Mbeki Fires Wrong Health Minister

Well, it had to happen: Thabo Mbeki has finally found a way to shake up the Health Ministry. Pity that he decided to do so by firing deputy minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, instead of minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

People all around the world have been calling for Manto to be sacked, without response. She is a disgrace to her profession, an embarrassment to the country, and a danger to its citizens. All Madlala-Routledge did wrong was to stand up for science and the health of her people, support AIDS programs that made sense and extend a hand of friendship to NGOs. Now, after an orchestrated effort on the part of the Presidency that is being hailed as a “dreadful error in judgment” and a “disgrace“, she’s out.

The Presidency, naturally, does not feel it needs to explain itself to the people who elected it. Presidential spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga told the South African Press Association he would pay people his month’s salary if they could find any country in the world where the president had to provide reasons for a dismissal. No worries, though, because Madlala-Routledge will apparently be speaking to the press tomorrow. I personally cannot wait to hear her side of the story.

Frankly, the entire episode just proves once again that the health of South African citizens must play second fiddle to the arrogance of their elected leaders, who continue to behave like an unconstitutional dictatorship, all the while screaming ‘democracy’ and ‘constitution’ any time it benefits them. Disgusting.

23 Responses to “Mbeki Fires Wrong Health Minister”

  1. Um….apparently in the US the President has to justify his dismissal of appointed staff member. I would refer Ratshitanga to the current war between the Us President and the US Congress over the dismissal of some federal prosecuters.

  2. residentRsole Says:

    Ratshitanga – now there’s a name !

  3. Rat Shit Anger Says:

    jonolan: Okay, you win. Here’s one month’s salary.

  4. Yeah, I was laughing at his name and it was hard not to comment on it.

  5. Darth_Morbius Says:

    To be honest, this kind of arrogance does not surpise me – I do not, honestly, feel that we have a true DEMOCRACY in SA and as a result officals (such as our President) do not feel a responsibility towards the voters.

    We do not (really) elect our President, nor do WE get to appoint the majority of our “elected officials” such as ministers or parliamentarians. We merely have the great fortune to vote for a Party – all appointments are done internally.

    Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that if the party you have voted for decides to cross the floor you, the voter, have no say either.

    Until we change our electoral process to a system whereby we, the public, TRULY, elect the officals who will represent us at a legislative level, this kind of “abuse” will not stop – after all, the elected individuals are far more concerned as to the perception of their own party members (who put them in the positions in the first place) than the unwashed masses who are rattling at the gates…

    Sorry…I’ll get off my soapbox now…

    Besides our questionable Party Politics, I think it is truly disgusting that a country such as SA (who could be a beacon of hope to all of Africa with our AIDS policies and initiatives) chooses, instead, to follow idiotic superstition and pseudo-science when it comes to AIDS prevention and education…

  6. residentRsole Says:

    Darth_Morbius: In Africa, once you vote them in, you can’t vote them out. Don’t waste your time trying to fix anything in Africa using peaceful means. These guys use violence to settle trivial disputes amongst themselves. Let’s not forget how this continent really works, despite what idealists and die-hard liberals would have us believe.

  7. Well, South Africa ceased to exist some time ago as a Western, developed nation. It once was a prosperous, powerful country with cutting-edge technology and compartively little crime. Now look at it. It’s a Third World country – and worsening by the day. A fifth of all the Western people there have already fled. To see South Africa’s future take a good hard look at the former Rhodesia. They will share a common destiny, I’m afraid.

  8. residentRsole Says:

    Michael: I agree. What irritates me is this: While first world were praising our democracy, Mandela, etc., they were quietly altering their immigration policies with regards to South Africa. Since, 1994 it is very difficult to visit countries like USA and those in Europe.

  9. http://www.702.co.za/podcast/podcasts.asp

    Interview podcast, split into 3 segments.

  10. Thanks for posts like this.

    Every time I get depressed about the bullcrap happening here in America, I read your blog to reassure myself that we aren’t the only ones suffering through a bad government.

  11. Michael – it’s tempting to agree with you but I can’t.
    I disagree about SA being a (modern) Western civilised nation. We were never either of those. We were a typically African scenario – the powerful sing violence to subjugate the weak.
    If I can be pedantic – we were western as long as the west was uncivilised As world views changed and the west/world deemed apartheid to be a crime the west no longer supported our way of life.
    The nat government was not civilised – just think of pencils in hair, the ban on mixed marriages (i.e. social engineering), and the various ridiculous things that went on – then we (me included) fought in some wars.
    Crime was always a huge problem – a lot of it as hidden. Then you can add “crime against humanity” scale crime.
    We now live with some unfortunate consequences – one of which is the fault of the so called western civilised nations (historic exploitation), the other, the consequence of a (black) culture which honours elder, believing that that superiors are right – whatever they say. As long as these traditional beliefs hold, the masses will be powerless to benefit from democracy.
    I do believe that we are headed for a Zim situation here – how do we stop it? By trying to aqrgue that apartheid was a better alternative? No F way! As a long term solution -they are equally abhorrent.
    Resident Rs – I have travelled extensively (but not South America) and have had no problems getting anywhere on a SA passport.
    John M – that’s incredibly depressing

