Free download: the updated first anniversary edition, 10 November 2008

And what about Mark Gevisser's AIDS chapter in 'Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred'? 

A critique (PDF 411 KB; starts, with earlier mentions, at page 19)


The fraudulent scholarship of Ronald Suresh Roberts in

'Fit to Govern: The Native Intelligence of Thabo Mbeki'

with reference to chapters 8 and 9 on AIDS:

'A clash of fundamentalisms 1: medical politics' and

'A clash of fundamentalisms 2: racial politics'



This critical analysis of chapters 8 and 9 of 'Fit to Govern: The Native Intelligence of Thabo Mbeki' (Johannesburg: STE, 2007) demonstrates Ronald Suresh Roberts to be an extensive plagiarist, a fabricator and falsifier of history, and the author of a colossal literary fraud, and accordingly so grossly unprofessional and discreditable a writer that he’s unfit to be relied upon for any purpose, not even for directions to the post office.

And after reading 'Lying and Thieving', both the publisher and editor of 'Fit to Govern' agreed: STE Publishers cancelled the second impression of the best-selling book then about to go to press (but see below), and Dr James Sanders judged it the 'most serious case of plagiarism and literary fraud in South African literary history'.

Talking about his biography 'Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred' at the Marais Road Synagogue Centre in Cape Town on 20 May 2008, Mark Gevisser reported that after it was published Mbeki wrote to him specifically to confirm that he'd been right in describing him as an AIDS dissident in his book - adding that if he'd just look at the evidence he'd be one too. So much for Roberts's brazen lie in 'Fit to Govern' that 'Thabo Mbeki is not now, nor has he ever been, an AIDS dissident.'


Click here to download the book for printing or reading free (PDF, 1.36 MB). (You'll need Adobe Reader, which you can download free.)


The expanded January 2008 edition of 'Lying and Thieving' includes a new Introduction and five new chapters:

·   Mbeki's 'Castro Hlongwane' bombshell

·   More evidence of Roberts's plagiarism turned up – and the editor of 'Fit to Govern' Dr James Sanders agrees

·   The mind of a rogue at work: Roberts's developing denigration of Brink in 'Fit to Govern' from draft to draft

·   Roberts's responses to the charges in 'Lying and Thieving'

·   How Roberts wrote 'Fit to Govern' to order, chopping and changing his manuscript on Essop Pahad's secret instructions, and prostituting his 'intellectual independence' to mining capital

The November 2008 reprint has been reformatted to reduce the size of the book to 300 pages and includes an Endnote with five updates.

To access the footnoted documents serially hyperlinked to the text of the book, go here (Word, 146 KB).


Read the flyer for 'Lying and Thieving' (PDF, 285 KB), including reviews of Brink's books 'Debating AZT' and 'The trouble with nevirapine'.


'Lying and Thieving' is available in soft cover at Clarke's Bookshop, 211 Long Street, Cape Town (ph. 021 423 5739).



'Lying and Thieving' ISBN: 978-0-620-39980-7 was originally published by Open books on 10 November 2007, and the expanded edition on 15 January 2008, with a reformatted reprint on 10 November 2008.

About the author; an interview (spiked by the editor). Feedback welcome.



How Mbeki pulled the plug on his Aids apologist

(Scroll down to the second part of the article), 7 November 2007

Mbeki admits he is still Aids dissident six years on 

The Guardian, 6 November 2007

SA's president 'failed on Aids' 

BBC News, 7 November 2007

Castro Hlongwane, Caravans, Cats, Geese, Foot & Mouth and Statistics:HIV/AIDS and the Struggle for the Humanisation of the African

ANC NEC discussion paper, March 2002, co-authored by Mbeki (principal author) and since expanded and updated by him

Mbeki-boek 'n 'bedrogspul' (Mbeki book a fraud)

Die Burger, 10 November 2007

A comment on Roberts's responses and non-responses

Anthony Brink strikes back

Politicsweb, 12 November 2007

Aids Denialist Brink Calls Roberts a Liar

Health-e, 13 November 2007

The author of this carefully researched, insightful article is the winner of the Judith Miller Award for AIDS Journalism, 2005

Mr Roberts being unlikable again?

The Citizen, 13 November 2007

Misquotation corrections, and comments on Roberts's responses

The Colour of Money

Roberts's 'ThoughtLeader' blog,13 November 2007

How dare he?

