Law, Democracy & Development - Volume 5, Issue 2, 2001
Volumes & issues
Volume 5, Issue 2, 2001
Author Edwin CameronSource: Law, Democracy & Development 5, pp VII –XIX (2001)More Less
We speak about 'the AIDS crisis' in South Africa. The crisis has three distinct but inter-related components, each stemming from and exacerbating the other. The first is the crisis of illness and debilitation and death. Our people are falling ill and they are dying. Nationwide AIDS is already the largest cause of death amongst young adults. This is not just a conclusion derived from statistical surveys and actuarial calculations. It is a fact whose sombre presence has already entered too many households, too many workplaces, and too many homes and families to be denied. In especially our townships and rural areas, people are dying, in greater numbers than before, and in disturbingly changed demographic patterns. They are dying of AIDS.
South African court rules on the state's obligation to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV : recent developmentsAuthor Geoff BudlenderSource: Law, Democracy & Development 5, pp 129 –131 (2001)More Less
Treatment Action Campaign and Others v Minister of Health and Others Case no 21182/2001 TPD
On 14 December 2001 Justice Chris Botha of the Pretoria High Court found in favour of the Treatment Action Campaign. the Children's Rights Centre and paediatricians represented by Dr Saloojee against the Minister of Health and the provincial Ministers of Health on the issue of mother-to-child HIV transmission. Five days later the Minister of Health responded that they will appeal to the Constitutional Court since "this judgment could have far-reaching implications in defining our constitutional democracy and in shaping the state's responsibility for the delivery of social services" and to "clarify a constitutional and jurisdictional matter which - if left vague - could throw executive policy making into disarray and create confusion about the principle of the separation of powers (between the judiciary and the executive).
Debunking 'Conglomo-talk' : a case study of the amicus curiae as an instrument for advocacy, investigation and mobilisationAuthor Mark HaywoodSource: Law, Democracy & Development 5, pp 133 –162 (2001)More Less
The resolution of this court case only confirms our view that international markets, which play an increasingly important role in all our lives, have no inbuilt conscience. But governments and ordinary people acting collectively have a precious responsibility to make the huge companies that dominate the markets accountable for how they respond to the most critical issues of our times.
Author Marlise RichterSource: Law, Democracy & Development 5, pp 195 –211 (2001)More Less
People who are living with H IV/AIDS are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society. Notwithstanding the availability of compelling medical evidence as to how this virus is transmitted, the prejudices and stereotypes against HIV positive people still persist. In view of the prevailing prejudice against HIV positive people, any discrimination against them can, to my mind, be interpreted as a fresh instance of stigmatisation and I consider this to be an assault on their dignity. The impact of discrimination on HIV positive people is devastating.
(Justice Ngcobo Hoffmann v South African Airways)
Author Karrisha PillaySource: Law, Democracy & Development 5, pp 213 –221 (2001)More Less
Effectively addressing the HIV pandemic in South Africa constitutes one of the greatest challenges facing our nascent democracy. The last ten years have witnessed a consistent and dramatic increase in the number of HIV infections. Though HIV/AIDS transcends the boundaries of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, social class etc., it thrives in an environment of poverty, rapid urbanisation, violence and destabilisation. Vulnerable sectors of South African society are particularly susceptible to infection and to having their constitutional rights abused, infringed or threatened on account of their HIV/AIDS status. The rising HIV statistics call for an holistic, well-targeted and effective response to curtail the spread of the infection as well as to address the plight of those affected or infected by HIV/AIDS in a way that is consistent with human rights and constitutional norms and standards.
Source: Law, Democracy & Development 5, pp 223 –228 (2001)More Less
The Code is a very useful and comprehensive document. However, in its attempt to be comprehensive, its considerable length may serve to make its use rather daunting for some organisations, institutions or companies. In addition, the language used is very 'legalistic', thus possibly preventing companies from using it optimally. This also makes its use particularly difficult for people who do not have English as their mother tongue.
Author Sam RugegeSource: Law, Democracy & Development 5, pp 237 –241 (2001)More Less
This case is about the right of persons living with HIV/AIDS not to be discriminated against when applying for employment. The case is particularly important because of the high incidence of HIV/AIDS on the African continent. It is reported that sub-Saharan Africa accounts for over 70% of the world-wide incidence of HIV/AIDS. With the potential problems of dealing with workers living with HIV/AIDS in terms of chronic illness resulting in absenteeism and low productivity, it is not surprising that employers should be reluctant to employ HIV-positive applicants and tend to exclude such applicants through pre-employment testing for HlV/AIDS. This case, however, emphasises that access to employment for HIV-positive persons is a matter of human rights, in particular the right not to be discriminated against unfairly and the right to human dignity. It should be instructive for other jurisdictions in Africa and elsewhere.