Manto on sick leave, replaced by transport minister
While Manto receives the very best Western treatment for her lung condition, eschewing the African Medicine she supports so strongly, she has been temporarily replaced in her duties by the Transport Minister, Jeff Radebe.
I would have thought the natural person to take over as acting minister during this time would be her deputy minister, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge. I’m a little puzzled as to how the minister of transport (who doesn’t even have the benefit of a dodgy cold war Russian degree) is going to be running the health department while it’s undergoing critical restructuring of its policies, although frankly he couldn’t do worse than Manto so there’s that to be thankful for.
It seems to me that after Madlala-Routledge showed herself to be a competent, outspoken, driven woman capable of revolutionising the health ministry and bridging the divide between the government and NGOs to better the lives of the people… well, she can’t possibly be Mbeki’s first choice. That would be in direct contradiction to his denialist beliefs, and we can’t have that. It makes me wonder whether Manto came back into office too soon after her illness because she didn’t want Madlala-Routledge associating with TAC and making progress, or if Mbeki told his meatpuppet to get back in and save their act.