Fezeka should be remembered - Ramaphosa

2016-11-09 22:18
Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo (Amanda Khoza, News24)

Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Cape Town - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says people living with HIV/Aids, like Fezeka "Khwezi" Kuzwayo was, should be remembered by the country.

Ramaphosa was answering questions in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday and announced that a trial of a new HIV/Aids drug would soon get underway.

He said the SA National Aids Council will also meet on Friday to discuss problems facing young people like Kuzwayo, including the issue of stigma.

"We carry the biggest burden in having so many of our countrymen and women [affected]," he said in response to a question from EFF MP Nkagisang Koni.

"She is one of those in need, who like many others, we will always want to remember as a person who was afflicted by this disease, and there'll be a number of occasions and proposals to commemorate her life and the life of others.

"That is what she would also have wanted."

Kuzwayo was the woman who accused then-deputy president Jacob Zuma of rape in 2005. She died on October 9 this year.

50% transmission reduction target 

Speaking about the new drug trial, Ramaphosa said a similar drug was tested several years ago, and reduced transmission by 39%.

He said scientists hoped the new drug will reduce transmission by 50%.

"And hopefully a little more," he added.

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) will partner with the US National Institute of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and others in the trial.

The US National Institute of Health contributed more than R1bn to the research. In contrast, Treasury allocated R35m to the SAMRC in 2015/16.

The results of the trial are expected in 2022.

"South Africa cannot wait for the results of the trial. There is work to be done right now and we need to intensify our investment efforts.

"The developments are quite groundbreaking and exciting, but we need to remain focused so we do indeed defeat this pandemic."

Read more on:    fezekile kuzwayo  |  cyril ­ramaphosa  |  cape town  |  hiv aids

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