Reply to Whitehead: Makgatho Mandela died of pancreatic cancer - not 'AIDS' 18 January 2005
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Alexander H Russell,
Writer/artist/philosopher
WC1N 1PE

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Re: Reply to Whitehead: Makgatho Mandela died of pancreatic cancer - not 'AIDS'

Regarding the death of Makgatho Mandela, Mr. James Whitehead stated:

"I agree with Nicholas Bennett on this. And I think we should not speculate and should show are deepest sympathy to his family and his father. I hold Mr Nelson Mandela in high regard even if I always don't agree with everything he believes, I spent some time myself campaigning for him and his people to be freed. I always find commentary like this distasteful and unscientific."

On the contrary: we should speculate and ask questions. How can my commentary be "distasteful and unscientific" when it merely asked legitimate 'scientific' questions regarding the mystery surrounding Makgatho Mandela’s death?

According to The Observer (David Beresford, Johannesburg, Sunday January 16, 2005): "Ironically, hospital sources have told The Observer Makgatho did not die of an Aids-related illness, but of a pancreatic cancer. He had been on anti-retrovirals for some time and his Aids was described as being 'well under control'. It would, however, have affected his body's capacity to fight the problem with his pancreas." Why? Are ARVs (anti-retrovirals) suitable for treating pancreatic cancer?

Yet hours after Makgatho died in a Johannesburg hospital last week, Nelson Mandela announced that his son had died of "Aids-related complications" - and not of pancreatic cancer. Why? Did the ARVs accelerate Makgatho Mandela's death?

Also The Sunday Times (16, January, 2005) printed as a lead letter one from David Rasnick headlined "Drugs, not AIDS, probably killed Mandela's son", as follows:

Makgatho Mandela's death is more consistent with drug toxicity than Aids - HIV had nothing to do with his pancreas and gall-bladded problems ("Lawyer with his father's humity", January 9).

An article by Craif Timberg in the January 7 issue of the Washington Post "Mandela says Aids led to death of son" is revealing about what actually killed the former President Nelson Mandela's son.

Timberg says: "A spokesman for the Mandela family, Isaac Amuah, said in a phone interview that the immediate cause of Makgatho's death was complications from a gall-bladder operation. But he said that Aids was a contributing factor and that Mandela was determined to portray the death as resulting from Aids to demystify the disease."

A gall-bladder operation implies liver problems. The leading cause of death among HIV-positive people in the US is now liver failure. Liver failure is not (yet) an Aids-defining disease. All anti HIV drugs cause liver toxicity. We learn from Timberg that "Makgatho...had been receiving antiretroviral treatment for more than a year".

Information about what really killed Mandela's son must be made public because Mandela's own actions have turned his death into a political and international issue. - Dave Rasnick, via email.

Like Mr. Whitehead, I also "hold Mr Nelson Mandela in high regard" which is precisely why I wanted to what his son really died of. Sadly, Makgatho Mandela's death was used as a shoddy political manoeuvre by Nelson Mandella to challenge President Thabo Mbeki who quite rightly doubts the very existence of 'HIV' and 'AIDS' in Africa.

Regarding Makgatho Mandela: were viable, active, infectious 'HIV' particles isolated and recovered from his blood or any other tissue? If not we are making a false assumption and a 'pure speculation' that he had an active 'HIV' infection.

The obituaries of Rudollf Nureyev John Curry, Oscar Moore, Denholm Elliott, Arthur Ashe, Kimberley Bergalis, Ryan White, Kenny Everett, Freddie Mercury and Derek Jarman reported that they had died of 'HIV' related or 'AIDS' related causes/conditions: I would argue that this is indeed 'pure speculation'. I would 'speculate' and argue that they really died as a result of AZT and ARV poisoning and yet their deaths were misleadingly put down to those nebulous nominations of 'HIV related' or 'AIDS related'.

Competing interests: None declared