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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Manto and Rath hold pow-wow

South African Press Association - June 27, 2005

Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang held a private one-on-one meeting with controversial vitamin entrepreneur Mathias Rath earlier this year, it emerged on Monday.

In a written reply to a question in the National Assembly by Dianne Kohler-Barnard of the Democratic Alliance, she also refused to distance herself from Rath's claims about his vitamins curing Aids.

Asked whether she or any officials of her department had held any meetings with the Rath Health Foundation, Tshabalala-Msimang replied: "I had a meeting with Dr Rath alone... (on) April 16, 2005. We discussed his concern for people infected with HIV and suffering from the impact of Aids."

She was also asked whether she would publicly distance herself from the foundation's assertion, contained in various advertisements printed in South African newspapers, that Aids could be cured by vitamin supplements and that anti-retrovirals were deadly poison.

"I will only distance myself from Dr Rath if it can be demonstrated that the vitamin supplements that he is prescribing are poisonous for people infected with HIV," Tshabalala-Msimang replied.

In a statement issued later on Monday, Kohler-Barnard said Tshabalala-Msimang had now associated herself with Rath -- an Aids denialist who had been ostracised by almost the entire medical fraternity for his belief in vitamins as a cure for HIV/Aids.

"It is really no wonder anymore that people doubt the seriousness with which the minister views the Aids pandemic," she said.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.