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Key South African HIV∫AIDS critic Sam Mhlongo dies

Professor Sam Mhlongo, MD, one of the most stalwart practical critics of the African HIV∫AIDS pandemic story, who found his own experience of patients and their ailments differed wildly from the official version, has lost his life, according to Joan Shenton, who was phoned by Janine Roberts and reports that the doctor was killed in a road accident yesterday afternoon.

Joan Shenton interviews Mhlongo

The news has stunned all who knew him. Charles Geshekter has spoken for many dissidents and others in writing that “Sam was a consummate professional, a dear and wonderful friend, a devoted husband and a role model for schoilars, teachers, physicians, and critical thnkers around the world. South Africa and the world has lost a courageous lion of a leader.”

Professor Sam Mhlongo, M.D., returned to South Africa in 1998 after spending 36 years in exile in England during apartheid. He earned his medical degree from the University of London and practiced there for 30 years specialising in cardiology. During that time he was president chairing the Cross Medical School in London and was director of ‘African History and Current Affairs’.

After returning to South Africa he was appointed Head of the Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care at the Medical University of Southern Africa, now called the University of Limpopo, MEDUNSA Campus. He founded the Pfunanani Health Research Trust South Africa in 2001.

He has authored and co-authored numerous books and articles on a broad range of subjects, most notably “Forced removal of the Mamatola tribe” in 1967, ”Workers Strikes in South Africa” 1973, “Social classes in South Africa 1975”, “Atenolol post myocardial infarction”, ” Handbook of family practice” in 2000.

He has been medical science editor of African Reclamation Forum since 1999. He was a member of the Royal College of Physicians of the African Caribbean Medical Association and he was its secretary from 1994 to 1998. He is a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners UK and member of the Presidential AIDS panel of South Africa.

UPDATE: The Silkwood syndrome

Although there is no evidence yet that Mhlongo’s death was anything but a traffic accident on the way to work in Johannesburg from his home, if there was foul play (as his fellow HIV∫AIDS critics now inevitably wonder) it would be part of a trend world wide which has seen journalists in particular eliminated by professional killings.

The latest is the death on Putin’s birthday, Saturday (Oct 7) of Anna Politkovskaya, 48, severe critic of Putin (“a cynical liar” who condones torture of schoolboys in the Czechen war, she reported) and the 13th journalist killed in Putin’s reign (and the 100th to die since Glasnost in 1986), with Putin a suspect, Gorbachev calling it an outrage, and Bush calling Putin to ask questions. Meanwhile there are revelations on the BBC that suggest US Army troops deliberately fired at the ITN correspondent that died in 2003.

Anna’s funeral was held today:

The investigative reporter’s body was then laid to rest under cold and rain-filled skies.

Police said about 3000 people attended.

Among them were the Norwegian, Swedish and US ambassadors, as well as a who’s who of Russian human rights activists, but there were no high-ranking government officials.

President Vladimir Putin, who has been criticised for not reacting earlier, said during a trip to Germany that her murder had been “cruel”.

However he then sought to minimise her work as “extremely insignificant”.

The New York Times Editorial today, Oct 10 Tues,

Another Killing in Moscow:


Anna Politkovskaya, gunned down over the weekend in Moscow, was the 13th Russian journalist killed since Vladimir Putin became president — and one of the bravest. We may never know who killed her because politically motivated crimes have a way of never being solved in Mr. Putin’s Russia.

There is no question about whom Ms. Politkovskaya held responsible in years of unflinching reporting from Chechnya: the Russian Army and Mr. Putin himself. When he finally got around to acknowledging her death yesterday it was in a cold-blooded statement that the authorities “will take every step to investigate objectively the tragic death of the journalist Politkovskaya.”

Ms. Politkovskaya was 48, the mother of two grown children. She lived alone, in part because of the dangers of her job. On Saturday, she was about to deliver a major report to her newspaper about torture in Chechnya when a killer ambushed her and fired four shots from a silenced Makarov pistol, one in her heart and three in her head.

