. Good riddance.

    And Tumi, your last paragraph is laughable. There is only one idiot in this spat and that’s you. Cliff was spot on this time.

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  20. Nicole Turner says:

    BND there is nothing that is being said now that has not been said when MTM was alive. When people die, in almost all religions and cultures, it is the custom to focus on the good they did in their lives and celebrate their positive aspects. This is done for the common good and to protect the feelings of the family and friends who are in pain at the loss.
    Those who kick a corpse show their own weakness, stupidity and cruelty. What is being called for here is a smidgen of compassion, and if you do not have anything good to say about the deceased, silence is always an option.

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  21. Mackers says:

    Gareth’s shortcomings are of FAR less consequence than Manto’s. Although he shoots his mouth off, he is good at his job. Manto was not.

    Lets stop furthering this ridiculous digital hissy fit before we actually start to vindicate Manto’s less than satisfactory contribution to our country by painstakingly taking a racially defensive stance against a cocky radio DJ’s brain-fart on Twitter.

    Its not worth the pixels it appears on.

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  22. Sleaze says:

    Gareth Cliff is a tube, granted, but he is not directly responsible for the deaths of millions of South Africans. Intentions if they are clouded by myopic self serving insights that directly affect the lives of the citizens of a country are still ethically deficient and are simply no excuse for murder. I have to agree with the Young Communist League that Mbeki and Health Minister Manto Tshabalala should be prosecuted for the failure to provide HIV/AIDS sufferers with anti-retroviral treatment. In fact when the modern history of our land is written and the full extent of the pandemic, exacerbated by our leaders’ unfathomable intransigence is realised, then nothing less than The Hague should be considered.

    I agree whole heartedly with the first public health doctor who posted as would anyone who has the misfortune to lose friends through the virus or have visited an aids orphanage and knows that nearly 90% of this could have been averted with an effective early roll out of an ARV program. People stop dying and live a healthy productive life, there is no mother to child transmission and lately has been asserted, individuals on a regimented effective ARV programme are considerably less likely to transmit the virus. Swiss scientists have even substantively claimed that effective ARV regimes can minimize most heterosexual transmission. http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/4e9d555b-18fb-4d56-b912-2c28afccd36b.asp_

    It is simple, conclusive ARVs work, they save lives, this is a fact and has not been seriously
    debateable outside of quackery and witchcraft for more than 2 decades. If Manto and Thabo wanted to make it their personal viewpoint fine, they can join David Icke and the space lizard camp for all I care, but if they hold millions of lives in their policy hands then they are nothing short of accessories to murder, and that goes if they are dead or alive. Respect her in death why the fuck should I? Feel for her family sure, but do you respect Amin, Pol Pot Verwoerd? I know I don’t. Ask the extended family of Nkosi Johnson if they respect her? You can’t ask his mother can you? You can however ask her co-conspirator ex Pres Mbeki who was so embarrassed that he walked out on one of Nkosi’s last appearances.

    Your choice of Dr. Montagnier’s is also questionable he has never advocated non use of ARVs he has just posited that nutrition is a factor; healthy living is good for you Doh! We all know that we should be eating properly and of course it is shocking that is the countries in the developing world which are plagued by malnutrition, malnutrition and immune systems are linked that is a given, so what? An although he identified the virus he did not link it to aids and with the exception of a questionable dietary supplement he has done nothing to alleviate the suffering of aids patients or to stop the spread of the pandemic. The non representative quote you used is from a tricky piece of aids denialism ((http://www.houseofnumbers.org/Montagnier__No_Denial.html) that is doing the internet rounds, did you perhaps get it from Thabo the elder’s blog, he is partial to late night conspiracy hunting ? Perhaps you should check your sources or at least balance them.

    @D Planet a bad decision is whether you want to have chicken or fish, not when you wilfully seek to ignore the entire worldwide scientific community and choose to stand by as the people who she “tirelessly seeked to liberate” are literally dying before her eyes, actually not as they had to go to public hospitals to die, not the private ones with Ultra Liquor Mr Delivery!
    Some of Gareth’s followers might be a reactionary I don’t personally don’t think he is, he might be like many of the citizens of this country who protested against the apartheid regime, were proud to part of a democratically elected country and were saddened at the failure of said democratically country’s health policy and wept (as our first president did at the death of one of his sons), at so many preventable deaths.
    Thabo don’t hang the DJ, he is doing his job, shocking us to the wake up to the realities, making us think.
    And Thabo if you feeling all open lettery why not make your protest more productive

    1) To the international drug companies on why they insist on making the cost of next generation ARV therapy cost prohibitive to the developing world?
    2) To our present president to congratulate him on the recent pronouncements, but to remind him there is serious need for this country like Brazil and India to start cutting out the drug companies and start manufacturing the generics ourselves?

    We have a lot of catching up to do if we are going to answer to the next generation and if shock tactics by the like of Gareth Cliff is what is needed to make us wake up and realise the atrocities that were subtly perpetuated by our so called leaders, then I am all for it.

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  23. Sleaze says:

    Sorry Tumi Later in the post I referred to you a Thabo with all your nation building blarney it might have been Freudian , apologies for any offence none intended

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  24. numbaONEhustla says:

    A Man had a horse and it ran away his neighbour came & said im sorry, the man said dont be 4 who knows whats gud/bad.A few weeks l8r the horse returned with a few more horses.The neighbour returned & said congratulations on your fortune and the man said dont be 4 who knows whats gud/bad.Days later while the man’s son was riding one of the horses fell and broke his leg.The neighbor returned and said im sorry 4 ur son.the man said dont b 4 who knows whats gud/bad.Then every young man was being forcefully recruited 4 war and the man’s son was exempted bcoz of his injury and nearly all of the soldiers died while in war.The neighbour returned and said how lucky he was that he did not loose his son.Again the man said dont be 4 who knows whats gud/bad.

    My point is Out of his appaulling & opportunistic Tweet, A national conversation has begun.Now its up 2 the nation & the powers that be to reAddress The issues surrounding HIV/Aids & Health Issues In general.Lala kahle MamManto.ONE.

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  25. dreamz says:

    All of this reminds me of an allegory in Ayi Kwei Armah’s book “the beautiful ones are not yet born” It goes like this: a group of people live in a cave believing the cave is the universe and all there is. Some brave and curious individuals venture out to discover a whole world lies beyond and they return to share this information. But the cave dwellers refuse to believe them, they refuse to even listen. They chose not to investigate the claim, opting to live and die in the dark of the cave. Armah asks ” What do you do? What do you do when people, free to choose, choose what they want?”

