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TAC Electronic Newsletter

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Contents:

 

Public event: Rally to Support Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge - Implement the HIV/AIDS Plan

On Wednesday 29 August, TAC will host a rally at St Georges Cathedral in support of dismissed former Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, with the demand that government implement the HIV/AIDS and STI National Strategic Plan 2007-2011.

All welcome to attend.

For further details contact Fredalene Booysen on 073 206 3611 or 021 447 2593.

[END OF CALL TO RALLY]

Letter to President Mbeki demanding reasons for retaining Health Minister Tshabalala-Msimang

The AIDS Law Project (ALP) has sent a letter to President Mbeki on behalf of the TAC demanding reasons for why he continues to retain Manto Tshabalala-Msimang as Minister of Health.  We have asked for a response by 7 September 2007. Attached to the ALP letter is a letter the TAC sent to the President last year describing in detail the failure of Tshabalala-Msimang to carry out her duties as Health Minister.

The letter by the ALP was sent following the request from the President's office for evidence of Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's dereliction of duty.

Link to ALP letter
Link to annexures to ALP letter

[END OF LETTER TO PRESIDENT MBEKI]

Support Good Governance - Support Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge Fund 

The government is pursuing Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, the former Deputy Minister of Health, for the expenses of her trip to the International Vaccine Conference. The Department of Health is withholding a salary lawfully due to her in lieu of that ‘debt’. The state has also demanded that she pays for rent due for the use of ministerial accommodation since 2001. These actions are vindictive and intended to humiliate her.
 
In defence of good governance and to support Ms Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, a fund has been set up to assist her with short term financial needs related to non-payment of her salary and to cover any legal costs of defending these claims by the government. Any unspent funds will be donated to the Ingwavuma Orphans Project Website: http://www.orphancare.org.za/  Registered non-profit organization: - 010-354 NPO.

The"Support Good Governance -- Support Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge Fund" will be managed and accounted for by the AIDS Law Project on the guidance of a fund committee comprised of Andrew Feinstein (former ANC MP and former Deputy-Chair of SCOPA), Adv Adila Hassim (Acting Director of AIDS Law Project), Vuyokazi Matiso (TAC NEC Member and Eastern Cape Chairperson) and Cheryl Gilwald (former Deputy-Minister of Correctional Services).

Here are the account details:
Bank: NEDBANK
Account Name: Support Good Governance - Support Nozizwe
Account Number: 1950 593797
Branch: Braamfontein
Branch Code: 195-005
Bank Swift Code: NEDSZAJJ
Type of Account: Current

Regards
Zackie Achmat

[END OF CALL TO SUPPORT MADLALA-ROUTLEDGE]

Recall of Department of Health Endorsed, SABS Approved, Condoms Due to Corruption

On 22 August the Sowetan reported that several condom brands, at least one of which is endorsed and distributed by the Department of Health (branded as Choice), were defective but  that a South African Bureau of Standards official was bribed by Latex Surgical Products (LSP) to approve defective condoms.

The TAC has received requests from concerned people and organisations about what to do about their condoms.  The Choice brand is widely distributed across the country and is freely available. We, unfortunately, have been unable to offer any useful information until now. It is a week since this story broke and either both the Department of Health and SABS have failed to put useful information on their website or we cannot find it. The Department of Health has released a statement, but it does not list the defective serial numbers of the defective condoms. Nor does it provide details for how long the problem has persisted or the seriousness of the defects in the condoms. The statement has a link to what is referred to as a ZIP file, but is in fact an Excel file, with no explanations and of little obvious use to the public.

TAC contacted the SABS telephonically today. They sent us a document which states that the following condom brands are "non-conforming":

  • Ultramour
  • LSP
  • Makoya 
  • Randy Rat
  • Condom Concept
  • Positions  
  • African skins
  • Choice – Lot number 4308/ZLX/- - - only

The SABS document further states that legal action is being taken against LSP and that the company has been instructed to recall the above products.

This is a scandal that has potentially endangered lives, possibly led to unnecessary HIV infections and undermined public confidence in condoms. The Department of Health must release more information on the extent of the problem and what steps are being taken to prevent it occurring again. The Department of Health's failure to deal with this issue with greater urgency and vigour is grossly negligent.