Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Link Love: The Letters of Dr. Lucas Ntyintyane

Dr. Lucas and his 'machine gun'

I am a regular reader of Business Day and I often peruse the letters to the editor section (to which I also contribute on an infrequent basis). One of the more regular writers is a chap by the name of Dr. Lucas Ntyintyane, a medical doctor and cardiovascular researcher from Cresta, Johannesburg. Although I feel he can verge on doomsday prophesising, Dr. Lucas is an entertaining writer and has a knack for capturing the popular mood in the country (with one reader urging the "good doctor" to run for public office). One shortcoming is that in his quest for the next big figurative flourish the quality of Dr. Lucas' analysis can sometimes suffer, but mostly he manages to avoid the polemical soap boxing of other letter writers.

If anybody can help me get in touch with him I would be happy to find out. These are his letters from this year; earlier ones can be found
in the Business Day archive.

Malema is tomorrow's Mugabe - 25 June 2008
"We must do whatever it takes, within the confines of the law, to protect this democracy from political abuse by bullies. It is our responsibility to be vigilant and mistrustful of any political leader. Yesterday’s heroes can be today’s dictators. The Julius Malemas of today are the Robert Mugabes of tomorrow. Blind loyalty and ignorance is a recipe for political thuggery."

My apologies - 23 June 2008
"It’s not easy to admit you were wrong, but I must. I apologise to African National Congress (ANC) Youth League president Julius Malema for misinterpreting his “kill for Zuma” statements. Clearly, he didn’t say that. I blame the media for misleading me."

SA is just a joke - 12 June 2008
"I have read all the books on Mugabe. I have heard all the theories about him. I still cannot understand why he is killing his own people. In the past five years Africa has been in the headlines worldwide because of Mugabe. He personifies everything that is wrong with Africa."

Mandela-type leader needed - 2 June 2008
"Mandela didn’t speak to the masses via the media. Mandela went to the people. He walked the streets of Boipatong after the massacre. He shared the nation’s pain and suffering. His diary was not too busy for him to visit the squatter camps. The pain of his people was more important than glitzy dinners in Paris, Abuja and Tanzania. In the country’s time of need, he was among his people, not gallivanting around the world."

Lust for power - 15 May 2008

"The desire for power is driven by a misguided belief that you can control people. This grandiose delusion, that more power will make you a better leader, is the Achilles heel of most politicians. It’s the reason for their downfall. Unconstrained power is dangerous, irrespective of who is holding it."

Race and the law - 13 May 2008
"We come from a very painful past, where the life of a black person was cheaper than that of a chicken. The Waterkloof case, forces us to ask: is the value of life the same in the eyes of the law, irrespective of skin colour?"

Courage to vote - 1 April 2008
"This is the moment most ordinary Zimbabweans have been waiting for. Your best weapon is your vote and freedom to choose. Use your vote to say no to dictatorship and the Big Man Syndrome. Vote for democracy. Stand up for Africa and human dignity."

Strive for better - 31 March 2008
"These are indeed strange times. Welcome to the age of paradoxes. To fight corruption, we reward the culprit with promotion and dismiss the whistle-blower."

Healthcare for all - 18 March 2008
"The existing health-care model (in private and public) has failed! A total revamp of the health sector is urgently needed as public healthcare is in terminal stages of demise thanks to overcrowding, understaffing and poor infrastructure."

Revive research - 14 March 2008
"One issue is the decreasing research output due to a shrinking research pool, especially the number of young black doctors involved in research projects. Black researchers are a rarity. There are not enough black doctors doing PhD s in this country. This is a result of many factors, ranging from low remuneration to poor working environments. Full-time research is financial suicide. Giving up your thriving medical practice — for research — is not easy. Those pursuing research are making a huge sacrifice."

Blame the parties - 4 March 2008
"Why are we so scared of one another? Why are we building walls of exclusion and hatred around ourselves? Because the enemy of democracy is not our cultural differences, but bigots. Demonisation of the other is not the solution to cultural racism. A cultural backlash against other white students is wrong. It is not a change of laws that sustains democracy but a change of attitudes and tolerance."

The President is tired
- 13 February 2008
"A brilliant state of the nation address, but it came too late for the country. One thing is for sure: President Thabo Mbeki is tired. The fire is gone."

Arms nemisis
- 11 January 2008

"Will we see the end of the arms deal saga? Maybe it will succeed where the apartheid regime failed — in dividing the African National Congress (ANC).
To me the arms deal is synonymous with lies and more lies. What we know is just the tip of the iceberg."

Also see his medical research:

The Heart of Soweto Study - a cardiovascular research paper by Dr. L. Ntyintyane, et al.


  1. Thanks for posting this. The good Doctor's letters are spot on.

  2. I agree, I particularly like 'Lust for power' and 'Mandela-type leader needed'. Very evocative language and exposes the posturing and the shortcomings of our leaders.