Health minister Zweli Mkhize says no government policy will allow any women to be forcefully sterilised for any reason.
Mkhize was speaking at a joint meeting of the portfolio committees of health and women, youth and persons with disabilities on Wednesday.
The meeting focused on the forced sterilisation of women living with HIV/Aids in SA, after the outcome of an investigation by the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) revealed that close to 50 women were victims of this kind of violation in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Mkhize slammed the human rights violation, saying an investigation would be launched.
Earlier this year, the EFF called on the health department to act immediately on the recommendations contained in the report.
Here are quotes from Mkhize:
“The issue of sterilisation is governed by law and therefore it has to be based on a concern signed and witnessed. It must be done before the operation is conducted.”
“The department does not support any situation where anybody's body is violated with sterilisation without their consent. When we deal with this matter, we will not try to make any efforts to cover any information from being shared publicly.”
“We were concerned about this matter, however, we've noticed that efforts to try to investigate it did not give us something concrete. Though there have been a number of complaints reported, the department was not privy to the affidavits of the individuals.”
Redress on human rights
“As the government, we will be at the forefront to ensure that if there is any breach of human rights, there will be redress.”
Missing reports and unclear records
“Which doctor was implicated? Nobody knows. The report by the commission doesn’t have that. Available records don’t show a clear line of culpability. We are saying patient files are not available, affidavits weren’t available. Until three days ago, they were not available.”