The following scene takes place in cyberspace. Sinazo composes the first tweet and the interaction that follows represents the discussion that ensues in the comment section.
SINAZO: Sinazo Mthethwa. I haven’t posted in a while, but this is important: if you have ever slept with Mosala Mohapi, you might be HIV positive. Please get tested as soon as possible. To all the victims of Mosala’s negligence, I am truly sorry.
She sends the tweet.
GABI: Gabi Motsepe. No ways… What happened?? Are you okay Sinazo??
SINAZO: Sinazo Mthethwa. Luckily I got out in time, thanks Gabs. This guy lied to me point blank about knowing his status. When he eventually did get tested it came out that he’s had HIV all along. So reckless. Stay clear of him.
MALCOM: Malcolm Davis. Sorry to hear about this, Sinazo. This guy sounds like a maniac.
GABI: Gabi Motsepe. Woah, that’s intense. Noted. I’m really sorry you experienced this…
GILBERT: Gilbert Joseph. Unacceptable. People like Mosala are putting others in serious danger.
SINAZO: Sinazo Mthethwa. Absolutely Gil. We need to warn each other about people like this.
DINO: Dino Mattera. I agree, Sinazo. This is how the virus spreads. I will tell my friends to be careful around this guy.
TAHIRA: Tahira Osman. I’m sorry this happened to you, Sinazo, but that still does not give you the right to publicly announce someone’s HIV status on social media. I would take this tweet down if I were you.
SINAZO: Sinazo Mthethwa. He has been dishonest about his status and thereby put others at risk. People deserve to know.
OKUHLE: Okuhle Gubuza. I agree with Tahira. Mosala’s HIV status is not your status update.
TAHIRA: Tahira Osman. Sinazo, you said he was only recently diagnosed. He will let people know in his own time. You don’t get to speak for him.
DINO: Dino Mattera. I think Sinazo’s anger is absolutely justified. He lied to her about his status. He endangered other people’s lives by not getting tested. The people in his orbit have the right to know about this.
SINAZO: Sinazo Mthethwa. I think Tahira is putting far too much faith in this man. He has already shown he is capable of lying. If we are lenient with people like Mosala we only allow them to ruin other people’s lives with impunity.
OKUHLE: Okuhle Gubuza. I understand your anger, but we all make mistakes. I don’t think he deserves this.
DINO: Dino Mattera. If he had given you HIV I don’t think you would be so forgiving.
SOPHIE: Sophie Grant. This guy better stay out of my way.
TIMOTHY: Timothy van Wyk. You deserve so much better Sinazo. Sorry to hear about this.
CHASE: Chase Mahome. I didn’t trust that Mosala from the first day I met him. Good to know.
TAHIRA: Tahira Osman. I don’t know Mosala very well, nor do I understand all the nuances of this situation, so I won’t comment on that. But I will say that as a matter of principle, sharing someone’s HIV status online for the whole world to see is something you need to be extremely careful with. I am sure there are extreme circumstances where it may be necessary, but I am not convinced that this situation called for such drastic measures. This is a sensitive and private matter.
SINAZO: Sinazo Mthethwa. If you freely admit that you don’t understand the situation well enough then how do you feel comfortable saying that you are “not convinced” this post was “called for.” Stay in your lane please.
TIMOTHY: Timothy van Wyk. The audacity of some people in this comment section is wild.
WINSTON: Winston Mohapi. I cannot believe my eyes. My nephew dragging the Mohapi name through the mud like this. Does his mother know?
LEMOGANG: Lemogang Mohapi. I can’t believe a tweet about my baby cousin has gone viral! Would never have expected this of him.
WINSTON: Winston Mohapi. Lemogang, I also cannot believe it is true. Poor Mosala. He has been led astray.
THEBE: Thebe Kabi. I went to school with this guy! So unexpected. He always seemed like such a decent person. This is what happens when people move to Cape Town!
WINSTON: Winston Mohapi. I agree. Nothing good happens in Cape Town.
GILBERT: Gilbert Joseph. Keep Cape Town out of this! Mosala has no one but himself to blame for his poor life choices.
MIRIAM: Miriam Khetsi. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. This is none of your business.
SINAZO: Sinazo Mthethwa. Miriam, he told me about his status on our third date. If things had gone differently, I could have contracted the virus from him and then you wouldn’t say it’s none of my business. But now that I am trying to prevent more people from suffering you get to shame me?
TIMOTHY: Timothy van Wyk. To all the people shaming Sinazo for calling Mosala on his dishonesty, I think YOU are the ones who need to mind your own business.
WINSTON: Winston Mohapi. Miriam, don’t just defend Mosala because he is family. He deserves to be criticised for his behaviour. And his mother deserves to know about this.
MIRIAM: Miriam Khetsi. Uncle Winston, you have too much time on your hands! You need to get off social media. To everyone else, I can’t imagine that many of you know what it is like to get diagnosed with HIV. I do, and much like Mosala, I may have carried it for a while without knowing because I was not showing symptoms at the time I got tested. I have no idea where or when I contracted the virus. Hindsight is always 20/20, but life doesn’t always work out that way. Perhaps Mosala should have gotten tested earlier. I don’t deny that, and I think all of us in this comment section could’ve gotten a test sooner than we did. But what matters is that Mosala knows his status now and we need to be there to support him. He needs our love and guidance, not our scorn.