Wrongs of Rath

The Wrongs of Matthias Rath

The end of the Matthias Rath affair?

A TAC statement on the end of the court case to stop Rath conducting unlawful experiments on people.

Matthias Rath and TAC's efforts to stop his harmful activities

Matthias Rath is the definitive charlatan. Armed with huge amounts of money, megalomania, a lack of conscience and most importantly, the support of South Africa's incompetent Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, Rath has sown confusion in South Africa about the treatment and prevention of HIV. The Rath saga demonstrates how damaging politically-supported AIDS denialism is.

Also see:

Interdict against Rath's clinical trial, unregistered medicines and false advertising court case

On 13 June, the Cape High Court handed down a landmark decision in a court action initiated by TAC and the South African Medical Association (SAMA) against Matthias Rath and the Government of South Africa. The High Court's decision upholds the rule of law and the sovereignty of science in South Africa.

This judgment unequivocally establishes the duty of the state to enforce the scientific governance of medicines as defined in the Medicines and Related Substances Act 101 of 1965 (hereafter referred to as the ‘Medicines Act’). This case has demonstrated how the Minister of Health has wilfully obstructed the rule of law and promoted pseudoscience, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of many people. We call on the President and the ANC to demonstrate their commitment to the rule of law by immediately relieving the Minister of her duties.

This judgment is effectively a stern warning to all purveyors of untested and unregistered medicines, especially those selling so-called “cures” for HIV/AIDS. Zeblon Gwala, “inventor “ of the quack AIDS-remedy Ubhejane, the makers and financiers of Comforter’s Healing Gift and Secomet products, as well as Tine van der Maas, should pay particularly close heed to it and cease their unlawful activities.

TAC thanks its counsel Geoff Budlender, its attorney William Kerfoot and the Legal Resources Centre for their critical roles in the success of this case.

For information on the ruling, and to read the court judgment, click here.

For background on the case, click here.

To view the judge's order, click here.

To download the full judgment, click here.

The Cape High Court has also issued a judgment on Rath's application to appeal, TAC's counter-appeal and TAC's successful application for an interim execution order. To read it, click here.

Here are many of the court documents:

  • Notice of Motion PDF

  • Amended Notice of Motion PDF

  • Heads of Argument (Updated 11 March 2008) PDF
  • Oral reply to respondents' heads of argument (delivered orally to the Cape High Court on 14 March 2008)  PDF
  • Founding Affidavit by Nathan Geffen PDF
  • South African Medical Association Founding Affidavit PDF

  • Andrew Gray Affidavit on Medicines PDF

  • Andrew Gray Attachment PDF

  • Nigel Rollins on nutrition and HIV PDF
  • Francois Venter Affidavit on the Science of HIV PDF
  • Leslie London Affidavit on Ethics PDF

  • Peter Saranchuk Affidavit on the Effect of Rath Activities on four of his patients PDF

  • Nandipha Ntsholo on what happens to patients who participate in the Rath clinical trial PDF

  • Zondani Magwebu on how his wife, who was treated by Rath's agents, died PDF

Response from the Government

  • Government's Filing Notice PDF

  • Affidavit of Thamsanqa Mseleku (Director-General for Department of Health) PDF

  • Affidavit of Peter Eagles (Chairperson of the Medicines Control Council) PDF

  • Affidavit of Pierre Uys (Member of the Executive Council For Health of the Western Cape) PDF

TAC's Responses

  • Replying Affidavit of Nathan Geffen PDF

  • Replying Affidavit of Zackie Achmat PDF

  • Replying Affidavit of Sipho Mthathi PDF

  • Replying Affidavit of Robert Dorrington PDF

  • Replying Affidavit of Francois Venter PDF

  • Replying Affidavit of George Ellis PDF

  • Replying Affidavit of Dr. Graeme Ayton Meintjes PDF

Please note that there are many more other affidavits including testimony about how Rath's activities have endangered patients.

Interdict against defamation court case

Full Bench of Cape High Court rules in favour of TAC

The full bench of the Cape High Court interdicted Matthias Rath and his foundation from making defamatory allegations against TAC.

  • Cape High Court Judgment DOC

TAC's Application to Court

  • Notice of Motion PDF

  • Founding affidavit by Zackie Achmat PDF

  • Affidavit by Nathan Geffen PDF

TAC's responding papers to Rath's agents' affidavits

  • Response by Zackie Achmat PDF

  • Response by Debbie Matthews PDF

  • Response by Laura Morrison PDF

  • Response by Mandla Majola PDF

  • Response by Mark Heywood PDF

  • Response by Robin Wood PDF

  • Response by Steve Andrews PDF

  • Response by Zaid Mohamed PDF

  • TAC's replying affidavit to the Traditional Healers' Organisation, who decided to enter the case on the side of Rath PDF

Poor quality of AIDS denialist arguments demonstrated in debate on Tim Modise show.

See the transcript of a debate between TAC's Nathan Geffen and Anthony Brink of the Rath Foundation. (Transcript)