This is an archive of the Treatment Action Campaign's public documents from
December 1998 until October 2008. I created this website because the TAC's
website appears unmaintained and people were concerned that it
was becoming increasingly hard to find important documents.
The menu items have been slightly edited and a new stylesheet applied to the site. But none of the documents have been edited, not even for minor errors. The text appears on this site as obtained from the Internet Archive.
The period covered by the archive encompassed the campaign for HIV medicines, the civil disobedience campaigns, the Competition Commission complaints, the 2008 xenophobic violence and the PMTCT, Khayelitsha health workers and Matthias Rath court cases.
TAC member Nandipha Matyeke was raped and murdered on 15 December in Harare, Khayelitsha. She was 18 years old and in grade 10 (standard 8) at Luxolo High School. At this point we have very few details of the circumstances surrounding her murder. A demonstration against violence against women will be held in Harare, Khayelitsha (next to the playing park) at 10am on Friday 23 December. For details and media comment, please contact Mandla Majola on 072 424 7181 (TAC Khayelitsha District Co-ordinator).
Equal Treatment December 2005 issue (issue 18) is out and available here (2MB pdf file) on the TAC website. Email email@example.com with your address details if you wish to be put on our mailing list to receive a hard copy of future issues of Equal Treatment. We have been alerted to two errors in the December issue which will be published on the TAC website in due course. Although most of Equal Treatment may be reproduced and used without permission, please note that some materials (including the cartoons and some photos) are copyrighted by external organisations and individuals. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification if necessary.
Here are links to articles that for logistical reasons did not get published timeously on the TAC electronic newsletter in 2005:
Joint COSATU, SACC, TAC statement (23/11/05) on stepping up civil society action to prevent and treat HIV
International Treatment Preparedness Summit (28/11/05) evaluations of country responses to HIV.
International Treatment Preparedness Summit (28/11/05) evaluation of South African government response to HIV (subset of the above).
We thank all our supporters and members and people fighting for freedom, equality and justice everywhere, for their efforts in 2005.
On 13 December 2003, Lorna Mlofana, an active member of one of TAC's Khayelitsha branches was sexually assaulted then murdered. Her attackers killed her after she told them she was HIV-positive.
First accused found guilty of murder and rape
Second accused found guilty of attempted murder
Sentencing will take place on 3 February 2006
The successful prosecution of Lorna's attackers came about due to the efforts of Prosecuter Badenhorst, Khayelitsha Police Commander Jacobs, Inspector Nash and Inspector Sass. TAC thanks them for their efforts. For two years, TAC members have campaigned relentlessly for a successful prosecution of Mlofana's attackers.
For comment: Mandla Majola, TAC Khayelitsha Co-ordinator, 021 364 5489
(Read more here and download previous TAC commentary on the Lorna Mlofana case.)
On World AIDS Day, two reports have been released demonstrating the success of antiretroviral treatment in developing countries, one from South Africa and the other from Haiti.
Antiretrovirals give life: A statement by the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg
Antiretroviral Therapy in a Thousand Patients with AIDS in Haiti: Abstract from article in today's New England Journal of Medicine
For more information click here
Nadine Gordimer donates R1.5 million to TAC
Contents - TAC Electronic Newsletter
End state sanctioned denial: TAC and South African Medical Association take legal action against Minister of Health.
Lorna Mlofana murder trial finally proceeds.
Updated Actuarial Society model of demographics of SA HIV epidemic has been released.
New regular feature: How we know that antiretroviral treatment works: Research from South Africa.
Today's feature: Study of health-related quality of life in Medecins Sans Frontieres patients on antiretroviral treatment finds substantial improvement from baseline to twelve months.
Book announcement: HIV/AIDS in South Africa, edited by Salim Abdool Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim
For details on the court case and other news please click here
For a copy of TAC's court files please click here.
Write to Joyce Masilo, Chair of Select Committe on Social Services, c/o, Arico Kotze, Committee Secretary, Select Committee on Social Services stating that:
Minimum age of consent for medical treatment in Children's Bill must remain 12 years old and not be pushed up to 14.
