Yoga ‘wokeism’ misses the whole point of post-modernity.

IF YOU one of this week’s spiritual-elect — self-appointed cultural purists devoted to pointing out ‘cultural appropriation’ or ‘misappropriation” whatever the case may be, and upbraiding the ‘yoga community’ for ‘not being more inclusive and representative’ (or worse), ‘costing a fortune and not catering to different body types’, — you may wish to reflect on the history of puritanism in South Africa, and my own yoga journey.

In order to maintain ‘white privilege’ the architects of apartheid devised a grandiose scheme whereby the character of tribal and ethnic groups ‘would be preserved’, albeit under the pretext of culture. The unique and distinct peoples of South Africa, the faces of whom seemingly adorn a well-known art deco building in Cape Town, were presented with separate homelands, under a segregationist system introduced by Hendrik Verwoerd. All to maintain the ”integrity of culture’, and to avoid the dreaded cross-pollination which has characterised much of the past century including our own.

Enter the interlocuters of a contemporary movement known as ‘wokeism’, who appear to vigorously object to any instance of ‘hybridity’ and ‘cultural influence’ , if only to serve a political purpose — namely media exposure for a campaign which locates itself within the global ‘black lives matter’ movement. All for the sake of convenience and keeping the pot on the boil, (and who can argue with this strategy?)

To add some context, I started my free yoga journey some years ago at an ashram in Beverley Hills. One cannot get more ‘up-market’ than that. Hollywood itself is replete with cross-cultural influences, (some of which may, like the black face of the 1920s, cause offence, whilst others like the face of Mickey Mouse have universal appeal).

After a long hiatus, I found myself returning to my yoga mat, with another free yoga class at the Scalabrini Centre offered by an Italian yoga instructor by the name of Laura Anjali. The local revolution in freebie yoga classes didn’t end after Anjali left Cape Town.

When my attendance at ‘paid sessions’ at Virgin Active became unaffordible, I turned to costless yoga videos on Youtube, and began practicing at home.

A Tamil friend of mine suggested a particular Hatha Yoga guru, offering ‘authentic yoga‘ and whose videos were also freely available. I was then drawn into the gratis events surrounding the International Day of Yoga, joined several free yoga festivals and participated in many outdoor sessions, some for love, some by donation only.

Earth Child even have a programme whereby one may sponsor children to practice yoga in the townships.

Reading the brouhaugh surrounding a City yoga studio, punted by a news outlet at the centre of a multi-baby scandal, I counted nearly a dozen false assumptions, most of which boil down to a variation of any of the following:

Yoga is exclusive

As my own journey with costless and free yoga practice demonstrates, yoga is for everyone, and you don’t necessarily require any money.

Yoga should only be practiced in India or by persons of Indian descent

Much like the Asian game of Chess which conquered the world and is played nearly everywhere, Yoga has entered the common global lexicon and exercise regime, alongside Cricket and Tennis. Similarly tattoos and dreads.

People will get offended by my weight or body type

The whole point of yoga is to embrace the inner journey that arises from the physical limitations of the body. Don’t get put off if you are overweight, but then don’t go about destroying other people’s spiritual health practices just because they are willing to get up at 5am to do sunrise yoga on the beach, while you prefer to stay in bed.

People should be offended if I embrace hybridity and cross-pollination

While there is much to be said about traditional yoga practices, new styles of yoga are constantly emerging. Getting caught up in the correct naming of asanas (or poses) can be a huge distraction (but is recommended, especially if you want to appreciate the new Skywalker Pose). Of course there is nothing to beat acquiring a working understanding of the conventional, but demanding that we all cowtow to convention is just plain idiotic.

SEE: How Restorative Yoga Can Help Heal Racial Trauma

Quinton: Bury my heart at ‘bend the knee’

IN HIS autobiography, Silent Gesture, published nearly 30 years after two African-American athletes displayed the black power salute at the 1968 Olympic games, Tommie Smith, wrote — ‘the gesture was not a “Black Power” salute per se, but rather a “human rights” salute’. The demonstration is regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympics.

