The DA can reveal that the Military Command Council (MCC) is refusing to cooperate with the office of the Public Protector of South Africa on its investigation into the irregularities around the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) procurement of Interferon from Cuba.
We have been reliably informed that despite enquiries letters submitted by the office of the public protector, and a final reminder sent on Friday, the MCC has yet to deliver any and all information regarding the irregular procurement of the Interferon, also known as Heberon Alpha-2B, which SANDF intended to use as COVID-19 treatment for their troops despite the medication not being registered for use in that capacity by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).
It should be noted that SAHPRA has supplied all the necessary documentation to further the investigation.
The MCC is bound by the same Constitution and rule of law as all South Africans. Yet, it seems that Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s poor leadership within her department has trickled down and led the SANDF top tier, SANDF Chief General Solly Shoke, SANDF Chief of Logistics Lt Gen Morris Moadira, SANDF Chief of Staff Lt General Lindile Yam, and the Surgeon General of the South African Military Health Service (SAMHS) Lt Gen Zola Dabula, to believe that their foolish actions would be without consequence.
The DA encourages the office of the public protector to make full use of the law and issue SANDF with a subpoena if the MCC fails to respond in a timeous manner.
The continued State of Disaster does not give SANDF the right to treat South Africa as its own personal playground. It certainly does not give the MCC the right to abuse its budget and endeavour to experiment on our soldiers. It’s time those in power realised the responsibility those positions come with.
Issued by Kobus Marais – DA shadow Minister of Defence