So What Killed Mandela's Son?  Before the sudden announcement of Mandela's son death from AIDS on January 6, 2005  - may his soul rest in peace -  the debate on AIDS had been continuing in the background between Rasnick, Geshekter, Mhlongo  and Aluko since Dialogues 204 and 205:
On Christmas Day, 2004, Dr. Sam Mhlongo continued to stress his point of "no new diseases in Africa"

I can briefly state that I graduated MD in London in 1970 and this was long before the AIDS epoch. At the time in my country some 50% of black children and young adults were dead before the ages of 5 and 20. Hospital records show that the main causes of death were: High Fever
Today any combination of these is called AIDS under the Bangui criteria for HIV/AIDS diagnosis in Africa. Poverty, protein malnutrition, poor hygiene, lack of sanitation, iatrogenicity and atmospheric oxidation pollution are some of the major explanations for African AIDS. Go to Darfu in the Sudan, The Congo (DRC), Rwanda or Burundi and run these'vaunted' ELISA tests, you will find not 25% but rates as high as 50 - 60 % HIV+ve. AIDS Inc. and pharmaceutical companies focus on South Africa for good and sound business reasons - South Africa is the key and gateway to Africa - it has the infrastructure and almost everything required for successful business operations. In short, we have no new diseases in Africa, what we have is a collection of old fashioned killer diseases grouped together under AIDS.

with which, on 1/3/2005  Dr. Charles Gashekter agreed:
Sam, I completely agree with everything you state here, so cogently and clearly.
I would add that my own experiences all across northern Somalia (Republic of Somaliland) over the past 35 years would anticipate similarly high rates of "HIV positivity" and the same hospital records of pneumonia, TB, diarrhea, various upper respiratory illnesses and all of that would today be called "HIV/AIDS" thereby adding needlessly and terrifyingly to the mental woes of the impoverished suffering Somalis.
That is another reason why I will not restrain my criticisms or neutralize my exposes of the faux science and erroneous claims that mar so much of the orthodox position on HIV and AIDS in Africa.

On 12/30, after an unsure reading of a particular report, Aluko asked:

It appears that the report  makes a distinction, inter alia,  between:
- prevalence of HIV and incidence of AIDS
- living with HIV and living with AIDS.
Where is the beef here?  Is there some MINING of these numbers themselves that can shed some light instead of heat ?
To which Dr. Charles Geshekter responded:
Since much of the discussion about HIV rates and AIDS cases in Africa centers on definitions and the actual methods of statistics gathering, I recommend that a session in your proposed AIDS Forum/2005 in Washington focus on that key issue.
As I stated earlier in this discussion when you posed a similar question to me, there is no way of confirming these continental numbers for Africa based on the available nature of record-keeping and the fact that nearly all "estimates" are based on the most dubious of data.
To test this hypothesis, at a session on dissecting the statistics on HIV seroprevelance and AIDS cases, I propose that presenters focus on South Africa and Nigeria.
South Africa has the best system of vital statistics in Africa. Let some presenter involved with AIDS in South Africa provide the conference with the number of HIV cases actually recorded in Gauteng Province (Johannesburg and vicinity) for 2000, 2001 and 2002, and the number of actual AIDS case in Gauteng Province for those same three years.
The presenter should be able easily to explain how those statistics on HIV incidence and AIDS cases were gathered for that province. The presenter should also be encouraged to break those numbers down by age, race, and gender. I would also ask them to provide mortality numbers for Gauteng for 2000, 2001 and 2002, giving the actual cause of death and the other relevant breakdown categories
I would suggest that you also have a speaker with expertise on HIV and AIDS in Nigeria do exactly the same kind of tabulation and breakdown for a large state in Nigeria.
Before we assert (or accept) the accuracy of HIV and AIDS numbers for all of Africa, let's start with two specific areas inside South Africa and Nigeria and see what a micro analysis yields.
Even an atheist would agree that, verily, God dwells in the details.
On 12/31 Sam Mhlongo actually reminded us that Mbeki's New Year Speech did not make ANY mention of AIDS -  "interestingly":
Mbeki  touched on several issues and celebrated South Africa's successes in 2004 - the 10th Anniversary of freedom from racial oppression, the current strength of the economy and South Africa's role in trying to bring about the end of bloody conflicts in Africa.
When it came to mortalities in South Africa, he repeatedly focussed on:
                   Alcohol Abuse
                   Drug Abuse
                   Road fatalities
Interestingly, HIV/AIDS was not mentioned even once.
As you all know, the incidence of Syphilis( A sexually transmitted disease) continues to fall in South Africa. How then do HIV/AIDS believers explain the rise in HIV/AIDS cases? - they don't - silence is their answer. A fall in sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis should be accompanied by a fall in HIV if HIV is sexually transmitted. The decline of syphylis in South Africa has nothing to do with treatment but due to behaviour change. We are also beginning to see a drop in gonorrhoea and chlamydia cases.
A little bit exasperated, on 1/3/2005 Dr. Aluko asks both Drs. Charles Gashekter and Sam Mhlongo some pertinent questions :