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  26. eric blackman says:

    Hey Mackers
    Who said anything about race?

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  27. pasteur says:

    “If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such document.”

    Dr. Kary Mullis, Biochemist, 1993 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

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  28. Dr Sanger says:

    “During the past 20 years HIV-AIDS research has shown to a line of critical scientists again and again that the existence of HIV has not been proven without doubt, and that both from a aetiological (causal), and a epidemiological view, it can not be responsible for the immunodeficiency AIDS. In view of the general accepted HIV/AIDS hypothesis this appeared to me so unbelievable that I decided to investigate it myself. After three years of intensive and, above all, critical studies of the relevant original literature, as an experienced virologist and molecular biologist I came to the following surprising conclusion: Up to today there is actually no single scientifically really convincing evidence for the existence of HIV. Not even once such a retrovirus has been isolated and purified by the methods of classical virology.”

    Dr. Heinz Ludwig Sänger, Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology and Virology and a former director of the Department of Viroid Research at the Max-Planck-Institutes for Biochemy

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  29. Asimov says:

    Manto was by no means evil – just someone extraordinarily misguided and bad at her job. Her position perhaps meant that much harm was done under her policies, but she should not carry that burden on her own. Perhaps even more responsible are those that allowed her political career to go on for as long as it did.

    HOWEVER, this latest tirade by Cliff highlights the fact that his own career as a DJ has gone on for too long. He’s not particularly funny or intelligent. Mostly he’s just a wanker who consistenly shows bad judgement. A parasite who feeds off the issues of the day in order to draw attention to himself.

    Try be a bit more creative in your social commentary Clilffie, or better yet, just piss off.

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  30. Thando says:

    Strange how suddenly everyone is an expert?

    Do you know what actually happened in structuring the policies and where the drug companies stood and what was said?

    Do you know how AZT’s where developed? Do you know David Ho, and what happened in 1996?

    I know someone who has this virus and who is on ARV’s. I can, with all confidence, say that when they starting taking the medication they condition worsened drastically. They became very a ill for a prolonged amount of time, and often had to be taken to the doctor in the middle of the night. The doctor kept on saying they were responding badly to that particular kind of ARV treatment and more drugs would have to be bought and tried out. This obviously was a very costly and long process of sickness. Meanwhile, in concurrence with his worsening condition, his mother dramatically changed his dietary habits and started reading up extensively on nutrition and what builds the immune system. The sickness became less frequent and eventually vanished. Of course, he still takes treatment, but the people who think ARV’s are the be all and end all, without anything else having sometimes just as great an effect on the infected person’s health are terribly ignorant about this virus.

    I am pretty confident that with ARV’s alone and a bad immune system his condition would’ve gotten worse and that with a strong immune system built up by proper nutrition he would have been healthy for longer period of time. The thing with the illness is to strike a balance. ARV’s are not a miracle cure and as expensive as they are, they are close to useless when used by someone who lives without proper sanitation or nutrition.

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  31. Thando says:

    My last paragraph I meant to say:

    I am pretty confident that with ARV’s alone and a bad immune system his condition would’ve gotten worse while with a strong immune system built up by proper nutrition and without ARV’s he would have been healthier for a longer period of time.

    Also where I said close to useless, I actually meant useless.

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  32. Sleaze says:

    hemist – known aids denialist ex Baker, Jeweller, tempted to add candelstickmaker his proof of his hypothesis were “photographs he had taken of naked women with coloured lights projected on their bodies.” WTF!!! and Dr. Heinz Ludwig Sänger, another denialist who believe that the scientific techniques used to determine the existence of HIV and its connection to AIDS is at least flawed and most likely irresponsible. He contends there is no convincing evidence that HIV has ever been isolated and identified using established techniques of research. And while they are playing around with semantics in labs people are dying.

    I think it is illuminating that not one of these nut jobs is a healthcare professional and is not actually doing research on stopping people from dying, why don’t you ask someone from Medicine San Frontiers what they think of the efficacy of ARVs.

    And Thando your anecdotal evidence is just that anecdotal, I happen to know personally 3 people whose lives have been turned around by ARVs with no side effects and one who sadly died this year because he stopped taking them. Of course people have to eat right if you don’t you are just as prone to diabetes, cancers or any other lifestyle diseases. ARVs work can we finally admit that and get on with it?

    And yes I think Manto is evil, as person in that kind of power that she stood by and did nothing but drink her way into a stupor is inconceivable. In many ways we all are all evil, to quote an old liberal political philosopher which will probably go down in “alt for alts” sake Mahala as acceptable as a Koran at a Bar Mitzvah “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” take out the sexist language and yes we let happen, but she could have changed it with one pen stroke.
    Cliff is a Dj and call me a reactionary if you want, but I am going to stand by his right to say what he said and glad he did it. He is a DJ, pure and simple, a purveyor of pulp, she choose to serve the people and from where I stand (and I reckon 99% of doctors in the country would agree) she failed miserably and I hope for once history can teach us something. From the country that gave us Mandela and gave us hope, we deserve better and covering up for her in death only does our children a disservice.

    Just as an aside a certain Christine Maggiore prominent anti ARV activist author of Everything You Know about Aids Is Wrong died at the age of 52 while under a doctor’s care for pneumonia. Maggiore, mother of two children, had founded an organisation to help other HIV-positive mothers avoid taking antiretroviral drugs that reduce the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child. After her three-year-old daughter died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 2005,
    Get a life guys please, get positive, Gareth Cliff is not the problem, ignorance is.

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  33. Sleaze says:

    That did not post correctly here it is again, so much for roger’s advice for non posting’s

    What is with you Ostriches? I note the two “experts: being quoted are Dr. Kary Mullis – Chemist – known aids denialist ex Baker, Jeweller, tempted to add candelstickmaker his proof of his hypothesis were “photographs he had taken of naked women with coloured lights projected on their bodies.” WTF!!! and Dr. Heinz Ludwig Sänger, another denialist who believe that the scientific techniques used to determine the existence of HIV and its connection to AIDS is at least flawed and most likely irresponsible. He contends there is no convincing evidence that HIV has ever been isolated and identified using established techniques of research. And while they are playing around with semantics in labs people are dying.

    I think it is illuminating that not one of these nut jobs is a healthcare professional and is not actually doing research on stopping people from dying, why don’t you ask someone from Medicine San Frontiers what they think of the efficacy of ARVs.
    And Thando your anecdotal evidence is just that anecdotal, I happen to know personally 3 people whose lives have been turned around by ARVs with no side effects and one who sadly died this year because he stopped taking them. Of course people have to eat right if you don’t you are just as prone to diabetes, cancers or any other lifestyle diseases. ARVs work can we finally admit that and get on with it?