Contrast this with the latest debacle involving Quinton de Kock’s refusal to ‘bend the knee’ at the ICC T20 World Cup on Tuesday, after Cricket SA instructed the team to kneel ostensibly to demonstrate support for the global “Black Lives Matter” campaign.

There is much being made of his decision to avoid a symbolic gesture made popular in recent times by television series ‘The Game of Thrones’ and arguably appropriated by the Black Lives Matter campaign.

Almost nothing is made of its association with Christiandom, and ritualistic practices in the Anglican Church for instance, its resonance with the Crusades and Knights Templar.

That anti-racism interventions are beginning to resemble zealous meetings of the Hitler Youth and Italian fascists which similarly appropriated ‘volkish’ symbols, and even the Ku Klux Klan which appropriated themes from the Spanish Inquisition, can be put down to a lack of continuity with black struggles from the 1960s.

The symbolic act is not universally embraced, as a symbol of solidarity with anti-racism, and despite Lawson Naidoo’s contention that it is somehow the de facto gold-standard in sport.

De Kock’s own objections appear to be religious in nature, and are certainly not openly racist. Refusing to cowtow to authority has long been a theme of a religion synonymous with revolt against the Roman Empire.

That commentators ignore the fact that De Kock is well-within his rights to object and to refuse to engage in a symbolic act whose origin, provenance and message is open to interpretation and dispute, can be put down to the lack of appreciation for fundamental freedoms, in particular the right to dissent.

Race chauvinists and supremacists such as Khaya Koko were quick to issue invective and derision, in the process implicating the leader of the official opposition. There are many other ways to express solidarity, that do not involve appropriation of symbols or ritualistic acts which may be deemed offensive, for example, wearing a ribbon or armband.

Proteas skipper Bavuma says De Kock has his team’s support after refusing to ‘take a knee‘.

Freedom of religion is also freedom from the religious views of others. Refusing to engage in an act which at the face of it is not voluntary, but rather the result of coercion by Cricket SA, deserves our categorical and open support.

After all, its just not cricket.

UPDATE: The Proteas wicket-keeper has since offered an apology following pressure from Cricket SA.

READ: To take a knee or not

Mandates: Public peril or just plain baloney?

THE CAMPAIGN by those punting unlawful vaccine mandates ratcheted up yet another notch this week, with several opinion pieces casting those who oppose immunisation score cards and internal passports, as ‘beneath scientific discourse’ or to use Stephen Groote’s phrase: members of the “desperate and low”.

That Grootes like many other so-called academics and experts positioning themselves as ‘protectors of moral hazard’ and ‘saviours of public health’ (read your health), fails to provide any supporting citations for his bizarre reasoning on the subject is par for the course.

Grootes’s characterisation of the ACDP position, surely one which is admittedly non-partisan if a little opportunistic, may be forgiven — it’s a long-standing grudge by the formerly progressive left. The ACDP to their credit do not oppose vaccination as such, rather they oppose the unbridled removal of patient consent, and the process whereby constitutionalism i.e. the will of the people is replaced by the dictates of the few in positions of authority.

Less easily forgiven are the unsupported ramblings of Professor Keymanthri Moodley, a director of the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law at Stellenbosch University, as quoted in a piece also published by the Daily Maverick, in which the author fails to provide any counter-point to the one-sided narrative of other right-wing medical ethicists who support the return to an apartheid-era dompas, albeit to protect the most vulnerable.

Clearly this is a move beyond pure rationality into outright coercion and bully-tactics — the webinar held by the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics saw contributions by three other individuals, none of whom are similarly quoted, and thus may be mistaken for being a summation of the views of the Biko Centre itself.

If Biko were alive I am fairly positive he would have a lot to say about these hasty and needlessly slapdash attempts to limit or negate Article 12 and Article 14, two of the foundation stones of our current legal dispensation.

The US constitution, for example, written by slave-owners, does not contain an explicit right to privacy, nor is it an expressly anti-slavery opus such as our own. The US has no right to ‘ownership and control over the body’ — as I have already written, our own constitution presents a unique legacy of struggle against the patronising dictates of the apartheid medical apparatus, one which sought to classify persons using pseudo-scientific analysis — operating as if most South Africans were members of a separate species to the Human Race.

