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Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday said it has written to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to request that Criselda Kananda-Dudumashe is not appointed to the Board of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC).

Indications are that the controversial Metro FM host is about to be appointed to the SANAC board. 

Health-e reported that Kananda-Dudumashe's name had been recommended to Ramaphosa. The deputy president is expected to announce the new SANAC board soon.

Patricia Kopane DA MP, whose area of interest is health, said: "The DA is of the belief that Kananda-Dudumashe is not fit to serve on the SANAC Board given the numerous concerning public comments she has made". 

She said Kananda-Dudumashe, who is HIV positive, was quoted by the Citizen newspaper as saying she will never take antiretrovirals because they are "deadly and easy way out”. 

The radio personality reportedly said HIV does not cause AIDS and that "AIDS is instead the result of a compromised immune system, of living an unhealthy lifestyle and being attacked by infectious diseases”.

Kopane said these suggest that Kananda-Dudumashe may be an AIDS denialist.

"We have seen how detrimental AIDS denialism is. More than 300 000 South Africans lost their lives because of the AIDS denialism of the Mbeki-administration," said the DA MP.

"The DA respects Kananda-Dudumashe’s personal choice for alternative treatments of HIV/AIDS. However, millions of South Africans who are affected by the epidemic, depend on antiretrovirals every day to treat their illness."'

She said the comments on HIV/AIDS attributed to Kananda-Dudumashe were "misleading and irresponsible, especially as a public figure. The fact that she is so blatantly opposed to ARVs and does not believe that HIV causes AIDS is cause for grave concern".

Since there is no public process to the appointment of the SANAC board, the DA said it wrote to Ramaphosa as he is the only person with the power to stop her appointment.

"Kananda-Dudumashe’s utterances clearly suggest that she is not fit to hold any position on the SANAC Board," said Kopane, warning that her influence could result in people living with HIV/AIDS defaulting on their treatment. 

Kananda-Dudumashe could not be immediately reached for comment.

African News Agency