Mail&Guardian editor Ferial Haffajee calls Roberts a liar just like we said, and the Cape High Court found too) in

her 'ThoughtLeader' blog, 15 November 2007

War of words over Mbeki's Aids view (PDF, 44 KB)

The Mercury, 16 November 2007

Die president is nie, en was nooit, 'n "vigsontkenner" ...

PDF, 529 KB) (The president is not, nor has he ever been, an AIDS denialist)

Roberts responds to Brink's charge that he fabricated and alsified the history of Mbeki's engagement with AIDS -

discussed in Chapter 4 of the addendum in the expanded edition of 'Lying and Thieving'

Beeld, 17 November 2007

Roberts se book oor Mbeki eers nie herdruk 

Roberts's book about Mbeki will not be reprinted for now) (PDF, 1.16 MB)

Die Burger, 17 November 2007

Suresh Roberts stole my work, says AIDS dissident

Text version online; front-page headline PDF, 612 KB); story on page 2 with plagiarism examples (PDF, 788 KB)

The Weekender, 17 November 2007

Author of Mbeki’s book accused of plagiarism

African Press Agency, 17 November 2007

Unlikeable Mr Roberts loses pal (PDF, 500 KB)

A comment and a proof (PDF, 500 KB)

Editor's choice, page 2 (PDF, 500 KB)

Chris Barron interviews Mark Gevisser on Mbeki and AIDS(PDFs, 506 and 500 KB); online version

Some funnies:

The Fred Khumalo Page Laugh of the Week PDF, 500 KB and 1 MB)

What to do when good dissident turn bad PDF, 496 KB)

Sunday Times, 18 November 2007

Fred Khumalo at The Times blog,20 November 2007

Zapiro cartoon (JPG,45 KB)

Cape Times and Star, 20 November 2007

To which Roberts dishonestly responds PDF, 479 KB)

Cape Times, 22 November 2007

Gevisser on AIDS: A complicity of opposites

Roberts's 'ThoughtLeader' blog, 22 November 2007

My purpose is to expose fabrication on Mbeki (PDF, 315 KB)

Brink interviewed in the Argus, 23 November 2007

A plagiarist defrocked?: How Ronald Suresh Roberts plundered Anthony Brink's research (17 selected instances of Roberts's plagiarism discussed, with new background information and fresh evidence turned up)

Politicsweb, 23 November 2007

'Another lie every time Roberts opens his mouth'

Brink's reply to Roberts, as quoted in 'Unlikeable Mr Roberts loses pal' article, PDF version (491 KB); see here for original correct quotation marks

The upshot of Roberts's complaint to the Press Ombudsman about the article is that the Sunday Times apologizes (PDF, 500 KB) only for mistaking him for an AIDS dissident

Hogarth comments on Roberts's 'Bitter heart' (PDF, 502KB) (In which connection, see Mail&Guardian editor Ferial

Haffajee's 'thought leader' blog, 'Of ivory towers and diseased black men', 19 November 2007)

Sunday Times, 25 November 2007

Aids, poverty and racism: A further complicity of opposites

Roberts's 'ThoughtLeader' blog, 26 November 2007

AIDS denialist Brink's loony letter to Mbeki

Roberts's 'ThoughtLeader' blog, 28 November 2007 (Roberts's theft of this letter is discussed in 'Lying and Thieving', excerpted here (PDF, 158 KB))

'Most-misquoted' man misquotes me

Roberts responds to Brink's letter (PDF, 325 KB)

Sunday Times, 2 December 2007

Answer my plagiarism charges, Mr Roberts

Brink's reply (PDF, 275 KB)

Sunday Times, 9 December 2007

Redakteur beaam aantygings oor plagiaat

([Fit to Govern's] Editor [Dr James Sanders] confirms plagiarism charges; PDF, 130 KB)

Die Burger, 21 December 2007

How Pahad censored Roberts

(PDF version with cartoon, 495 KB)

Mail&Guardian, 18 January 2008

Pahad 'vra snitte in Mbeki boek'

Pahad asks for cuts to Mbeki book)

PDF version, 495 KB)

Die Burger, 18 January 2008

Pahad 'censored Mbeki book' (PDF, 499 KB)

Weekend Witness, 19 January 2008

You hoaxer! Mbeki book 'custom designed to Pahad's whims' (PDF, 79 KB)

Sunday World, 20 January 2008

Pahad cut attacks on Oppenheimers (PDF, 495 KB)

Sunday Times, 20 January 2008

I would not have tolerated censorship from Pahad (Roberts's letter; PDF 88 KB)

