Saturday, August 19, 2006

TAC members in custody after protest

By Odette Ismail

Forty-four members of the Treatment Action campaign (TAC) were arrested besides attempts on the call to arrest Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang on Friday.

TAC chairperson Zackie Achmat was amongst protestors and has been charged with trespassing.

Independent Online reports that the protest was ignited after the death of an HIV-positive prisoner at Durban’s Westville Prison. The unnamed inmate together with 15 other prisoners and the TAC won a case last month that ordered government to give Westville Prisoners ARV’s immediately.

The departments of health and correctional services appealed against the ruling and this seems to further anger the TAC.

The protestors entered the building at 4 Dorp Street on Friday morning in an attempt to occupy the offices of health MEC Pierre Uys. When the crowd didn’t disperse they were arrested.

Achmat said that the law was broken due to government not taking the ruling seriously and for playing with people’s lives. Their demands in a memorandum were handed over to the office of Western Cape premier Ebrahim Rasool.



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