    A yes I think Manto is evil, as person in that kind of power that she stood by and did nothing but drink her way into a stupor is inconceivable. In many ways we all are all evil, to quote an old liberal political philosopher which will probably go down in “alt for alts” sake Mahala as acceptable as a Koran at a Bar Mitzvah “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” take out the sexist language and yes we let happen, but she could have changed it with one pen stroke.
    Cliff is a Dj and call me a reactionary if you want, but I am going to stand by his right to say what he said and glad he did it. He is a DJ, pure and simple, a purveyor of pulp, she choose to serve the people and from where I stand (and I reckon 99% of doctors in the country would agree) she failed miserably and I hope for once history can teach us something. From the country that gave us Mandela and gave us hope, we deserve better and covering up for her in death only does our children a disservice.

    Just as aside a certain Christine Maggiore prominent anti ARV activist author of Everything You Know about Aids Is Wrong died at the age of 52 while under a doctor’s care for pneumonia. Maggiore, mother of two children, had founded an organisation to help other HIV-positive mothers avoid taking antiretroviral drugs that reduce the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child. After her three-year-old daughter died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 2005,
    Get a life guys please, get positive, Gareth Cliff is not the problem, ignorance is.

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  34. Nicole Turner says:

    Dear Sleaze et al

    Semantics first. The term denialist is an interesting one to describe those who question the prevailing Aids causation hypothesis or ask for proof of the facts. Testing the dominant hypothesis does not equate to denying that Aids exists and is killing people, nor that HIV exists. There is some doubt about HIV though, bolstered by substantial rewards offered for proof in the form of virus isolated, as per standard scientific practice, and the fact that those rewards have yet to be claimed. There there’s the fact that all of the tests for Hiv infection carry disclaimers stating that they do not indicate Hiv presence, but even so, we can assume – if you prefer – that HIV does exist. This won’t change the fact that people are dying and we don’t seem able to do much about it.

    Surely denial is a term that is better used to describe those, like you, who deny the possibility that there may be a less convenient but far simpler explanation, who denounce anyone questioning or prodding the rickety support structure that holds your wordview together, even as that world, no matter what your view is, faces problems so massive, it may be best to just ignore them, to get a DVD with a happy ending and some fast food and hope, maybe even pray, that it won’t fall apart in your lifetime.

    Yeah, everyone’s an expert on this issue and I suppose only those like Dr Jack Kevorkian (on parole for mass murder and better known as Dr Death) are the ones whose views you respect. Shouldn’t we all be involved in discussing something that governs our most intimate moments. If this is a pandemic which any of us can fall victim to, simply by falling in love or after just one sexual indiscretion then we all need to to know whatever there is to know, don’t we?

    I didn’t expect to ever be on this side of the debate but I’ve been trained to be objective and consider all evidence. Perhaps growing up in a country where the same people who told me Nelson Mandela was an evil terrorist pig dog K-word who should be hanged by his genitals for his sins, now love him to bits and call him Madiba, I’m convinced that anything can change. I am not frightened of change – a world where people don’t die of hunger while there is enough food to go around, or of diseases that could have been prevented, seems like a good idea, somehow.

    I do not speak for a group nor are my views representative of those you accuse of being in denial but I have come to question “facts” I have spent much time and energy promoting. For me there’s too much evidence that Aids is part of a larger problem we face as humanity and after all these years of supporting the HIV hypothesis even when it didn’t add up, I have seen nothing change, in fact, despite all the drug therapies and papers written and funding dispersed, people continue to die in large numbers and this despite very successful awareness campaigns, despite the many millions of condoms used to prevent it, people keep dying, well some people do.

    In America, the heterosexual plague that was forecast never happened, while we in southern africa, boast the highest prevalence rates of HIV infection in the world. And when you discover that the tests that produce these figures are not conclusive, that the virus has never been isolated and you meet HIV infected people who have lived normally for decades without ARVs and seem healthier than most but you encounter households where almost everyone is dying from common preventable infections – the seven year old up to the granny of 82 and the explanation is that they all got a virus caring for the one family member who was sexually active, then as a jouralist required to prove all facts you use or at least trace them to a reliable source – you try to figure out what is true, what has been proved and what can be said with confidence. I discovered there’s not much to go on.

    I have yet to be convinced that HIV causes Aids,but until recently I carried on acting as though it was true even as I found evidence that suggested otherwise . Rian Malan, a respected and meticulous journalist, is one of a handful who have actually checked the numbers that are bandied about. It would appear that many of the figures that are regularly paraded as fact in the Aids discourse are neither reliable nor truthful and range from thumbsucks to completely dubious manipulations of epidemiology data to secure aid and funding.

    Then there’s the medical advice and obfuscation…when you start ploughing through it, you wonder how anyone could make an informed decision about treatment. To give one example, at last count there were over 30 Aids Defining Conditions one of which you must have along with HIV to officially have Aids by the US CDC who keep the data and keep the definition supple enough to fit around the data. Cervical cancer, TB and pneumonia are there, but the list keeps growing and as cases appear that don’t fit the hypothesis, (many cases, more than make me comfortable, that resemble Aids in all aspects except for the presence of HIV) the definition grows and changes to accommodate the anomalies and the escape clauses now run to pages and pages which hardly inspires confidence.

    Ask the experts a simple question and you are likely to be dealt a fat wad of unpronounceable jargon like how reverse transcriptase, which creates DNA from RNA (instead of RNA from DNA), and somethinmg called integrase are what make HIV a rare retrovirus and so difficult to pin down. Get that? Good, then lets just assume that’s true and move on. And if the drugs don’t work, we’ll just take more of them, and that doesn’t work, we’ll accuse Manto of genocide and blame Mbeki and someone will come up with a number, say 300, 000 people that they killed, by trying to address the factors that predispose people to all diseases, and if that doesn’t work…what then?

    There are many alternatives we are not considering and I’ll present one I have no doubt that we make the biggest contribution to loss of immunity.There’s a growing body of compelling, and above all, clear evidence that traces of synthetic chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis, in our food, water and in the air we breathe, can cause a large number of problems including loss of immunity and if exposure occurs in the womb then these effects can be severe and can sometimes show up a generation or even 3 later.
    I know in some cases, and I suspect in others where proof is unavailable , that toxins of all kinds may be causing autoimmune diseases, the cancers, the strange syndromes like Hodges and Lupus that don’t quite fit as neatly into the picture as we might like. There are documented cases where animal populations have been decimated by aids-identical syndromes, and one in South Africa that was positively linked to contaminated feed. When the contamination was removed, subsequent generations thrived. There is so much more to consider, and it won’t kill us to, so why deny other possibilities?

    Why can’t we look at the bigger picture instead of focusing on one virus whose very existence is subject to considerable debate, when the man who is said to have discovered HIV, Luc Montagnier has admitted that he never got so far as isolating it and says that nutrition is key to warding off HIV infection and indeed, all disease.

    As for David Ho, the scientist who developed the first drugs used to treat Aids called protease inhibitors. I have a 1992 copy of Esquire Magazine where he expresses his extreme frustration that no matter what they threw at it, the virus seemed to elude him constantly mutating and playing such advanced biological hide and seek the only solution Ho could muster was HAART, multidrug therapy where handfulls of pills are swallowed daily and while these have reduced the presence of antibodies and boosted T cells they have also have been known to cause death by multiple organ failure and are only effective when the patient has access to adequate nutrition and unlimited resources to treat all the side effects.

    As red ribbons were being worn to mark World Aids Day, this report came from Reuters: “”WHO urges countries to phase out use of stavudine or d4T. Says drug causes long-term, irreversible side-effects” The WHO advised the use of “less toxic alternatives such as zidovudine (AZT) or tenofovir (TDF).” When the choices are really toxic or less toxic, are the drugs really as important or helpful as many of us believe.

    There are many progressive, sane and rational people who question the prevailing consensus and you really should hear what they have to say. Just recently I was made aware of this account of ARV therapy by Karri Stokely
    (,www.myspace.com/rethinkaids) and this one from Botswana (http://kefodile.wordpress.com/)
    and these alternatives to ARV therapy from the field in Tanzania (http://reducetheburden.org/?p=1992),

    There are more questions than answers but, for arguments sake, if we accept that instead of a complex and rather elusive virus that chooses victims as if it was a right wing christian fundamentalist from middle America, a larger problem, perhaps as large and as important as global warming and requiring the same fundamental change in attitude and lifestyle might be behind most health problems facing us. If we accept that the systems we use and rely on may not only be incapable of delivering us from these problems but may be the problem then we have to confront the possibility that nothing short of a fundamental change in the collective human consciousness will see an end to the misery, death and suffering that we all claim to care so much about.

    If you think that such a change is just too impossible or too much like hard work, or if it means you may have to sacrifice luxury or convenience for the greater good and you would rather not, what do you do? I suspect you cling to a flawed hypothesis and defend it passionately, no matter what, and if anyone should threaten the consensus that props up the crumbling systems you cannot imagine life without, well demonise them, insult them and spit on their graves if given the chance. Ignore any evidence that doesn’t fit and write off those who present alternate views as mad, and when they die, gloat and use the fact that they were mortal as evidence that they were also wrong. That seems reasonable, doesn’t it? I beg to differ.

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  35. JD says:

    Thinks people should just be more proactive and less reactive…

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  36. meanzit says:

    interview with a former aids patient, worth the watch

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  37. Sleaze says:

    Wow Nicole the systems suck! Really? Of course it is the flawed world view that has brought about aids, I beg to differ and so would the conservatively estimated 350000 people who would have lived if it were not for Manto’s criminal negligence.
    Earth to Nicole – get of the internet and go speak to people who actually have aids. Your pseudo hippie shite is an academic wank. Do you actually know anyone who has HIV? I strongly doubt it. If you did you would get of your silly collective human consciousness (have you thought about going into the business of cults _ I hear Tom is getting bored of Scientology) nonsense and take a bite into reality.
    I don’t cling to any hypothesis; I prefer to deal with solutions that have been proven to work. The right to life is not convenience, and surely any Greater Good would entail not letting people die.
    Go read Christine Maggiore she was so passionate about her denialism that she sacrificed her own daughter.
    Manto is a murder and the bizarre debates that people like you engage in you makes you nothing less those accessories after the fact. I hope you sleep at night.

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  38. Johan Beaurain says:

    I will remember Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang as a lovely person with a great love for all humanity. I will remember her as a health minister who helped so many of us to gain a better understanding of our health. I will remember her as a medical doctor who made a huge contribution towards improving the collective consciousness of the people.

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  39. Thando says:


    I agree with Nicole and I know people with the illness, even though you call them ‘anecdotal evidence’. Your ad hominem response is poised to take away from this debate, instead of contributing anything, and as it is, it’s hard to take seriously, whereas with Nicole, I actually got informed regarding some things.

    You aren’t saying anything new, either. Perhaps, you could provide details on the effects of the medication on these people you claim to know.

    Though, I don’t understand why are you so set on being ‘right’? This issue requires permeability more than anything, if only for the fact that everyone is seeking a possible solution.

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  40. Selim Y Gool (dr) says:

    Well, some backgroud to the State Of Mind of Manto and others in the ANCs leadership is given by Stephen Ellis and T. Sechaba: Comrades in Exile, The ANC/SACP, and Paul Trewhela’s; Inside Quatro, and back copies of Search Light South Africa (available on Avuca.com (?) maybe).

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  41. Catherine says:

    Why did Mahala post this? Does the writer work for the site? I have enjoyed the music and art reviews on this site before but the fact that the site would be so completely irresponsible to publish the rant of a quack like this I find horrifying. There will always be quacks out there but giving them a widely read platform is ridiculous and dangerous.

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  42. Selim Y Gool (dr) says:

    Quak Quak Quak ….

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  43. nicole turner says:

    @ sleaze

    I think you make my case so much stronger with your personalisation of the issues, when you attack me instead of coming up with answers to the problems I pose openly and candidly and when you resort to hysterical accusations, you show just how sound your argument is.

    Not that it should influence my sober appraisal of the facts, I do know quite a few people who have tested positive for HIV, most of them are living, and almost all have opted not to use ARVs. Only one of my personal friends has died in an aids related incident – it was a tragic suicide, unable to deal with the side-effects when his TCell count fell to a point where ARVs were presented as the only option, a beautiful man took his own life. I have a close friend who has lived with HIv for six years and has been told she is dying, and nothing can be done. She grapples with that every day of her life and there’s a sadness in her eyes I would not wish apon anyone.

