TAC wins court case against Matthias Rath

TAC Newsletter

“The evidence shows that as a matter of deliberate policy the applicant [TAC] has not received money from drug companies either directly or indirectly and it has implemented mechanisms to preclude any such eventuality.”

The TAC welcomes the unanimous judgment by a full bench of the Cape High Court today in our matter against Matthias Rath. We are disappointed that it took over eight months to deliver it, because this was an urgent request for a temporary interdict.

The Cape High Court has interdicted Matthias Rath, his South African foundation and the Traditional Healers’ Organisation from making various statements alleging an improper connection between TAC and the pharmaceutical industry, pending the final determination of an action TAC has launched for a final interdict, an apology and for damages.

The respondents may not claim that TAC

  • is a front for the pharmaceutical industry, a “Trojan horse” or “running dog” of that industry,
  • is funded by the pharmaceutical industry,
  • receives funds from pharmaceutical front organisations in return for promoting antiretroviral medicines and
  • targets poor communities as a market for the drug industry in order to promote the interests of pharmaceutical companies.

This judgment affirms TAC’s integrity and independence. It also clarifies the attitudes of Matthias Rath and his agents to evidence:

Matthias Rath, as well as his agents David Rasnick, Sam Mhlongo and Anthony Brink, are a spent political force: discredited, dishonourable and dishonest.

TAC will continue with its litigation against the Minister of Health for failing to act to stop Rath’s illegal activities. These activities include conducting unauthorised experiments on people, distributing unregistered medicines and advertising unproven treatments for AIDS. The Minister of Health’s support of Rath and other charlatans is based on pseudo-science and undermines the implementation of HIV prevention and treatment interventions. Worst of all, it endangers lives.


It is difficult for most people in Western countries to imagine living in a country where 25% adults are HIV positive. It is even most difficult to understand how the government in South Africa questions the link between HIV and AIDS when over 800-1000 people die each day from HIV-related illness.

The South African governments’ support for Rath’s hoax ‘cures’ instead of providing clear information about the benefits from ARV treatment, and providing ARV treatment itself, would be illegal in other countries.

This finding in favour of TAC – the key NGO behind the drive for access for treatment in South Africa – is clearly welcomed.

Because of these political difficulties, TAC does not and never has been able to accept pharmaceutical donations – something that most Western NGOs would find difficult to match.

Private donations to Friends of TAC can be made online at:

Friends of the Treatment Action Campaign

Source: TAC Press Release, 3 March 2006

Treatment Action Campaign

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