Minimum age of access to contraception must remain 12 years old and not be pushed up to 14 or 16.
Children have the right to keep their HIV status confidential. Consent to testing and counseling must also be kept at 12.
Therefore do not revise clauses 129, 130, 133 and 134 of the Children's Bill.
For more information on the Children's Bill and the proposed amendments click here.
Analysis of five deaths of patients on Rath's trial
For three of these patients Rath is at a minimum responsible for contributing to their deaths.
For the other two, Rath is at a minimum responsible for misleading them and creating false hope.
Several other deaths on Rath's trial have been reported, but we only discuss here ones which we have investigated.
Minister of Health has responsibility for failing to stop Rath.
Rath's pseudo-science in conjunction with other pseudo-scientific practices throughout South Africa is causing confusion and costing many lives. This pseudo-science flourishes because it is perceived to be endorsed by the Minister of Health and President Mbeki.
For more information please click here.
Lusikisiki celebrates comprehensive HIV care on 28 October 2005. Over 1100 people on antiretroviral treatment!
Special envoy on HIV/AIDS to Kofi Annan, Stephen Lewis, speaks out on failures of SA government HIV programme (reprint of New York Times article)
Important statements in the last few weeks on HIV in South Africa relating to Matthias Rath and Government's failure to act against him
Statement by University of Witwatersrand vice-chancellor, Loyiso Nongxa, condemning activities of Matthias Rath
Rural Doctors Association of South Africa expressing support for views of Zwelinzima Vavi expressed at TAC National Congress
AIDS Social Research Unit of University of Cape Town statement calling on President Mbeki to show leadership on HIV
TAC's campaign to get government to act against Matthias Rath
Watch Siyayinqoba Beat It! on SABC1 on Sunday at 13h30. This week's episode examines middle-class denialism.
Zip Zap Circus Show in Khayelitsha Mew Way Hall on Saturday 29 October to focus on acceptance. This show is run by Khayelitsha Youth Fighting HIV/AIDS with support from TAC and MSF. Zip Zap are sponsored by Old Mutual Properties.
TAC Electronic Newsletter
TAC recognised as acceptable organisation to run an HIV/AIDS education campaign:
The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASASA) has dismissed a complaint by an AIDS denialist against TAC for our widely distributed Talk About Nutrition and HIV public information advertisement. ASASA ruled that our claims were verified. ASASA has also recognised TAC as an acceptable organisation to run "an educational or information campaign addressed to the lay public" on HIV/AIDS.
TAC thanks the following organisations for their assistance in managing this complaint: Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, South African Medical Association, UNAIDS, Soul City, Nutrition Information Centre University of Stellenbosh, AIDS Law Project, Department of Human Nutrition Nelson Mandela Medical School and the AIDS Law Project.
The ruling is available here or at:
“We ask President Mbeki to lead the struggle against the HIV epidemic.”
-- Linda Mafu, TAC National Organiser
“Many people who were at the last National congress are not [alive] today. This is not a fashionable struggle but one which is costing us lives.”
-- Reverend Molefe Tsele, General-Secretary South African Council of Churches
Between September 23-25 over 600 delegates convened in Cape Town for the third TAC National Congress themed 'Women and People with HIV leadership for a People's Health Service'. The TAC Congress was rich in discussion and debates. Delegates drew up numerous resolutions and pledged their commitment to intensify TAC's current campaigns. The integral of the Congress Declaration and Resolutions can be found in the link below.
Congress Declaration and Resolutions
Constitutional Court (ConCourt) upholds pricing regulations scheme issued in terms of Medicines Act, but declares some key regulations unconstitutional
Pharmacists’ dispensing fees declared “inappropriate” and sent back to Pricing Committee
While pricing regulations remain largely in force, certain key provisions brought into line with Constitution by ConCourt itself
ConCourt rules that Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) had jurisdiction to hear pharmacists’ appeal against earlier decision of Cape High Court
Minister of Health reprimanded for disrespectful conduct in SCA:
"[The Minister] evinced a deplorable lack of respect for … the highest court in this country in respect of all matters other than constitutional matters.”
