AIDS activists had to pinch themselves this week when an old skeleton came clattering out of the denialism coffin to land a key position in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government.
The mention of Neliswa "Peggy" Nkonyeni's name sends shivers down many people's spines, transporting them back to the dark days of garlic, beetroot and other quack remedies to treat HIV.
One of former and now departed health minister, Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's, right-hand women, Nkonyeni completed a five-year stint as Health MEC in KwaZulu-Natal, then as Speaker in the legislature, a term marred by allegations of serious corruption (withdrawn later) only to go full circle with this week's announcement that she is to become the custodian of education in the province. As she takes over the future of KwaZulu-Natal's children, let's remind ourselves of Peggy Nkonyeni career trajectory so far:
As early as 2005, barely a year after becoming KZN Health MEC, Nkonyeni criticised the World Health Organisation for failing to provide "a clear message on the role of nutrition in delaying the progression of HIV to AIDS".
During the WHO meeting Tshabalala-Msimang had suggested that with the right diet, people with HIV could permanently delay the onset of...