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Monday 19 March 2007
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SOUTH AFRICA: Govt AIDS gag unconstitutional - watchdog

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 6 September (PLUSNEWS) - An order by South African health director-general Thami Mseleku that provincial health officials not comment to the media on HIV/AIDS was unconstitutional, the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM), a watchdog organisation, said on Tuesday.

PSAM researcher Stacey-Leigh Joseph said, "In terms of section 32(1) of the constitution, 'Everyone has the right of access to any information held by the state'."

Mseleku reportedly ordered provincial senior health officials not to speak to the media about HIV/AIDS, or about an upcoming visit to the country by UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis.

According to the local Sunday Times newspaper, Mseleku ordered the media gag after Lewis's "particularly scathing and derogatory" remarks about the South African government's response to the pandemic during the recent international AIDS conference in Toronto.



Recent SOUTH AFRICA Reports
Activists welcome ambitious new AIDS plan,  15/Mar/07
PEPFAR scores well on AIDS treatment ,  14/Mar/07
Study highlights alarming HIV incidence,  14/Mar/07
Condom application given a hand ,  19/Feb/07
A true test of love on Valentine's Day,  14/Feb/07
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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