Manto should be remembered with respect

THE callousness of Gareth Cliff irks me a great deal. What a calamity that former health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang was misunderstood both in life and in death.

To paraphrase President Jacob Zuma, she was a selfless South African who experienced little joy in her life because she dared fight apartheid and liberate our country.

Now Cliff and his ilk enjoy freedom of expression, thanks to her sacrifices. What a disappointment that this lout is abusing this hard-won right by disrespectfully shooting his mouth off. Doesn't he know that rights go with responsibility?

Cliff has demonstrated an element of idiocy before but now he has outdone himself.

My finding his slurs distasteful has nothing to do with loving or glorifying a person who has passed on. It has to do with decency, sensitivity, maturity, respect and ubuntu-botho, irrespective of your culture or traditions.

One might not have liked what Tshabala-Msimang believed in, but let's respect her right to believe in them. The anti-Manto sentiment notwithstanding, good nutrition is paramount to effective medical treatment, including that of HIV and Aids.

If she sinned in any way, who are we to sit in judgment? The Almighty forgives all the time, why do we find it difficult to do the same. In fact, the worst apartheid murderers are roaming the streets in the name of forgiveness and reconciliation. Is she so evil that, even in death, we cannot accord her some respect? I think not!

Mogomotsi Mogodiri,Johannesburg