A small but vocal political party in South Africa has joined calls for former president Thabo Mbeki to be held accountable for his role in the HIV/Aids pandemic.
Aids activists have called for Mbeki to be to be charged with genocide for failure to provide thousands of South African Aids sufferers with life-saving ARVs.
Said the Young Communist League of SA (YCLSA) “The call to hold our former head of state Thabo Mbeki is accountable for his role in this debacle cannot be reduced to a popularity contest,” the league said in a statement.
“Neither should it be classified as vindictive prosecution by the government. It should be a lesson that one must take responsibility for one’s actions. It should also be used as a sign that we are turning the tide and strengthening our war against HIV/Aids,” the YCLSA said.
YCLSA says Mbeki made a mockery of South Africa AIDS fight. “Mbeki denied pregnant mothers antiretroviral drugs, which could have
prolonged their lives and reduced mother-to-child transmission. Mbeki cast doubt on the link between HIV and Aids. He made a mockery of our country and failed to provide sound political guidance to a nation in distress.
The first call was from a doctor Malcolm Naude who was fired for helping rape victims. Naude was fired in 2001 because he continued to prescribe ARVs to women who had been raped.
To mark World Aids Day on Tuesday, Jacob Zuma outlined changes to the
country’s HIV policy, including treating all HIV-positive children under the age of 1.
Zuma said in addition all people with both Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV would receive treatment if their CD4 (cluster of differentiation 4) count was 350 or lower.
The CD4 count threshold was previously set at 200. CD4 count is used
as an indicator of how sick a person with HIV is.