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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 22:39 GMT
Healers back S African minister
South Africa's Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.
Tshabalala-Msimang has been dubbed 'Dr Beetroot' by critics
Traditional healers in South Africa have demonstrated in favour of Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

Several hundred of them marched through Johannesburg, praising the minister and criticising the main anti-Aids lobby, the Treatment Action Campaign.

Aids campaign groups have criticised the minister for promoting natural remedies rather than anti-retrovirals used in the west.

More than 10% of South Africans have HIV, the virus that can lead to Aids.

Traffic came to a standstill in parts of central Johannesburg to make way for singing and dancing demonstrators, many wrapped in red cloaks and headscarves, Reuters news agency reported.

They were carrying placards warning of the dangers of anti-retroviral drugs, which are used to slow the progress of Aids.

Ms Tshabalala-Msimang has been advocating the role of nutrition in the fight against Aids and promoting natural remedies including garlic, olive oil and beetroot.


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