Clarification on TAC’s engagement with Swazi MP Myeni

Swaziland MP Timothy Myeni’s contacted TAC to apologise for his offensive statements regarding branding HIV-positive people’s buttocks. TAC agreed to attend a press conference to hear his apologies. MP Myeni’s staff offered TAC a donation as part of his apology, but TAC refused this offer.

Myeni’s staff asked Mpumalanga’s Provincial Coordinator, Bheki Khoza, to attend the press conference. Khoza was identified because he has voiced his disapproval of Myeni’s comments on the radio. TAC could not afford to fund Khoza’s travel expenses to the press conference and so allowed MP Myeni to cover the travel costs.

TAC did not give MP Myeni a memorandum to sign. Mr. Khoza stressed that it would be necessary for MP Myeni to apologise publicly at the gospel concert in Cape Town and again to the people of Swaziland. While speaking about HIV with Mr Khoza, MP Myeni admitted that he did not know very much about HIV and that he would appreciate TAC’s help in improving his awareness of the virus. As an organisation that promotes the rights of people living with HIV, TAC has successfully used education to overcome stigma surrounding HIV. TAC will continue to use education to promote the rights of people living with HIV and end discrimination against them.