Merely because an ethicist is able to make a public interest argument does not automatically follow that it is reasonable nor rational. Without motivating why this is so from a material perspective, Moodley sees the issue as a simplistic binary: public peril versus personal privilege.

One suspects that she is referring here to the idea of herd immunity, and not a metaphysical debate introduced by a theologian?

A Nature journal article published in March for example, claims herd immunity when it comes to Covid is out of reach, and thus our efforts may come to nought.

The reality of Covid becoming endemic certainly puts paid to the ‘most vulnerable’ argument, (why are we not all taking ARVs to avoid deaths from HIV?) The logic of preemption is dependent upon there being a rational basis for these types of interventions — not simply well-meaning rhetoric, nor the wish nor fanciful whim for a life free of seasonal illnesses such as the flu, and ultimately a cure for death?

Another article by the New York Times, looking back at what has been learnt from successive waves of the covid virus, demonstrates that high levels of vaccination in some states has ‘acted like a wall’ to prevent the spread of the virus, thus protecting other members of the community, but is certainly not an endorsement of those who would also have the family dog and cat foreceably vaccinated, whilst everyone else is neutered from a political perspective?

Still other articles in the world’s media, paint a picture of divergent results from different vaccines, while several present caution when it comes to young adults and children.

There is as yet, no concrete evidence provided by any of our local ‘experts’ on why vaccine score cards (alongside demerits and sanctions for non-compliance) ought to be implemented, if at all, as we arrive at the end of the tragic two year period in which the virus has been with us. And yet all data suggests that South Africa’s vaccination strategy, though slow at the outset, is on track, despite its being voluntary and lawful. Though, the country still has a long way to go,(1) we need to exhaust lawful interventions before embarking on what may be termed, ‘special measures’, of the type implemented during wartime.

Furthermore, there are other issues which practically nobody is debating, for instance, why rolling out an elimination strategy vs simple suppression, need require an extraordinary change to the democratic character of our country? A country which claims to defend the health of the most vulnerable, yet callously consigns these self-same individuals to damp shacks and shantytowns sans water and sanitation.

Reducing the virus, which is bound to become endemic to absolute zero, and which will, in all likelihood simply fade into the background as the pandemic invariably draws to a close in 2022, need not require the removal of our current democratic dispensation and its replacement by an authoritarian dictatorship — one that keeps everyone squeaky clean, and there’s a thought.

Ordinarily mandates, as I have written in my previous piece, are gained via elections, yet the arguments being issued by so-called medical ethicists fail to consider that we have a multi-party democratic system, and instead seek to place us all on a path of mandate capture and totalitarianism.

Public health policy should be debated in Parliament, the mooted medical injunctions and objectives need to be subject to public scrutiny, the same way every other peril, including poverty is debated.

And so I have more than an elegant one-liner to Moodley’s miserable reductionist logic: Freedom is not a privilege but a birthright — No to medical apartheid. Your medical choices are not our business.

NOTE: As of October 24, 21.3-million Covid-19 shots had been administered in SA, but only 11.56-million adults, or 28.8% of the adult population were fully immunised

UPDATE: Stephen Grootes issues a volte-face, without recording his previous position.

When the pandemic ends, those unlawful mandates are going to haunt us

THERE has been a plethora of verbiage on the subject of ‘vaccine mandates’ over the past weeks. Several pieces written by legal academics and health scholars all present these measures as a fait accompli, and worse, present public health policy as if the extraordinary measures contemplated do not require anything resembling rational debate inside our nation’s democratic institutions.

Mandates are usually associated with elections and the resulting laws and policies are ordinarily drafted by parliament. Instead public health activism has adopted the fever pitch of the imperative, the unquestioning injunction and ever-present directive. What passes for debate these days, usually 5-minute opinion provided by so-called expert ‘talking heads’ on television followed by equally vapid ‘vox pops’ from the public with absolutely no balance provided by presenters, is leading the country assuredly down the road of internal passports and vaccine score cards.

