UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

MBEKI MUST RETIRE FROM THE HIV/AIDS DEBATE, ONCE AND FOR ALL

STATEMENT ISSUED BY BANTU HOLOMISA, MP
UDM PRESIDENT

The apparent suppression of a Medical Research Council report contradicting President Mbeki's ideas on the extent of HIV/AIDS related deaths is cause for grave concern. The UDM maintains that science should be left to the scientists. The UDM calls on Mbeki to retire from this debate once and for all. Each new controversy fuelled by Mbeki, causes untold harm to the country's image, investor confidence, and it also destroys the morale of patients and medical professionals who daily battle this disease.

The UDM is concerned by the trend that is developing regarding the way information that is regarded as politically "incorrect" is being dealt with by the ANC. It increasingly reminds of the way the previous regime dealt with information that did not suit its political agenda. Accountability and transparency, central to the proper functioning of democracy, is sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. We cannot tolerate that.

The UDM calls on Mbeki to unreservedly retract the statements he made in his letter to the Minister of Health and informs his Cabinet, and the country that those comments should be disregarded.

Enquiries:
Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President
082 552 4156

Cape Town
17 September 2001