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01 Mar 2002 00:00
Can Manto Tshabalala-Msimang really be as abysmally stupid as her actions suggest? Is she, as a putatively qualified medical doctor, really as ignorant as presidential spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama of the difference between the complexities of long-term “triple-cocktail” therapy and the simplicity of administering a single dose of nevirapine?
Do we have to wait until the first child who has been treated with nevirapine not only qualifies for, but actually obtains, their old-age pension before she is convinced that there are no long-term ill-effects?
In the meantime, the rather short-term effects of her and puppeteer-in-chief Thabo Mbeki’s policy of not providing the drug to all HIV-positive pregnant women is killing tens of thousands of babies every year.
The deeper she sinks into the mire of confusion and ignorance the more arrogant she becomes.
Perhaps in her efforts to ingratiate herself she has (mis)read her master’s favourite poet:
“A starlit or a moonlit dame disdains
All that man is
All mere complexities,
The fury and the mire of human veins.”
Yeats wrote “dome”.
You will surely have to find a new category in which to classify her performance in your next end of year report.
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