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Polity - News this Week

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Polity - News this Week

11th March 2010

By: Bradley Dubbelman

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South Africa

JOHANNESBURG - Struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has bitterly lashed out at Nelson Mandela in an interview published in the London Evening Standard. She says that South Africa's first democratically elected President, who is also her ex-husband, has become a "corporate foundation" being "wheeled out to collect the money". Madikizela-Mandela also calls Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu a "cretin", in the interview with Nadira Naipaul, who visited her with her husband, the writer VS Naipaul, in Soweto. "Mandela let us down," says Madikizela-Mandela. "He agreed to a bad deal for blacks. Economically, we are still on the outside. The economy is very much ‘white'. It has a few token blacks, but so many who gave their life in the struggle have died unrewarded," says Madikizela-Mandela, in the interview published on www.standard.co.uk. She says that Mandela has no control over the African
National Congress (ANC) anymore and is just being used by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to get funds. "Look what they make him do. The great Mandela. He has no control or say any more. They put that huge statue of him right in the middle of the most affluent ‘white' area of Johannesburg. Not here where we spilled our blood and where it all started. Mandela is now a corporate foundation. He is wheeled out globally to collect the money and he is content doing that. The ANC has effectively sidelined him but they keep him as a figurehead for the sake of appearance."

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is worried that South Africans do not appreciate prevention as the best treatment for HIV/Aids. "President [Jacob] Zuma made two far-reaching statements on World Aids Day: he made a strong statement about prevention and a strong statement about treatment regimes, but, after World Aids Day, South Africans are only talking about the one," Motsoaledi said at the release of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria's 2010 results report. "That's what is worrying me. I am saying that treatment must only come after prevention . . . We are worried that South Africans seem to be thinking that we have arrived. I don't [get the sense] that South Africans understand that the biggest weapon must be prevention." The Minister said that prevention "is the mainstay of fighting against any disease and, only once that has failed, should treatment become paramount". He added: "The treatment we announced is [necessitated by] the load we [have], but we want to stop that from happening and so we need to send the message out that, regardless of the amount of money you have, you have to prevent the disease." He said that this year's budget for HIV/Aids treatment increased by 33% - the highest increase any department has received. Motsoaledi said that he was concerned that if the government had to keep increasing the amount it allocates to the illness, nothing else would be funded.

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Africa & the world

NAIROBI - With its economies recovering, Africa needs to start rebuilding reserves and thinking about tightening spending to build defences against future crises, the head of the International Monetary Fund says. In Kenya, as part of a three-country tour of Africa to examine its recovery from the crisis, Fund MD Dominique Strauss-Kahn says that it is still too early for many governments to withdraw emergency fiscal measures. However, Africa's leaders must keep an eye on future disaster mitigation by ensuring they have sufficient reserves and the ability to boost short-term spending - factors that allowed the poorest continent to weather the worst of last year's global economic storm. "Africa is back, although a lot depends on a global recovery that is still in its early stages," Strauss-Kahn says. "For many countries, it is still too early to remove the crutch. A major lesson from the crisis is that countries that sowed in times of plenty were able to reap in times of loss. Policy buffers must, therefore, be rebuilt to allow for future counter- cyclical responses, with fiscal policy and reserves. This is the first line of defence against adverse shocks."

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