As I have already written, this country has an egregious history when it comes to internal passports, in particular the aparthied era dompas, not to mention a troubled past — one haunted by the evil doctoring and medical experimentation of the likes of Dr Verwoerd et al. All the more reason to tread carefully lest we forget the lessons of the past and ignore the imperatives enshrined in our constitution?

Instead a paid-for-promotion by Investec, boldly claims without providing any citations: “Unvaccinated people are driving up the chances of mutation, creating more opportunities for the Covid-19 virus to bypass the immune system. The more people who are vaccinated, the closer we will get to a point of containment like we have with the flu.”

The same piece is remarkable for its failure to disclose the banking group’s considerable investment in Aspen Pharmacare, and instead presents an Aspen Senior Executive, Dr Stavros Nicolaou as an expert in the field of epidemiology. Then Professor WD François Venter of the Wits Centre for Reproductive Health is presented as an expert on virology. The webinar is a far cry from a national science symposium on the subject and a long way away from resembling anything like a colloquium or conference.

At the same time as these paid promotions, other health propaganda pieces are published in the media.

One by Safura Abdool Karim of the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism falsely claims “South Africa’s laws allow for the government to implement mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations but these mandates won’t necessarily infringe on individual rights.” Then proceeds to jump the gun in claiming “under the Notifiable Medical Conditions Regulations, a healthcare provider would be allowed to administer a vaccine even if a person refuses to accept it.”

While the National Health Act of 61 of 2003 certainly allows for the quarantining of individuals suspected of being infected with a notifiable disease, (and Covid-19 is a notifiable disease according to regulations), the act does not provide for mandatory vaccination as such, nor does it define vaccination nor even provide a relevant immunisation section. The astonishingly brazen claims made by Karim, instead appear to refer to draft regulations which have yet to be promulgated, and thus an as yet unfinalised government vaccine mandate policy — a policy which remains moot, and which is already the subject of a legal challenge by a religious group.

It is worth considering first principles and discussing what exactly we are dealing with here.

A piece ‘comparing SARS-CoV-2 with SARS-CoV and influenza pandemic’ published in the Lancet in September 2020, may be considered required reading:

Cheadle-stan: A brave new shameful world?

STUDENT bodies have resoundingly rejected calls for ‘mandatory vaccination’ on our nation’s campuses. Coercion defeats the purpose of constitutional guarantees, including bodily integrity and freedom of movement, not to mention academic freedom. The students say immunisation programmes should be voluntary and recognise individual rights at the same time the needs of the majority are taken into account.

This hasn’t stopped several motions for vaccine mandates and/or vaccine passports from being proposed by UCT Senate and other universities. And it hasn’t stopped far-right legal professionals from arguing essentially for the scrapping of article 12 alongside the introduction of internal passports which recall South Africa’s introduction of the so-called ‘dompas’.

If these proposals are anything to go by, we could end up adopting a version of the ‘China Model’ of social control, in which vaccine points scores determine both social status and access to resources in society, and all this without so much as a debate on campus nor even a democratic process within the hallowed halls of the National Assembly? A system which lends itself to all sorts of abuse. Post something the authorities don’t like, and beep, you’re just an anti-vaxer, denied access to public transport.

Right-wing juristocrat Professor Pierre de Vos thus penned yet another article published by Daily Maverick, this week in which he purports to present case precedent and various authorities in support of the limitation of one of the foundations of our constitutional dispensation.

According to article 36 of the constitution, rights may only be limited by a ‘law of general application’, — the rights under article 12 were considered important enough by our nation’s founders, for them to be listed as non-derogable during a state of emergency. In other words, one may infer that the mere declaration of an emergency or disaster is not sufficient to consider their limitation, and that one cannot argue, as many SABC talking heads have over the past week, on the basis of the mere roll-out of so-called ‘mask-mandates’.

