PRESIDENT MBEKI QUESTIONS AZT (NOV. '99)
"South African President
Thabo Mbeki, under pressure to supply the anti-AIDS drug
AZT to thousands of rape victims in the country, said
his government was investigating whether the drug was safe to use,"
writes Reuters. See also this I-Africa
news item. Glaxo lied
again and said the drug was safe. AP
reported Mbeki got his information from the internet,
see this article too. Could be from
this site, see also this article. Prof.
Peter Duesberg has been
interviewed on SA's prime-time TV. Glaxo
met with SA's Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.
Another article from the Financial Mail.
South Africa simply could not afford to give AZT to people with HIV and AIDS,
Tshabalala-Msimang said. The Financial Mail
made it a cover story. New Africa published an
article too. See also this article
from the New York Times, and this one from SA's
The Mail & Guardian
A TIMELY FIRESTORM (DEC. '99)
"South African President Thabo Mbeki has started
an uproar by refusing to give pregnant women AZT. With
the International AIDS Conference in Durban looming, the stage is set for a major showdown."
See this new column by
GOVERNMENT QUESTIONS AIDS (MARCH '00)
The South African government is going to setup an international panel
to reappraise the scientific evidence that HIV causes AIDS. "Never before
has any government opened the debate for assessment by an independent
expert group." Read more in this SAPA press
release, this item from The Star,
another one, and this
article and this editorial from the Citizen.
Some articles published in Focus. Part of the
David Rasnick's letter to Mbeki, the
statement made by the Minister of Health,
and another report by SAPA.
A reply to Rasnick's letter by the
Perth Group, with
replies. "The ANC, scientific
organisations and institutions ...indicated their support for the government's
initiative...", says this SAPA article.
An article printed in the Daily Mail,
an article from South Africa's Financial Mail,
another article from The Village Voice, an
item from Nature, and an
article from the Sunday Independent.
"At least one so-called dissident has accepted an invitation to sit on the panel,"
says this report from SAPA. An
item by AP, and the
release from Mbeki's office. Another article
from The Star, an article from Newsday,
and an editorial from The Mail & Guardian.
Some new articles about AIDS in Africa
were written by dissidents. See this article by
Colman Jones for Toronto's Now.
Prof. Charles Geshekter got an
article published in the Globe and
Mail. And Tom Bethell wrote an
article for The American Spectator.
EYE ON SOUTH AFRICA (APRIL '00)
The South African government started questioning AIDS. (see below).
See this story from The Australian
Financial Review. An article from
The Sunday Times, a report from
AFP, an item from The
Independent, another article from the
San Francisco Chronicle, an article
from The Mail and Guardian, a report
from BMJ, an article from Newsweek,
a Reuters release, and an
article from the Chicago Tribune.
And the statement IFAS made before the
Commission on Human Rights at the United Nations in Geneva.
"President Thabo Mbeki has given an
interview to an AIDS dissident journalist," see this
item from the Star. The Meditel
programme (see transcript) has been
broadcasted on Carte Blanche, M-Net, to 40 African countries. See this
article from Reuters, and this SAPA
President Mbeki wrote a letter to world
leaders. See this Washington Post front page
article, and this issue from Reuters.
"Deputy President Jacob Zuma has joined the fray in a raging debate on the
government's controversial AIDS policy", says
the Daily Mail and Guardian. An article
from Newsday, and another article from
CNN and Time. A news item
from Nature, and Nature's open letter
to Mbeki. An article from the Globe and Mail,
and another one published in The New York
Times, an AFP release, and an
article from New Scientist.
Listen to the Talk of the Nation radio program, and the Democracy Now
program, both covering the President's actions.
There have been rallies to support Mbeki in
New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. You now can sign an
online petition to support the President.
PRESIDENT MBEKI'S AIDS PANEL (MAY '00)
The South African government has set up an international panel to
reappraise AIDS. (see below) See the list
with scientists invited. President Mbeki
opened the first meeting. See this
New York Times report, this
article from AFP, and this
release from Reuters.
The Perth Group was
not present at the meeting, read why. See
the list of participants. The dissident minority
released a statement.
"Duesberg will work with the Atlanta-based Centre for Disease Control
and South Africa's Medical Research Council to prepare experiments to
determine whether the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes the
deadly AIDS." See this Reuters report,
this report from AFP, and this
release from SAPA.
There will also be a closed internet discussion among all the participants over
the next 6 weeks, and there will be a follow-up meeting near the end of June.
See also this article from Washington
Times, and this article from Nature.
More SA officials defend the rights of AIDS dissidents to be heard, see this
SAPA release, and this Reuters
"Former president Nelson Mandela expressed support for President
Thabo Mbeki's views on the HIV/AIDS debate, SABC television news reported.
Speaking to students in New York, Mandela said Mbeki had done his homework
before going public..." (SAPA 16 May)
President Mbeki has been visiting the United States. See this New
York Times issue, this
article from Chicago Tribune, this Newsday
article, this AP issue, and this Reuters
Mbeki answered a question about AIDS during
a meeting in San Fransico. See also this article from
the San Francisco Chronicle.
See also this article by Peter Chowka, this
article by Michael Wright, this
Celia Farber, this report by
Joan Shenton, and this
interview with Prof. Duesberg
and Dr. Dave Rasnick.
You can sign an online petition to support President Mbeki.
PANEL PRESENTATIONS (JULY '00)
Prof. Peter Duesberg is a member of the South
African government advisory panel on AIDS. Read his
presentation about the South African AIDS "epidemic", presented at the second panel
meeting in Pretoria.
The Perth Group does also participate in the presidential
panel. Read their presentation about "HIV Testing and Surveillance".
Update: The contributions made by Dr.
PANEL QUESTIONS RELIABILITY TESTS (JULY '00)
The panel advising the South African government, met for the second time.
Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang opend the follow-up meeting in
Durban. See this article from Reuters.
The panel concluded that there is no scientific data to validate the
ELISA antibody tests. New studies will be setup to validate the reliability of
these tests. See this Reuters report,
this article from the New York Times,
this SAPA article, this
article from AFP, and this article from
Village Voice. Read also this diary by
a panel member.
See also this MuM press release, and this
open letter by Anita Allen, this
report from Huw Christi, and these interviews by Mark Conlan.
CONFESSION OF FAITH (JULY '00)
Scientists and doctors from around the world have started signing
an e-mail, by Simon Wain-Hobson from
the Institut Pasteur, which states that "the evidence that AIDS is caused
by HIV-1 or HIV-2 is clear-cut, exhaustive and unambiguous." This confession
of faith is being marketed as
"The Durban Declaration",
and has been published in Nature.
See this article from AFP, this
article from Reuters,
this article from the Washington Post,
and this article from the New York
A first reaction by the South African government can be found in this
article from Reuters, and this
article form SAPA. See this
article for a second reaction.
A new dissident website has been
set up with a rebuttal written by Robert Johnston, Matthew Irwin, and David Crowe. See
also this press release by MuM, and the latest
ACCIDENTS & VIOLENCE KILL, NOT HIV (JULY '00)
"The [South African] Home Affairs Department has denied blaming HIV/AIDS for a significant
rise in the number of deaths of South Africans younger than 50 over the past 10 years... South
African adults overwhelmingly die of accidents and violence." See the SAPA
MBEKI-BASHING CIRCUS (JULY '00)
||President Mbeki opened the 13th
International AIDS Conference in Durban. "As I listened and heard the whole story about
our own country, it seemed to me that we could not blame everything on a single virus."
part one /
part two of his opening speech (Real player needed), or read it. See also this report
Of the 10.000 people who attended the opening session, "hundreds walked out"
during Mbeki's speech, lies the Washington Post.
Scientists behind the socalled "Durban Declaration" (see below) had been
due to hold a news conference before the start of the conference but it was
canceled. See this article from the New
York Times by EIS correspondent Lawrence Altman.
Health Minister "Manto Tshabalala-Msimang... said South Africa was a proud nation
that would devise its own health policies and would not bend to pressure to
conform to the expectations of the industrialised world." See this SAPA report.
"Thabo Mbeki... is fiddling while his country dies", writes CNN-Time.
The conference has become a "Mbeki-bashing circus", says this SAPA article.
"The President of this country is a man of great intellect who takes scientific thinking very seriously and he leads a government that I know to be committed to those principles of science and reason," said former president Nelson Mandela at the conference closing address.
See also this Time Magazine article,
this article from the Ghanaian Chronicle, this
article from South Africa's Citizen, and this Reuters
TIME INTERVIEWS MBEKI (SEPT '00)
Time interviewed President Thabo Mbeki.
"TIME: Are you prepared to acknowledge that there is a link between HIV and
Mbeki: No, I am saying that you cannot attribute immune deficiency solely
and exclusively to a virus..."
Read the interview. See also this
report by Reuters, and this
article from South Africa's The Star.
Read about his remarks to parliament too.
REPLIES TO DURBAN DECLARATION (SEPT '00)
Nature has published a respons to
the Durban Declaration (see also below),
signed by several dissident scientists. A reply
by the Perth Group was rejected by Nature.
See also this rebuttal by Robert Johnston,
Matthew Irwin and David Crowe.
ANC BACKS MBEKI (OCT '00)
"A senior official of South Africa's ruling African National Congress stoked
more controversy over AIDS by backing President Thabo Mbeki's view that the
disease could not be caused by a single virus." says this Reuters
article. Read the article by Smuts Ngonyama from Business Day. And see this article from AFP, and this one from SAPA.