  12. residentRsole Says:

    Rovi: I have heard several times over the past few years that non-whites say that they were better off under Apartheid. Tony Leon stated this in Parliament last year.
    Life expectancy of blacks was much longer. Blacks never starved under white rule. White rule also reduced black-on-black violence. More blacks have died under black rule than under white rule. Therefore, I’d say that Apartheid is a better alternative for blacks.

    Actually, my preferred alternative is that we (meaning whites) separate ourselves from blacks completely. We retreat into the Western Cape and cut ourselves off from the rest of the country. Let the blacks have the rest of South Africa, gold mines, arable land, Sandton, etc.,, They can be truly free to build any society that they want to without our assistance or interference. They want us gone anyway and since the rest of the world won’t take us in, I’d say that it’s a fair compromise i.e. we take a little corner and they keep the rest of the continent.

    It’s nice to hear that you don’t have any trouble going to different countries. I have been told first hand accounts by fellow South Africans who have been treated badly by immigration officials at Heathrow, US airports and other places. I myself have an EU passport.

  13. pity that capetonians have ALWAYS been too lazy to succeed.

  14. ResidentRsole: And there we have the face of the new white South African racism.

    There is little doubt that the ANC is poorly equipped culturally to run a democracy. The whole “you can’t run, you have to be nominated” thing is daft. The inability, culturally, to admit a fault will blight the AIDS policy until the end of Mbeki’s premiership – at which point we’ll probably have Zuma.

    But ideas of “let’s just have our own country and kick those kaffirs out” are like proposing theories of how the sun orbits around the earth – unenlightened, idiotic views on a page that tries to champion otherwise. Nevermind it never, ever, not in dreamland, would happen. It’s just aggravating to aggravate – and I’m obviously aggravated.

    Frankly, I do think that this country is slipping. No inexorably, but certainly heading towards trouble. But racist memes like that are no solution – just fear and hatred mongering.

  15. residentRsole Says:

    Andy M: How is what I suggested different from Freedom of Association (and, therefore, Freedom NOT to associate) ? For example, are you going to condemn the Japanese for trying to remain Japanese ? And if you do, do you think that they care if that upsets you ? Why should they care ?

    What makes you think that we cannot have our own territory ? We already live in gated villages, security complexes, etc. Different races and ethnic groups already separate themselves from each other. I see nothing wrong with that. The different black nations in this country already have their territories (former homelands) but nobody condemns them. But when white people want the same thing, suddenly we are “ignorant, evil racists”.

    You’re suffering from a knee-jerk reaction. The word “racism” is a politician’s word and is abused heavily. Just what is “racism” anway ? Is it really so bad ? Discrimination is a part of life. It’s what we do. And it’s silly to think that we can make it go away. I am not upset at being labelled a “racist”. I really don’t care. It’s not my purpose in life to please leftists, liberals, etc. These are the same people that think that it’s okay for whites in Africa to be hideously murdered by blacks, so, how enlightened are they ? Who are they to decide that white people can’t look out for their own interests ? I only have one life and I am not going to spend it trying to make idealistic fools in ivory towers happy.

    Besides, do you have a better solution ?

  16. i have a better solution. Education.

    Frankly, racist divides are as ridiculous as deciding that people with red hair should live separately to people with other colour hair. Or that people with blue eyes are smarter than people with other colour eyes. It’s utterly superficial and completely ignores the underlying reasons for the perceived divide.

    The real differences are based in socio-economic class, level of education, and maturity of culture, which in sub-saharan Africa particularly are all too easily tied to race as a superficial marker. The only way this will ever go away is for the average african to become educated, economically empowered, and culturally mature.* And the ruling parties would never let that happen, because then we might have an actual democracy in place, where the voting populace make an informed choice and speak out when their leaders screw them over.

    Separating the ‘whites’ from the ‘blacks’ just enforces the ‘we are different to you because of our superficial exterior appearance’ mentality, and as long as that’s as deep as we see, the real differences will never be addressed. And it’s the real differences, and a misplaced pride in those differences, that are keeping Africa down. And it’s such a pity, because every single one of the actual differences, unlike skin colour, can be changed for the better.