De Vos argues: “While a policy requiring all (non-exempted) staff and students to be vaccinated will not directly coerce anyone to get vaccinated, it will present individuals who are not keen to be vaccinated with a difficult choice and would therefore interfere with their right freely to make decisions about their own bodies. “

After appearing to walk back some of his astonishing statements made in his earlier piece (see here), he then proceeds to rehash work written on the subject of bioethics, referring to an 2016 article by A Nienaber and K N Bailey, in the South African Journal of Bioethics and Law:”The right to physical integrity and informed refusal: Just how far does a patient’s right to refuse medical treatment go?”

In this manner De Vos introduces yet another series of citations, ostensibly to argue the point that article 12 may be limited by any arbitrary law when it comes to immunisation.

Koeberg has a 65 different isotope emissions problem

KOEBERG like many Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) nuclear plants, produces emissions of radioactive isotopes. The resulting ‘effluent’ is routinely released into the environment where it makes its way into the food chain. Annual allowable emissions known as the ‘Annual Authorised Discharge Quantity’ are all authorised by the Department of Energy. In some instances emissions have included unwanted radionuclides, breaching minimum emissions standards. The department monitors ‘some sixty-five radioisotopes found or expected to be found in Koeberg “effluent”

Tritium, a radioisotope of Hydrogen with a half-life of 12.3 years, is relatively abundant within the plant. According to the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (NIASA): “The greatest source of radioactivity in the reactor coolant circuit is, however, irradiation of the coolant itself. Neutron bombardment of nitrogen dissolved in the water gives rise to carbon-14. Moreover, irradiation of boron dissolved in the coolant water creates hydrogen-3, i.e. tritium, the radioactive isotope of hydrogen.”

NIASA boldly claims: “Even if all were discharged at the maximum (AADQ) allowed, and in the impossible event that the critical paths for all the isotopes in the liquid and gaseous effluent irradiate the same local resident, that individual would still receive less than the permitted 0.25 millisievert per year.”

The association further claims “Caesium-137 and sometimes strontium-90 are detected at levels consistent with the background attributable to global nuclear weapons testing largely in the 1960s”.

This contradicts their own findings and studies conducted by independent environmental professionals which have detected long-lived fission products such as the radioisotopes iodine-131 and caesium-137 in plant and sea-life around the installation. Both isotopes do not occur naturally and are produced as a byproduct of nuclear fission. Iodine-131 in particular is a result of fission not weapons testing, and the prevalence of these particles around the plant and not the rest of the country raises questions.

In 2010, 91 workers were contaminated with radioactive Cobalt-58. According to NIASA: “radioisotopes such as cobalt-58, cobalt-60 and silver-110m arise as a result of wear or corrosion of reactor components. They become radioactive due to neutron bombardment as they circulate through the reactor with the primary circuit cooling water.”

These radionuclides are not fission products as such, since the plant was not designed to produce them, and should rather be termed contaminants.

Radionuclides, due to their instability produce radioactivity, resulting in alpha, beta and gamma particle emission. High-energy beta particles disrupt molecules in cells and deposits energy in tissues, causing damage.

The presence of Cobalt radionuclides is particularly concerning since it points to issues which may require the decommissioning of the plant. Cobalt-58 for instance is achieved by irradiation of Nickel, and thus points to the breakdown of stainless steel components within the plant due to increased radiation levels. The decision to extend the life of the plant which was commissioned in 1984 appears to have been made on the basis of a ‘business case’, and not a scope of plant safety issues moving forward.

NIASA explains the effluent and contaminants from the plant: “The radioisotopes in the Koeberg effluent are of two types, fission products and activation products. Traces of uranium (‘tramp’ uranium) may remain on the outside of new nuclear fuel assemblies on arrival at the power station. Moreover, minute leaks may develop in the fuel in the course of operation. Both sources may contribute to fission product isotopes in the reactor cooling water, particularly the more mobile radioisotopes iodine-131 and caesium-137.”

As argued by Koeberg Alert, these fission products bio-accumulate up the food chain, via our wheat, shellfish and dairy. While iodine-131 collects in the thyroid gland, caesium-137 is bone-seeking, (it loves calcium) and may end up in the bone marrow. Eskom disclaims any responsibility for increases in leukaemia and blood cancers caused by exposure to low-dose, long-term emissions from the plant. In addition NIASA fails to explain the cumulative impact of emissions of long-lived radionuclides and appears to operate under the false assumption that every year represents a clean slate.

