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2004: Mbeki’s Second Term

Thabo Mbeki successfully retained power as President of the republic in April 2004, and immediately placed AIDS activists on the back foot with the reappointment of Manto Tshabalala-Msimang as Minister of Health. Sticking with the old, Mbeki saw no reason to change his denialist approach to HIV and AIDS.

Mbeki maintained that South Africa was by no means unique with regards to HIV and AIDS prevalence, and that no special reaction to the pandemic was warranted. He was to continue ignoring and denying the devastating impact the pandemic was having on the South African people, and opposing the cause that NGOs and other organisations were fighting for, until he was removed as president by his own party in September 2008.