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.
This chapter examines the experience of one of South Africa‟s foremost pro-poor civil society movements, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), and uses it to reflect on the role that was played by social justice organisations during Mbeki‟s presidency (1999-2008).
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.
On 15 and 16 May 2008, a ground breaking case on the constitutionality of HIV testing policies that are used to exclude ALL people with HIV from recruitment to, promotion or foreign deployment in the SA National Defence Force was heard in the Pretoria High Court.
The court was asked to declare the blanket exclusion unconstitutional, order the appointment or promotion of individual’s adversely affected by the policy and to order the SANDF to devise a new policy within six months.
On Wednesday, 4th April 2007 the Constitutional Court handed down judgment on the case of NM & Others v Charlene Smith, Patricia De Lille, and New Africa Books. The case concerned the publication of the applicants’ full names and HIV status in the biography of Patricia De Lille, authored by Charlene Smith and published by New Africa Books, without their consent.
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.