Half-life is the interval of time required for one-half of the atomic nuclei of a radioactive sample to decay. Thus after that interval, a sample originally containing 8 g of cobalt-60 would contain only 4 g of cobalt-60 and would emit only half as much radiation. After another interval of 5.26 years, the sample would contain only 2 g of cobalt-60 and so on.

The annual allowable emissions from the plant are reported to have been scheduled upwards by the Minister, in order to accommodate Koeberg plant emissions and exceed European Safety Standards.

Here is information on some of the 65 radioisotopes associated with Koeberg and acknowledged by the Nuclear regulator.

Theranos of the Nuclear Industry

THE WORLD has its fair share of prospective ‘revolutionary ideas’, objectives that have failed to pan out. Not for lack of trying, nor because a notion isn’t any good on paper but rather the expression of a thought may not be based upon sound physics, or could be missing a vital technological breakthrough or component. In the case of Theranos, the idea of a portable blood analysis machine was surely innovative, but the underlying technology did not exist and the project failed to deliver. The result is a fraud case involving over-sell — under-performance, gross deception and astonishingly optimistic claims by one Elizabeth Holmes.

Similarly in 2007 the Department of Environmental Affairs held a parliamentary inquiry into the nuclear industry, in particular the much vaunted Pebble-Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) programme whose technology was essentially borrowed from Germany. As it turned out the programme was fundamentally flawed, and was deemed unsafe by the Germany government following a pebble bed reactor accident at Hamm-Uentrop.(1)

At this stage some R10bn had already been spent without so much as a working reactor. Submissions by civil society organisations Koeberg Alert and Earthlife Africa, provided engineering analysis of why Germany had dropped the thorium-uranium programme, in part due to the ‘tendency of the pebble fuel to disintegrate’. Other serious issues included problems of safety, lack of containment, waste fission products and a host of other technical issues.

This didn’t dissuade South Africa’s nuclear industry. Though government input into the programme seemingly ended with Minister Barbara Hogan cancelling further funds, the PBMR took on a new life under Kelvin Kemm, who began touting a gas-cooled version called High Temperature Modular Reactor (HTMR) produced by his own company Nuclear Africa, along with a supposedly ‘new fuel’.

Billions of rands of governmental spend was thus, for all intents and purposes, simply transferred to Nuclear Africa, under the auspice of Kemm who was then chair of NECSA in order to further acomplex prestige project, one which readily leads to economic dependency (see below).

Steenkampskraal Thorium Limited (STL) is a subsidiary company ‘in the business of developing and commercialising thorium as a clean safe energy source for the future.” The STL company site however professes “The primary goal of the HTR fuel development programme at STL is to produce fuel spheres containing uranium for irradiation testing in the short term, thorium/uranium in the medium term as well as thorium and plutonium in the long-term.”

Enter the X Factor, Yet Another Fuel

Meanwhile Eben Mulder and Martin van Staden announced their company X-energy was using a new modular reactor design alongside a brand new fuel. “X-energy has developed the compact Xe-100 reactor, which delivers 80MW of electricity and is about the size of an elevator shaft in a four-storey building,”. They further claim, “the US military has also signed a contract with the company in March to deliver its Xe-Mobile reactors”.

While Kemm’s project certainly has some merit in its purported use of presumably thorium instead of uranium, but certainly fails when it comes to the economics of producing Thorium Dioxide (see below) the X-energy project insists it has developed an advanced new nuclear fuel known as “Triso-X”.

Triso-X appears to be nothing more than a complex “tri-structural isotropic (TRISO) particle fuel” already developed within the nuclear industry. The company thus also claims somewhat disingenuously: “We manufacture our own proprietary version (TRISO-X) to ensure supply and quality control.”

If the claims are to be believed, TRISO fuel may significantly alter the burnup rate of fission products and change the melting of fuel within reactors. It is claimed to “double the previous mark set by the Germans in the 1980s” and thus is ‘three times the burnup that current light-water fuels can achieve—demonstrating its long-life capability.”     