(Former Chief Justice Chaskalson)
“it is just to reflect disapproval of the Minister’s failure to present argument on the merits in … [the SCA by requiring] the Minister to bear the costs of the Pharmacies in full in that court.”
Link to Briefing
TAC calls on government and President Mbeki to end HIV denialism, treat 200,000 by 2006 and address the crisis of HIV prevention
We support the statement of COSATU General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi at the third TAC National Congress
We challenge President Mbeki to publically and unequivocally:
declare that the HIV epidemic is an emergency;
acknowledge the crisis of death due to the HIV epidemic in South Africa;
acknowledge the impact of the HIV epidemic on the rights and health of women in particular;
acknowledge the crisis of HIV prevention in South Africa and take urgent steps to reduce new HIV infections;
take steps to meet the treatment targets of the Operational Plan for Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Care, Management and Treatment for South Africa (Operational Plan), targets which government is failing to meet, and
denounce HIV denialism and, in particular, charlatans like Matthias Rath and Tine van der Maas who cause confusion and death.
Speech by COSATU General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi at Third TAC National Congress
Text of letter sent by approximately 200 health-care workers to Western Cape MEC for Health Pierre Uys regarding illegal activities of Matthias Rath and government's duty to stop him.
Please note: We intend to release a full report of the Third TAC National Congress that took place on 23 to 25 September by next week.
Congress takes place against backdrop of President Mbeki continuing to ignore HIV/AIDS impact.
Theme: Women and People with HIV Leadership for a People's Health Service
600 delegates to attend from across South Africa
Zwelinzima Vavi, the General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions
Rev. Molefe Tsele, the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches
Cheryl Carolus, veteran ANC leader
Leading HIV scientists, including:
Dr Francois Venter
Prof Quarraisha Abdool-Karim
Click here for details
Letter sent to Minister of Health on 17 September 2005
Response to MEC of Health Mpho Gabashane's misrepresentations
AIDS Law Project/TAC submission on government's Draft Strategic Framework for the Human Resources for Health Plan
Date: 23-25 September
Venue: Cape Town Ritz Hotel, Sea Point
The Opening Rally is open to the public and takes place from 18h30 to 20h30 on Friday 23 September.
Links to important National Congress documents
Media interested in attending should call Molly on 021 788 3507
For media comment, please call deputy-chairperson Sipho Mthathi, national organiser Linda Mafu or spokespersons Denis Matwa and Nokhwezi Hoboyi on 021 788 3507.
Link to Report
Third TAC Congress to be held from 23-25 September, Cape Town. We request messages of support.
Full text of Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa sanctions ruling against Matthias Rath.
COSATU Central Committee adopts TAC proposals on health and HIV
Misleading Department of Health statement will not rescue the poorly drafted Health Charter
Joint letter by civil society organisations to Minister of Health on draft Health Charter
How my child lives with HIV - by TM as told to Vathiswa Kamkam
Brief discussion about truck driver story in previous newsletter
The Draft Health Charter: An agreement for transformation or inequality?
Key points on the draft Health Charter
TAC/ALP submission to the Department of Health on the draft Health Charter (endorsed by NACTU and South African Catholic Bishops Conference)
A letter has been sent by the South African Council of Churches to the Minister of Health raising concerns about the draft Health Charter
Getting infected as a truck driver. As told to Sibongile Mashele by FS
Documents relating to TAC's defamation case against Rath and TAC's efforts to stop Rath's illegal medical practices and unethical treatment of patients.
March to Frontier Hospital in Queenstown on 26 July 2005 to demand treatment and end to police brutality
UNAIDS statement condemning police brutality against TAC demonstrators
List of organisations that condemned attack by police on TAC members in Queenstown on 12 July 2005
Seven-year-old, Pretty, waits for antiretrovirals as her health deteriorates.
New Treatment Literacy HIV/AIDS educational posters are available on the TAC website. Poster topics include blood tests, side effects, sexual health, Immune Reconstitution Syndrome (IRS), and the HIV/AIDS Treatment Plan.
You can access them through the Treatment Literacy page.
