Daily Archives: July 22, 2018

Deputy President Mabuza attends the International AIDS 2018 Conference in Amsterdam

Deputy President David Mabuza will lead a South African delegation to the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) under the theme Breaking Barriers Building Bridges, taking place between 23 � 27 July 2018 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Deputy President Mabuza is the Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), which coordinates South Africa’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health issue in the world. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, it continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy, and human rights. Each conference is an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensure an effective response to the HIV epidemic.

AIDS 2018 will provide 18,000 conference delegates with the latest HIV research, as well as an opportunity to reflect on key issues facing both the HIV sector and the broader global health community. The conference is hosted by the International AIDS Society (IAS), the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members from more than 180 countries. IAS members include researchers, clinicians, policy and programme planners, and public health and community practitioners.

At AIDS 2018, South African researchers and programme leaders will be releasing new resources and announcements demonstrating South Africa’s strong commitment to end AIDS.

On 24 July 2018, Deputy President Mabuza, in his capacity as Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), will share with conference delegates the process followed for the fifth South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey. The survey results were launched locally in Pretoria on 17 July 2018. South African Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, UNAIDS Executive Director, Mr Michel Sidibe and United States Government Health Attache, Mr Steve Smith, will form part of the panel discussion on the findings of the survey.

Conducted over 18 months, the survey examined 11 743 households, and found that approximately 7.9 million South Africans were living with HIV in 2017.

The research also indicated that South Africa is making progress with regards to the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020. These targets stipulate that 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 90% of all people receiving ART will have viral load suppression.

While in Amsterdam, the Deputy President will call for high-level political and financial commitments on HIV and elevate the issue of TB. He will hold a meeting with Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, and participate in the AIDS 2018 sessions.

Deputy President Mabuza will also formally open the South African exhibition stand, developed by SANAC, in collaboration with government and civil society partners.

As South Africa and the world mark the centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu and Tata Nelson Mandela this year, South Africa’s exhibition stand will reflect and honour their significant contributions to the HIV and TB response.

The stand has been dubbed Vilakazi Street, the Soweto street where the homes of two Nobel Peace Prize laureates � South Africa’s first democratically elected president, the late President Nelson Mandela, and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu � are found.

Deputy President David Mabuza will be accompanied by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Deputy President Mabuza attends the International AIDS 2018 Conference in Amsterdam

Deputy President David Mabuza will lead a South African delegation to the 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) under the theme Breaking Barriers Building Bridges, taking place between 23 � 27 July 2018 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Deputy President Mabuza is the Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), which coordinates South Africa’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The International AIDS Conference is the largest conference on any global health issue in the world. First convened during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, it continues to provide a unique forum for the intersection of science, advocacy, and human rights. Each conference is an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensure an effective response to the HIV epidemic.

AIDS 2018 will provide 18,000 conference delegates with the latest HIV research, as well as an opportunity to reflect on key issues facing both the HIV sector and the broader global health community. The conference is hosted by the International AIDS Society (IAS), the world’s largest association of HIV professionals, with members from more than 180 countries. IAS members include researchers, clinicians, policy and programme planners, and public health and community practitioners.

At AIDS 2018, South African researchers and programme leaders will be releasing new resources and announcements demonstrating South Africa’s strong commitment to end AIDS.

On 24 July 2018, Deputy President Mabuza, in his capacity as Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), will share with conference delegates the process followed for the fifth South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communication Survey. The survey results were launched locally in Pretoria on 17 July 2018. South African Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, UNAIDS Executive Director, Mr Michel Sidibe and United States Government Health Attache, Mr Steve Smith, will form part of the panel discussion on the findings of the survey.

Conducted over 18 months, the survey examined 11 743 households, and found that approximately 7.9 million South Africans were living with HIV in 2017.

The research also indicated that South Africa is making progress with regards to the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020. These targets stipulate that 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 90% of all people receiving ART will have viral load suppression.

While in Amsterdam, the Deputy President will call for high-level political and financial commitments on HIV and elevate the issue of TB. He will hold a meeting with Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, and participate in the AIDS 2018 sessions.

Deputy President Mabuza will also formally open the South African exhibition stand, developed by SANAC, in collaboration with government and civil society partners.

As South Africa and the world mark the centenary of Mama Albertina Sisulu and Tata Nelson Mandela this year, South Africa’s exhibition stand will reflect and honour their significant contributions to the HIV and TB response.

The stand has been dubbed Vilakazi Street, the Soweto street where the homes of two Nobel Peace Prize laureates � South Africa’s first democratically elected president, the late President Nelson Mandela, and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu � are found.

Deputy President David Mabuza will be accompanied by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

11 South African Taxi Drivers Killed in Ambush

Eleven South African taxi drivers were killed and four others critically wounded when gunmen opened fire on their minibus.

Police Brigadier Jay Naicker said the victims were returning to Johannesburg from a colleague’s funeral when they were ambushed between the towns of Colenso and Weenen in KwaZulu-Natal province.

Two people among the 17 on the bus were unscathed.

Police are investigating possible motives, but rivalry between groups of taxi drivers vying for the same routes has led to violence in the past.