Police investigators seized all her research materials from her home and her office at Novaya Gazeta, one of the few independent newspapers still functioning in Moscow. We hope they lead to arrests, and not a cover-up. It is hard to be optimistic.

The murder of Ms. Politkovskaya — like the murder last month of Andrei Kozlov, the deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank who was trying to reform the banking system — had the stench of a political assassination. It would be hard to imagine that Mr. Putin’s Kremlin, swollen with oil riches and power, could not find those who ordered her murder or so many others.

It is also hard to fathom why a president with Mr. Putin’s hunger for respect would allow his country to sink so steadily in the world’s esteem. Yet the former K.G.B. officer has presided over a systematic degrading of Russians’ freedoms.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Russia has been the third deadliest country for journalists over the past 15 years, after Iraq and Algeria. Despite the active hostility of the state, and the clear and ever-present danger, reformers have continued to speak up. Ms. Politkovskaya believed, as did Mr. Kozlov and many others, that Russia could become a freer country. We hope that her terrible death will rally those who share her faith.

The news report in the Times, Journalist Critical of Chechen War Is Shot Dead:


The New York Times

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October 8, 2006

Journalist Critical of Chechen War Is Shot Dead


MOSCOW, Oct. 7 — Anna Politkovskaya, the veteran Russian journalist and author who made her name as a searing critic of the Kremlin and its policies in Chechnya, was found dead on Saturday in her apartment building, shot in the head with a pistol, the authorities and her colleagues said.

Ms. Politkovskaya, 48, was a journalist with few equals in Russia. She was a special correspondent for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper and had become one of the country’s most prominent human rights advocates.

In recent years, as the Russian news media faced intensifying pressure under the administration of President Vladimir V. Putin, she maintained her outspoken stance. And she became an international figure who often spoke abroad about a war she called “state versus group terrorism.”

She was a strident critic of Mr. Putin, whom she accused of stifling civil society and allowing a climate of official corruption and brutality.

She was found dead by a neighbor shortly after 5 p.m. A Makarov 9-millimeter pistol had been dropped at her side, the signature of a contract killing, Vitaly Yaroshevsky, the deputy editor of Novaya Gazeta, said in a telephone interview.

“We are certain that this is the horrible outcome of her journalistic activity,” he said. “No other versions are assumed.”

In Washington, the State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, said the United States “urges the Russian government to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation in order to find, prosecute and bring to justice all those responsible for this heinous murder.”

The former Soviet president Mikhail S. Gorbachev, a shareholder of the newspaper where Ms. Politkovskaya worked, called her killing “a savage crime.”

“It is a blow to the entire democratic, independent press,” he told the Interfax news agency. “It is a grave crime against the country, against all of us.”

Accounts about where she died conflicted, with some law enforcement authorities saying she was found inside the entrance of her apartment building and others saying she was in the elevator.

The police said a security video camera had recorded the image of her presumed killer: a tall young man in dark clothes and a black baseball cap. They said a search for him had begun.

Ms. Politkovskaya, who had two adult children, had worked for Novaya Gazeta since 1999, and covered the second Chechen war and the terrorist siege of a Moscow theater in 2002. One of her books, “A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya,” recorded her impressions of the war’s unrelenting and often macabre cruelty, and the manifest corruption of many of its participants.

She wrote of torture, mass executions, kidnappings to gain ransom and to eliminate rebel suspects, and the sale by Russian soldiers of Chechen corpses to their families for proper Islamic burial. Her writing cemented her place as one of the war’s most vocal domestic critics.

“The army and police, nearly 100,000 strong, wander around Chechnya in a state of complete moral decay,” she wrote. “And what response could one expect but more terrorism, and the recruitment of new resistance fighters?”

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has been one of the world’s more difficult and dangerous countries for journalists. The climate has continued in recent years; at least 12 journalists have been killed in Russia in contract-style murders since 2000, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

None has been solved, including the contract killing in 2004 of Paul Klebnikov, the American editor of Forbes magazine’s Russian-language edition.

