The politics of AIDS in South Africa: Did Makgatho Mandela die from ARVs? 13 January 2005
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Alexander H Russell,
Writer/artist/philosopher
WC1N 1PE

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Re: The politics of AIDS in South Africa: Did Makgatho Mandela die from ARVs?

Recently a grief-stricken 86 year old Nelson Mandela told a news conference that his only surviving son, Makgatho Mandela, had "died of Aids" and had been "HIV positive" (whatever that means). Makgatho, an attorney, was said to have died in Johannesburg at the age of 54 from 'Aids-related causes'. What are these nebulous 'causes'?

What HAART regimes or ARVs (so-called 'antiretroviral' drugs) was Makgatho Mandela taking? When asked if Makgatho was on ARVs, Dr Isaac Amuah said: "he had received the best treatment in the country". Is that what really killed him?

Why did a relatively well-off and middleclass man like Makgatho die from so-called 'AIDS' related causes? Apparently a spokesman for the Mandela family, Isaac Amuah, said that the immediate cause of Makgatho's death was "complications from a gall bladder operation". Is this 'HIV' or 'AIDS' related? Have people ever died from 'complications' arising from 'gall bladder surgery' with out the hypothetical 'HIV infection'?

But Amuah also said that 'AIDS' was "a contributing factor" and Mandela seemed determined to portray the death as resulting from 'AIDS' in order to "demystify the disease". But Mandella is in actual fact 'mystifying the disease' even more: 'AIDS' is not a 'disease' but a syndrome of some 30 well known diseases/conditions which have always existed in Africa. No one dies of 'AIDS'per se: they die of a particular illness/condition.

Today it seems that anyone who is diagnosed as 'HIV positive' and becomes ill their condition will automatically be nominated as 'HIV' related. – even if one is shot dead or dies in a car accident! This is as ludicrous as suggesting that prior to 'HIV' that no one ever died of anything! What were South African blacks dying of before 'HIV' and 'AIDS' were invented? Boredom?

The question is: what did Makgatho Mandela really die from? What were the final presenting illnesses that Makgatho had? What is the fatality rate in men of 54 and above from gall bladder complications and pancreatitis who are 'HIV' negative? How could 'HIV' have adversely effected the outcome?

Could it not be possible that the recently administered 'treatment' (ARVs?) could have caused the 'complications' with the 'gall bladder surgery'? Makgatho’s health seems to have got far worse after he started taking the 'treatment'. Did Makgatho die from the cytotoxic lethal effects of ARVs (HAART regimes)? Are ARVs now the biggest cause of 'AIDS'? Did ARVs kill Makgatho Mandela?

Competing interests: None declared