Zackie Achmat’s Statement Regarding Ronald Louw’s Death
A community story by Skhumbule Hambani
Fact Sheet: Latest News on Matthias Rath
TAC Letter of Support for Amnesty International – Zimbabwe Campaign
Press Conference Statement on 13 July 2005
clip 3 (0.83 MB) You will need QuickTime© to view these files.
It is available for free download here.
Joint Statement of the SACP and COSATU in Khayelitsha on the Dr. Rath Health Foundation
Community story by Busisiwe and Themba Radebe as told to Lerato Maloka
TAC 3rd National Congress, 2005 -- "Build Women and PLWA Leadership for a People's Health Service"
See the transcript of a debate between TAC's Nathan Geffen and Anthony Brink of the Rath Foundation.
TB and HIV: A policy paper of TAC
Second TAC/Aids Law Project (ALP) report on the state of rollout
MSF/TAC Building a Better Public Health Care Service for All conference in Durban
Why Does TAC say Treat 200,000 by 2006
Sowetan prints apology to TAC
Community Story by Sibongile Mashele
TAC, Aids Law Project (ALP), and South African HIV Clinicians Society successfully campaign for price reduction of amphotericin B
Upcoming march for health in Limpopo Province
Community Stories by Themba Maphumulo and Joel Ntimbani
TAC informs Minister of Health that it will litigate against her
Community Story: "My right to have a child" as told to Skhumbule Hambani by Gugu Dubazana
Important Upcoming TAC Events
TAC Electronic Newsletter
TAC/AIDS Law Project (ALP) statement on World Health Organisation (WHO) Consultation on Nutrition and HIV/AIDS in Africa
Community story by Thabisile Dlamini
Brief Note on Rath interdict: The court case set for 26 April 2005 to interdict Matthias Rath and his foundation from defaming TAC seems likely to be delayed through events beyond the control of TAC. Rath's advocate has asked the Judge President of the Cape High Court to appoint two judges to hear the case. The Judge President said that if he decided to appoint more than one judge, he would appoint three rather than two. The practice in Cape Town is that three-judge courts sit only on Fridays. The Judge President has still to inform us of his decision. If he decides to appoint more than one judge, it is very unlikely that the case will be heard on 26 April, as we had hoped. Furthermore, the Traditional Healers' Organisation have indicated that they are considering applying to intervene in this case on the side of Rath. This too may lead to a delay. These two factors mean that we do not yet know on what date the case will take place but we are doing all we can to speed up the hearing of the application, which was made on an urgent basis.
TAC Electronic Newsletter
Electronic copy of Equal Treatment (PDF file)...
Focus on traditional healers
The priest who would not talk about HIV
Blow to access to affordable medicine.
Our rights in our courts
For a copy of Equal Treatment, contact your nearest TAC provincial office or call Faniswa at the TAC National Office on 021 7883507 to have a copy posted to you.
Defend government's ARV programme
Rath's illegal medical practices
Rath's experiments on people
Dangerous and unethical treatment of patients
Findings against Rath
Institutional failure to deal with Rath
Full reports in TAC Newsletter 19 April 2005
TAC statement on Patricia De Lille/Charlene Smith court case
Community story: On the march for health delivery in Wallacedene informal settlement
The scientific results and ethical conduct of the HIVNET 012 trial has been validated by an independent analysis of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Read their press statement...
Mass meeting of TAC Western Cape members resolves to encourage people to get treated and to stop charlatans like Matthias Rath. TAC is encouraged by efforts of Deputy-Minister of Health Madlala-Routledge.
New regular feature: A community story as told by TAC members. In today's story, Zanele Mncube tells about the health-care problems faced in Mpophomeni Kwazulu-Natal and what is being done by the community to improve things.
United Nations and Western Cape government release statements condemning misinformation on antiretrovirals.
United Nations condemns irresponsible attack on antiretroviral therapy
Western Cape government affirms success of antiretroviral treatment - condemns misinformation.
TAC chairperson, Zackie Achmat, is recovering well from a heart attack
Help campaign for the Indian patent bill to be revised.