    *And please, people reading this, don’t get on the cultural relativism bandwagon. Not all cultures are equal, many cultures include practices that are downright harmful and would have been stamped out a long time ago on moral and ethical grounds if they weren’t being protected on cultural grounds. Two words: muti killings. Your hippy relativism bullshit is part of what’s keeping Africans from seeing that it’s not an all or nothing choice between african and western cultures, but rather a choice of taking the best of both worlds and throwing out the worst.

  17. residentRsole Says:

    moonflake: I don’t like the idea of people suffering. I really wish that there was a way to just fix things so the horrors that happen on this continent don’t happen.

    I am not in favour of forcefully separating people. But I am also not in favour of forcing people to mix with people that they have no wish to associate with. If people with red hair want to live separately from other people, let them (provided they obey the law of the land). Why care ? Why do we even have laws that force people to get along ? It’s like forcing people to believe in God. No matter how much progress we make people still want to hang out with people much like themselves. We should just accept it and move on.

    The differences are more than superficial. Africa has been a shithole for centuries, long before the arrival of the “evil” white man and his “wizardy”. While grand civilisations in Europe, Asia and the Americas rose and fell, Sub-Saharan Africa remained in the Iron Age (and some parts in the Stone Age). Despite the fact that there is more genetic difference between different black nations than between any black man and any other race on the planet, they all remain consistent failures.

    Africa is a continent rich in minerals and arable land. Yet we have people starving. Whites and Asians come along and make a great success. Then they are forced out and the blacks take over their businesses, farms and institutions with disasterous results.

    I think that Racial Egalitarianism is a dream, even a religion perhaps. It would be nice if it were true but I just cannot see how it can be so. If it were true, why are there are laws forcing us to believe in it ? Why are there so many “anti-hate” “racial-unity” organisations that attack those sceptical of it ? It would be foolish for me to say that *all* blacks are incapable. But it would be realistic for me to say that on average as a group, they are not capable. We have people flying all the way from Ireland to build houses for blacks. Not only do they supply the building materials, they also have to build the houses too. And these Irish folk are definitely not construction workers. Even if you give the blacks the building materials they cannot build their own houses in the townships ? Why ? Is this really the white man’s fault ?

    You are not the first person to suggest education. People that have lived and died before you were born were suggesting the same thing. They have tried and failed over and over again. And when they make small successes they are accused of being “paternalistic”. If one leaves blacks to their own devices they quickly revert to their hideous ways. If we intervene then we are accused of being “oppressors”, etc. And they scream for money, lots of it. You just cannot win.

    It’s time that the white race let go of white guilt and the white man’s burden. No other race holds these beliefs. As a race, I think that we’re a bunch of suckers.

  18. but are these differences because their skin is a different colour i.e. nature, or because historically their culture has developed differently to ours i.e. nurture?

    If you believe it’s the former, you are operating on a presumption that has no legitimate scientific data to support it. If you believe it’s the latter, then there’s no point in making it a ‘black’ vs ‘white’ debate. It’s african culture vs western culture, and a white kid brought up in an african home is just as ‘black’ as a native african, and vice versa.

    I have interacted with black people brought up in western cultures, and they are ‘white’ in every sense of the word that matters. I’ve met african americans, I’ve met african africans, they are not the same people. The only difference between them is nurture, not nature. So whatever complaint you have about africans, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with their being ‘black’.

    If you want to talk about distancing yourself from someone else because they have different cultural beliefs to you, fine, but bear in mind that education can change those cultural beliefs. If you want to distance yourself from someone because their socio-economic level is different to yours, fine, but remember that education can allow people to cross the socio-economic divide and lift themselves out of poverty. But if you want to distance yourself from someone just because your skin is a different colour to theirs, you’re not basing your decision on science, you’re basing it on a knee-jerk reaction. I’m not saying the first two are not good reasons to want to distance yourself from someone, I’m saying if those are your reasons, stop using the third one as the argument, because it’s a faulty one.

    The only reason education has not worked in africa is because the governments will not let it work. It would empower the people, and that’s not a good paradigm shift when you rely on people’s stupidity to keep you in power. It’s got absolutely nothing to do with people being black, or even being african – China and South America are in the exact same situation right now, and so was Europe only a few hundred years ago. The will to hold onto power at the expense of others is a human trait, and it’s universal. So, I stand by my statement – education is a better solution than segregation, but it’s a slow solution that emerges gradually, and it’s unlikely to happen in our lifetimes. Look how long it took us to get out of the dark ages.

    I’m not saying we’re not different. We are very, very different. I’m saying we’re different in ways that can be changed, because they result entirely from nurture, not nature. If you cannot see that, you’re really only looking skin deep.

  19. Darth_Morbius Says:

    Moonflake: I have to agree!

