Manto Tshabalala-Msimang doesn’t answer

#170. Wonder what made Manto do it. What made her unravel on HIV/AIDS? I started thinking about this yesterday after I saw the news of her death on twitter and watched as a “robust debate” [early term Manto terminology] was stoked up between the RIP crew and the “Ding Dong the witch is dead” brigade. So far I haven’t joined either.

I interviewed her as she took office as Health Minister in Thabo Mbeki’s Cabinet. As the Sunday Times health correspondent then I also accompanied her and her health department delegation to Uganda to look at how that country was dealing with HIV/AIDS. I was impressed. She seemed compassionate, warm even [when she took office she was the equivalent (in Lord of the Rings speak at any rate) of Bilbo Baggins to her steely-eyed predecessor Nkosazana Zuma’s Sauron] and in Uganda, utterly committed to facing the challenges head on. And then … Continue reading

Health minister Manto is here to stay. Be reassured fellow South Africans.

#45. Wonder how Dr Potatohead can justify staying in Parliament when more able Cabinet ministers are taking a principled decision to step down. There’s nothing to do but join fellow bloggers on Minor Matters, The Hunter Gatherer and Pattern Recognition in marvelling over how – while the country is left reeling from today’s announcement that 11 members of former President Thabo Mbeki’s Cabinet have resigned – Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang (in her signature style) has decided to not do anything to improve the situation. Continue reading