MBEKI VS. DRUGS INC. (OCT '00)
At a 'closed' ANC meeting "President Thabo Mbeki
has accused the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of working with drugs manufacturers
to promote the link between the HIV virus and AIDS to boost profits." See this BBC
article, this article
from the Mail and Guardian, and this one
from South Africa's The Sunday Times.
Mbeki "said one of the big drug companies (which he did not name) had confessed
to him that it had wasted vast amounts of money trying to produce an anti-AIDS vaccine
but had given up after it had failed to isolate the HI virus; but this company was hiding
this fact in order to prevent its share price falling through the floor." (Mail and
See also this SAPA report, about bugs
in South African parliament.
PRESIDENT BACKS OFF? (OCT. '00)
"President Thabo Mbeki has told the ANC's highest decision-making body
that he is withdrawing from the public debate on the science of HIV and AIDS,"
reports the SA Sunday Times. But Mbeki
declared he was "still in debate", according to this
article from SAPA.
Update: SAPA reports
The President "re-opened the debate".
MBEKI-BASHING (DEC. '00)
"The year 2000 saw the birth of a new international sport. It became known as
Mbeki-bashing. Newspapers, broadcast media,
doctors and scientists, charities, UN agencies, financial institutions and politicians
even up to the level of the White House joined in the fun." Read the
Neville Hodgkinson for New African
See also this article by Baffour Ankomah, and this other article from New African.
PANEL REPORT RELEASED (APRIL '01)
The Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel Report has been released. See this announcement
by the South African Minister of Health, and the (interim) panel report itself.
"The Group For the Scientific Reappraisal of AIDS welcomes and endorses the panel
report from South Africa... All ten experiments
proposed by AIDS dissidents on the panel were endorsed for funding by the South African
Cabinet." See the press release by The Group,
and this summary.
See this report from AP,
this article from Reuters,
this report from The Guardian,
an article from South Africa's The Star,
an article from SAPA,
and another article from SAPA,
an article from South Africa's Financial Mail,
and an article from the New York Press.
"We can only hope that our government and the scientists concerned with do
everything in their power to speed up the experiments explained in the report of the
Presidential Panel." See this article from ANC
"South Africa, said Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, had no immediate plans to use
the landmark legal victory to obtain anti-retroviral AIDS drugs." Read more in this
article from the Wall Street Journal.
"Coverage of the interim report of the Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel has been
superficial and shows a complete deviation from balanced journalistic scrutiny expected
in democracies." See this press statement by
President Mbeki was asked if he would take
an AIDS test. See also this AP report, "Mbeki
qestioned the need for people to take HIV tests, saying there was disagreement among
scientists about what exactly was being tested."
SOUTH AFRICA (JUNE '01)
South Africa's "Health Ministry was emphatic that the government would not
provide triple therapy of anti-retrovirals for the long-term management of AIDS." See this
"American singer and U.N. goodwill ambassador Harry Belafonte defended South African
President Thabo Mbeki for creating a broader debate
on the AIDS epidemic." See this
Reuters report, and this
article from SA's Business Day.
"South African President Thabo Mbeki again refused to link HIV with AIDS" read this
HAYMAN VS. GLAXO (JULY '01)
"A South African woman is citing President Mbeki�s controversial views on AIDS in
a �100,000 legal action against the British manufacturer of the drugs
she claims killed her husband."
See this article
from the U.K. Times, this article from SA's Sunday
Independent, this article from the Sunday Times
(SA), and this SAPA report.
See also the particulars of the claim.
Update: An article from UK's Sunday Times.
MBEKI IN THE NEWS (AUG '01)
"South African President Thabo Mbeki,
who has attracted a storm of controversy
for questioning the link between HIV and AIDS, said violence and not AIDS was the
biggest killer in the country." See this Reuters report,
and the BBC interview.
MBEKI IN THE NEWS (SEPT. '01)
"President Thabo Mbeki has ordered a
re-examination of SA's social policy spending priorities in the light of 1995 "cause of
death" statistics he has extracted from the internet."
See this article from South Africa's Business
Day, and the letter from Mbeki. See also
this article from AFP,
this Reuters report,
and this article from SAPA.
SOUTH AFRICAN STUDY (OCT. '01)
"AIDS has become the biggest single killer of South Africans, the South
African Medical Research Council reports in a study." (.pdf file) See this
article from SA's Daily Mail
and Guardian, and this article from
SA's Business Day.
"The ANC has dismissed as "not credible" the Medical Research Council's
findings that AIDS is the leading killer in South Africa." See this
article from The Star, see also
this government statement, and
this statement by Stats SA.
See also this Reuters report,
and this report.
President Thabo Mbeki had to answer
some questions from the Parliament.
See this report.
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