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Back to Stats S.A. though this time on South Africa's favourite topic - HIV/Aids. The Sunday Times (24 Nov) reported the following :

95% more men and 75% more women died of Aids last year compared to 1997. The proportion of deaths nearly doubled in the past three years from 4.6% to 8.7%. What is not included in these figures are people dying of TB, influenza and pneumonia which can normally be attributed to the HIV virus. Because of the social stigma that is still being attached to Aids, families feel a lot better if a different 'cause of death' is stated on a death certificate then HIV/Aids. Makes sense though that the direct cause of death be noted than the underlying issues. Nevertheless, we all know that government is still not doing enough to fight this endemic and to be truthfully true, it suits a lot of people in this country just fine.

Perceptions are changing though and the governments' Aids awareness campaign is having a major impact on Happy Mhlangu's attitude. 67% of South Africans are now afraid of contracting the disease compared to only 47% two years ago. There are still about 25% out there that believes there is a cure (like raping a baby?).

Talking of which, the cops are in for a bad time (certain of them) after it came to light that a policeman (another Happy Mhlangu) stated that he found nothing abnormal when discovering the body of a baby that's been raped. Old 'Happy' here obviously hasn't heard the bees and the birds story as yet as he identified the body as that of a boy and the conclusion was that the death cannot be attributed to an offense by any person.In the Northern Limpopo (which was the far Northern Transvaal) nearly 300 rape cases have been reported involving children, that out of a total of 786. This is only at one single hospital!

The rapist and killer responsible for close on 20 deaths near Soweto (the old show grounds near Johannesburg) has finally appeared in court. 17 deaths and 22 rapes. With a country who believes in human rights there will not be a death penalty. And here is the age old argument - what about the rights of the 17 who died at this monsters' hands? What about the surviving rape victims who got violated by this man? There is something seriously wrong here. More and more we see the 'township jive' outside courtrooms with the people demanding the re-instatement of the death penalty, though government will not budge. Mbeki would rather pardon these 'Happys" so they can get out 'there' and kill some more.

Then again prison is not 'so nice' anymore. With all the extras thrown in (clothes, food, medical care, regular sex with under-aged boys, dagga and furthering the criminal 'education' to name some), it is becoming a bit overcrowded. On December 31st 2001, four out of every thousand South Africans were in jail. Overcrowding was at 63.5% . September this year 30% of all trial-awaiting prisoners posed 'no threat' to society and could just not afford bail. A further 30% were un sentenced. And as far as the figures go, a total of 181 290 people were in prison. In some prisons the people sleep in shifts as there is not enough space. Others 'serve' supper at 14:30 in the afternoon. But all this does not seem to influence 'Happy' too much, in prison he's happy.

Seems our Nadia drove without a license the night when (she claims) she was 'groped' by Manchester United bossman Ferguson. No wonder she crashed the car that day. And to make matters worse, after selling her story to some gullible British tabloid, she bought herself a nice little sport scar (still without a drivers license). To put the cherry on the top, she failed her learners test. I suppose the new MG with have to wait a while.

Saw the worst case of apartheid ever tonight on SABC TV. In Jankempdorp there is a massive fence dividing black from white, and that in the 'dead centre' of town. As Ripley's would say, believe it or not - the fight is over a cemetery. How dare the whites have their section with a big fence and razor wire while the blacks don't have a fence? What else can it be about? The local municipality should proclaim the fence a 'black' fence in order to stop this nonsense. This country is totally integrated, so it must be with the dead. Methinks this is a plot to 'score' some nice momentos and gravestones from the dead whites for the dead blacks.

Unity for all - they're taking everything else, why not our cemeteries?

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