Here’s an interesting article from reknowned forensic specialist Dr David Klatzow. Sorry it’s so long (breaking all the blog rules, I know) but it’s really worth a read:

The ANC-led alliance came to power with many stated and lofty ideals. They flowed from the rhetoric of such American greats as Martin Luther King. “An injury to one is an injury to all”, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.


Our government, post-Madiba, has been slow to give reality to these lofty ideals. Thabo Mbeki (Mr Delivery) turned out to be Mr Non-Delivery. All functionaries in government were replaced by loyal party cadres. Everything became ideology-driven instead of ability-driven. Government interference in the universities has become much more overt and destructive than ever it was under the Nationalists.

Our health system was functional to a high level, even for rural black people, and the urban “non-European” hospitals, while an abominable reflection of the apartheid system, worked well, with standards high and no shortage of drugs and equipment. Now in 2010, we contemplate exactly what has been achieved in the 15 years of post-apartheid South Africa.

A previous vice-chancellor of UCT, Mamphela Ramphele, is on record as saying that Bantu Education was better than the mess we have now. Our hospitals are dysfunctional for all South Africans who are unable to afford private health care. The Johannesburg General, Groote Schuur, Pretoria Hospital and many others around the country are mismanaged to such an extent that they have become a threat to health. The hospital accounting systems are in a shambles and suppliers have cut off supplies until their bills are paid. The standards of repair and cleanliness have plummeted. The equipment, supplies and linen have been pillaged and pilfered.

Recently, at Groote Schuur, I encountered a neurology ward that had no toilet seats, no toilet paper, no soap and no towels. The chief neurologist there informed me that he would not use the toilets in his ward because they were too disgusting. The legacy of Manto Tshabalala-Msimang speaks for itself.

Our police service is severely dysfunctional. Too many of the serving officers are corrupt. A recent PhD thesis on the subject put it at 10 percent and probably higher. Our erstwhile chief cop, Jackie Selebi, stands accused of corruption, while he was head of Interpol, moreover. This is a national disgrace. The arrogance of the man in running around with the likes of the criminal gangsters with whom he associated and not seeing the conflict of interests is astounding. The government, which should be doing all in its power to prosecute Selebi to the full, is wasting taxpayers’ money trying to keep certain witnesses out of court on the spurious basis of national interest.

Our education system is a complete mess. We have the results of the OBE debacle to contend with, where the only certainty is that we will produce a generation of educationally crippled youth.

We have the ANC government with its ludicrous policies of “quiet diplomacy” that have allowed the stability of the region to deteriorate. The influx of refugees across our borders is fuelling xenophobic violence and is placing scarce resources under huge pressure. Our water supplies are dwindling and those that we have are polluted with faecal matter from the squatter camps along their courses. Cholera is waiting. Much of the water measuring equipment installed at key points on our rivers has been vandalised.

The Cape Times (February 8) has reported that “Dire shortage at forensic labs stifles justice”. What do you expect? In my private capacity as a consulting forensic scientist, I have been warning about this state of affairs for some years. About four years ago I warned of the coming “meltdown”. To no avail. The analysts in the Health Department labs are appointed in terms of ethnicity and ideology and not in terms of their ability to do the work. When a previous head of the laboratory in Pretoria, Dr Neels Viljoen, attempted to set an examination to regulate the incoming analysts he found that he was expected to appoint people who scored single-figure results for the elementary chemistry examinations. The labs are swamped with incompetents and the work does not get done. The net result was that he and the other heads of the laboratories have all left the state’s employ and are lost to the system. Their expertise is not even available to assist the state in pulling itself up by its bootstraps. Nearly 5 000 samples from the Salt River Mortuary have not been analysed. The talk is that they will be discarded. So much for justice.

The government must stop the insane racist and aggressively affirmative policies that it has put in place. Corruption should be rooted out tooth and nail. All the available talent should be used in getting this country back on track. Stop the centralist interference in every aspect of our lives. It is not for the government to decide whether I may open a medical practice wherever I wish. All that will happen is that the available source of doctors will dwindle as they head for greener pastures.

