Sarah Britten
Sarah Britten

Is Manto undead?

My fellow citizens, it is time, I believe, to seriously consider whether or not South Africa’s erstwhile Minister of Health is a creature that crept through a portal from a parallel universe and was unleashed upon us to wreak havoc, sow death and destruction etc etc.

A bit like those bits of ectoplasm that flew around in Ghostbusters.

How else can we explain the extraordinary capacity of this woman for survival? The most offensively incompetent member of Mbeki’s cabinet, a woman who is left unmoved by the death and suffering of millions thanks to her willful vandalism of the health system but weeps at the unfairness of Mbeki’s forced departure from his post?

South Africans were astonished when one of Mbeki’s most loyal cohorts failed to resign in solidarity with their leader — perhaps, some speculated, she was too busy at the pub to get the memo — and even more astonished when instead of being kicked out on her arse, a fate she richly deserves, she managed to score an alternative portfolio. The only happy aspect of this sorry tale is she has replaced the truly creepy Essop Pahad. (Is it just me, or is there a passing resemblance to Slimer — see the Ghostbusters link above — there?)

Besides the possibility that Manto is an evil spirit from another dimension, there are several feasible explanations for this woman’s apparently impossible gifts of survival.

1. She’s a vampire. The problem with this explanation, apart from its unacceptable Eurocentricity, is her well-known fondness for garlic.

2. She’s a zombie and therefore undead.

3. She’s a member of the Illuminati and is actually George Bush’s long lost half-sister. Though they may not look all that similar, they are both fond of the odd tipple. Her magical ability to escape anything resembling accountability is thanks to protection by powerful global interests.

4. She’s one of those lizards that David Icke keeps going on about and, as in point 3, is George Bush’s long lost half-sister.

5. She’s an alien. (Perhaps the Scientologists could enlighten us to whether she’s a hangover from that unfortunate volcano incident.)

6. She’s preserved in alcohol and therefore impervious to decay.

Doubtless there are other possibilities, but it’s important to kick off the discussion. For, until we unlock the secret of Manto’s unnervingly enduring power, we will never defeat her.