We will become smugglers, warn Aids activists
10 juillet 2000 (Daily News)
DURBAN, 10 July 2000 (Daily News)
By Di Caelers
HIV and Aids activists will become drug smugglers and go "underground" to bring anti-Aids drugs into South Africa, the government has been warned .
The Commission on Gender Equality’s Faried Esak said on Sunday that since dockets involving smuggling of cocaine and Mandrax were "lost", the activists would take similar risks to bring in lifesaving drugs.
"We will, with or without the support of the law, whenever we go abroad, smuggle in drugs. We will become dissidents and, if they want to charge us, let them charge us," he said.
In the same way as cocaine, Mandrax and other drugs were manufactured in "underground" factories, activists, too, would consider "the underground route if it means we can save the lives of our people".
’We will go underground’
Esak was on the podium on Sunday with African National Congress Women’s League president Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Pan Africanist Congress MP Patricia de Lille.
They ensured a fiery start to a march calling for access to HIV/Aids treatments, reminiscent of pre-democracy marches, as thousands of people wound their way through Durban’s city centre.
To shouts of "Amandla" and "Viva", marchers hoisted posters that proclaimed "no AZT, no African Renaissance" and "One Bullet, One Dissident".
To resounding cheers, Madikizela-Mandela named drug companies as Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Hoffman Roche and Abbott as among those who "oppose lowering the cost of drugs".
Daily News 11/7/00