A comment on 'The unlikeable Mr Roberts loses a pal'

Denying that we were ever chums, Ronald Suresh Roberts asks what kind of friend would have made notes from the letter President Mbeki sent him.

Perhaps the kind of friend he couldn't wait to show the letter to.

I noted two of Mbeki's withering characterizations of his detractors, five words in all, to remember them for always.

I'm glad I did, because both of these phrases showed up plagiarized in Roberts's book, in which he passed them off as his own.

As I mention in 'Lying and Thieving', Roberts doesn't only steal from me, he even steals from Mbeki.

And I can prove it.

Roberts claims to have got my insight concerning AIDS as colonial ideology from Susan Sontag: 'It's in my Gordimer book, which was written before I met him.'

He didn't, it isn't, and it wasn't. Another lie pops out every time he opens his mouth.

If you look up the 'AIDS' entries in the index, you'll search in vain for any such interpretation.

Roberts himself doesn't see HIV-AIDS as colonial ideology. Along with nearly all whites, he sees it as irrefutable medical fact. He believes Western claims that impoverished black South Africans, not whites, are riddled with HIV-AIDS; and the reason he gives for this in 'Fit to Govern' is that in his opinion 'poorer Africans' have failed to 'cut back' on sex. They have too much of it.

Nor was his Gordimer book 'written before I met him'. It began 'before I met him', but was completed well after - the evidence of which is his approving inclusion of a passage from my work in progress, '"Just say yes, Mr President": Mbeki and AIDS', which he praises for its 'acid Swiftian wit'. And I edited the book manuscript for him too. For free. It took me a full week.

Now if I hadn't been a friend of his, why would I have done that?