    My work has brought me into contact with many many more, I have been in wards filled with people dying of XDR TB, a mutant and deadly form of TB that started, and this may be coincidental, in the ARV treatment programme at Tugela Ferry Hospital. I have met people like David Patient in Mpumalanga who has lived longer than anyone we know of in South Africa, without ARVs. And as I have said in previous posts, I have encountered in Swaziland whole families dying of what are considered to be HIV related illnessess, but the alleged mode of transmission – through person to person contact – was something I still find difficult to believe.

    I have been to conferences, interviewed countless experts and read whole forests of research, and I am not convinced that we are looking at all of this through the right lens, I am not convinced that the standard approach of throwing chemicals at problems is going to fix anything and I am increasingly convinced that the chemicals themselves may be a large part of the problem.

    Sleaze, can you provide the source of the estimate of 350, 000 people who I and MTM have murdered? I ask in all seriousness: how was this figure reached, what is it based on, is there a time frame and what parameters where used when evaluating each case and deciding that their death was due to being denied ARV treatment?

    In 2002 or 3, I forget when exactly, I produced a story for Special Assignment about a massive law suite filed by a human rights lawyer on behalf of an HIV infected baby, Tinashe was her name, whose HIV positive mother had been denied Nevirapine. Tinashe had tested positive for HIv according to the tests used in our hospitals and clinics and The MEC for health in Mpumalanga was being sued being sued for millions. It seemed an open and shut case, and was covered in all the major newspapers, although none of those that reported the law suite bothered to mention why it was dropped. While we were filming in Nelspruit Tinashe was sent for an expensive PCR test which as I understand it, can detect the DNA or chromosomal traces that indicate the presence of HIV, not just antibodies – this came back negative. Tinashe had her mother’s antibodies, as all babies do as this builds their immune systems and protects them from illness. Well, you can imagine, it was a blow ot the case of activists dedicated to winning access to ARVs and I was asked to kill the story to help the cause. I didn’t. It was told and broadcast as it happened, because that’s my job, to present the facts as clearly as possible.

    My point is: we need to accept that nothing can be taken for granted, that things are not always as simple and clear cut as they seem.

    Thando, thank you for wading through my posts, if you are interested do visit http://www.ourstolenfuture.com, the book “our stolen future ” is vital to understanding the bigger picture of what is happening to us and our environment because of the hundreds of chemicals we rely on every day. The website is where new research is posted, of how any number of supposedly harmless chmeicals can mimic the effect of hormones and are actually causing major problems, across species. It’s fascinating.

    And Thando I agree, we all need to open our minds, I love the term permeable, it’s very apt. I am more than willing to have my suspicions proved wrong so if anyone can throw some light, instead of negative bitchery, my way, bring it on.

    Catherine, the writer of the letter is a poet, musician and respected social commentator, he does not profess to be an expert. Like you he has an opinion and we have a consitution that allows for and protects the free exchange of views, so while you may not like what you hear you have the right to express a counter opinion, but not the right to censor…and I for one, having a taste of what you’d do if you had that power, am extremely grateful for that.

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  44. leaves says:

    YYYYYAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNNNN….. get over yourselves and your pathetic little opinions people. gawd.

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  45. TO TUMI says:

    “intelligent motherfuckers like me …”

    Hey Tumi, do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

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  46. Arthur Charles Van Wyk says:

    I just find it odd that the author does not engage his readers.. isn’t that why he chose this platform and not the “140-character infoburst” one that Gareth Cliff did..??

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  47. befuddled says:

    no idea why mahala decided to publish this.
    unless of course tumi represents the opinions of mahala as a whole.
    perhaps it does.
    i’m sure each writer for mahala is encouraged to express individual opinion, in fact the effectivenesss of this likely encouragement is what i enjoy about this online magazine, why i keep returning to it.

    but a highly emotional statement of this magnitude should be published very carefully.
    and only given such space if it is representative of your site as a whole. why does tumi get this privilege? who else has the right to an open letter on mahala? gareth cliff? (please don’t. this is a mess of reactivity as it stands).

    perhaps this letter should be published on tumi’s own wesite.
    just saying.

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  48. Laura says:

    People who never knew Manto nor had direct contact with her have to depend on the testimony of others in forming an opinion. To the average South African the popular media presented her as a caricature of fun, accompanied by sarcastic remarks about lemons, garlic, beetroot and african potato. However, the cartoons and articles never provided any information that would be useful in making an informed judgement.

    It is unjust to despise someone because others (who also may not know the subject personally) make fun of them. Each person should make up their own mind after taking some trouble to understand the facts. If you are curious about why Manto approved of those therapeutic foods and if you are curious about how they are used, you can watch the documantary video clips on http://www.tinevandermaas.com/video-clips/

    It’s interesting and Manto makes one or two appearances.

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  49. Andy says:

    Just a bit of background. Tumi contacted us with this letter as a reaction to Cliff’s tweets. Tumi is one of SA’s most talented and interesting lyricists, increasingly producing relevant and thought provoking social and political commentary in his music. So, even though I as the publisher have serious reservations around some of the things he said specifically relating to HIV/AIDS and causality, my responsibility as publisher is to provide a platform for opinion and ideas that challenge our audience and stoke debate.

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  50. *** Me says:

    The problem is taking HIV/AIDS and making it governments’ responsibility. Let it be a lesson that Government, Manto and her collegues will not go to bed with us and force us to wear condoms…. as we all should…. or bare the consequences.

    And such consequences will include increased chances of contracting HIV and that means since WE couldnt make the decision to protect ourselves with condoms… decisions about our health will be made on our behalf by South African pollicies. Those consequences WILL include the eventuality of death.

    Its all too easy to blame Manto and Government for everything relating to HIV…. they dont go to bed with us when we decide to be reckless and not use protection, do they?

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  51. Where's Wally? says:

    Where’s that cunt Gareth’s reply? Surely someone’s told him about this letter? It seems only right that he should read it and comment lest he remain another rich douchebag running his mouth off and leading the dumb. 🙂

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  52. Don Dada says:

    Fuck Manto and Fuck Gareth! Save the planet you morons!

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  53. jenny b says:

    You did it again you must be quiet stupid, you obviously don’t remember when you made your stupid comments about adopted children verses your own, ( when Branjolina had there baby).
    You must think before you speak weigh up what you have to say, words have power and once you’ve said them you cant take them back.

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  54. Gemma says:

    haha, “quiet stupid”..sshhhh.

