In November, the Equality Court reserved judgement in a complaint of hate speech brought by the NGO Sonke Gender Justice. The complaint was brought against the ANC Youth League president, for public comments which appeared to denigrate women who reported being raped.
Right to health - people living with HIV/AIDS
An estimated 5.7 million people were living with HIV, according to UNAIDS. By July the number of AIDS patients receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) had increased to an estimated 870, 000, about half of those who needed it. Poor government planning and staffing shortages left some hospitals with shortages of ART drugs and unable to start treatment for new patients. In October, the budget allocation for HIV drugs was increased.
Women continued to be disproportionately affected and infected by HIV and AIDS. In June the South African Human Sciences Research Council's national HIV prevalence survey showed that 15- to 19-year-old females had a prevalence rate of over six per cent, more than twice the rate for males of the same age group, and rising to over 32 per cent among 25- to 29-year-old women. African women aged 20 to 34 years were identified as the population group most at risk in the country.
On 1 December, World AIDS Day, the government announced a new drive to scale up voluntary HIV testing, among other new measures to combat the epidemic.
Following civil society protests, the government confirmed in August that it would act on the International Criminal Court arrest warrant against the President of Sudan if he travelled to South Africa, despite the position taken at the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit in Sirte, Libya in July.
In December, human rights organizations sought an order in the Pretoria High Court declaring unlawful the South African authorities' decision not to initiate an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed in Zimbabwe by individuals known to travel to South Africa.
Amnesty International visits/reports
Amnesty International delegates visited South Africa in March, July/August and November.
Human rights concerns in South Africa: Memorandum sent to the South African government, August 2009 (1 September 2009)
South Africa: Failure to conduct impartial investigation into Kennedy Road violence is leading to further human rights abuses (16 December 2009)