JOHANNESBURG, 1st NOVEMBER 2014: The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and SECTION27 would like to congratulate Justice Edwin Cameron, who will tonight be accorded honorary membership of the Johannesburg Bar. This great honour has only been conferred on five other people, namely, Arthur Chaskalson, Sir Sydney Kentridge, George Bizos, Jules Browde and Johann Kriegler. Joining people of such great stature bears testimony to his integrity, lifelong dedication and unwavering commitment to the law as a vehicle for social change and justice.
Justice Cameron has been pivotal in the fight for equality, dignity and access to health care services through establishing the AIDS Consortium and the AIDS Law Project (ALP), one of the foremost post-apartheid social justice organisations; disclosing his status at the height of HIV discrimination and AIDS denialism; through his outspoken promotion of LGBTI rights and his work as an outstanding jurist.
The TAC has drawn inspiration from Justice Cameron in all these battles. In describing the TAC in his book, ‘Justice: A personal account’, Justice Cameron wrote, “the activists changed the moral framework of the debate on AIDS treatment. Not only on AIDS – more broadly, they revolutionized our understanding that poor people have the right to proper health care”.
Today the TAC continues to be as pivotal as it was during the dark days of denialism and continues to use the law and activism to improve the lot of people living with AIDS in South Africa as well as through monitoring the country’s health care system, particularly in the rural areas through its network of 8, 000 volunteers.
It is now well known that the TAC that Justice Cameron and others have helped inspire is facing a severe funding crisis, having only raised a small proportion of the R35 million it requires to keep functioning in 2015 and beyond. Coincidentally, 1 November 2014 marks the start of an intense month-long fundraising drive aimed at individuals and organisations.
The TAC and SECTION27 appeal to members of the Johannesburg Bar and other legal professionals across the country to honour Justice Cameron by donating to the TAC just as a senior member of the Johannesburg Bar has recently done with an outstanding personal donation of R75, 000. By helping save the TAC you would be helping save countless lives across the country as well as deepening democracy, strengthening citizen activism and advancing social justice and constitutionalism.
You can donate online via our online portal at www.tac.org.za/donate. Every cent counts.
For more information, please contact:
Ngqabutho Mpofu: 061 807 6443 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Heywood: 083 634 8806 or via email Heywood@section27.org.za
Anele Yawa: 079 328 1215 or via email email@example.com