TAC Electronic Newsletter
7 September 2005
- 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.
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Third TAC Congress
23-25 September 2005
Build Women and People with HIV/AIDS Leadership for a People's
Letter from TAC Deputy-Chairperson requesting messages of support
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will be hosting its 3rd National
Congress in Cape Town on 23-25 September 2005.
It is now two years after the Operational Plan for Comprehensive
HIV/AIDS Care, Management and Treatment for South Africa was adopted by
Cabinet in November 2003. This congress will therefore ask the
- How many lives have been saved?
- What have we done to make this possible?
- What is yet to be done to ensure the right of all to life and a
dignified health-care service?
TAC has used its resources and time to assist the implementation of the
treatment programme. We continues to engage sectors of government who
recognize that treatment will not succeed without the meaningful
participation of communities.
TAC has called for at least 200,000 people on treatment by end of March
2006 if the treatment plan is to make the difference it was intended
for. The Congress will discuss the implications of this target and what
is required to achieve it.
The chosen theme for this Congress is Build Women and People with
HIV/AIDS Leadership for a People's Health Service. To move forward,
the organization must develop strong women leadership because women
and people living with HIV/AIDS are key to the success of the
prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
The Congress will open with a rally on the evening of Friday 23
September and it is here that we would like to display or read out
messages of support from organisations and individuals. If you or your
organisation wish to send a message of support please send it
electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later then
Please send this message to other organisations you think may be
interested in participating.
Your support, as always, is appreciated.
[END OF LETTER ON NATIONAL CONGRESS]
Ruling of ASASA on TAC's request for sanctions against Matthias Rath
Dr Rath Health Foundation / TAC & Another / 1861
Ruling of the : Advertising Standards Committee
In the matter between:
Treatment Action Campaign & Another Appellant
Dr Rath Health Foundation Africa Respondent
24 Aug 2005
At a meeting held on 13 July 2005, the Advertising Standards Authority
Committee (“the Committee”) considered a request for sanctions arising
from the Directorate finding of 12 May 2005 that the respondent was in
breach of a Directorate ruling of 9 March 2005.
RELEVANT CLAUSES OF THE CODE
In light of the issue before the Committee, the following clauses of
the Code are relevant:
• Clause 14 of the Procedural Guide – Sanctions
• Clause 15 of the Procedural Guide – Enforcement of Rulings
APPEARANCES BEFORE THE COMMITTEE
The complainant was represented by Nathan Geffen, Head of Research and
Communications, TAC; Linda Mafu, National Organiser, TAC and Dr David
Spencer, Southern Africa HIV Clinicians Society and Jonathan Berger.
The respondent was not represented.
SUBMISSIONS BY COMPLAINANT
The complainant made comprehensive submissions as requested by the ASA
on sanctions on 14 March 2005, 16 May 2005, 18 May 2005 and at the
hearing of this matter.
The complainant submits that the respondent continues to breach the
previous ruling of the Directorate. These breaches have occurred, and
continue to occur, on the respondent’s website, pamphlets distributed
in the Western Cape, pamphlets distributed in Cape Town, pamphlets
distributed in Khayelitsha, advertisements in “The Mercury”, “New York
Times”, “International Herald Tribune”, “The Namibian”, a booklet
distributed in the Western Cape, and in the respondent’s interviews or
media appearances on both print and electronic media.
The complainant expressed concern that the respondent might circumvent
present and future rulings of the ASA by continuing to place the same
or similar advertisements through its agents and supporting groups,
• Dr Rath Health Foundation, Africa
• Cellular Life
• Better Life
• Dr Rath Health Foods, Africa (Pty) Ltd
• Dr Rath’s Health Programmes, Africa (Pty) Ltd
• Allied groupings such as the Treatment Information Group, Traditional
Healers’ Organization and the South African National Civics
The complainant submits further that besides being a flagrant disregard
of the Directorate’s ruling, the respondent’s advertisements are
reckless in the extreme, considering that they make unsubstantiated
claims on a matter affecting hundreds of thousands of people living
with HIV/AIDS. The respondent’s marketing campaign misleads and causes
great confusion among people facing a life-threatening epidemic,
creating a volatile atmosphere of misinformation and incorrect medical
SUBMISSIONS BY THE RESPONDENT
Despite the respondent being requested to make submissions on sanctions
in the Directorate’s ruling of 9 March 2005 and 12 May 2005, and in
notices to the respondent dated 17 March 2005, 17 May 2005 and 19 May
2005, the respondent has failed to make any submissions.
RULING OF THE COMMITTEE
Having considered all the submissions made by the complainant, and the
nature of the material produced by the respondent in breach of the
Directorate’s previous rulings, the Committee imposes the following
1. a sanction in terms of Clause 14.3 of the Procedural Guide. The
respondent is to submit all future advertising to the ACA Advisory
Service, at the cost of the respondent, prior to publication thereof.
In light of the gravity of the breaches, this sanction is imposed for a
period of twelve months from date of this ruling. The application of
the factors set out in Clause 14.3.3 of the Procedural Guide justify
the severity of the sanction.
2. a sanction in terms of Clause 14.4 of the Procedural Guide being
that the respondent shall:
* Publish a summarised version of the ruling (“the adverse publicity
* The adverse publicity statement will be drafted by the Directorate
and provided to the parties. It is to be read as if specifically
* The adverse publicity statement must appear once in each South
African publication in which the respondent has, to the knowledge of
the Committee, placed an advertisement in breach of the original
ruling, being The Sowetan, The City Vision and The Mercury.
* The statements must be A4 size and must appear in the main section of
* The cost of such publication will be for the respondent.
* The ASA will place the advertisement, and the placement costs will be
charged and paid at the normal rates charged by the publication for the
placement of advertisements.
This ruling applies to the respondent (Dr Rath Health Foundation
Africa), and all its agents or allied organizations. The ruling of the
Directorate that the claims by the respondent must be withdrawn,
applies to all forms of media.
[END OF ASASA RULING]
[END OF NEWSLETTER]