Nozipho Dlamini, Pretoria - BuaNews (Tshwane)
Mr Mazibuko was speaking at a Candlelight Memorial organised by the
Department of Foreign Affairs to remember those who had died of AIDS-related
The commemoration was part of the International Candlelight Day Memorial that
is commemorated annually on May 21. In South Africa, the second week of May is
nationally declared Candlelight Memorial Week.
The day is commemorated to remember those who had died of AIDS, to celebrate
the lives of those who continue to live productively and meaningfully with the
disease and to encourage those affected to continue to give love and care to
their loved ones.
Mr Mazibuko is the first journalist in South Africa to declare his HIV status
and has been living with the virus for 15 years now.
He said government had done a great job in the fight against HIV and AIDS but
the messages were not filtering through to the people.
He slammed most media organisations for assigning journalists who "were
ignorant" about HIV and AIDS to cover AIDS-related matters.
He said some newspapers had made "fun" of Health Minister Manto
Tshabalala-Msimang's emphasis on the importance of nutrition.
"As a journalist myself I sometimes feel ashamed of the profession that
is supposed to inform and educate people but in most cases just misleads and
sensationalises important issues," he said.
He advised employees of foreign affairs to get tested, saying if they were
negative, they would have a renewed determination to stay that way, and if
positive, they could begin to live positively and choose healthy lifestyles.
Mr Mazibuko said the most preventative method took less than 15 seconds - to
wear a condom.
"At times I feel embarrassed that I was unable to spare 15 seconds of
passionate moment to prevent myself from contracting the virus," he said.
Speaking at the memorial, Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Susan Van der Merwe
said HIV and AIDS posed a serious threat to the country's human capital.
However, she said the government had made many strides in fighting the
scourge and putting legislation that supported workers.
These laws include the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, the Labour
Relations Act, the Employment Equity Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act
and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.
She said there was no single solution to fighting HIV and AIDS but a
multifaceted strategy was needed including involvement of each and every