South Africa is riddled with AIDS.
The term epidemic doesn’t do justice to the scale of HIV infection in South Africa.
18% of the population is infected, a figure that isn’t falling.
When apartheid ended and Nelson Mandela and his ANC Party gradually took power in 1990, AIDS/HIV infection levels were at just 1%.
When he ceased to be SA’s leader (1994-99) it was 10%.
No one is prepared, even today; to destroy the image of ‘Saint Mandela’ by pointing-out 500 people died every day of a preventable disease with him ‘at the helm’.
The first time Mandela even mentioned AIDS publically was in a 1997 speech, given not in Johannesburg - but Switzerland.
Mandela left office in 1999 and became an AIDS campaigner, swooned over by sycophantic western media who failed to look at his motivations, nor his appalling record in stemming the disease when he was a power broker.
On World AIDS Day in 2000, Mandela pronounced; "Be faithful to one partner and use a condom... Give a child love, laughter and peace, not AIDS."
Mandela himself was a serial philander, hardly a poster-boy for chastity.
One of his own sons, Makgatho, died of the disease – not that Mandela was ever really a real father to him, preferring to up-grade his women like cars. His last wife was 28 years his junior.
To quote his daughter Dr Makaziwe Mandela “He was an absent dad.”
It was his son’s death, not those of thousands of other fellow South Africans, that belatedly drove Mandela to tackle AIDS.
But by then the disease was so endemic his efforts were futile.
When he has the chance in Government to stem the spread of AIDS in its infancy: Mandela did all but nothing.
Instead of giving the monstrous disease enveloping his country priority along with building hospitals, schools and roads etc the ‘peace and love’ new leader of a ‘New’ South Africa went out and spent billions on new jet fighters and tanks!
Budget for up-grading South African military forces in 1998: 38 Billion South African Rand
Budget for AIDS education: next to Zero.
AIDS along with crime and poverty has blighted Mandela vision of a new South Africa.
Mandela’s legacy means 1 million S.A children now live with HIV/AIDS.
Most of them are black South Africans.