Mbeki-boek 'n bedrogspul', Die Burger, 10 November 2007

A comment on Roberts's responses and non-responses


Roberts did not deal with the charges of plagiarism of my work emailed to him by the writer of the newspaper article, and turned his phone off after the first call (it's a trick of his, turning off his phone when he's expecting your call and ducking you).

Responding rather desperately to Gevisser's bombshell about Mbeki's late-night Saturday phone call in June and his driver's hand-delivery of the updated and amplified draft of 'Castro Hlongwane' the following day, Roberts said, 'Gevisser must define what he understands by the expression AIDS dissident. If it means someone who denies HIV causes AIDS, then Mbeki isn't an AIDS dissident.'

Can you believe this person has degrees from Harvard and Oxford?

It gets even sadder.

Gevisser never quoted what Mbeki said about 'Castro Hlongwane', Roberts says. 'We don't know precisely what he said about it.' Oh but we do. Mbeki wanted Gevisser to read the current version of the document, the one he'd been updating and amplifying to twice its original length. (Although he'd co-authored it with the late Peter Mokaba and others, Mbeki was evidently its principal author: the electronic signature on the Word file that the Mail&Guardian got hold of has his electronic signature: 'Author: Thabo Mbeki' and 'Company: Office of the President'.) Asked by Gevisser whether 'Castro Hlongwane' represented his views, Mbeki explicitly confirmed it.

'Castro Hlongwane' is an extensive radical analysis and repudiation of the HIV-AIDS paradigm, both scientifically and ideologically. Roberts was either to lazy to read it, too stupid to understand it, or too dishonest to mention it, because this pivotal document doesn't feature in his book 'Fit to Govern' as he's going about presenting Mbeki as a believer like he and Essop Pahad are.

I think we can safely say we know what Mbeki thinks about 'Castro Hlongwane' and what he thinks about the HIV theory of AIDS that it blows to pieces.

It gets sadder still.

Mbeki read 'Fit to Govern' before it was published, Roberts says, but he never read 'The Dream Deferred'. And here he thinks he's clinched it. He has. The wrong way. Mbeki was so appalled by Roberts's book that he picked up his phone. And the rest we know.

Arguing like this, Roberts really should go back into law. He'd do very well.