Today, we protest the incompetence, inefficiency and injustice of the agencies charged with ensuring the safety and security of all people in South Africa. We demand real and sustained action to build safe communities and ensure justice for victims of crime.
We are brought together by the case of Zoliswa Nkonyana, a 19-year-old, openly lesbian who was murdered on 6 February 2006. The escape of four of the suspects last week from the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s court is only the most recent incident in the on-going struggle to hold her attackers to account, and find justice for the deceased and her family. Nkonyana’s case, and the others outlined below, reveals a series of chronic problems with the justice system that demand to be addressed by both provincial and national government.
Activists to call a Day of Action on Tuesday September 28 in at least 20 African cities, and supported by groups around the world, to fully fund the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Maternal health and child mortality Millennium Development Goals in many countries can only be met if AIDS, TB and malaria are addressed and the Global Fund replenished with $20 billion over the next two weeks, say activists. “All countries should play their role. Contributions are needed from all governments, including lower-income countries, who have a duty to prioritise health. But the urgent priority right now is to replenish the Global Fund to put the world on track to meet the health MDGs,” said Paula Akugizibwe from the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA).
The Social Justice Coalition, Treatment Action Campaign, Equal Education, Free Gender, AIDS Legal Network, Luleka Lisizwe and Triangle Project are community-based organisations located in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Our organisations seek to address wide-ranging problems faced by our members – from inadequate sanitation and education, to HIV/TB and homophobia. Though our organisations remain focused on different campaigns, we are compelled by circumstance to express the common conviction that many victims of crime in Khayelitsha do not have adequate access to justice. Access to justice is a right guaranteed by our constitution. To protest this failing we will be staging a picket to call for an investigation into discrepancies in the cases our organisations have been following. We will focus specifically on the case of Zoliswa Nkonyana and call for a judicial investigation into the failures in the administration of justice in Khayelitsha.
CALL FOR THE DROPPING OF CHARGES AND HIS IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On September 21st 2010 Chinese activist Tian Xi will go on trial in Henan Province charged with “suspicion of intentional destruction to property.” Tian Xi is HIV positive and was infected with HIV as a child as a result of a blood transfusion at the time when thousands of people in Henan and other provinces were infected with HIV through state-sponsored blood selling programs in the 1990s. In an unprecedented action, activists from across China will attend Tian Xi’s trial to express solidarity with him. The Treatment Action Campaign calls on UNAIDS and civil society organisations worldwide to monitor the trial of Tian Xi and to issue statements calling for his immediate release. We call for UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sidibe, to urgently intervene to secure Tian Xi’s release.
A call to action by the Treatment Action Campaign
The Global Fund will hold its third Voluntary Replenishment Conference on 4-5 October. Governments and donors must ensure that sufficient funding is made available to the Global Fund to support universal access to HIV and TB treatment, prevention and care. From 20 - 28 September, TAC will be participating in the global week of action. During this week HIV activists, public health experts, concerned citizens and communities will carry out a number of actions globally to pressure governments to commit to full replenishment of the Global Fund.
This newsletter contains briefings and letters developed by TAC outlining the importance of full replenishment of the Global Fund, what you can do to get involved as well as letters sent by TAC to governments and responses received. Also included is a briefing by TAC and SECTION27, incorporating the AIDS Law Project, on the Financial Transaction Tax.
The risk of dying if you have multi-drug-resistant (MDR) or extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB is very high. Data presented at last year's Conference on Retroviruses showed that 69% of patients died within one year of presenting with MDR TB in Tugela Ferry. For XDR TB it was even worse at 82%. Over time, deaths for patients with MDR TB declined from 87% to 45% but there was no significant decline in deaths for patients with XDR TB. Several new promising drugs are being developed for TB includingTMC207 and OPC-67683 - these drugs are in different stages of development. There are compelling reasons to expand access to these experimental drugs given the high risk of death of patients with drug resistant TB.
A week into the public sector strike the Treatment Action Campaign and SECTION27 regret that no agreement has been reached between striking public service workers and the government. We support the demands of workers and their right to strike. But we regret the growing polarisation, pain and loss of life. This is now a political crisis that requires political leadership and a solution.
Themba Hadebe/ AP Photo
We publish correspondence between the TAC and the Kwazulu-Natal Provincial Government about the Tara KLamp, an unsafe circumcision device that the Kwazulu-Natal Department of Health has used in approximately 1,000 circumcisions.
To develop the systems and capacity within TAC to measure and verify data for purposes of populating TAC’s M&E performance management framework with baseline data and routinely collecting data on the outputs and outcomes to which TAC contributes.
This is the first edition of a report that TAC will produce quarterly. The report assesses TAC’s work in supporting the implementation of the NSP through identifying what has been achieved, lessons learnt, further gaps in policy, and opportunities at district level. The first report covers activities and campaigns from March – May 2010. TAC will develop subsequent reports in collaboration with SECTION27 (incorporating theAIDS Law Project).