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Biography of Barbara HOGAN

South Africa > Politics : Barbara HOGAN

Barbara HOGAN
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Biography :

Barbara  Hogan ( 1952), is the South-African Minister of Health since 26 September 2008. She is the member of parliament since 1994. She was appointed by interim  president Kgalema Motlanthe, ousting her controversial predecessor Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. AIDS activists and many South Africans are hopeful that this move will signal a shift in the government's HIV/AIDS policies.

Minister Barbara Anne Hogan has had a long and distinguished career in politics. She has a long record of struggle for Human Rights. Well known as an activist, she went to prison for her association with the then outlawed ANC and was released along with Nelson Mandela in 1990. She has served in parliament since democracy in South Africa where she was outspoken against the AIDS denialism.

Barbara Hogan joined the African National Congress shortly after the 1976 Uprisings, once the organisation had been declared illegal and had moved its activities underground. Her responsibilities in this movement were to mobilise the white political left, participation in public political campaigning and supplying the ANC underground in Botswana with information about trade union and community activity in South Africa. Hogan was detained in 1982 for ‘furthering the aims of a banned organisation’ and after being interrogated, ill-treated and held in solitary confinement for one year, she was found guilty of high treason and sentenced to ten years in gaol. Hogan was released in 1990 with the unbanning of outlawed organisations and together with other political prisoners, most notably Nelson Mandela. Upon release Hogan played a pivotal role in restructuring the ANC in her capacity as secretary of the PWV regional office.

She  was previously the chair of the finance portfolio committee. Since becoming health minister, she has broken from the former government's stance on HIV/AIDS and has vowed to make AIDS a top priority. This has caused excitement for many South Africans, who are hopeful that Hogan can strengthen the country's fight against HIV/AIDS by taking a more science-based approach to policymaking.
In the past Hogan publicly criticized former President Thabo Mbeki's stance and policies on HIV/AIDS. Roughly 5.7 million people in South Africa are living with HIV and 350,000 people died of the disease last year (almost 1,000 deaths a day). Tshabalala-Msimang has also been blamed for inadequately responding to South Africa's HIV/AIDS problem. The former health minister promoted beetroot, garlic, and other foods as treatment for HIV/AIDS, resulting in the nickname “Dr. Beetroot,” and has been accused of creating confusion about anti-retroviral drugs.


Last update : 01/12/2009

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