a very good match indeed

Two very, very good men are together about to make a very big difference in South Africa--and the world. South Africa's most visible HIV activist, Zackie Achmat, and its undisputed moral leader, Nelson Mandela, are joining together to create a future for people with AIDS and the world which needs them.

[At great risk to his declining health, Achmat] refuses to take anti-retroviral drugs until the government makes them available to the general population.

Holding hands with Mr Achmat, Mr Mandela said the Aids campaigner was "a role model and his action is based on a fundamental principle which we all admire".

After the meeting, Mr Mandela, whose attacks on the government's Aids policies are subtle but insistent, said he would meet President Mbeki to discuss Mr Achmat's condition, and by implication, those same government policies.

"I think that I've got a case to take to the president of the country and to acquaint him with what his position is," said Mr Mandela.

President Mbeki's notorious, anti-scientific views on AIDS are hugely responsible for the country's disastrous response to the epidemic, and anything which might neutralize or reverse the impact on government policy of his current attitudes would be an enormous victory for sanity, and life, even beyond South Africa.

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Published on July 28, 2002 6:12 PM.

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