Monday, August 27, 2007

ANC Goes for Broke on Madlala-Routledge

Who could believe a single, middle-aged mother of two kids could be such a threat?

Firing apparently wasn't good enough for axed deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge of South Africa. Neither was billing her for the airfare to Spain for an AIDS conference, including the penalty for coming back early when the permission she thought she had received was in fact revoked. The ANC government appears bent on devastating her financially.

Now the defense department is billing her for a trip it alleges was unapproved back when Madlala-Routledge was deputy minister there. Not to be outdone, the public works department is billing for her what it says was unpaid rent for her government housing, which she has since lost.

Meanwhile, in an interview published in the Sunday Argus, Madlala-Routledge likened working for Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang to the pain and anguish she (Madlala-Routledge) had faced while in detention, including solitary confinement, under apartheid. Some of Madlala-Routledge's friends and supporters have started a fund to help her fight back.

I just can't help following every twist and turn in this conflict between admitting to any sort of a health crisis and the need to maintain political cohesion and demonstrate loyalty to a political party. South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki further laid down his thinking in his weekly online newsletter last week. His latest entry states that basically anyone who criticizes the ANC, including opposition parties, is doing the work of the underground apartheid movement. More to come, I'm sure.

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