"Information is the free right of the people.
We must be vigilant and keep it so."
Day Williams

Blame it on the Illuminati ...

Blame it on the Illuminati ...

Political staff

Cape Town - A hornet's nest has been stirred up around Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's head for distributing to senior officials throughout the country a document propagating the bizarre theory that HIV/Aids is a conspiracy directed against Africa.

Tshabalala-Msimang distributed copies of a chapter of William Cooper's book, Behold, a Pale Horse, countrywide to all Health MECs and provincial premiers.

Among other things, Cooper propagates the theory that John F Kennedy's death, invasions from outer space, and Aids, are linked to a conspiracy by the Illuminati - an international organisation of inter alia, CIA agents - to reduce the world population.

'A publicity crazy liar'

Dr Sandy Kalyan, DA deputy spokesperson on HIV/Aids, said on Monday that Cooper's views are rejected worldwide, even by extremist conspiracy theory supporters. He has been labelled a "publicity crazy liar" whose writings should not be taken seriously.

"The fact that President Thabo Mbeki recently showed enthusiasm for the views of discredited HIV/Aids scientists, makes the conduct of the minister, who has in all seriousness distributed a document which belongs in the dustbin, even more worrying.

"Cooper's argument is that HIV/Aids is a conspiracy of the West to destroy Africa, and that there is an antidote which will be used when enough people have died," Kalyan said.

Tshabalala-Msimang's spokesperson, Patricia Lambert, said the document regarding the HIV/Aids conspiracy was distributed to the provincial ministers of health as part of "a routine exchange of information".

The fact that the minister distributed the document which arrived anonymously and unsolicited, did not mean that she identified with it. "We have seen some seriously peculiar things, and this document is one of them," Lambert said.

Pieter in S.A.

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