As a young adult, Clarence ‘Bizzah’ Mini jumped the border to join umKhonto weSizwe, trained with the June 16th Detachment in Angola and survived ‘the Boers’; in exile, he was trained and qualified as a doctor; in early middle age, he returned to South Africa just as the Aids epidemic was taking hold, became an Aids activist and worked tirelessly against HIV, which killed three million of his compatriots over the following two decades. But this week, Dr Clarence Mini, was eventually felled by Covid-19, a coronavirus nobody had drawn up battle plans for.
Dr Victor Holland, who died on 19th April, was born and grew up in the years just before the advent of National Party rule and apartheid. His life and profession as a doctor was blighted by racism and inequality but it also forged a life-long approach to equality in medicine and health.
An online memorial service was held on Saturday for world-renowned South African HIV researcher Professor Gita Ramjee who died last week of complications related to Covid-19. Maverick Citizen editor and long-time HIV activist Mark Heywood was one of those who paid tribute to Ramjee during the memorial. Below is the short, but heartfelt tribute he delivered.