The Treatment Action Campaign has released a statement regarding the attacks on the Kennedy Road settlement in Durban by ANC-affiliated militia:
Attacks on Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the AIDS Law Project (ALP) are concerned by reports of violence and intimidation against members of the Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement (ABM) in the Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban. ABM is a community based organisation that works to improve conditions for shack dwellers.
According to a statement released by several civil society groups, local ANC people allegedly drove leaders of the ABM and others out of the settlement. We have received further reports that the people carrying out the attacks sang anti Mpondo slogans and that the police allowed the violent attacks to be carried out. Furthermore, it is alleged that the police, instead of arresting the attackers, have arrested members of the Kennedy Road Development Committee, an organisation targeted by the attackers.
If the allegations being made are true, they are extremely serious. Violence was often used under the apartheid government to secure political advantage in Kwazulu-Natal. These methods should be confined to our past. South Africa is now a constitutional democracy in which the only mechanisms of securing political power should be non-violent and lawful.
We call on President Jacob Zuma, the South African Human Rights Commission and the Independent Complaints Directorate to meet with the residents of Kennedy Road and to investigate the allegations against the local ANC branch and the police.
To sign a petition in support of the Kennedy Road residents please click here.
–End of Statement–
The Treatment Action Campaign has publicly endorsed President Kgalema Motlanthe’s decision to appoint Barbara Hogan as the new health minister and Dr Molefi Sefularo as her deputy, describing both the appointments as “excellent”. Published below is the TAC’s release:
TAC Welcomes the Appointment of New Health Minister
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcomes the appointments of Ms Barbara Hogan as the Minister of Health and Dr Molefi Sefularo as the Deputy Minister of Health. We congratulate President Motlanthe for making these excellent appointments.
We are confident that Hogan has the ability to improve the South African health system. She has been one of the few Members of Parliament to speak out against AIDS denialism and to offer support to the TAC, even during the worst period of AIDS denialism by former President Thabo Mbeki and former Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. 0n 14 February 2003, she received the TAC memorandum to President Mbeki for a treatment plan. She was removed as Finance Portfolio Chairperson by Mbeki in part for her stand on HIV/AIDS. She has a reputation for being hard-working, competent and principled.
Hogan has a long record of struggle for human rights. Twenty-seven years ago, she was detained and tortured by the apartheid security Police. She was tried for treason as an ANC member and spent eight years in prison.
Dr Sefularo, during his tenure as MEC for Health of North West Province, supported ARV rollout and the implementation of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) in the province.
There are tremendous challenges ahead for Hogan and Sefularo. The inequalities of the apartheid system, the HIV epidemic and the utterly disastrous reign of Tshabalala-Msimang have left the health system in a parlous state. Hogan’s biggest challenges will be to meet the treatment and prevention targets of the HIV/AIDS National Strategic Plan, integrate TB and HIV treatment, develop a feasible human resources plan for health workers and undo the considerable legacy of AIDS denialism left by her predecessor. The TAC will do all that it can to assist her and the Department of Health to meet these challenges.
Over two million South Africans died of AIDS during the presidency of Thabo Mbeki. At least 300,000 deaths could have been avoided had the president merely met the most basic constitutional requirements. Instead Mbeki and his health minister pursued a policy of politically supported AIDS denialism and undermined the scientific governance of medicine. Many more people would have died had it not been for the campaign for treatment and the independence of our courts, which ultimately forced Mbeki and Tshabalala-Msimang to implement an HIV treatment plan. We believe that the period of politically supported AIDS denialism has ended with the appointment of the Minister of Health.
We congratulate Hogan and Sefularo and wish them the best. Aluta continua!
— end of TAC release —
Yippee!! The TAC has won their court battle against the vitamin obsessed Aids-cure conman Matthias Rath. Poor Manto’s going to be heartbroken.
Below is a statement from the TAC providing more details:
Cape High Court interdicts Matthias Rath and orders Government to investigate and stop breaches of the Medicines Act
Today the Cape High Court handed down a landmark judgment in a court action initiated by TAC and the South African Medical Association (SAMA) against Matthias Rath and the Government of South Africa. The case was originally heard before the Court on 12-14 March 2008.
This judgment unequivocally establishes the duty of the state to enforce the scientific governance of medicines as defined in the Medicines and Related Substances Act 101 of 1965 (hereafter referred to as the ‘Medicines Act’). This case has demonstrated how the Minister of Health has wilfully obstructed the rule of law and promoted pseudoscience, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of many people. We call on the President and the ANC to demonstrate their commitment to the rule of law by immediately relieving the Minister of her duties.
This judgment is effectively a stern warning to all purveyors of untested and unregistered medicines, especially those selling so-called “cures” for HIV/AIDS. Zeblon Gwala, “inventor “ of the quack AIDS-remedy Ubhejane, the makers and financiers of Comforter’s Healing Gift and Secomet products as well as Tine van der Maas should pay particularly close heed to it and cease their unlawful activities.
For background on the case, click here.
To download the full judgment, click here
–end of TAC statement–