I picked this up on the news last night, and went searching for an article. The deputy minister of health has called for Mbeki to go for a public HIV test in the same way that she did.
It seems that Mbeki has turned down the "offer". And HIV/AIDS test is seen to be something quite personal (look at the regulations surrounding it), so should out leaders be subjected to a public test?Madlala-Routledge has set an example by being tested for HIV, in a bid to persuade South Africans to do the same.
She is widely seen as the driving force behind the government's regeneration in tackling HIV and Aids, and she is closely involved in compiling a new five-year anti-Aids plan.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph she did the unthinkable by suggesting that the president should follow her example and go for HIV-testing.
"It seems logical to me that people in leadership positions should see why that makes sense," she said.
"Take an Aids test, Mr Mbeki" on News24
More importantly what comes out of this is a junior minister challenging Mbeki publicly, and what that implies. The e-News political analyst mentioned a couple of interesting things,
- If he fires her he will come under a lot of outside political pressure (non-ANC, international, etc.)
- If he doesn't fire her he will come under immense internal pressure (ANC)
- Manto is now seen to be a "lame duck" with Routledge and Nguka (vice president) having effectively taken over the running of the health department.
I'm guessing that these are symptoms of a power struggle going on behind the scenes, and I'm wondering who the "power players" are.