World Aids Day - statement by Mr Bantu Holomisa, MP (UDM President) (1 December 2009)

The UDM welcomes today’s statements from the President and his colleagues. We commend President Zuma and his Government for clearing up the confusion around Government’s HIV/AIDS policy. There is no doubt for the first time that the ANC Government has a clear policy on HIV/AIDS and is willing to unite with the rest of society in fighting the pandemic.

This will be a pleasant Christmas for people such as President Mandela and Archbishop Tutu who were castigated by the ANC for standing up on this issue years ago and campaigning for clear policy.

It’ll be in the best interests of our country for all of us to embrace this new spirit of unity of purpose. It will take time, and there will be teething problems before treatment and resources reach all communities, but we can’t fault President Zuma for kick-starting the process at long last.

Today’s statement begins to undo the stigma around the disease which was exacerbated by years of ANC ambivalence on the topic.