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  55. frankly says:

    the cliff responds thus on his website:

    17th December, 2009

    I am astounded by the emotional overreaction of a group of people over my comments about the death of Former Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

    My opinion of her in life was not a particularly favourable one and I am sure she might have thought the same of me – but this is of no import. Now that she is dead, it would appear I am required to put up the pretence that I am sad for it. I’m afraid I can’t be quite so pious.

    To her family: Losing a mother, grandmother or relative is a horrible experience. You have my sympathy – on a human level – but you can take heart from all the notables paying their respects. I doubt mine would matter.

    Minister Tshabalala-Msimang presided over the most disastrous policy decisions in South African medical history. While Minister she resolutely refused to accept the wide scientific consensus on the links between HIV and AIDS and brooked not a stitch of opposition to her refusal to provide anti-retroviral medication to, among others, pregnant women suffering from AIDS. Her tendency to accept the theories of widely discredited quacks like Matthias Raath and the unquestioning support of her boss, Thabo Mbeki, further distanced her from the people she was appointed to help. It goes without saying that South Africa suffers from the worst worldwide prevalence and infection rate for AIDS and so these matters have to be seen, in context, as the most paramount for any South African Health Ministry. Her removal from office by Kgalema Motlanthe was long overdue when she was ousted late last year. The Los Angeles Times claims, in an article today (17/12/09), that she was directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of some 300 000 people. These are the facts. The opinions, caricatured all over the world were much harsher: “Dr. Beetroot” was hardly a figure of universal love and devotion.

    So why now are we required to show such uniform (if we are to believe the great majority of media outlets) sadness and piety? Surely this is the same kind of hypocrisy that saw Michael Jackson absolved of all the child-molestation offences the moment he left this mortal coil…

    The overarching legacy of this woman is not going to be her “practicality” or “the advancement of women’s rights” as proffered by the ANC this morning. It was not four weeks ago that some within the ANC were calling for Thabo Mbeki to be tried for crimes against humanity over his AIDS policy. With this same brush must Manto not be tarred?

    So when I was called by Primedia EyeWitness News today to respond to the ANC Youth League’s demand for an apology from me (as usual, they’re talking through the media who respond dutifully every time – Julius, just call me Dude – you have my number), I couldn’t help wondering why so much valuable time and space is given to a simple tweet. Some of us will agree…. and others will agree to disagree. Great minds don’t always think alike. But what we have to agree on is the power of Twitter. Who would have thought a little twit could evoke such a reaction?

    Follow me…….. @GarethCliff

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  56. S says:

    Is this Tumi, the wannabe singer from Tanzania? Oh well, in that case, say no more….. BTW, bru, you state: “I don’t follow you on twitter, I don’t listen to your radio show, I have never tried to watch your talk show and I can’t ignore you on Idols, I try.” Yet, you are acutely aware of what Gareth is up to on a weekly basis! (” you quickly changed your weekly abusive tirades “)
    jenny b : use your spellcheck. Or get yourself a dictionary for Christmas
    Gareth Cliff : you rock.

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  57. frankly says:

    Gareth is a little twit

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  58. befuddled says:

    this is a bit like saul williams writing an open letter to oprah.
    (which he did)
    only, it’s actually not like that at all… .
    no offence.
    this letter was unnecessary.
    especially since we already had the ancyl backlash.. .
    it was a jump on the bandwagon of something already childish and reactive.
    rather write an open letter about an issue when it doesn’t appear like overly dramatic kids in a playground and when you’re not backed either by malema or mahala.

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  59. frankly says:

    @where’s wally

    I reallly think that use of the C word to describe Gareth Cliff, the twit, is going too far. He’s a despicable loathsome self-promoting smear of smegma, for sure, but to call him a cunt is to be too kind, and a bit rude to all women who have them, isn’t it?

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  60. Fred says:

    So someone who kills lots of black people but is black is lauded as a “struggle hero”(how..when she spent 30 years hiding out like Huntley?), but someone who criticizes her and is white is a rude racist.
    Well quite frankly I would rather be a rude racist whitee that a genocidal maniac darkie that mass murders her own people.

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  61. Kontlap says:


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  62. AidsDeniersAreNaaiers says:

    Manto in death deserves the same respect as she gave the living. None.

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  63. Anakin Skywalker says:

    dear tumi…
    DJ Sbu popular disc jockey and personality said:

    “Gareth my brother, av lost family members 2 HIV/AIDS too didn’t agree wit a lot of her decisions but after her passion u tweet tht, ur an ass”

    he meant to twit…passing on..not passion…

    check the facts…yes she a struggle hero some 13yrs ago…

    but so was hitler…some 60 yrs ago

    check the facts…her refusal of ARV’s as a possible solution to aids
    was dismissed with illogical comment stating it was a “westernised money-making lie to confuse the masses and make the west more rich”

    ive been to the rally and have the book…

    if you respect her tumi….dont expect anyone else too…

    viva la revolucion…

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  64. maishe says:

    its so great when u get into most bedrooms of black children at varsity on their walls are Julius Malema,Mugabe,and Chavez .Blacks need not teach their kids to hate europeans in rsa ,the likes of Gareth will assist in making blacks to realize what you get for reconciling with evil.

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  65. Andy says:

    Oh Maishe… you revolting racist fool

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  66. frankly says:

    no shortage of revolting racist fools here….

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  67. maishe says:

    Thanks 4 turning me into 1 ,ie if u are white ,i kinda love the feeling .I so wish majority of Indigenous people would feel this way,and being the majority ,rosses ahead!

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  68. Andy says:

    Maishe, please don’t comment while under the influence of crack.

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  69. Kontlap says:

    Yes Maishe – dnt comment under the influence of overflowing blood in ur vaginal region

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  70. maishe says:

    Check response of Frankly and Kontlap ,Parrot’s at work.

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  71. Ek Smaak Mantu die Dief Fokol says:

    WE all Agree With Garreth Cliff we Smaak Mantu Bantu de Thief in De Night FOKOL and GOOD Riddence we danced and Toi toi ed on the good news of that rubbishes Death

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  72. Not Cool Guys... Cliff says:

    Why does everthing in this country turn out to be a race issue… Will we ever be able to see the light after a terrible past?

    Shit happens, get over it and learn from it so it never happens again. Two negatives don’t make a positve but a negative and a positive will atleast make the grounds nuetral. Being a young white South African I fear that I will have to bear the grunt of my fore fathers doings and something I had no hand in. It is easy to hate and point fingers but nobody realises when doing so you have you’re three other fingers pointing right back at you.