According to pundits “TRISO particles cannot melt in a reactor and can withstand extreme temperatures that are well beyond the threshold of current nuclear fuels.”

A 2020 Nuclear Industry Journal article on ‘Uranium nitride tristructural-isotropic fuel particle’, demonstrates “testing of a novel coated fuel particle, uranium nitride tristructural-isotropic fuel” and claims “this fuel particle offers significantly higher uranium density over historic manifestations of coated fuel particles and may be more optimal for a range of advanced reactor applications”

There is however no consensus in the industry on the resulting fission products produced by the TRISO process impacting upon health and safety, nor the longevity of the fuel. One can only suggest that many of the objections to the latest Thorium-Uranium project, also apply. In fact many of the claims made by X-energy, beg the question, why Thorium?

Microchip ‘vaccine passports’, second thoughts on Cheadle-stan

AS ONE of the vaccinated, I am generally in favour of universal immunisation strategies. The majority of deaths during the Covid epidemic have come from the ranks of the unvaccinated. Vaccines save lives, I wrote, but ‘removing patient consent destroys the foundation of our democracy’. I have thus tended to promote informed consent, patient choice and persuasion rather than outright coercion — and favour to some extant, what is referred to in legal circles as ‘positive discrimination’ especially when it comes to certain categories of employment.

An opinion piece by Kevin Ritchie in the Star entitled “Vaccine hesitancy: Why it’s time to create no-vaxx, no-go areas however paints a grim future of a state in which all citizens are effectively microchipped, forced to carry electronic ‘vaccine passports’ — internal passports that act to either grant or restrict access to freedom of movement, or as Ritchie explains, “no jab, no pub, no shopping mall”.

All this is to be achieved on the basis of immediate and instantaneous third-party access to patient information. A feat which would necessitate the removal of rights already granted under the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI), not to mention placing restrictions and limitations on fundamental freedoms — the right to privacy, freedom of movement and other rights enshrined in our Constitution.

I have already written how an antiquated dominionship and/or guardianship model of state power (the state acting as parent-of-the-people), and thus a model contrary to our human rights based system, is being rolled out as we speak by Cheadle, Karim and Grey et al, in the process negating the hard-won victories of our democracy.

Unlike members of PANDA, who are campaigning for individual privacy and rights when it comes to employment, I have no quibbles in disclosing my Covid vaccine status to all and sundry, but can’t help wondering how this plays out as we move forward and especially when it comes to other diseases, for example HIV?

Didn’t we all win a patient rights battle, fought during the late 90s and over the turn-of-the-millennium, for HIV patients to not be coerced into disclosure of status? And why is Covid being treated like a chronic illness, when all the evidence points to its eminent and impending seasonal nature?

As Helen Braswell writes in Statnews: “The truth of the matter is that pandemics always end. And to date vaccines have never played a significant role in ending them. “

Brasell who a former Nieman Global Health Fellow at Harvard, where she focused on polio eradication, argues that “there were no flu vaccines in 1918, when the world didn’t yet know that the great influenza was caused by a virus, H1N1. In 1957, when the H2N2 pandemic swept the world, flu vaccine was mainly a tool of the military. In the pandemic of 1968, which brought us H3N2, the United States produced nearly 22 million doses of vaccine, but by the time it was ready the worst of the pandemic had passed, and demand subsided.”

She writes: “That ‘too little and too late‘ phenomenon played out again in 2009, when the world finally had the capacity to make hundreds of millions of doses of H1N1 vaccine; some countries cancelled large portions of their orders because they ended up not needing them.”

The same may be said for a previous coronovirus pandemic thought to have occurred in 1889, and known in medical histories as “the Russian flu,” which “might actually have been caused by one of the human coronaviruses, OC43.”

Sorry Herr Prof Karim, your vaccine mandate argument is worse than apartheid-era paternalism

IT IS more than a little ironic that during the 20th Anniversary of the Durban Conference Against Racism, Professor Salim Abdool Karim appears to advocate a case of dominica potestas, that most ancient of power relations between master and slave articulated during the period of colonial rule, in which slaves were bought and sold as objects. The latin phrase translates as literally ‘power of dominion’ , (see below).

