Sorry, America, our President might just be dumber than yours
Crystal meth abuse is a serious issue in South Africa. The local name for the drug is ‘tik’, and the increasing prevalence of its abuse, especially among under-25s in the Western Cape, has been making headline news for quite some time now. The papers were already referring to it as a ‘pandemic’ a year ago. The UN’s International Narcotics Control Board was already sounding alarm bells for tik abuse in South Africa in their report for 2005. In 2004, fully one third of people arriving at rehab were addicted to tik, up from less than 1% in 2002.
So you can imagine it comes as quite a shock to us that, at a recent opening of a new Drug Rehab Center, the speaker was interrupted by our Honourable President asking “What is tik?”. The mayor and the provincial premier had to quickly step in and explain it to him, before the speaker could continue.
Yes, that’s right, fellow South Africans, our president had to ask what tik is. To give the rest of you some perspective, it would be like George Bush interrupting a speech on drug abuse to exclaim that he didn’t realise that addiction to coke was such an issue, and rest assured he would be having a talk with the good folks at The Coca-Cola Company.
And then, in the news today, Mbeki apparently declares war on tik. Hoo-fucking-rah. Mark my words: if past events and his recent biography are anything to go by, in time the official line will be that Thabo Mbeki was a tireless fighter in the war on drugs, and this little slip never happened.