    Com’on guys, what happened to the rainbow nation. We need to get our shit together to give our children a fighting chance all black, white, yellow, orange… We are all people at the end of the day and need to learn to live together. I personally have many friends from all racial and ethnic groupings and each one of them are spectacular in their own right and have alot to offer.

    There will be scars from the past and I can try to imagine what it must have been like for the previously disadvantaged, horrible. Why do we need to pass these scars onto our children?
    Do we really not realise that all we are doing is inflicting old hurt onto them?

    In this case I think both Gareth Cliff and the latter are disrespectful AH’s with no concerne of how their outlook’s influence peoples judgements.

    Health Minister Tshabalala did many things wrong but she has paid for it with her life even so in her own doing. Leave her alone now and look forward. We learnt from her some things not to do the next time round.

    I challenge everyone reading this to put your old scars aside however hard that may be and think of what kind of future you really want to create not just for yourselves but that of our youth. Become more knowledgable in the good that is being done and don’t allow the negative crap to influence a possible brighter future. Your thoughts, opinions and actions will inadvertantly effect the outcome of tomorrow. Let them be the right, un-prejeduce ones.

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  73. maishe says:

    wise white man,read with both eyes.

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  74. Anonymous says:

    U South Africans are totall disturbed, are you all on crack?

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  75. meent b says:

    I have no respect for Gareth Cliff..not just because of his remarks regarding former Minister Tshabalala Msimang, but mainly because he is such an arrogant, attention-seeking, two-faced poser. His whole public persona is so shallow it makes me want to throw up.

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  76. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with the crack thing mister anonymous!! WTF! LOL!

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  77. anon says:


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  79. phatgirl says:

    hoekom moet julle so vloek. i understand you are upset. net gam sal so rou wees.kontlap jy is seker van namaqualand. ek kan net so lelik vloek maar ek laat my nie ken nie. respect brother. that what you lack. you bring us down when you talk like that and reinforce what they already think.help yourself

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  80. Andre says:

    Who gave tac the right to forgive anyone . Then you should forgive all apartheid supposed murderes and get a life and stop blaming apartheid. Manto i hope you are still stuck in that burning little pit that the Devil prepared especialy for you, you alcoholic piece of shit. And make some room for the other pices of ANC shit that have the blood of their people on their hands. Respect the dead. Why shoul we when we wanted them dead in the first place

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  81. Andre says:

    Maishe I hope you don’t have kids because all you can teach them is stupidity. Gareth did not utter one racist word . all he did was tell how the GOVERMENT is fucking up. It’s your’e perception that just because the goverment is 98% black any critisism of it is racist’ Go back to school before you have children or did you have 2 before you reached matric

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  82. a person. says:

    Dear Gareth Cliff (and all his followers),

    I hope you’re happy; your letter is the very reason government feels that the media is irresponsible. The free media and persons of this media such as yourself are doing exactly what the censored media did during apartheid, or any other regime for that matter and that is portray the “liberation party “ in a negative light. I say this because while you go on a tirade about how “once again the ANC has failed to deliver” I don’t actually see you offering any solutions or advice on improving the situation nor do you put the spotlight on any other political party,therefore Mr Cliff I feel it safe to say that your open letter is about some insipid Vendetta stemming from your childhood and not about the good of all south Africans, not just the impoverished ones who “don’t have running water, electricity, schools and clean streets.” And live in “smelly” Malibongwe.

    How Is it that someone as educated as yourself believes that there is only one party responsible my goodness because there are many, it’s not only Jacob Zuma and his “bastards” and “ugly blade”, its Manto Tshabala, from beyond the grave-that’s three parties Mr Cliff, three. Black people, the main composition of the ANC, are no longer classified as groups (refer to the Group Areas Act enforced during Apherteid) they are now recognised as individuals, so while I applaud your (transparent) attempt at being “revolutionary” and blaming the ANC and not just the president for the lack of service delivery in this country (oh the irony) you are simply re-enforcing the stereotypes and objectives of a system you believe black folk were better off in.

    “BEE has failed, give up, it isn’t working.” While I agree with you I must say that the intention of BEE was not to give individuals a false sense of achievement, as I believe it does now, but to iron out inequalities left by apherteid .So perhaps it is not BEE that isn’t working it’s the people who are supposed to implement it correctly and sorry to say but that’s largely you Gareth and your third cousins, who by the way also benefit from its misuse.

    As for the changing of street names, i agree,that is gentrification, but so is cleaning up the streets and giving people running water, that running water will not clean the soiled minds of young girls and boys and men and women who have been and are still taught to believe that they are free because they are given what you had all along. The psychological effects that apherteid had on people is something that you and I will never understand and something that is far too often ignored, and yes while changing Pretoria to Tshwane is not counselling it might offer someone out there some solace.

    Anyway I could go on debating you, but whether or not I agree or disagree with your opinions is irrelevant what really made me angry is that you have no respect for the dead, for a culture you do not understand and for the people who led this country into democracy where everyone has rights, as opposed to a bloodbath where you would have been slaughtered. It’s all about dignity, if you had said what you said with respect and dignity I would not make the following attack on your character but rather your opinions and I might respect the fact that you’re speaking up where many are scared to but you didn’t so Mr. cliff-you are an ignorant slob.

    Yours sincerely, an individual.

    oh yes,let me just mention that i was so poorly educated by an Outcomes Based Education as opposed to the Gutter education system,that my grandmother may or may not have received,i am a citizen of another former colony or current colony depending on how you see it so no,this does not come from a place of pure hatred,or deep seated wounds but from the media sparks by even entertaining toomfoolery,arrogant and igborance such as Gareth Cliff’s.

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  83. Anonymous says:

    Mr Cliff

    ooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my gosh! i am not a person that really listen to the radio but when i heard your show in the morning last year i was like oooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my gosh! i am going to listen to this radio station again and again and again. Now i find myself wanting to listen to 5fm ever morning, the other djs entertain me BUT you, you perform miracles in that studio. you are so funny. oh my im in love. you have killer jokes.AWE Mr Cliffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff!

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  84. Jeraque says:

    Thought provoking transcripts. I couldn’t get through all the arbitrary nonsense. But I do make it known – No matter who you are or what color, being in power gives you no right to abuse that power. And many have done many still will, until the book is rewritten. All and any person even a DJ is entitled to an opinion, it is called free speech. If you want to be in the face of media and on front pages of newspapers be prepared to be raked over the coals and criticized its going to happen. Unfortunately majority of the people are still looming in darkness and led along by their noses by false idealism, false hope and false promises.

