Senekal last week had nothing to do with solutions. It was all about politicians’ testosterone. It was all about politicians’ egos. What useful idea came out of all that heat and noise generated by all those politicians in Senekal last week? There is nothing. Nothing that makes SA a better place. Nothing that leads us to a better understanding of race relations in SA after 1994. Nothing that is a solution to farm murders – many of whose victims are poorly paid, desperate black people – or a solution to the incredibly horrendous murder and crime problem in this country.
Despite all these considerations, Mbeki’s stance on AIDS prevailed for only a time. The overwhelming evidence that emerged that AIDS was devastating communities, coupled with increasingly incontrovertible evidence that ARVs were restoring health and saving lives, the relentless courage of Mbeki’s media critics on AIDS, the TAC and its allies in COSATU, coupled – crucially – with former President Nelson Mandela’s influential intervention all precipitated inner-circle conditions that made it possible to prevail upon Mbeki to permit publicly-funded ARV treatment to be made
available. Unfavourable international focus on President Mbeki’s stance also assisted in breaking the denialist grip on AIDS policy. – Judge Edwin Cameron and Nathan Geffen in The deadly hand of denial: Governance and politically-instigated AIDS denialism in South Africa