Eish. We have a problem. Leftists or liberals like the Creator do not really know how to do the moral thang. Morality is absolute and leftism pretends to be relativist. It is not — leftists can do the categorical imperative with the best of them (you take a Kant to the left, you take a Hegel to the right, you do the Wittgenstein and you set it all alight). But we love to be adaptable, to change with time. O Lordie, times have changed.
Let us consider the case Nkola Motata v. RSA, a High Court Judge in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. Should it be allowed even to happen? Should we not find a political solution to the matter?
A High Court Judge, in the middle of the night, drove through somebody’s garden wall in Johannesburg. It was in a cul-de-sac. There is no excuse for crashing your car in this way unless there is something wrong with you. The owner of the wall was peeved. He brought his cellphone out and recorded Motata’s ravings, which sounded drunken. The Johannesburg Metro Police eventually arrested Motata. The South African Police Service locked Motata up and arranged the blood-alcohol tests. Which showed — although taken hours after the crash — nearly three times the legal alcohol limit for driving. Not, seemingly, much to discuss there.
The Creator does not have much use for High Court Judges — they are too flabby to employ for manual labour, too moist to burn as fuel, and their underdeveloped nervous systems disqualify them from intellectual work. But we are told that High Court Judges have integrity and thus must be preserved, like white rhinoes albeit less dignified or attractive-looking. A High Court Judge who drives drunk is not a good example for the fraternity, surely. Dare we question his judgement?
Judge Motata’s lawyer claimed that the Judge was a victim of a huge conspiracy. This is the Zuma defence which has become popular in recent times as an all-purpose excuse for not facing any kind of music. The lawyer demanded that the cellphone recording be repudiated as evidence because it had been doctored in order not only to make his client’s voice sound slurred, but to insert shouted threats and insults, just as if the Judge were drunk and had a car accident.
The guy with the garden wall submitted his cellphone to the SAPS, but they had, er, lost the evidence. (Surprise, surprise.) Big surprise for the police; before he submitted his cellphone to them he downloaded the voice recording onto his computer. Judge Motata’s lawyer claimed, therefore, that this man must have doctored his recording to make the Judge look bad. How the Judge had known to crash his car into the wall of someone likely to conspire against him went unexplained. Anyway, the magistrate threw all this balderdash out and admitted the cellphone recording. The Creator would have slapped the handcuffs on right there and then.
But you can’t do that with a rich and powerful person. You have to spin things out, hoping that something might save them from the consequences of their criminal behaviour, as with our ware Jacob. Things get postponed for a week, a month, or longer, while a man who may be not only a drunk, but also a liar, carries on determining the fate of people in the Johannesburg High Court, a place where little justice exists.) Eventually, a female Metro Police officer, Ms. Mashilela, proclaimed that Judge Motata had been abusive and sexist (refusing to be arrested by a woman) and judging by the way he moved and talked, obviously drunk. Court adjourned.
Court reconvened much later when Ms. Mashilela had suddenly remembered that she couldn’t quite recall any sign that Judge Motata had been drunk. She said she had been threatened with losing her job and being sent to jail, by the prosecutor, unless she gave false testimony that Judge Motata had been drunk. But, said the prosecutor, what about the written evidence you submitted after the incident, which your verbal evidence confirmed? Oh, she said, I never gave such evidence, it was made up for me by other officers.
It’s all a conspiracy, you see. Motata’s lawyer then claimed that the householder had uttered a racist epithet right before turning on his cellphone. In the middle of the night, dealing with an abusive drunk who has knocked down your wall, you know when to record and when not to record. Obviously he was already part of the conspiracy even before the Judge was hauled off to the slammer.
At this point the general public could take no more bullshit from the obviously corrupt Judge Motata and, bursting through the cordons, seized flogged him with copper cables through the streets of Johannesburg (lined with cheering crowds) all the way to Library Gardens, where his blood-soaked frame was hanged from a lamp-post, limbs jerking spasmodically for fifteen minutes before he finally went as slack as his moral fibre.
No, the previous paragraph is unfortunately a lie. (However, the judge failed to buy off the other witness, who gave testified that Judge Motata was drunk and disorderly — strong evidence that Ms. Mashilela is a perjurer.) Obviously Judge Motata is unfit for office; this is no longer an issue. The question is how many High Court Judges are equally corrupt. Probably, plenty, which is worrying. One expects that some legal officers will be crooks, but High Courts are supposed to have some kind of screening process. Apparently this has broken down. Or maybe it never existed.
Definitely a need for moral regeneration here.
Skip sixteen hundred kilometres to Cape Town, to a Conference on HIV Vaccines. The Creator does not have much time for HIV vaccines. This is because HIV, like the rhinoviruses which cause colds, is a rapidly-mutating virus. There are huge numbers of strains, each needing a separate vaccine, and new ones evolve each month. In short, HIV vaccine faces the same problem as ‘flu vaccine — only worse, because once you have HIV your immune system can’t get rid of it the way it can get rid of a rhinovirus — HIV can lie dormant in your DNA where your immune system can’t reach it.
So HIV vaccines are a medical scam of sorts — maybe worthily intended, but a scam anyway. The idea is to invent a cheap snake-oil to sell to entire populations — quick, everybody, inoculate your children against this breed of HIV! Now inoculate them against that breed of HIV, and the other one! Billions of bucks for the makers of the vaccine, not so much for the fight against HIV/AIDS.
