[DEBATE] : TAC: Don't vote for Aids denialists
tintinyana at gmail.com
Thu Feb 16 14:36:54 GMT 2006
TAC: Don't vote for Aids denialists
Leon Engelbrecht | Johannesburg, South Africa
16 February 2006 03:57
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has urged the public not to vote
for local government election candidates who were inactive in the
fight against HIV/Aids.
"If candidates do not support testing for HIV or Aids, don't vote for
them. If candidates don't support the use of condoms, don't vote for
them," said TAC chairperson Zackie Achmat.
Medication as part of a comprehensive plan worked, Achmat said, adding
that he climbed Table Mountain on Monday.
"A few years ago I thought I'd never do it," the HIV-positive activist said.
The TAC wanted just three things from the government --
accountability, responsiveness and transparency -- guaranteed in the
opening paragraph of the Constitution.
Sitting before a banner reading "Stop the denialism! Provide
leadership on HIV and Aids," TAC Secretary General Sipho Mthathi said
the campaign was encouraging its supporters and the public to vote,
but to vote according to their conscience.
It was not endorsing any political party, but would actively campaign
against candidates who are Aids denialists, she said.
The TAC would, for instance, campaign against a particular -- but
unnamed -- ANC ward candidate in Khayelitsha, for instance, unless he
was disciplined by the party. The candidate was a supporter of
controversial vitamin salesperson Matthias Rath.
Mthathi said newly elected councillors would be held accountable on
HIV and Aids issues from March 2.
"We want to see planning happening on every level, from ward
councillor to mayor to district health team."
Mthathi and Achmat also expressed their concern over the conduct and
comments of the ANC and Communist Youth Leagues regarding the verbal
abuse and stoning of the complainant in the Jacob Zuma rape trial.
They said that just as Zuma had the right to be presumed innocent
until found guilty, she also had the right to be believed until it was
"To subject a complainant in a rape case to threats and intimidation
demonstrates callous contempt for all women and for the
constitutionally protected human rights that form the cornerstone of
our hard-won democracy," the TAC said.
"We call on Jacob Zuma to insist that his supporters respect the
rights of the complainant." - Sapa
>From Sean Jacobs
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