Schadenfreude, shmadenfreude

Manto Tshabalala-Msimang is on a ventilator in intensive care.

The road to this point has been an interesting one. She’s back in the same hospital that she spent a month in at the end of last year, with a ‘lung infection’. During her stay, she was delightfully undermined by her deputy and the deputy president, who together extended a friendly hand to organizations like the Treatment Action Campaign, and began the process of turning the health department’s AIDS stance on its head. Upon her return she focused her efforts on the easy-out of taking on public smoking, while at the same time trying to make nice with pharmacists (after trying to destroy all small pharmacies in the country over the last few years with her lunatic drug pricing policies). She was very quiet on the subject of HIV/AIDS.

This month, though, it became evident that something was amiss. Two weeks ago at the state of the nation address, Manto had to be assisted by two cabinet ministers, and was reportedly unintelligible and rambling at a cabinet lekgotla. Last week Thursday Manto appeared at a parliamentary press briefing disoriented, drawn, and having trouble speaking. Democratic Alliance spokesperson on health Dianne Kohler-Barnard called for Manto’s removal (again), asking if the presidency was going to allow yet another minister to die while in office (three down so far). Naturally, Manto’s spokesperson insisted continuously that the minister was fine, and denied all allegations that she was behaving oddly in any way. The spokesperson for the presidency claimed to be appalled at the DA’s request.

What a pity that spindoctoring doesn’t cure anything. On Tuesday night this week, Manto was admitted to intensive care, with severe anaemia and residual pleural effusion. Depending on the severity of her condition, it could be life threatening. Despite the fact that she is a minister of parliament and her health should be a matter of public concern, both her department and the presidency are keeping a hush on what’s really wrong with her.

Those who believe in such things could be permitted to think that she’s finally being punished. The rest of us will merely revel in gleeful schadenfreude.


28 Responses to “Schadenfreude, shmadenfreude”

  1. “…reportedly unintelligible and rambling…” sounds a lot like business as usual to me.

  2. Con-Tester Says:

    It’s good to hear she’s finally being ventilated.

    Oh, wait…


  3. I’m sure a healthy diet of garlic and beetroot and she’ll be as right as rain.

  4. For a woman who doesn’t believe in western medicine she sure does spend a lot of time being treated by western doctors

  5. conscience Says:

    Those who believe in such things could be permitted to think that she’s finally being punished. The rest of us will merely revel in gleeful schadenfreude.

    What a disgusting comment. I hope you don’t actually work in the field of human health, because someone who could make such a callous comment obviously has lost respect for human dignity.

  6. Wishing for others to outright die is not Schadenfreude. Manto believes in medicine since she herself is a doc. Just because she is in medical disagreement doesnt make her a witch doctor. The world is not black and white and Manto and others have suffered immensely to rid SA from “black and White” apartheid and SA is the only country to have had the balls to commit to total peace as was seen with the truth and reconciliation commission. They deserve Nobel peace prizes, not you people.

  7. the comments definitely contain nuts this time around. if moonflake were to work in the health industry, then there might be some work done against the severe damage that good old manto has wreaked. and, someone who has caused the death of thousands does not deserve a Nobel Peace prize, no matter what past actions have been taken. you people suck

  8. Con-Tester Says:

    conscience & int: As ever, the emptiest vessels make the loudest noise. Your hero Manto deserves nothing but derision for being an unconscionable clot. She willingly accepted the prestige and rewards of being the country’s ultimate health authority, but refused the responsibility. She sucked (with an “f”) up badly and continues to do so. Whither “human dignity”? Now you want to defend her?

    May as well defend Hitler for rebuilding Germany after WWI.

  9. conscience: what an uninformed comment. I hope you don’t work in a field that requires any kind of education. You can’t possibly be a South African, or a reader of any kind of international news, because you would otherwise have some sense of the number of lives this woman has ruined. She is personally responsible for countless deaths in this country. It is she who has lost respect for human dignity.

    int: please point out exactly where in this post i expressed a wish for Manto to ‘outright die’. I expressed glee that she was suffering greatly, but i have no wish for her to die. If she died, she would cease to suffer. And she deserves to suffer for a long, long time for all the suffering and deeath that she has caused. And just like ‘conscience’, your comments prove to me that you are not a South African, or even particularly well informed, or you would have some inkling of just how unrealistic your impressions of this country and its health minister are.

    Seriously, it’s as if you two just said ‘Oh poor Robert Mugabe, he’s such a nice man, why are you saying such horrible things about him?’ But then again, judging from the quality of your comments, you probably wouldn’t get the reference.

  10. And I suppose it’s just coincidence that both commenters failed to leave any kind of link.

    At least the rest of us are willing to ‘live and die by the sword’. We may have strong opinions, but at least we’re around to back them up.

    Now can someone explain to me wtf apartheid has to do with this post? Or is Int saying that if you fought for something noble, that gives you the right to do whatever you want. Hey, I pulled a drowing child from the river last week, but now I’d like to herd up and execute all the gays………

    And how exactly did Manto ‘suffer’ to rid SA of apartheid?

  11. residentRsole Says:

    int Says:
    SA is the only country to have had the balls to commit to total peace …

    Please don’t get carried away when you anthromorphise a country. Does your version of “total peace” involve significant increase in violent crimes, ANC endorsed hate speech against whites, land expropriation and farm murders ? And what about praising Mugabe, Chavez and ol’ Fidel ? And let’s not forgot Mandela refusing to condemn the Tianneman Square massacre while chastising USA for its human rights violations.

    Perhaps by ‘peace’ you mean ‘quiet’.

