Cyril Ramaphosa hails Nkosi Johnson as 'a brave young man'

The Deputy President says the virus has robbed the nation of Johnson, who died at the age of 12 in 2001.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Nkosi’s Haven in Johannesburg. Picture: ZIyanda Ngcobo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has honoured Aids activist Nkosi Johnson as a brave young man, saying government has heeded his calls to address the epidemic and work towards an Aids-free generation.

Ramaphosa addressed mothers and children infected and affected by HIV this morning, living at Nkosi's Haven in Johannesburg, ahead of the Aids conference next week in Durban.

The Deputy President says the virus has robbed the nation of Johnson, who died at the age of 12 in 2001.

He says government has made great strides in saving lives.

"3.4 million people today are alive."

Ramaphosa has acknowledged government's inaction and remembered Johnson's bravery, wearing his black suit and takkies on stage at the conference back in 2000.

"We heeded the call and the message that was made by Nkosi Johnson. Whereas in the year 2000 we were all over the place and not providing the care and love to people who were suffering."

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi also joined the Deputy President and committed to bringing treatment to the residents at Nkosi's Haven.