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.
A week after Cabinet adopted the Operational Plan for Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Care, Management and Treatment for South Africa (“the Operational Plan”) in November 2003, MM – an inmate at Westville Correctional Centre and the seventh applicant in the case of EN v Government of Republic of South Africa (No 1) – was diagnosed withoesophageal candidiasis, an AIDS-defining illness.
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.
Since October 2005 the TAC and the AIDS Law Project (ALP) have assisted HIV positive inmates at Westville Prison in acquiring ARVs that have routinely been refused to them by prison authorities. Situated in Kwazulu Natal, one of the provinces most severely affected by HIV/AIDS, Westville had steadfastly prevented TAC or other NGOs from conducting treatment workshops, treatment literacy programs, or any form of HIV awareness training.
Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill
The National Working Group on the Sexual Offences Bill made a submission on 30 October 2005. This submission begins by explaining why violence against women is an obstacle to the socio-economic development of South Africa. It then provides statistics on the extent of the problem before setting out the policies and laws which have been developed to address violence against women, or gender-based violence.