Rath may be in contempt of court
Dr Matthias Rath is probably in contempt of court by continuing to sell his vitamins, including VitaCell as a medicine, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has said in a letter to Health Minister Barbara Hogan.
TAC Treasurer Nathan Geffen claimed in a letter, which was sent last month to Hogan, Director General Thami Mseleku and the health department’s Law Enforcement Agency ,that Rath was continuing to advertise medical claims about his products and distribute them, yet both activities were barred by a court order issued by the Cape High Court recently.
Most of his activities appear to be targeting KwaZulu-Natal, where he has distributors in Mtubatuba, Uthungulu, KwaMashu, Ntuzuma and Ethekwini. There are also indications that distribution networks have been set up in Durban’s Lamontville and New Germany as well as Gauteng, Geffen said in the letter.
Geffen described how a TAC member had visited a distribution centre in Durban in July (after the judgment) where she was told it would be possible to purchase Rath’s therapies.
The TAC member was also allegedly told that the Rath remedies had been passed as safe and effective by the Medicines Control Council and the Medical Research Council.
The TAC had received information that a new shipment of Rath products had arrived in Durban as late as September.
Geffen said the TAC had also been alerted to ongoing Rath activities in KwaZulu-Natal by the HIV Clinicians Society. He said he had photographic evidence that Rath’s medicines were being sold as an alternative to antiretroviral (ARV) medicines as well as newspaper articles dissuading patients from taking ARVs.
Geffen’s letter warns that the health department had a duty to conform to Judge Zondi’s court order as well as the duties of the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act of 1965 by ensuring that ‘Matthias Rath’s unlawful activities are ended’.
Hogan’s spokesperson Fidel Hadebe said he was confident that the matter would be receiving attention if it had been sent to the minister and Mseleku, but he was unable to confirm this as they were in Durban participating in World AIDS Day activities.