    … as was seen with the truth and reconciliation commission. They deserve Nobel peace prizes, not you people.

    Oh please ! The TRC was the South African version of the Nuremberg trials. The TRC officials themselves were mostly ANC/SACP members or sympathisers. Complaints regarding this fell on deaf ears. They even declared the conviction of Dieter Gerhard invalid. I am sick and tired of europeans and americans awarding sainthood to the ANC.

    Regarding the Nobel Prize for Peace: It’s a joke these days.

  12. forgottenmachine: Now can someone explain to me wtf apartheid has to do with this post? Or is Int saying that if you fought for something noble, that gives you the right to do whatever you want. I’m constantly surprised at the number of people who think precisely that. And correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Manto spend apartheid in Russia getting her ‘degree’ and only come back after all was said and done?

    residentRsole: and of course anyone who points these things out is automatically branded a ‘racist’ and dismissed.

  13. yes – and by the way: mandela is no longer in power. not that he was able to do a whole lot of good while he was, but if we’re already dealing with foreigners we need them to know that as well.

  14. err… sorry. i wrote “in power” when i meant “president”, and i don’t have a clue why.

  15. Chris Noble Says:

    Your recent visitors might have something to do with this.

    This is voodoo, what they are doing to Manto.

    As usual Celia farber attempts to sieze the moral high ground. She is completely wrong. Nobody expressed lust and glee that Eliza Jane died from AIDS at age 3. It was anger and disgust at the parents and her Denialist supporters that allowed it to happen in a country where mother to child transmission of HIV is close to 100% preventable.

  16. Oh…Chrissy…

    if Maggiore and Scovill allowed their daughter to die due to “HIV infection”, why the hell haven’t they been charged with a crime?

  17. Chris: the self-righteous indignation of these people is pathetically misplaced. First of all, they demonstrate a complete lack of reading comprehension. Secondly, they obviously haven’t read my post on Eliza Jane. Show me where i express glee. These people are gullible beyond words.

    DB: probably the same reason that Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christian Scientists aren’t arrested and charged with a crime when they deny their children life-saving medical intervention – because in the eyes of the law the parents still get to make medical and health decisions for their children.

  18. Moonflake,
    that really isn’t an answer, just a supposition.

    So, getting back to reality…why weren’t Scovill and Maggiore charged with a crime? They were investigated, but not charged.

    As far as Chris being gleeful over EJ’s death…no, I haven’t seen evidence of that. Chris is very careful in his commentaries on the internet.

  19. DB: The investigation showed that there was insufficient evidence to prove in a court of law that Maggiore had been properly advised by her doctor that the child should be tested for HIV, The investigators decided that she was following her doctor’s advice. Her doctor was charged instead. But i’m sure you know that already. How about just stating your agenda right up front instead of asking leading questions that you could Google for yourself?

    And implying that someone has been very careful not to show their glee is NOT the same as proving they are gleeful.

  20. Moonflake,

    by asking “leading questions”, I got a real answer from you instead of a non-answer.

    Saying that Chris is careful in his commentary does not imply that he’s gleeful. His comments are usually focused on the subject, rather than on people, except for Duesberg.

  21. Why is it that posts on Aids denialists always end up with comments that run past 20, but we can`t get a decent dialogue on the scrotum post.

  22. I don’t know, babyacid, I’d say this post has attracted an influx of bollocks.

  23. Chris Noble Says:

    DB, there is a fine line between being stupid and criminally causing harm to a child by withholding treatment.

    The fact that Robin Scovill and Christine Maggiore have not been charged does not mean that they have been incredibly stupid and deluded.

    I don’t necessarily think that prosecuting parents who personally believed they were acting in the best interests of the child but in reality probably caused her death is a good thing.

    I have no doubt that Christine Maggiore believes that she was doing the best for her child. This doesn’t make it true and does not excuse her stupidity and ignorance. The people that I find more culpable are the scientists like Duesberg that should know better. Ignorance is no excuse for Duesberg.

  24. Con-Tester Says:

    babyacid, it’s a question of consequences: denying a retrovirus’ existence is much, much more fun than denying that of one’s genitalia, by whatever name one chooses to call them. A swift, strategically placed kick is usually sufficient to disabuse even the most obstinate organ-denier of any and all such foolishness. Unfortunately this technique has no evidentiary value in the case where one engages with AIDS-deniers in debate, and consequently the harm they can spread goes unchecked. In contrast, the organ-denier culture, if left to itself, is by its nature an unconditionally self-extinguishing one.

    Also, the comments on the googlybag thing have become a bit jaded.

  25. Chris,
    you crack me up. Is it actually possible for you to post without mentioning Duesberg? I’m sure there are many “denialists” who are annoyed by this tactic. Sorry, pumpkin, I’m not one of them.

    I must have missed something…what treatment did Maggiore and Scovill withhold?

  26. Duesberg. DB. Duesberg. DB. Duesberg. DB. Duesberg. DB.

    I have made a sucked out of the air, and totally unsupported claim.

    Go me!

  27. wow Andy, you’ve also presented more compelling evidence for your theory than any HIV denier so far! Go you!

  28. Hooray! The ministers with struggle credentials are finally dropping off. Lets hope we get some ministers with real credentials (and not from Fort Hare or other dodgy Russian Universities).
    I watched one of these political comment shows on whether the media should leave Manto alone or whether the public has a right to know what’s wrong with her. The arbitrator stated that Manto was being subjected to racism because a white minister would get more respect. If I’d cared more I would’ve sms’ed in to say ministers get respect when they deserve it, black or white aside. I certainly never respected Tony, and I think ol Trever should run for president despite continually hiking the damn interest rates.

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