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South Africa's Health Minister Under Fire

South Africa's Health Minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has recently been put under fire regarding allegations of alcoholism, her conviction for theft and using undue influence in order to get herself a liver transplant.The Public are in a furore over this matter as the allegations speak volumes regarding the Minister's failure to deliver in many aspects of the health department's ambitions as well as her very controversial stance on the treatment of HIV. Recent developments on this issue are the President's refusal to fire the Minister from her position, as well as the Minister herself thumbing her nose at critics and stating ‘I'm not stepping down’.The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for her dismissal on many occasions since, and have even responded to President Thabo Mbeki's call for anyone to provide evidence of the Minister's misconduct.

Earlier this month, the Presidency invited “anyone who may have evidence which demonstrates that any minister or deputy minister has acted in dereliction of duty … to forward such evidence to the Presidency”.Zille said that apart from the more recent allegations concerning Tshabalala-Msimang — including that she acquired a liver transplant through improper influence, needed the new organ because of alcoholism and was convicted of theft in Botswana — the case for her dismissal rested on “incontrovertible” grounds.”Through a combination of chronic mismanagement and poor judgement, she has presided over a marked deterioration in the quality, efficiency and morale of her department,” Zille said.

The South African Blogosphere has also been abuzz with this topic and various bloggers have aired their opinions of the matter as well as jokes and cartoons.via Mail Forwardsand this… (translation in emphasised parenthesis)

How can someone get bumped up for a liver transplant after getting cirrhosis because she’s a ****** dronkie, spend months in private hospital care (on tax payers geld(money) nogals) and try to sell Beetroot as an AIDS treatment without getting in kak(trouble)? Huh? Ek vra vir jou?(I'm asking you?)Demmit!!! That’s mos(just) gross incompetence and dis mos(It's also) grounds for dismissal… of hoe so?(is it not?)

via Kakduidelik.co.zaSome prefer to make light of the issue with humour…

It has just been announced that the name of the “Johannesburg General Hospital” will be changed. From 1 September 2007 it will officially be known as the “Manto Tshabalala-Msimang Pub & Grill”.The Health Ministry will also have its name changed to “Amaglug-glug”(quoting a famous South African Ad)

via thesouthafricaninsultand… via Zapiro @ Mail & GuardianMy Digital Life:

There certainly seems to be a lot of smoke around and we all know that smoke means fire.Will we hear more about her drinking or he pilfering.One headline I would love to see is MANTO QUITS!

The Times Blog:

What surprises me is that no advertisers seem to have taken advantage of the obvious tactical opportunities presented by the latest edition of Mantogate.Back in the 1990s, tactical advertising in response to political events was not uncommon. When Mary Metcalfe, then Gauteng MEC for education, said that if Matric exam papers were leaked, she would eat her hat, and exam papers were subsequently stolen, a Nando’s ad for peri-peri sauce appeared with the relevant clipping and the words “Serving suggestion.” When President Mandela left the country in charge of Mangosuthu Buthelezi for two days, BMW put out a print ad reading, “Mr President , why settle for a mere 48 hours of absolute power?”

 Many other blogs have joined the fray since and this issue has seen a lot of air time in the media as well. ANC members and supporters have blasted the media for its role in putting the Minister on trial by public opinion as well as providing excuses for the political loyalty of the President.

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