Mbeki disappoints opposition party

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance party has expressed disappointment that President Thabo Mbeki will not attend the UN General Assembly session on AIDS under way in New York.
South Africa is represented at the session by health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.
President Mbeki is also in the US but for talks with President George W.
Bush.
DA spokesman Kobus Gous said Mbeki is missing a valuable opportunity to talk with AIDS activists and government officials on a topic with very real and immediate implications for South Africa.
"The president has said that his views on HIV/Aids would not impact on his government's policy towards combating the disease.
We beg to differ.
"In Uganda, for instance, huge successes were achieved in the fight against HIV/Aids that could be directly attributed to the leadership role played by that nation's president.
"President Mbeki must realise that South Africans are looking to him for leadership.
His beliefs and public statements have a great impact on the public perception and opinion.
"President Mbeki would do well to heed the advice of some observers in the US - no real investment will flow into South Africa until the government shows a real commitment to fighting the AIDS pandemic," Gous said.

26 june 2001 15:51:00




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