I want to get some CLEAR answers from both of you AIH-ers ONLY what you both BELIEVE and/or hold as true and accurate:
1.  Is there a virus called HIV - that has been scientifically classified - or is it a whole class of viruses ?
2.  Is there a disease called AIDS or is it a whole class of diseases - or disease symptoms ?
3.  Is your position any one or more of the following:
    - AIDS is not caused by ANY virus.
    - HIV does NOT cause AIDS
    - HIV is the ONLY cause of AIDS
    - HIV causes AIDS but is not the ONLY cause
4.  Where do AIH-ers differ from the results that you give above ?

The answers to all four questions had not come in before  Dialogue 233 showed up, announcing Mandela son's death from "AIDS.  So, on 1/6/2005 Dr. Aluko resumed his inquisition of the AIH-ers:

Dear friends:
"Mandela's eldest son" obviously cannot die of nutritional AIDS - or NAIDs.
So what could have REALLY killed him?
This Inquiring mind wants to know from the AIH group.  I am asking because I want to be SURE of my understanding that: 
1/  HIV exists;
2/ HIV causes some AIDS incidence, but not all.
3/ There are non-HIV AIDS such as NAIDS; or it is a combination of diseases (tuberculosis, fever, etc.)
Please help, for this may be an opportunity to tell Mandela loudly: "Your son did not die of HIV/AIDS." - or something like that.
causing Dr. Dave Gashekter to immediately plead innocence of the facts:


All we know from the newspapers is the claim that Mandela's son died of
AIDS. I have seen no other information.
For example, what really killed him? Was it TB, pneumonia, liver
failure, kidney failure, heart failure, drug toxicity, fever, diarrhea,
wasting, etc.? Was his son gay, was he taking anti-HIV drugs-what was
his background? We don't even know for sure that he was HIV positive-we have to assume even that.
Without a lot more information, there is nothing concrete one can say
about what killed Mandela's son.
Dr. Aluko's retort is interesting (paraphrasing now):

Why don't we ask Mandela in a sensitive manner, so as not to turn off an African audience ?  An (investigative?) essay  like "What REALLY killed Mandela's Son ?" would be earth-shaking, would it not, as an entree into a new dialogue ?

which was a new twist with which Dr. Dave Rasnick and Dr. Charles Geshekter agreed, but with a caution from Charles viz:
I have followed your latest set of exchanges with great interest.
There is no African alive better known to the entire world than Nelson
Mandela. The man is a frail but indefatigable warrior, yet this tragedy must
sadden him gravely as it does us all.
I urge circumspection and care with your inquiries.
I agree with Dave's cautious reminders, second his sensible questions, and concur with Bolaji that it would be important to know far more about the actual, verifiable medical conditions that led to the death of Makgato,
rather than simply attributing his demise to the vague symptomology glibly
called "AIDS" or an "AIDS-related illness."