Sunday Times, 27 January 2008

Roberts did tolerate censorship (Brink's letter; PDF, 75 KB)

Sunday Times, 2 February 2008

Men of many words (search on 'Roberts')

Sowetan, 4 February 2008

The smear of denialism (article by Roberts)(PDF, 2MB)
Empire, December 2007

Mondli in my bedroom (article by Roberts)(PDF, 2.76 MB)

Empire, February 2008

Brink's letter to the editor, Empire

31 March 2008 (PDF, 164 KB)

Brink's 500-word letter (PDF, 147 KB) published in Empire, June 2008

Has Thabo Mbeki damaged the ANC? No (PDF, 487 KB) is an article by Roberts in BBC Focus on Africa, January to March 2008

Brink cleared up Roberts's lies in a letter (PDF, 165 KB) to BBC Focus on Africa's editor-in-chief on 31 March 2008

BBC Focus on Africa invited a 200-word letter (PDF, 102 KB) for the July-September issue, but the deadline for submission passed through a miscommunication.

Brink's letter (PDF, 161 KB) in June 2008 to Harvard Law School's Professor Alan Dershowitz, which Noam Chomsky thought a 'Fine letter, and very appropriate.' And which Norman Finkelstein liked too, remarking, 'A thumbs up from Chomsky is the best way to start the day.' Sure is. (Neither are dissidents on AIDS.)

On 16 July 2008 The Press Ombudsman Panel dismissed Roberts's complaint against the Weekender for identifying him as the plagiarist he is (the Panel agreed) in its front-page headline report on 17 November 2007 and on its street posters, a conclusion editor Peter Bruce stood by at the hearing: 'The poster was true – he is a plagiarist.' The appeal panel found 'The Weekender's belief that Roberts was a plagiarist reasonable' on the strength of the case made out in 'Brink's persuasive book', and that Moneyweb editor James Myburgh's subsequent independent audit of Brink's plagiarism charges 'did confirm [Bruce's] belief that Roberts is a plagiarist'. Particularly since 'Roberts does not confront the issues of cutting where Brink cut, using identical ellipses and making the same transcription errors.' The Mail& Guardian, the Times and the Citizen posted SAPA's wired report of the decision (with an error: Roberts 'plagiarised work' not 'from Anthony Brink’s "Lying and Thieving"', of course, but from '"Just say yes Mr President"': Mbeki and AIDS' and 'Debating AZT'). The Mercury (PDF, 313 KB) also ran the report. The Sunday Times published an article about it in the weekend too.

Would someone care to update Roberts's Wikipedia entry with the news - mentioning perhaps that, like Weinkove AJ did in dismissing his defamation action against the Sunday Times, the Press Ombudsman's Panel also found Roberts an 'unconvincing' witness, which is to say a dishonest one nobody should trust, after rejecting his slimy ploy at the hearing to weasel out of the plagiarism charges.)

Roberts persists with his fake line in 'Fit to Govern' that he's with the believers on AIDS in the July/August 2008 issue of Radical Philosophy.

Brink's letter to the journal's editorial collective sets the record straight, and gets placed on the agenda of the editors' next meeting in November 2008.

Roberts repeats his lie in an article on The Mbeki Legacy (PDF, 513 KB) in the Mail&Guardian on 26 September 2008, also posted online.

Brink's letter to the editor about it is published as a feature article (PDF, 219 KB) on 10 October 2008, and put online.

The M&G publishes a mistaken correction the following week, which Brink points out in a letter; here's the covering email. Brink comments (PDF, 36KB)on the Ombudsman's refusal to rule (PDF,28 KB), more particularly on the amazing revelation that STE Publishers actually reprinted 'Fit to Govern' in February 2008.

Christine Qunta (or Roberts writing in her name) offers a fake history of the fuss over 'Fit to Govern' in the Star on 26 February 2009, which Brink corrects in a letter to the editor (PDF, 152 KB).

An open letter to Essop Pahad, editor of The Thinker (Print version PDF, 259KB).

Roberts found to be 'evasive and untruthful' yet again; the Sunday Times reports Brink's tip-off on 1 May 2010. (PDF, 600 KB)

Roberts persists in claiming his book authoritatively 'summarised … Mbeki's actual HIV/AIDS policy approach' in a letter to Business Day on 2 June 2014.

Brink replies (unpublished; PDF, 210 KB).



Click on the cover to download 'Lying and Thieving' free (PDF, 1.36 MB).

Here's how to bind your own paperback.