Reproduced below is a SANAC Civil Society Forum press release sent via email to the Treatment Action Campaign on 20th February 2015.
South African National AIDS Council –Civil Society Forum (SANAC-CSF) plays a significant role in the National Strategic Plan on HIV, TB and STI’s 2012-2016 (NSP), under the banner of SANAC which is mandated to coordinate the implementation, independency, accountability, monitoring and collective approach of the HIV national response in South Africa.
CSF strongly condemns actions by ANCYL, ANCWL and its partners with attacks directed to Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in the Free State. TAC is part of the SA National AIDS Council structures Co-chaired by Deputy President Cde Cyril Ramaphasa and CSF Chair Cde Steve Letsike.
CSF Chairperson Steve Letsike said “No one is above the law, this is matters of accountability, it is also about rights and freedoms, TAC is part of SANAC Civil Society structures. We believe that TAC is independent and autonomous, and what they do is part of citizen participation, and which part of is to hold our government accountable. What the ANCYL and WL are doing in the Free State is to silence civil society organisation, and this will not be tolerated by Civil Society Sector. We should be able to hold each other accountable, who said it’s a comfortable space? Let us build a tolerant and accountable governance that should not intimidate each other”
The collective mandate of SANAC is to improve and save lives of our people beyond Health crisis in the Free State. CSF – with all it’s 18 Sectors are appealing to all stakeholders in the Free State especially political parties to focus on political programmes and be accountable as expected for a ruling party. SANAC CSF support the existence of TAC and its autonomy. On the 04 December 2014 SANAC CSF delegates reported this matter to Deputy President Hon Ramaphasa and we are shocked to discover even ANCYL and ANCWL are now organizing a campaign to discredit Treatment Action Campaign.
According to TAC Secretary General Cde Anele Yawa the ANCYL and ANCWL and Mangaung Metro Men’s Forum will be marching to demand deregistration of Treatment Action on the 20 February 2015, time 11h00. “People living with HIV include NAPWA, TAC and Positive Women’s Network, we look forward to building a strong voice of PLHIV Sector, This should be condemned, and Political parties should not be involved in Civil Society work”.
In consultation with Free State CSF Chairperson Cde Pule Mokeana who also represent Free State at national level he denied Free State Civil Society involvement in this march, and will investigate further.
Civil Society Forum Sector Leaders strongly states that “the attack on TAC is an attack to all of us and we will never allow any political party to divide this movement”.
CSF will engage ANC Luthuli House through ANC Secretary Cde Gwede Mantashe and ANCWL President on this matter.
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