    I think residentRsole is missing the ONE critical point here: Culture, by it’s very nature, is not static and changes or adapts to external influences and situations – that is what makes it such a powerful “generational learning tool” – it’s very adaptibility is what defines it’s strength in passing on knowledge from one generation to another, preventing us from making the same mistakes as our forefathers (in a manner of speaking)…

    By suggesting that he wants to remove “his” culture from everyone else who is “different”, he is, by implication, expressing a wish for his culutre to remain static, unchanging – an unrelenting “oasis” which will never be influenced or enriched by anything external or “alien” to his own beliefs and cultural practises…

    In my opinion – if Africa has been guilty of one major sin, it has been exactly this – a desire to cling to an outdated, unchanging and irrelevant cultural matrix – ironically, by creating a seperate “state” for those of european descent, residentRsole would end up doing the same – creating a “culture” that would, in a few generations, be so oppresive, conservative and stifling that it would probably express many of the “faults” we see throughout this troubled continent…

    Why do you think that the Afrikaner “boerestaat” Orania has been such a disaster? Because these are groups of individuals who cling to an outdated and isolated “culutural matrix” – one which has already been influenced beyond measure by generations of white settlers in Africa – after all, just look at the differences between the European Dutch culture and that of Afrikaans people… and yet now you want to “freeze” this cutural evolution? Stop it in it’s tracks because “you” believe that it can go no further?

    Within the true Darwinian sense, such futile exercise would only lead to an “extinction” of these culturally isolated beliefs….

    I do not deny that I get frustrated sometimes living in Africa – yet this continent holds so much promise and opportunity.

    Unfortunately, we have to accept that the “black” african is the last of the dispossed nations – before them there were the Jews, The Indians, The Native americans…etc…etc…all thorugh history one nation has, at some point, oppressed another….

    We, as a nation and as a continent, now have to pull ourselves up and get ready for the challenges we face in a developing democracy and emerging economy. If that sounds a tad optimistic, then I’ll grant you that perhaps I am trying hard to be positive – after all, where else am I going to go as a White Afrikaans person? We better make this work, this is my home!

  20. Darth_Morbius Says:

    Sorry….forgot to mention one other thing…

    residentRsole: Who exactly will decide the “entry requirements” for your state? Will only whites be allowed in? What about coloureds or indians?

    Ok… what about gays and lesbians?

    What about religious beliefs – will I, as an atheist, be allowed entry? Or will it be only one denomination…catholic, maybe….or protestant…. Oh shit – what about the Jews? Who will own the jewelry stores if they aren’t allowed in?😦

    What about couples – only married couples, or will single people be allowed to come and “sow their seed” amongst the populance?

    Oh yeah…then we get to the fun part – how will someone prove their “genetic” purity to your state? After all, if this is for europeans only, we can’t allow anyone of mixed blood to join in the fun – heavens forbid a kid pops out a few generations later with an affro and a healthy tan….Will you revitalize the Eugenics movement of the early 30’s (after all Hitler did it and look how well it worked for them!)

    What about mentally or physically impaired individuals – will they be good enough for this state?

    Who will make these decisions…who will set up the rules….where does it stop? Who decides who will be “good enough” to be included in this Eden?

  21. Easy Darth, his post sounded more like a voluntary retreat from the rest of SA, rather than the creation of a racial pure state. As an American I have to aplaud his idea, but that’s based on an paraprazing of an old American credo / rant – South Afrrica, love it leave it! He wants to leave it.

    Then again, I could be wrong. He might be advocating what you suggest.

  22. residentRsole Says:

    jonolan: Thank you ! Thank you ! You are the first person who actually understood what I said.

    Darth: I can’t believe that you actually made the comparison to Nazis. Don’t you know the Golden Rule about Debating ? The first person to make a reference to Hitler, Nazism, Auchwitz etc., loses.

    Moonflake: You are a skilled debator and a rational person. I have great respect for you and I think that you are one of the smartest people I have ever met. But, on this topic, you have misunderstood me to a large extent. I am able and willing to refute your argument but there is a shit storm coming.
    My view, stupid or correct, is one that is not popular amongst intellectuals. All that is going to happen is that I am going to be viciously attacked and I will never get a fair hearing. I am happy to listen to other peoples’ arguments but I am not going to tolerate comparisons to Nazism, white supremacy, etc.,.

    Because I have no interest in being an internet troll, please delete my posts and the associated ones and I will never bring this topic up again.

  23. if all that has occured here is an honest misunderstanding, then I see no reason to delete anyone’s posts. You have a right to comment as you will here, and deleting any posts associated with this topic will require me to delete the posts of other people who have just as much right to be heard, including me. So, i’m sorry to say that I cannot agree to delete anything. However, I am going to close comments on this post.

    To all new readers of this post and comments – in accordance with residentRsole’s wishes not to create a mountain out of a molehill, and to avoid this post degenerating into a completely off-topic discussion, comments are now closed.

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