SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
We condemn in the strongest terms the 14 years of hard labour sentence handed down by a court in Blantyre to Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga for committing so-called “unnatural acts”. Steven and Tiwonge were arrested in December 2009 after celebrating their engagement and have been in jail ever since.
In July 2007, at the time of the publication of its last 18-month review, the ALP was still in its infancy. It had just re-fashioned itself as an independent not-for-profit organisation, having separated itself from the University of the Witwatersrand, moved offices, registered as a law clinic, complied with a range of corporate law requirements, appointed a Board of Directors, and commenced upon a new organisational life whilst pursuing essentially the same mission.
On 21 October 2008 the Labour Court handed down the judgment in the case, Naude v The member of the Executive Council, Department of Health, Mpumalanga. The court found that Naude had been unfairly dismissed, awarded him R100 000 compensation, and costs in ALP’s favour.
This is a victory for all doctors who seek to practice their professional ethically, even where it may go against government policy.
In this case the AIDS denialism of the former Minister for Health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and the former MEC for Health in Mpumalanga, Sibongile Manana has once again been found to be unlawful and a violation of rights.
South Africa has a strong legislative framework aimed at preventing HIV-related discrimination in the workplace.
Guidelines developed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Code of Good Practice on HIV/AIDS which is linked to the Employment Equity Act (EEA) provide useful information on the content of HIV workplace policies.
The call for public submissions makes it plain that Parliament’s review of the Act will focus on the impact of the statute on women and persons with disabilities. Oursubmission deals squarely with two issues: the proposed express inclusion of HIV/AIDS status as a prohibited ground of unfair discrimination; and access to legal services necessary for the proper implementation of the Act.