South African media reported the deaths of 10 people in violence related to rivalries among minibus taxi drivers in Cape Town over one weekend in May.

Minibus taxis are an essential mode of transportation in South Africa.

Source: Voice of America

Spain Rescues Nearly 800 Migrants From Sea

Spanish rescuers have picked up nearly 800 migrants trying the cross the Mediterranean Sea into the European Union over the past two days.

Coast Guard boats pulled people off of dangerously overcrowded vessels from the Straits of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea – two of the closest points between Spain the coast of North Africa.

The U.N.’s International Organization for Migration said more than 18,000 people have reached Spain from North Africa so far this year.

Spain has replaced Italy as the preferred destination for migrants from Africa, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere trying to escape war and poverty for a better life in the European Union.

Italy had been overwhelmed with migrants and under a deal worked out with Libya, has started returning them home instead of processing asylum requests.

Source: Voice of America

Guess Who’s Still a Factor in Zimbabwe’s Election? Mugabe

Zimbabwe’s former leader Robert Mugabe has been forced out but he’s hardly faded away. Ahead of this month’s historic election, dozens of people in T-shirts with his image danced to anti-government songs while vowing revenge.

The 94-year-old Mugabe, who led this southern African nation through 37 turbulent years before his dramatic, military-backed resignation in November, has emerged as a player ahead of the July 30 vote – on the side of the opposition.

A visit by The Associated Press to the largely rural province of Masvingo found that anger over Mugabe’s removal has been channeled into supporting candidates who challenge the ruling ZANU-PF party that he long controlled.

“They removed Comrade Mugabe using military force. We should show them that the ballot box is supreme to the gun,” thundered Phionah Riekert, a 31-year-old loyalist of Mugabe and his wife, Grace. Youths and elderly women punctuated her campaign speech with song, dance and the beating of drums.

Riekert seeks a parliamentary seat as a candidate with the National Patriotic Front, which was formed with Mugabe’s backing in March by members of a youthful faction loyal to him called the G-40. They had been purged from the government and ruling party by new President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s military-backed administration.

The G-40 has been suspected in the grenade attack last month at a campaign rally that killed two aides while the 75-year-old Mnangagwa, a former Mugabe deputy, was just “inches” away.

The National Patriotic Front has joined an opposition coalition backing the top challenger to Mnangagwa, 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa of the main opposition MDC party, while fielding close to 100 candidates in 210 constituencies countrywide.

The margin between Mnangagwa and Chamisa has narrowed to just 3 percentage points, the Afrobarometer research group said Friday after sampling 2,400 voters across the country between June 25 and July 6.

While Mugabe has not addressed any political rallies he remains a weighty presence in places like Masvingo, where support has swung between the ruling party and the opposition in past elections.

“G-40 was influential in this province during Mugabe’s time. They have been regrouping, they have the capacity to cause quite an impact,” said Godfrey Mtimba, a journalist who has covered Masvingo for a decade.

Some residents, however, said they remain fond of Mugabe but will vote for Mnangagwa.

Kudzai Mugarati said he still wears Mugabe T-shirts but hides them underneath his clothes. Part of that loyalty is tied to his land, part of a farm seized from white owners and divided among black supporters years ago during Mugabe’s often violent campaign of evictions.

“We cannot abandon Mugabe. He is our hero, he gave us this land. But we cannot leave ZANU-PF, so the best thing we can do is not to talk about him,” the 58-year-old Mugarati said.

At a shopping center near Masvingo’s main army barracks, people openly discussed politics in a sharp contrast to previous elections, when the opposition alleged harassment and attacks by security forces.

“You have come to intimidate us with your uniform,” one opposition supporter shouted, pointing at an approaching soldier. Both laughed and embraced, with the soldier going on his way.

Nearby, a group danced to pro-Chamisa songs blaring from the speakers of lawyer Derrick Charamba’s car.

“I am just dancing because the beat is good. The lyrics are rubbish,” said Edmund Wasosa, a ruling party supporter. “Chamisa is still too young. We need experienced hands.”

Despite the apparent peace, the election’s credibility has been threatened by disputes over the transparency of the voters’ roll and the printing of ballots. Charamba, an opposition official, has taken the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to court in one of many cases brought in recent weeks by NGOs and others.

Mnangagwa has pledged that the election will be free and fair. While Mugabe scorned Western election observers, the new president has invited them for the first time in nearly two decades. A credible vote could lead to the lifting of international sanctions and a boost for Zimbabwe’s collapsed economy.

While some still miss Mugabe, no one is eager to remain trapped in the high unemployment and severe cash shortage he left behind in the once-prosperous country.

Curious voters have packed rallies and waited for hours to see both Mnangagwa and Chamisa as a new Zimbabwe tries to leave Mugabe’s shadow.

“We welcome every vote. Mugabe, we welcome your vote,” Chamisa told one Masvingo crowd in a cold rain this month. He has denied allegations of financial support from Mugabe in exchange for making the former first lady a vice president if he wins.

“We want a new dispensation, a fresh start,” Chamisa said, to cheers.

Source: Voice of America