TAC CORRECTION TO MISLEADING DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH STATEMENT
24 October 2004
A press release by the Department of Health misleadingly titled 'TAC withdraws
legal action against Health Department' has just come to our attention (see
below for the statement).
Please note that TAC has not withdrawn its legal action or its claim that the
Ministry of Health has a legal duty to have an implementation plan and to make
it publicly available.
However, in the face of the claim, made under oath in the government's Answering
Affidavit, that Annexure A is a "draft" that was never approved, we have
accepted that under the Promotion of Access to Information Act we are no longer
in a position to pursue the publication of Annexure A.
We will, however, be going to Court on 4 November to argue that government
should pay punitive costs in view of the numerous occasions between February
2004 and September 2004 when they failed to provide this information to TAC or
the public, thereby continuing to mislead people that a detailed implementation
plan does exist (these occasions are set out in full in our letter to the State
TAC is astounded that Cabinet approved a Comprehensive Plan that, according to
the Ministry, had no targets or timetables for implementation.
We agree with Mr Mngadi that it is "unfortunate that much effort and resources
had to be put into legal processes before the matter could be resolved". This
is why we will be seeking punitive costs. But we also dispute that the matter
is 'resolved'. It will only be resolved when the Ministry conducts itself in
the manner required by the Constitution by either (a) making an Implementation
Plan, if one exists, available to the people of South Africa or (b) urgently
developing an implementation plan and publishing it (if one does not exist) .
Should it be necessary legal action will continue to be used in order to ensure
that the government conducts itself properly.
Court papers related to the case can be found at
This provides a fuller picture of how this dispute has evolved.
On 4 November, when the case appears in the Pretoria High Court, there will be
demonstrations in major cities throughout SA to demand an implementation plan
and insists on our right to information.
Below is a more detailed explanation of the court case.
Contact Sipho Mthathi (0843007007), Fatima Hassan (0832799962), Nonkosi Khumalo
(0722311422) or Mark Heywood (0836348806) for further details.