Ms. Politkovskaya had received death threats in the past, and at least once had left the country fearing for her safety. In 2004 she claimed to have been poisoned while en route on an airplane to cover the public school siege in Beslan; she passed out on the flight but survived. Mr. Yaroshevsky also said that Novaya Gazeta had briefly placed her under protective guard a few years ago.

But as prosecutors opened an investigation into what they called premeditated murder, her colleagues expressed astonishment that she had been killed in such a fashion, saying her public stature had seemed to lend her an aura of invincibility.

“She was doing such risky things for such a long time that it seemed she had transcended the danger,” said Tanya Lokshina, chairwoman of Center Demos, a Moscow-based human rights organization. “I am ashamed to say it, but we all felt she was next to a monument, and that she was an icon.”

Ms. Lokshina said she had been with Ms. Politkovskaya two weeks ago in Stockholm, and that nothing seemed out of order. “She never spoke about any current threats,” she said. “Everything seemed quite normal. She seemed happy and never referred to anything suspicious.”

Mr. Yaroshevsky said that Ms. Politkovskaya had been at work on Saturday finishing an article for the Monday paper about torturers in the government of Ramzan A. Kadyrov, the pro-Kremlin premier of Chechnya. He said the story included evidence and pictures.

In an interview in April with The New York Times, Ms. Politkovskaya said she had evidence of torture in Chechnya by Mr. Kadyrov’s police and other gunmen, including at least one witness who had been tortured by Mr. Kadyrov himself. Mr. Kadyrov has always vigorously denied such allegations.

Mr. Yaroshevsky said there were no immediate theories about who might be behind her killing, and noted that it might be convenient for an enemy of Mr. Kadyrov to kill Ms. Politkovskaya in order to blacken the Chechen premier’s name.

The paper had been expecting her to file the article on Saturday night, he said, and she had apparently been killed after she left her apartment for a trip to a nearby store. The RTR television station reported that investigators believed that she had been followed throughout the day.

10 Responses to “Key South African HIV∫AIDS critic Sam Mhlongo dies”

  1. Martin Kessler Says:

    After reading Joan Shenton’s interview, I’m sure he’ll be missed by all except his detractors.

  2. Truthseeker Says:

    You are so right, Martin, there is a spirit of sweet, reasonable reason and well grounded perspective shining through that interview so clearly that is alien to the proponents of HIV∫AIDS, and puts them to shame in terms of mind and character.

    Just compare some of their deadheaded Comments here with Mhlongo’s style and it is enough to spoil one’s day. The good spirits who critique HIV∫AIDS and instinctively discern its empty rationalizations and rank scientific stupidity are taken from us – Lang and Mhlongo – while the crass and the venal and the mediocre live on, like Salieri outliving Mozart.

  3. Dave Says:

    Very sad. Dr. Mholongo had a great reputation and had done marvelous work. He will be missed.

  4. Steve Allen Says:

    I am sorry to hear this news. I only had one converstation with Dr. Mhlongo one morning at about 4:00 a.m. Denver time, when he called me from London (awakening me from a deep sleep) and was quite angry that the documentary I produced, HIV=AIDS – Fact or Fraud, had not arrived several weeks after he had ordered it from the Group. I had no idea at that time he had ordered the tape, but I could tell by his driving passion that I better do everything I could to get one to him quick!

    Dr. Charles Geshekter volunteered to take one in PAL version to him personally, for which I am grateful. I followed many of the brave statements and observations Dr. Mhlongo made in the press thereafter, and I concur that we have lost a great warrior and articulate expert on the African AIDS battlefront. May his spirit and passion live on through the rest of us!

    I hope I will be excused for taking this occasion to point out a problem we have all had getting information that challenges the HIV/AIDS paradigm to our fellow dissidents internationally. The internet is now allowing us to instantly broadcast video documentaries and news clips to each other around the world. If you visit our site: http// you will be able to download for free a short verion of the documentary, or get access to longer ones either by DVD or PPV. In time we hope to have a growing number of lectures and presentations available.