What upsets the Creator is that the people planning this scam spend so much time praising themselves for doing it. And being praised by the medical fraternity and the journalistic fraternity. It reminds one of a few months ago when everybody was praising bankers as the perfect stewards of our worldly wealth. We won’t hear that one for a while, but we will continue to hear praise for the AIDS researchers, because everybody who dies of AIDS is seen as a martyr not to the misconduct of the medical industry, but rather to the failure of the rest of us to give the medical industry more money. (So much money has been poured into AIDS research and so little has come out of it; a cynic might wonder if the people who make money out of the existence of the disease really want to eradicate it.)
But the misconduct of a single industry is not so important. We could deal with that industry. We could force it to spend its money sensibly, we could focus our money on functioning drugs, we could prevent the spread of the disease by all kinds of easy and cheap methods. We don’t do that, because of the people who appeared before the Conference to sing hosannas to their glorious medical masters.
One was Malepaguru William Makgoba. Dr. Makgoba was a neurologist, apparently a good one, and since the Creator’s partner has neurological problems the Creator thinks well of neurologists. But Dr. Makgoba decided to become Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Wits University instead of practising, and it seems he told a few little white lies in his CV to massage his way into the job. When he turned out to be a blustering bully, some senior Wits academics exposed those little white lies, whereupon Dr. Makgoba went through their confidential files and publicised anything damaging he could find. So he was sacked.
But you can’t keep a bad man down, and Dr. Makgoba was promoted, with the approval of Mbeki’s ANC, to head the Medical Research Council, where he took a strong stand in support of antiretrovirals, delivering so many statements about epidemiology and virology that some people thought he was qualified in either discipline. He was extremely popular with those people who claimed that Mbeki was an AIDS denialist. When he finished his term, he was appointed, with the approval of Mbeki’s ANC, to head the newly-merged University of KwaZulu-Natal, where by all accounts he has fulfilled the promise of bombastic tyranny which he had shown at Wits, and incidentally has also come out strongly in support of Jacob Zuma. In short, not a nice man.
This figure who should be universally despised stands up before the Conference and announces that at last he is free to say that HIV causes AIDS. After all those years of being prevented by the evil previous government, he is free! Hooray! The audience gave him a standing ovation, a corporate endorsement of the rise of Jacob Zuma to the control of the South African state.
But — the Creator speaks for the overwhelming majority of sane people — even those with neurological disorders — by saying, “What the fuck is he talking about?”. The AIDS policy of the South African government since the early 1980s has focussed on HIV as the transmission vector for AIDS. After 1994 the disease was taken much more seriously, particularly brought into the public eye by Thabo Mbeki. At first all that was done (apart from prevention campaigns) was to promote immune-system boosters and to talk (but not act) about how poverty encourages the spread of HIV/AIDS, but eventually free antiretrovirals became available for AIDS sufferers. Makgoba lied when he says that he was previously forbidden to talk about the link between the virus and the disease. Of course, if he had been held in low esteem because of his remarks being used by anti-Mbeki propagandists, he would not have got the plum job of UKZN Vice-Chancellor.
He was probably being cheered because the previous government was critical of pharmaceutical companies, but he was also lying about the previous government’s political record, and stabbing the man who promoted his own political rise in the back.
Not much evidence of any kind of morality there, colleagues.
Another speaker was the Honourable Barbara Hogan. Hogan was a white member of MK back when it was not fashionable to be in MK, in the early 1980s. She was not competent member — she was caught rather easily and jailed — but it took gumption to do what she did. Good for her. However, as the record of Tony Yengeni and Jessie Duarte shows, this does not say whether you are any good at any particular job. Hogan became Health Minister after the Zuma purge which followed Mbeki’s removal. Yet another woman in the job — but the ANC seems more respectful towards whites or coloureds or indians in the Cabinet than africans. So maybe Hogan has some standing and can do well.
But probably not. The Creator suspects this because, in addition to chiming in with Makgoba about how HIV causes AIDS as if this were something new and not a product of the right-wing press which taken up by corporate propagandists posing as “civil society organisations”, she did something else. She talked about how South Africa needs an HIV vaccine.
South Africa would need an HIV vaccine, just as every other country needs an HIV vaccine, if one existed and if such were possible. But no such vaccine exists nor is in the pipeline, and is probably not possible as a “magic bullet” (the way it is sold to the public). South Africa does not need an HIV vaccine which purports to help but is really a way of prising money out of the public purse and stuffing it into private pockets. We don’t need Barbara Hogan to say that we should give more money to foreign big business. (Did the Creator mention that Barbara Hogan is a loyal member of the SACP, and therefore naturally in favour of giving more money to capitalists? Didn’t think so.)
No, Cde Hogan, it is not your job to waffle about how South Africa needs an AIDS vaccine. It is your job to improve our health-care system. You could, for example, try to improve the rural clinic system without which antiretroviral provision is a desperate gamble on overstretched local medical staff. You could try to implement some of the splendid policies which your Department possesses; you could try to make the hospital staff do the work for which they are paid. The fact that you prefer to go off on junkets so that corporate representatives can clap when you praise them is an indictment of your performance. (Even though the Mail and Guardian declared that Cde Hogan’s corporate boot-licking proved that she should be Minister of Health forever — but we already knew the Mail and Guardian‘s position.)
To knowingly tell lies is immoral. To mislead the public in order that they may do things which are probably not to their benefit is immoral. To betray your friends and allies is immoral. To endorse plans which take money away from the poor and give it to the rich is immoral, and to do so in the name of equality and democracy is doubly immoral.
The Creator is studying the Q’uran, the Torah and the Bible, but on the whole, the words of great Zoroaster stand; we must obey the light of Ahura Mazda and reject the Kingdom of the Lie; on that incandescent rock the Creator would like to build a modest church.