South African government appeals HIV ruling
Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said in a press release that the courts have no right to make policy and that the verdict could “create confusion about the principle of the separation of powers, which is a cornerstone of our democracy.”
But she also said that the government would review its current policy on mother-to-child transmission in January 2002 through a “broader stakeholder consultation”.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) — which filed a lawsuit against the government last November demanding that all HIV-positive pregnant women are given nevirapine, a drug that reduces mother-to-child transmission — welcomed the government’s policy review.
But it also said in a statement that the government’s reasons for appealing against the ruling “demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of constitutional democracy”.
“Government action or inaction is not above the law,” the TAC said, confident that its position will stand the test of the Constitutional Court.
© SciDev.Net 2001
Related external links: