This morning, about 30 members of the TAC, most living openly with HIV, gathered at St Georges Cathedral in Cape Town and proceeded to hand over a complaint against Christine Qunta, her associate Freddie Isaacs and the company Comforter's Healing Gift to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the South African Human Rights Commission and the Cape Law Society. Two TAC members also went to Qunta Incorporated's offices in the Reserve Bank Building to give Christine Qunta a copy of the complaint.
- Here is the complaint.
- Here is an affidavit, attached as NK1 to the complaint, by Emma Baleka who visited the premises of Comforter's Healing Gift and bought their "AIDS cure".
- Here is the original article on how Comforter's Healing Gift sells its "AIDS Cure", published in Independent Group newspapers, attached as NK2 to the complaint.
Yesterday, Qunta's lawyers, Bowman Gilfillan Incorporated, sent TAC a letter which accused TAC of releasing a statement on 26 September that defamed her client and contained "numerous falsehoods". The letter failed to state what was false in our statement, which in any case, only contained information that was already publicly available.
The TAC stands by our statement. We reiterate our views that Christine Qunta promotes pseudoscience and that as a director on its board, she bears responsibility for the AIDS profiteering of Comforter's Healing Gift. She is consequently unfit to be a lawyer, a member of the SABC board, a member of the The Presidential Task Team on African Traditional Medicines in South Africa or to hold any public office whatsoever.
The letter from Bowman Gilfillan also accuses TAC of organising an illegal march to Qunta's offices intended to "intimidate, harass and threaten her and the staff and clients of Qunta Incorporated." It goes on to say that this is illegal.
But the facts are as follows:
- Everyone in South Africa has a constitutional right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to protest. TAC frequently expresses this right. This is not harassment or intimidation.
- The Bowman Gilfillan letter invoked the National Key Points Act 102 of 1980 to explain why TAC could not march to the offices of Qunta Incorporated. Qunta's offices are in the Reserve Bank Building in Cape Town, which is designated as a national key point by Apartheid legislation whose purpose was to stifle freedom of expression against the old National Party government. It is very likely unconstitutional.
- TAC sent two members to the Reserve Bank building this morning to hand over the complaint to the offices of Qunta Incorporated.
- The Reserve Bank building was especially cordoned off for the occasion. Security guards asked the two TAC members not to enter the building but to wait outside while they asked someone from Qunta Incorporated to come down and accept the complaint.
- The TAC members were then allowed into the lobby to hand over the complaint to a person who identified himself as an employee of Qunta Incorporated. However, a second apparent employee then joined him and stopped him from accepting the complaint. The TAC members consequently had to place the letter in Qunta's building post box.
This begs the question: who then is really intimidating, harassing and threatening people?