Thursday, July 18, 2024

Sunday Standard maverick opinion leader succumbs to Covid-19

“This germ theory is a red herring.”These were the last words Sunday Standard’s Afrocentric maverick opinion writer and Covid-19 denialist Sam Ditshego penned before signing off his final article submitted on 6th October 2020 for publication.Hardly two weeks later, on October 18th, the South African Sunday Independent headline screamed: “Knowledgeable free-thinker, opinion-maker and PAC stalwart Sam Ditshego succumbs to Covid-19” A vicious Covid-19 scoffer who framed the pandemic as just another scam by “white monopoly capitalists”, Sam must be turning in his grave at the suggestion that he died from the coronavirus. In life, he insisted that coronavirus does not exist.

A voracious reader and writer, he expressed his well researched view, backed by scientific argument in more than 20 articles he wrote for the Sunday Standard and the Sunday Independent between March 5th when the first Coronavirus case was confirmed in South Africa and October when he passed on. Even on his deathbed Sam spent his last breath arguing that “there is no evidence that SARS-COV-2, the virus they claim causes Covid-19 exists because it hadn’t been purified and isolated. There are no documents to prove this virus exists. ….. People who are dying are dying from other diseases not Covid-19. If there is anybody who doubts what I am saying, let them request autopsy results of those the government claims died from COVID-19 to prove they died of Covid-19. No autopsies were performed and the only way to determine the cause of death is through an autopsy.”

Times change, trends come and go, but through it all, Sam has remained consistent – a wildcard who thought nothing of going against the grain even of newspapers he wrote for. He pushed an Afrocentric agenda while writing in the early 2000 for the Botswana Guardian then owned by William Jones, a British national. He was a maverick in the mold of wild wild west movie archetypical protagonists: A lone gunslinger, riding into town, breaking the rules and doing things his way. Sam’s life story is littered with irreverent, provocative and well researched articles that risked the fury of the political and scientific establishment, illustrating how the free-thinking Pan Africanist always marched to the beat of his own drummer.

To his detractors, Sam was a black racist with a huge appetite for conspiracy ideation. Responding to one of Sam’s controversial Covid-19 articles published in the Sunday Standard, Ralph A. Nickerson from Serowe charged that “the rubbish offered by Sam Ditshego (from South Africa?) and concerning this cursed Covid 19 socio-chaos, should have been edited right out. To maintain that we are suffering “a planned pandemic” imposed upon us by such as Bill Gates, the WHO and Cyril Ramaphosa is febrile garbage, and very malicious. That there are “no documents to prove that the virus exists” is likewise a perverse case of denialism, and a dangerous one. What on Earth Ditshego’s objectives are is hard to determine, unless the article just constitutes another xenophobic whinge against “the West”.


But what made Sam such an intriguing character was how he embraced his quixotic side with pride. Shooting down the establishment for one last time, Sam wrote that, “when I began to sound a warning about the fake pandemic that was going to be used to implement Bill Gates’s diabolical vaccination plan and microchipping, my detractors thought I had gone bonkers.“I said PAC founding President Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe and the PAC fought against the carrying of passes in 1960, we are going to carry those passes on our bodies in the form of microchips. Vaccination trials sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are going on at Wits University or Bara right now. About four years ago, responding to an article by Professors Glenda Gray, Linda Gail Bekker, Drs Fatima Patel and Mookho Malahlela, I wrote in the Star newspaper quoting one of the doctors who said there was nothing the human body needs from a vaccine. Glenda Gray and Shabir Mahdi are currently involved in vaccination trials conducted on African guinea pigs. Should there be a class action, which I believe there will be one, Glenda Gray shouldn’t feign ignorance. At any rate, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. In the same Star article, I also quoted a US Supreme Court judgement which said vaccines were not safe. 

Professor Mahdi is a vaccionologist. What branch of medicine is that when vaccines are declared to be unsafe by many scientists? Which university offers vaccionology courses when some scientists say vaccine science is bogus science? Mahdi himself is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He told Power FM on the 24th June that the UK didn’t ask them to conduct Covid-19 vaccine trials. He said they approached the UK. This was an unsolicited response. By the UK he actually means Oxford University’s Jenner Institute which itself is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Asked by Power FM breakfast hosts who funds their clinical trials. He responded that it was the Medical Research Council and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Well the Medical Research Council of which Glenda Gray is its leading figure is itself funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Professor Abdool Karim, who advises the ANC government on Covid-19, is also a beneficiary of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Karim’s Caprisa is also funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He sits on the board of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

So, Mahdi and his colleagues decided to bother Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and requested to help it conduct Covid-19 vaccine trials on African people using a vaccine that was not developed in South Africa and was not even peer-reviewed. Power FM didn’t ask Mahdi these questions. If other media outlets can interview Mahdi and his colleagues, they should raise these questions and ask them to produce documents from other countries confirming that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation vaccine they are experimenting on unsuspecting Africans was peer-reviewed. Mahdi is not telling the truth. They were instructed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct clinical trials in South Africa. The ANC government is not bothered by these dangerous Covid-19 vaccine trials which shows that Mahdi and his colleagues have permission high up in South Africa’ echelons of power.” But Sam was a Pan Africanist first and a Covid-19 denialist later. His seminal writings joined the dots to present a gloomy picture of a continent that is being sold down the river. In one of his Covid-19 articles this political gadfly writes: “Why were these freedom fighters: Robert Sobukwe, Zeph Mothopeng, Jafta Masemola and many others imprisoned. Why were these freedom fighters Onkgopotse Tiro, Steve Biko and many others killed? 

“They were imprisoned and killed because they were fighting for the liberation of the African people from mental, physical and economic oppression. They also fought for the emancipation of the continent of Africa from colonial and imperialist exploitation. This means they fought for the self-determination of the African people. “In 1994 the ANC was given nominal independence after years of secret negotiations. The ANC hasn’t used that nominal independence to pursue the objectives for which the freedom fighters mentioned in the headline gave their lives. They have not pursued those objectives with the zeal they are fighting against a non-existent disease and virus. They never declared a state of disaster to pursue the liberation objectives of the African people the way they have declared a state of disaster to fight a fake pandemic. Instead, their fight against a fake pandemic has brought misery upon the African. “If the ANC used a fraction of the energy, they expended on the fake pandemic fighting for the liberation of the African people they would have done something worthwhile. “The ANC government takes its cue from the WHO which shows there is no self-determination and that ANC leaders are not mentally liberated. President Cyril Ramaphosa sounds like a broken record about getting vaccines to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Ramaphosa and his ANC government ignore a corpus of scientific literature showing the dangers of vaccines.”

One of Sam’s dying wishes was to secure justice for Onkgopotse Tiro who was killed by a parcel bomb in Botswana. In one of his last missives, he appealed to Sunday Standard Editors Outsa Mokone and Spencer Mogapi to help resolve Tiro’s assassination: “Hi Spencer and Outsa. The Botswana Police are dragging their feet in assisting Gaongalelo Tiro with info about information surrounding the assassination of Onkgopotse Tiro in Kgale on 1st February 1974. He wrote a letter last year October and they promised to help him but to no avail. He forwarded me the response from the Botswana via FB messenger and I am not adept at these gadgets to be able to forward it to you. The SA government is also unhelpful but that will be dealt with this side. May you please help in this regard. 

Regards Sam Ditshego” Sam spent time in Botswana as a refugee before relocating to Canada. While in Botswana, he and his wife Elsie, went to study further in Nigeria for two years. They then returned to Botswana, before leaving for Canada where the family lived until 1995 when they returned to South Africa in 1995 after independence. Ditshego apparently contracted Covid-19 from his elder brother, Fox, a former teacher. They were on a trip to a tombstone unveiling in the North West when he got infected. A military veteran, Sam was taken to the 1 Military Hospital after testing positive at a drive-through testing station north of Joburg.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper