August 24, 2006
A legal battle over antiretroviral treatment for HIV-positive Westville Prison inmates has resulted in unlawful and unnecessary suffering by the plaintiffs, the Durban High Court heard yesterday. One of the 15 prisoners for whom AIDS Law Project filed suit has already died while the matter was being argued. ALP attorney Andrea Gabriel said further delays in the appeal process would only perpetuate the inmates' suffering. Marumo Moerane, attorney for the state, argued the government had fulfilled its Constitutional obligations in providing adequate care to inmates and said Judge Thumba Pillay had erred in ordering the health minister, correctional services department and government to provide ARV access to the 15 prisoners and others in similar situations. A judgment is expected on Monday.