Jacob Zuma is a national embarrassment is so many ways. His exuberant fecundity is the least of the issues, however. My primary problem with Zuma is his lack of appreciation for anything other than immediate gratification without appreciation for the consequences. He says what he feels the audience wants to hear, without a jot of sincerity or any intention to perform. It is high time, Mr Zuma, that you stop your philandering long enough to see that your party is systematically destroying this country.

As a group, the ANC hierarchy is as racist and as corrupt as the Nationalists. History will judge you harshly. Maybe I could leave you with two quotes from Martin Luther King: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” And finally, “A riot is at the bottom the language of the unheard”.

[thanks, Jen]


23 Responses to “A Message to South Africa – David Klatzow”

  1. Craig Badings on March 18th, 2010 11:10 pm

    Wow, so much for the Rainbow nation. No doubt Klatzow will be labelled a racist for these comments and they will fall on deaf ears in what has become a monopolistic democracy where anything but the party line is vehemently criticised.

  2. Rusty van Druten on April 12th, 2010 10:01 am

    David Klatzow is one of the few commentators in SA that I respect without qualification. He has the rare ability to tell it exactly as it is, and its a pity there are not more like him.
    This talent comes to the fore without exception every time he is asked for an opinion on radio stations such as 702 in Joburg.

  3. Desire Sprenger on April 13th, 2010 5:05 pm

    Thank you for your honesty. I wish that I could get hold of David to assist with my husbands murder investigation that is gone where in 10 months and is full of crime scene slip ups that are going to cost us yet another conviction and yet another brutal, sadistic criminal is still on the streets.

  4. Simon on April 14th, 2010 5:49 am

    Desire – will come back to you with contact details

  5. Desire Sprenger on April 15th, 2010 4:54 pm

    I look forward to exchanging information. As this all seems to be David’s field of expertise.

  6. Michael Mayer on April 25th, 2010 7:14 pm

    David Klatzow puts the platinum manual on the teak table for the world to see. The Internet allows him to submit his report on ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ without any red pencil murdering his paragraphs. For this, we should be very grateful; but of course our gratitude for this freedom of speech OUGHT TO BE dwarfed by a much bigger gratitude for the people who are driving our train. There’s plenty of discomfort in accepting that the sulphurous smell cannot be ignored .. But where will we bury our heads? .. Ooh look ! There’s a nice little stretch of sand ..

  7. Tasneem Salie on April 28th, 2010 10:22 am

    Hi I would also like to get in touch with David Klatzow. Many thanks

  8. ADELE SAVEN on May 28th, 2010 6:40 am

    Hi – I too would like to get in touch with Dr. David Klatzow.
    Many thanks. A. S.

  9. david klatzow on July 21st, 2010 4:07 pm

    phone 021-685-5747

  10. Merle Karp on October 25th, 2010 6:32 pm

    Congratulations on your new book “Steeped in Blood”. I look forward to reading and hearing about it from you on 702.
    Incidentally, I was indirectly involved in the Henry Burt trial in 1986 and have been a fan of yours ever since then.

  11. Andre Ferreira SC on November 3rd, 2010 1:55 pm

    Dear David

    Please contact me urgently to discuss a current matter. Please let me have your contact numbers.


    Andre Ferreira SC

  12. Dr Leon Gouws on December 16th, 2010 7:37 pm

    Dear David.

    Just finished reading your book Steeped in Blood which made for mind blowing reading, especially regarding the Helderberg riddle.Sure enough you left the best for the very last page of the book regarding the nuclear device on board of the plane. Knowing that you would not make such comments lightly I wonder whether there are any other sources that could be consulted on the topic?


