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TAC, Achmat 2003 newsmakers


January 14, 2004

PRETORIA - The Treatment Action Campaign Aids drug lobby group and its leader Zachie Achmat have been jointly named the National Press Club's newsmakers of 2003.

The Pretoria-based club said in a statement on Tuesday: "The TAC's use of legal and moral arguments led to South Africa importing cheaper generics of Aids drugs.

"This victory raised hope for millions of Aids sufferers to finally gain access to drugs that could prolong their lives."

Achmat has been at the forefront of campaigns for the provision of drugs to HIV-positive South Africans. He and the TAC were nominated for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, and Achmat was voted one of 35 heroes of 2003 by Time Magazine.

He was also elected ThisDay newspaper's person of the year.

Previous recipients of the press club's Newsmaker of the Year award include President Thabo Mbeki, former presidents Nelson Mandela and F W de Klerk, the SA Air Force, the national rugby team and late cricket captain Hansie Cronje.

Other nominations for the award included the teenager initially called Happy Sindane, who claimed to have been kidnapped by a black woman from a white family as a child, the men who accused national public prosecutions director Bulelani Ngcuka of being an apartheid spy -- Mac Maharaj and Mo Shaik, athlete Hestrie Cloete, as well as the Springbok rugby team and its infamous "Kamp Staaldraad".

Ngcuka was the runner up, the press club said. - Sapa


Related links stories
TAC's Zackie Achmat nominated for Nobel Peace Prize [03/12/2003]
Roses and thorns for govt on World Aids Day [02/12/2003]


 

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