De Klerk Says Mbeki was ‘Ill-Advised’ about HIV-AIDS Link
Former South African President Frederick de Klerk, speaking to the Guardian this weekend, said that President Thabo Mbeki was "ill-advised" and "made a major mistake" in stating that poverty and malnutrition, not HIV, causes AIDS, Agence France-Presse reports. De Klerk added, "My understanding of what he is really trying to say is that AIDS is not just a medical problem, but also rampant because of poverty, the state of social services, and I agree with him there. But the way he said it, it was interpreted as if he denied the scientific link between the virus and the illness. I think he made a major mistake in that regard." Referring to Mbeki's statement earlier this fall that his handling of the AIDS issue has created "confusion," de Klerk added, "I understand he is trying to correct that in his latest statement." However, Mbeki "has not backed down from his controversial stance" (Agence France-Presse, 12/3).email subscription.