Support the Save Jobs Coalition; stop Rex Trueform from retrenching 1000 workers.
Yesterday the Indian Lower House of Parliament approved a new bill that will make it more difficult to access affordable generics.
South African Medical Association condemns Matthias Rath.
Southern African HIV Clinicians Society condemns Matthias Rath.
Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa orders Matthias Rath to withdraw his adverts
Rath's campaign undermines Government policy, causes public confusion and endangers lives.
Litigation against The Sowetan
TAC calls on the South African government to issue an unequivocal condemnation of Rath
TAC calls on the Medicines Control Council to take action against Rath immediately.
TAC Newsletter 14 March 2005
Article by COSATU's Neva Makgetla in Business Day, 11 March 2005, calling for an end to denialism.
The Price of Denial by Mark Heywood (a history of political denial about the HIV epidemic)
Government has supplied the number of patients receiving ART through Dec. 2004 / Jan. 2005.
Some of the resolutions which were agreed upon:
Access to Antiretroviral treatment and the implementation of the National Treatment Plan
Access to affordable medicines
HIV Prevention, Youth mobilization and HIV Testing
The NEC discussed the defamatory attack on TAC by ANC Weekly in December 2004.
Basic Income Grant campaign
TAC Provincial Work
Full report of the resolutions of NEC Meeting, 24-25 January 2005
Papers filed yesterday in the TAC application to be admitted as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the medicine pricing regulations case at the Constitutional Court.
Medicine Pricing Regulations Court Case Documents
SA National AIDS Council is failing to build a genuine partnership against HIV/AIDS
TAC treasurer, Mark Heywood, has written a short history of the effects of political denial on the HIV epidemic in South Africa. This was published in Development Update.
The Price of Denial (MS Word document)
Statistics South Africa mortality report confirms massive increase in deaths due to AIDS.
Thousands march to parliament demanding that government treat 200 000 by 2006
Statement by Rural Doctors Association of South Africa in support of antiretroviral rollout in rural areas
Treat 200,000 by 2006 - TAC's Key Campaigns for 2005. On 16 February, TAC will march to Parliament demanding that 200,000 people be put on treatment by the beginning of 2006. The march starts at 11am at Keizersgraght Street in Cape Town. This article describes TAC's plans for 2005. We appeal to everyone to join our march and we urge President Mbeki to give serious attention to HIV in his State of the Nation speech tomorrow.
Levis Rage for Revolution concert will raise money for the TAC Treatment Project. All money given to TAC will be used to pay for antiretroviral treatment for people. It takes place on Saturday 12 February from 14:30 till late at the Castle in Cape Town. Tickets can be purchased at Levis Stores, through Computicket or at the gate and are R50 (R60 through Computicket).
Law and Freedom is a new two-part television series by Zackie Achmat that explores key human rights cases in South Africa. The series will be broadcast on SABC 1 on Monday 14 and 21 February at 22:00. It examines pass laws, death penalty, housing, pensions and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV court cases.
SACC Statement on Condoms. SACC General-Secretary, Rev. Molefe Tsele, says condoms are essential to anti-AIDS campaign..
Calculation of mortality in South Africa confirms massive increase in AIDS deaths
Minister of Health and the Pharmacists - An Updated Fact Sheet on the Medicines Act and the Pricing Regulations
TAC members vote by a large majority to adopt the amended TAC Constitution.
Adopted TAC Constitution with amendments that were approved
FDA advisory which clarifies the safety, efficacy and appropriate use of nevirapine, 20 January 2005
Report and resolutions of meeting of Joint Civil Society Monitoring Forum, Bloemfontein, 19 November 2004. (MSWord Document)
ANC Today Article is Inaccurate and Contradicts ANC and Government Policy
TAC response to ANC Today article that potentially undermines government's mother-to-child transmission prevention programme and attacks the TAC
Letter from TAC to ANC
ANC Today article of 17 December 2004 undermining government's mother-to-child transmission prevention programme and attacks the TAC
TAC Supports Madiba's call on people to volunteer to test for HIV and disclose HIV infection