That a World Health Organisation (WHO) Council Member, makes such views known in public is all the more alarming. Since the resulting power grab by the WHO and its Big Pharma allies in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) would necessitate a total reorganisation of South African society including the amendment of our Constitution. A goal which appears to be nothing more than an elegant take-down of our democracy by stealth, if one reads and interprets other vaccine mandate nitwits, Cheadle and Gray et al (see here).

The astonishingly flawed logic in which Karim provides absolutely no scientific proof, but mere speculation on the ‘public good’ while touting an as yet unproven and controversial theory of origin (a single Bat Virus in situ, not Gain-of-Function research on Bat Viruses at the Wuhan Institute) must be rejected. So too the appalling public health motion seeking to remove the legal consent basis for our democracy.

The ‘talking head’ professor (who has turned into somewhat of a television star) seems to forget that current vaccines do not stop the virus per se, but merely prevent those affected from joining the ranks of the chronically ill in high care. And even then, there are problems with efficacy of treatment. Israel a country with an extremely high level of vaccination has learnt that booster shots are the only way forward. Vaccines save lives, but removing patient consent, destroys the foundation of our democracy (see here).

Despite Karim’s televised concerns, there is no public interest case to be made regarding vaccine mandates. The state should rather exhaust the use of persuasion, incentives and positive discrimination A vaccine passport record may be considered positive discrimination, a vaccine mandate is totalitarianism. We don’t have a totalitarian system. [Please see Second thoughts on Vaccine Passports]

In brief, South Africans are not subjects of ‘parens patriae‘. Latin for “parent of the people.” Under the common law doctrine of parens patriae, a state has a ‘paternal and protective role over its citizens or others subject to its jurisdiction’. This isn’t our system.

In the local context, when it comes to adulthood, our state is ‘inepta parente’, an unfit parent. It cannot act ‘in loco parentis’, i.e. in the place of a parent. Only those under curatorship of a court would encounter such nonsense. And even then, we have human rights … the age of majority … disability law.

The United States, where ‘parens patriae‘ is limited to the state’s interest in protecting children from harm, the state may sue on behalf of the nation, to achieve a public interest result. This power however does not extend to intervening in health related matters as they may affect the individual. There is no tithe for instance on blood donations, the President cannot force you to donate a kidney in the ‘national interest’.

In South Africa while the state may take up a parental role in attending to the needs of minors and the disabled by rolling out child and disability grants, and thus protecting children and the disabled from harm, it lacks any potestas or power when it comes to treating its adult citizens as its own children. Aside from rolling out social security, such a move would result in the removal of individual autonomy and human agency by the state, whilst creating dominion and sovereignty over its now ‘chattel citizens’, a relationship known as dominica potestas.

Here is where the medics need to stay in their own lane instead of turning into our police and political ideologues. There is a very good reason why they are not our masters, and require our consent to administer vaccines. Sir, for starters, I am not a state patient. The only case precedent for forced medical interventions, apply to guests of the state and those already convicted of a crime. The Mental Health Care Act, was amended in 2002 to exclude involuntary commitment for political reasons. The state cannot pursue a policy of rights removal with regard to its own citizens.

Herr Professor Karim most certainly does not possess locus standi to prosecute a medical case against the South African body politic.

In any event we do not need to ‘apply’ to be a citizen, to be in possession of human rights. We already are citizens, our citizenship is enshrined in “We, the People'”. Not “We, the Bureaucrats”, nor “We, your Masters at the WTO”. Article 12 enshrining ‘ownership and control over the body’, is thus already part and parcel of our Constitutional dispensation and there is absolutely no reasonable prospect of its removal any time soon — such a feat would require a supermajority in parliament.

In Karim’s jaded and one should add, creepy medico-legal view, the only exceptions to involuntary administration of health care by the state, would be religious objections ‘conforming to special criteria’. To which one should simply state: No to religiosity in medicine!

SEE: Peter Breggin MD, raises questions on US-China ‘gain-of-function’ Coronovirus research.

SEE: Top researchers are calling for a real investigation into the origin of covid-19