  13. Nan Hodgosn on December 20th, 2010 2:23 pm

    A most interesting and informative book, after listening to the author on John Matham show 702 I went out and bought the book. to find out in the first few pages St Martins school mentioned, all the boys from that school used to walk past my parents home in Victoria street, and us girls used to hang over the wall trying to catch their eyes.
    Am sure you David would have been one of them. regards Nan

  14. Roy Price on January 4th, 2011 3:38 pm

    Dear David
    I was captivated by your book, which I received as a Christmas present – a real eye opener, it is now doing the rounds in the family….we need more people of your calibre.



  15. James Parsons on January 22nd, 2011 3:05 pm

    Hi Dr K…Busy with Steeped in Blood at the mo…one of the best reads for me yet!!
    My uncle Prof (?) Jannie Olivier (deceased now) was involved as the state pathologist concerning the death of Steve Biko….always wanted to know if all was good from his side! Any recollection of him at all?
    My cousin and i,used to peep through the key hole while he was doing post mortems….that was in 1962…i had a fascination for the work he did….I reckon if i had a second time around,i would go for forensic science etc!!
    Thanks for the black rings under the eyeballs….Great stuff!!
    Regards..and may you and your family have a safe and healthy 2011! Jimmy P.

  16. Aléthea Bettison on February 6th, 2011 8:21 am

    Hi, Dr. Klatzow.
    There’s a desperate need for a person of your stature, EXTENSIVE knowledge and experience to teach persons that are persistent in becoming Forensic Scientists. You’ve inspired many, many people.
    If I could just spend some time with you to listen to all your experiences and how you solved what you were presented with scientifically, my life would be complete.

  17. Eddie Adams on February 14th, 2011 4:07 pm

    Dr. Klatzow,
    I’m going to lay my hands on that book asap.
    Furthermore, I sadly agree with you on the State of the Nation.
    Where can I lay my hands on your report of the Drager AlcoTester?
    What is the highest measurement result that the AlcoTester can read?

    Thanking you in anticipation.

    Eddie Adams

  18. rita van wetten on July 24th, 2011 1:24 pm

    wow, Dr. Klatzow I so admire a man of your stature. i must get your book. surely hope there is still stock available. will keep you posted re this. keep up the good work.
    the article above is unfortunately so true and a very good description of the state of our- cry the beloved country. God bless. enjoy life! Rita van Wetten

  19. DALE COX on August 31st, 2011 8:52 am

    Dear Dr Klatzow

    We are looking for a top foresic expert to assist us in an investigation and you have been refered to us.

    We own a number of companies and would really like to get in touch with you.

    Kindly contact us at your very earliest convenience.

    Kind Regards

    011 898 3400
    082 891 7328

  20. Wayne Sudding on October 28th, 2011 6:37 am

    Dear David Good morning. I taught at Bishops for 10 years (1998-2007) and have just completed reading your your book: “Steeped in blood”. We have been struggling since 28 Dec 2010 until now to have a claimed of R143 000 paid out to us from an insurance comppany. Are you able to assist? Look forward to hearing from you. Take care Wayne

  21. Nikki Downes on April 3rd, 2012 4:47 pm

    I had the pleasure of attending one of Dr Klatzows inspiring talks in Howick a few weeks ago.

    He is absolutely dynamic and not to mention utterly couragous in the face of many dangers.

    Give yourselves a huge treat. Try and see one of his talks. So refreshing and also very reassuring that our concerns are indeed real. The only concern that I have still unvoiced here is the toxic relationship South Africa is happily building with China.

    May God bless you David, and the others like you, who will still stand and be heard!

    With kind regards,

    Nikki Downes.

    (If you do read this, the next time I am hiding in the audience, do not use me to demonstrate how blood deposits off a shoe could not have happened :))

  22. Johan Krueger on July 8th, 2012 12:09 pm

    Yebo Dr Klatzow, tell it as it is! Sad bitter facts. Beware the AZANIA Spring South African government of the day!

  23. Johan Krueger on July 8th, 2012 12:11 pm

    Yebo Dr. Klatzow, say it as it is. Sad bitter facts. Beware the AZANIA SPRING government of the day.

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