AAI Tribute to Prudence Mabele July 2017: Accountability Champion

Prudence Mabele

AIDS Accountability International pays tribute to Prudence Mabele, a true accountability champion for women’s and girl’s rights and people living with and affected by HIV, who sadly passed away this week.


Comrade Pru as she was fondly known has left a legacy and deep footprints in South Africa and globally in the fight against HIV and AIDS and championing the rights of women and girls. As tributes poured in from across the world this week, Prudence has been described as warrior, a global icon, a dedicated, fearless fighter and a committed human rights activist who cared deeply about the communities and the people who she was serving.


Anele Yawa, General Secretary of Treatment Action Campaign said about Prudence in an interview “during the days of AIDS denialism, she was among those who stood up to demand for access to ARV treatment in public health care sector for all. When stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS was still high Prudence was amongst the comrades who was running an HIV awareness and education programs.”


Prudence’s spirit was larger than life, she had a vision and inner pursuit that drove her to respond to the humanity of people, someone who held herself accountable but also had no qualms with holding governments accountable. She spoke truth to power and said what no else would dare say. She was passionate about young women and girls as reflected through her organisation, Positive Women’s Network.


Prudence said in an interview, “The AIDS message will start with us but it can’t stay with us alone, it has to spread to the community and it must always be a non-judgemental one. We have to keep an open mind and be non-judgemental, identify challenges and try and resolve it” She also said “my personal commitment is to truly work with younger women to make sure that they remain an AIDS free generation.”


Prudence understood that all struggles are connected and this showed through her work and she understood that people are at the centre of the struggle for human rights.


We have lost a great activist, a visionary, a friend and a true leader.  We cannot thank her enough for the legacy she has left behind. We celebrate her life and her work which will be remembered and valued for generations to come.


AAI offers our sincere condolences to the Mabele family and the staff at Positive Women’s Network.