Members of the police, National Prosecuting Authority, lawyers and the judiciary along with the Legal Aid SA and social workers gathered at the Magistrate’s Court in Grahamstown on Friday 1 December to mark World Aids Day.
Organised by the Department of Justice in Grahamstown, it was opened with a prayer led by Reverand Lithemba Busakwe, of the Anglican Church and Reverend Mbulelo Majola from the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa.
Magistrate Ronnie Lesele addressed the gathering, urging people to get tested so they know their HIV status.
“Today we celebrate the World Aids Day because there are some of our family members who have passed away through HIV,” Lesele said. “Most of us are affected by the disease. Some of us have not yet tested and we should make sure that we test so that we can know our status. When someone knows their status they can act safely and protect themselves. We need to make sure in our daily lives that we look well to ourselves and protect each other.
“It is not a disgrace to have Aids: it is a worldwide disease and we must not discriminate against people suffering from it,” said Lesele.