    Making impersonal derogatory statements indicated the level of maturity of the readers and commentators on this snippet, which is not uncommon but amusing. I wonder how the majority would have reacted if Malema was the one making the statements that Mr Cliff had made? Would most still feel that he was indigenous of her legacy? I wonder? Human nature we are, we have been we will always be fickle.

    How do you rejoice someone’s life when all they did was enrich themselves? How do you rejoice someone’s legacy when all they cared about was their status and how far they could stretch the red line. This country in its new democratic infancy is yet to show us all a leader a power a government who stands, works and has the best interest of its people at heart. Until then, bigotry comments open faced statements and hearsay will be the norm none the less.

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  85. Isabelle Potgieter says:

    Dear Gareth Cliff
    I am 12 years old in grade 6 and i have a few things to say to you! This morning I was listening to your radio show because my step dad was fliping through the stations an I heard what you said to that collage student about her joke and I thaught that what you said to her was absaloutly harrific and just plain shocking. You better get an attitude adjusment or people wont call in anymore then the listeners will get board and you will just be talking to your self and you will not even know it.
    Kind Regards
    Isabelle potgieter

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  86. Tony says:

    Everybody seems to have off on a rant about the former health minster,she is dead get over it,
    you need to sort out the liveing ,Thabo mbeki should be charged with mass murder if its justice you want, I know you people do not have the courage to do this as an nation,you talk a lot and then do nothing.that is how your leaders abuse there power more so than other so called civilised countrys in the world .
    Jacob zuma is meant to lead by example ,well some example to the youth of southafrica, the only thing he has not done is mass murder may be he should phone his friend Gadaffi and get some tips.

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  87. Dr Smit says:

    Now that the dust has settled after a lot of comments on Garreth’s letter to government may I reflect on a few aspects. The letter has touched a central nerve with a lot of people who in their comments have moved away from proper decent conversation. The level of debate has reached such a low level that we might as well debate in a sewerage tank. The fact that a lot of sense and nonsense have been delivered does not eliminate the facts Garreth has addressed in his open letter. The nearly violent reaction from most of those who felt the letter has hit them between the eyes is typical of a guilty conscience. There is no doubt in any reasonable person’s mind that our beloved country is under siege by those in government who are plundering this country’s resources as never before. Hitler and his cronies had plundered the jews of everything they had possessed and so did Idi Amin in Uganda, Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Mswati of Swaziland etc. There is a saying that African leaders who came to power are unable to handle power responsibly and the top structure is trying to enrich themselves as quickly as possible because they are afraid that they might miss out before they are replaced.
    Those who have studied revolutions will tell you that the ANC had came to power and those in power came from the ranks with no clue how to run a country. This is the first phase after a revolution. The second phase is the struggling phase where the cedars in the field suddenly find themselves in management position without a clue how to manage. The best example at present is Bheki Cele who is not only leading the police in a Kontho way which entails have no respect for no one and kill those you see. His absolute disregard for procedures to finalise contracts, signing lease agreements as if he is still fighting in the field is making a mockery of the government’s assurance that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.
    The lack of intellectual capacity and ability to manage is further enhanced by appointing more and more people to ministerial positions without having a clue what and how to manage and run a country. With all due respect if you do not have the intellectual capacity or education how can you have the ability to take decisions for the future of this country. The only countries in the world which are following this practice are the African countries and look at the chaotic state they are in. It is not that we do not have people with education and training to manage these positions, but if you look after your family and buddies first there is no regard or place for what is really required.
    The second phase of the revolution is not the idiotic remarks and attitude of a Melema but the group of young people who become educated, without employment and who has the capacity to realise what is happening in this country. I am very surprised that they have not yet started getting mobilised to become an effective voice to replace the noise Julius and his cronies are making.
    There are a few responsible and respected people in government, like the vice president, but unfortunately they are under the whip of the militants in government and cannot express their real feelings and opinion.
    I have to agree with Garreth, the ANC has a false sense of security because they rely on the rural uneducated masses who are use to be manage and run by the tribal leader. This culture at present keeps the ANC alive but as said previously more and more young people become educated and they are not governed by the Headman and they are slowly develop their own thinking and opinion. These people will set this country free from the present dictatorship of the ANC.
    The other germ that is developing and growing is the amount of people who are abused and stripped by local governments of their basic rights to water, infra structure and services. The biggest underlying factor for all revolutions is discontent with the government of the day. The ranks of these people are swelling and the violence that goes with revolution is already there. All it need is an intelligent, educated and well liked leader like Mr. Mandela to mobilise them and their ranks will quickly swell beyond imagination. Corrupt and dictator like governments like the ANC is sowing the seeds for discontent and will reap the rewards sooner than they think. To push leaders not supported by the masses down their throats like the ANC does with local government leaders is the spark that waits to be ignited. All the people need is mobilisation and someone of stature to take up their cause. Mr. Mandela I am sad on your behalf that you have to notice all this which is a far cry from what you, Oliver Tambo and others had in mind for this country. It must make your heart weep for this beloved country you have been instrumental in freeing from apartheid just to be replaced with corruption and abuse of power which is similar to what the apartheid regime has done.
    I urge all those who are unhappy and feel change is urgently needed to commence focusing to unite.
    Africa and the Arab world has awaken and these are signs that corrupt governments have no right to rule anyone and the ANC must not come with we are a democratic country. Democracy is the coat of disguise for a dictatorship that is corrupt to the core.
    I appeal to the Cyril Ramaphosa’s of this world to start and play a leading role to unite the democratic forces in this country in an effort to appose all those who are corrupted to the core.
    I have written several letters to the ANC structures offering my services to improve their management capability of this country but in their arrogance they did not even had the courtesy to reply.
    Like Garreth I look forward to the day when South Africa will be truly free and less corrupted.

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  88. I’m a teenager and I heard that you can actually get paid for things like this. I’m experienced with computers and have good literature skills and I’m sure I can write successful blogs/articles.. . On a different (sort of) topic, would I be able to join affiliate programs?.

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  89. Anonymous says:

    Gareth Cliff is an attention seeking spoilt skinny little brat……end of story

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  90. Brad says:

    Gareth cliff is in love with himself and money…he’s a sad little loser….he’s a very unhappy person and i wish everyone would just ignore him…he’s so boring he has to make ridiculous comments to get attention.,…he’s pathetic

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  92. Anonymous says:

    What a bunch of dumb fucks!

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  93. Kumaran Thevadasan says:

    I listen to Gareth, I sent him a mail for some exposure for a job! How many years I’m working in the same place, nothing happening, I’m 40 now and still haven’t got nothing

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