Review Mseleku’s appointment — DA

2010-03-04 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has called on President Jacob Zuma to examine and reconsider the appointment of former Health Department director-general, Thami Mseleku as high commissioner to Malaysia.

The International Relations and Co-operation Department recently announced Mseleku’s appointment to this diplomatic post.

In a statement yesterday, DA spokesman Mike Waters said the party is dismayed at Mseleku’s appointment “as he was one of the key implementers of South Africa’s Aids denialist policies”.

Mseleku was the director-general under the late Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who with former president Thabo Mbeki was accused by Aids activists of playing a critical role in the spread of HIV and Aids in South Africa.

Mbeki is accused of having because supported the policies of “dissidents” in dealing with the pandemic.

“Mseleku made sure that all president Mbeki’s and Health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang’s Aids dissident views were carried through into policies and implemented.

“As such, he was a critical part of an era that, according to a study by Harvard University School of Public Health, resulted directly in the unnecessary deaths of 365 000 South Africans, including 35 000 babies,” Waters said.

The DA said Mseleku’s approach to health care is best exemplified by his comment in 2008 that “human rights were not relevant to considerations of health policy in a developmental state”.

“It is completely unacceptable that an individual with this much blood on his hands should receive such favoured treatment,” Waters said.

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