The board of the South African National AIDS Council (Sanac) — which is responsible for overseeing donor funding for HIV/AIDS projects and co-ordinating the country’s response to the epidemic — has failed to extend the contract of its CEO, Fareed Abdullah. The move has shocked observers as Abdullah is widely credited with stabilising and revitalising Sanac during his five-year tenure. Sanac’s nine-member board is chaired by Gwen Ramokgopa, who was appointed Gauteng health MEC after Qedani Mahlangu resigned on Tuesday in the wake of the scandal over the deaths of at least 94 mentally ill state patients. On Wednesday Sanac issued a brief statement saying the board had appointed Connie Kganakga, who has been heading its work on the next national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS, as acting CEO. Abdullah’s contract expired on Tuesday. He said he was informed by the board just two weeks before that his contract would not be extended, despite having been encouraged to apply for the position. He...

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