ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM CAUCUS LIAISON OFFICER
court case is being threatened against the Mpumalanga department of Health by a
mother who was not told her HIV/AIDS status, nor how this would affect her
unborn child, nor the possible remedies and preventative steps she could take.
She and her child represent the faces for the millions like them whom government
would prefer to ignore as a faceless, voiceless, and therefore non-existent
'problem'. As with all the other brave and resolute faces that we have come to
know over the past few years, they are perhaps the greatest weapons in this
unnecessary battle to convince government and President Mbeki of the reality and
proportions of this pandemic.
The government seems to be developing a taste for court battles, no matter how
bruised and battered they have to retreat after each defeat. Nowhere is this
more frustrating than in it's filibustering on HIV/AIDS. In another case
government will be challenged in court soon, around its refusal to provide
Mother-to-Child Treatment. Government must surely know that it cannot win the
case, yet it persists in opposing the case. Sadly, it is not only government
that loses each time citizens are forced to resort to the courts to force the
government to fulfil its constitutional responsibilities. These cases waste
precious time and resources that should be used to fight the pandemic. It is
difficult not to speculate, as with TAC's latest court application, whether
government is not wilfully opposing cases it knows it will lose, simply as a
delaying tactic to avoid upholding constitutional rights which force them to
implement policies which run contrary to the thinking of President Mbeki.
Unfortunately, President Mbeki's credibility will be only a minor casualty, when
one day people look back at this history and count the millions of South
Africans whose lives were worth less than the stubborn pride of one man.
Ms Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Caucus Liaison Officer
19 October 2001