Johannesburg - United Nations special envoy to Africa Stephen Lewis "is not Africa's Messiah" and does not understand the country's HIV/Aids programmes, according to the health department.
"We reject with contempt the statement made by Stephen Lewis with regard to response of South African government to the challenge of HIV and Aids," said department spokesperson Sibani Mngadi in a statement on Saturday.
Mngadi said Lewis' comments should not be seen as the views of the UN and its agencies, which continued to work on HIV/Aids with SA.
On Friday, Lewis told the International Aids conference in Toronto, Canada, that SA could "never achieve redemption" for its HIV/Aids policies as 600 to 800 people a day died of Aids in SA.
Lewis said what the South African government was doing was "wrong, immoral and indefensible".
He accused the government of expounding HIV/Aids theories "more worthy of a lunatic fringe than a concerned and compassionate state".
SA government has tripled the budget allocation for the HIV and Aids over the last four years from just over R1 billion in 2002 to R3.5bn in 2005. This allocation constitutes 90% of resources currently being used to implement HIV and Aids in South Africa," said Mngadi.
He said Lewis should say whether any other country had distributed, as SA did, more 340 million male condoms and close to three million female condoms each year free of charge, or had put more people on anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment than SA had.
Mngadi said what Africa needed was not an "unsubstantiated attack", but delivery on the many resolutions made by international organizations and other countries on "addressing poverty and underdevelopment which increases the vulnerability of our populations to diseases".
I can tell you now, the UN is the most non-confrontational organization in the world. If Steven Lewis is shouting at Manto, it means he must consider her beyond diplomacy... Consummate diplomats do not get enraged easily.
What the UN does not understand is that these people are not evil per se, they are just uneducated and uncouth.
And yes, it can be as simple as that.
And in a totally related story: Manto gets a new Merc
For a scathing factsheet on this dumb as dirt piece of shit, please see the DA's Fire Manto site.