Dutch ‘nurse’ in South African Aids storm
26 May 2006
AMSTERDAM — A Dutch woman has been accused of indirectly causing the Aids-related death of at least one person in South Africa.
Tine van der Maas is the creator of the ‘Aids Diet’ of beetroot, spinach, garlic and olive oil. South African Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang is said to have recommended the diet to people with Aids.
But South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper reported Van der Maas has been linked to the Aids-related death of local personality Nozipho Bhengu last week. She also provided nutritional support and treatment to radio DJ Fana Khaba, aka Khabzela.
He died of Aids in January 2004 after he stopped taking anti-retrovirals (ARVs). The book ‘Khabzela: The Life and Times of a South African’ published last year claims Minister Tshabalala-Msimang recommended Van der Maas to him.
Van der Maas has been a controversial figure for some time in South Africa and there are numerous articles on the internet warning about her nutritional treatments. Claiming to have taught herself about nutrition by reading books and internet articles, Van der Maas worked as a nurse for just nine months over 15 years ago. She is no longer registered nurse in South Africa.
Dutch newspaper ‘Trouw’ reported that some residents of a Bloemfontein township died after undergoing a treatment experiment run by Van der Maas in collaboration with the local Red Cross.
“I am extremely mad,” Red Cross worker Prosper Mosime told the newspaper. “We believed in the ideas she [Van der Maas] told us about. Our co-workers even introduced her to patients; other doctors and organisations in the city did the same. Now we realise this was a big mistake.”
Ricus Dullaert of the aids organisation Cordaid told ‘Trouw’ that Van der Maas was “a criminal quack that should be locked up” and added, “She has a big influence on the health minister, and that is fatal.”
Van der Maas could not be contacted for comment this week, the Mail & Guardian reported on Friday.
This week, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) blamed Van der Maas and Tshabalala-Msimang for Bhengu’s death, pointing out that the minister had introduced the Dutch woman to her and that she had adopted the latter’s dietary “treatment programme” in place of ARVs.
Bhengu’s mother, former MP Ruth Bhengu, was praised for combating the stigma surrounding HIV/Aids when she revealed her daughter’s HIV status in a speech to parliament in 2001.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news, Tine van der Maas