Dr. David Rasnick, a contributor to this forum, shares his piece with the media


Sunday Times (Johannesburg)
16 January 2005

Drugs, not Aids, probably killed Mandela's son
David Rasnick

MAKGATHO Mandela's death is more consistent with drug toxicity than
Aids - HIV had nothing to do with his pancreas and gall-bladder
problems ('Lawyer with his father's humility', January 9).

An article by Craig Timberg in the January 7 issue of the Washington
Post, "Mandela Says Aids Led to Death of Son", is revealing about what
actually killed former President Nelson Mandela's son.

Timberg says: "A spokesman for the Mandela family, Isaac Amuah, said in
a phone interview that the immediate cause of Makgatho's death was
complications from a gall-bladder operation. But he said that Aids was
a contributing factor and that Mandela was determined to portray the
death as resulting from Aids to demystify the disease."

A gall-bladder operation implies liver problems. The leading cause of
death among HIV-positive people in the US is now liver failure. Liver
failure is not (yet) an Aids-defining disease.

All anti-HIV drugs cause liver toxicity. We learn from Timberg that
"Makgatho ... had been receiving antiretroviral treatment for more than
a year".

Information about what really killed Mandela's son must be made public
because Mandela's own actions have turned his death into a political
and international issue.