Minister drops charges against Aids 'doctor'

Kwazulu-Natal traditional healer Zeblon Gwala said yesterday he was pleased that charges laid against him by the DA have been dropped.

Gwala is the manufacturer of the controversial traditional uBhejane concoction used by people living with HIV-Aids. In 2006 the DA laid charges against Gwala for fraud and contravening the Medicines Act.

The act stipulates that no-one may claim that a product can cure an illness, unless it has been scientifically proven.

The DA expressed concern when it was informed by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa that the charges had been dropped.

Key to the DA charges was the accusation that Gwala was using his traditional muti and forcing people to choose between it and ARVs. His mixture sells for R400.

Gwala said he was happy because he would continue providing a service to sick people.

"This noise about my medicine had been going on for a long time. I don't understand what the DA wants from me."

Gwala claimed his medication had been registered with the medical control's council.

DA MP Mike Waters said: "We will be writing to the Director of Public Prosecutions to provide information on how they arrived at the decision."

Mthethwa was unavailable for comment.