UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

ANC MUST BRING MBEKI IN LINE ON HIV/AIDS

STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM CAUCUS LIAISON OFFICER

The UDM finds it sad that yesterday on the 3rd annual anniversary of the Partnership Against AIDS initiative, government's confusing approach to HIV/AIDS was exposed on various fronts.

The Minister of Finance tabled a Review in Parliament yesterday that expressly highlights the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on the provinces, and in Johannesburg it was confirmed that 33% of women visiting antenatal clinics tested positive for the disease.  Simultaneously, the Government continues to suppress and discredit an authoritative Medical Research Council report on HIV/AIDS related morality.

The ANC must realise that no amount of semantic games and suppression of statistics will change the fact that thousands of South Africans are dying, and that millions more will die if the government continues to allow itself to be misguided by the ANC and President Mbeki's ill-considered ideas on the subject.

Ironically, the Deputy President Zuma claimed yesterday that HIV/AIDS awareness was higher than 90% among South Africans. We question whether this 90% awareness is an accurate figure? Does it not to a large degree reflect a huge awareness of inaccurate and irresponsible ideas around HIV/AIDS, such as the President's claims that HIV/AIDS is not caused by a virus?

The UDM calls on the ANC to attend to this matter of extreme national interest, by rising to the challenge and meeting it with maturity, even if this means withdrawing once and for all its leader from comment or decision-making on HIV/AIDS.

Enquiries:
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Caucus Liaison Officer
082 557 4184

Cape Town
10 October 2001