    It is just as important that information coming back from places like Africa reaches those of us in the US and UK as it is that they have access to our eperts and information. Dr. Sam Mhlongo laid the ground work for critical analysis of issues like HIV/AIDS through the hard days, and has passed his torch on to us. We shall be resolved, I trust, to finish his work.

  5. Marcel Says:

    Was there anything suspicious about the automobile accident? I mean, was it hit and run? I don’t mean to sound paranoid, but I do believe that the Aids mafia is capable of this.

    Though, of course, their preferred method would have been to covertly do something to him to make him get sick, and then say it was “Aids.” “Denialist dies of Aids” headlines would then complete the propaganda.

    Something like what they *may* have done to Peter Mokaba.

    Since they didn’t do it this way, it was probably just an accident. But does anybody have more details?

  6. Truthseeker Says:

    Something like what they *may* have done to Peter Mokaba.

    Apparently Mhlongo was in a car traveling from home to work in Johannesburg in the late afternoon Oct 6 Fri. Details are unknown as yet. HIV∫AIDS critics are discussing the possibility of it being a “Constant Gardener” murder, and Mike Hersee quotes John Le Carre who wrote that “I can tell you this. As my journey through the pharmaceutical jungle progressed, I came to realise that, by comparison with the reality, my story was as tame as a holiday postcard.”

    Foul play seems unlikely, though. Assassination is a weapon which would be more likely directed at the very biggest target, and as shown by the experience of Peter Duesberg, you do not have to murder someone to neutralize them in this game.

  7. Darrenmedic Says:

    News of Sam’s death made me cold. We truly have lost a true anchor in the struggle for the truth, but we trust that his spirit continues to inspire those of us who seek the same goal. Although I only had a limited interaction with Sam, it was his calmness, serenity and integrity that struck me as truly profound. May he rest in peace knowing that his contribution was a valuable one and that he will be remembered.

  8. Marcel Says:

    Thanks Truthseeker. I do hope someone will get the details. Of course it’s not just the pharma mafia that has a big interest in Hiv/Aids, it’s the covert operatives who work for…well, you know.

  9. Truthseeker Says:

    Thanks Truthseeker. I do hope someone will get the details.

    According to email exchanges among HIV∫AIDS critics, there were no suspicious circumstances involved. Sam’s car was hit by a truck during his drive home from work in the evening. He left work at random times each day so planning and timing a collision would have been difficult, and those near to him are not suspicious.

    The email reveals that many of the HIV∫AIDS critics have entertained similar thoughts about being targeted themselves. such is the hostility they encounter from some believers.

  10. Marcel Says:

    I think the key questions are: who was the driver of the truck? Was he/she injured? Is there anything in the history or associations of that truck driver that is suspicious?

    Also, whose fault was the accident? If it was Sam’s, well, that eliminates any suspicion. It does seem very unlikely that this was a hit.

    However, and I’ve been trying to think of a delicate way to state this for some time, I think that people should think twice before “coming out” as Hiv-positive dissidents. To publicly state that you are Hiv positive and a dissident, as a number of people have done, and to maintain a high profile by participating in public forums, talking to the media, shouting how healthy you feel and criticizing the Aids establishment, is to ask for trouble.

    Such a person would be seen as very damaging to Aids Inc. To a covert operative, such people would be obvious targets of a clandestine operation to discredit the dissidents. What might they do? Do something to the person to make them get sick and die, and then announce that “another denialist died of Aids.”

    It’s widely understood that the CIA, which might be called upon to perform such an operation, and lots of other covert agencies, have innumerable substances that they can introduce to a person, even from a distance, that would sicken the person and mimic or provoke a particular disease — heart attack, pneumonia, wasting, or whatever.

    So…I was reluctant to bring this up, but feel it’s better to make people aware of this stuff, so they can perhaps remain more low profile, or at least USE A PSEUDONYM. We also can put the mobsters on notice that we know what they’re capable of, and make the public aware of it too. People should be suspicious when people representing a politically charged viewpoint suddenly die. That’s healthy skepticism, not paranoia.

    Of course, this doesn’t apply to Sam, who was not “Hiv +” as I understand it.

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