Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence concerned over Heberon procurement

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Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans has expressed concern over the procurement of the drug Heberon by the Department of Defence.

The drugs were reportedly procured for around R260 million.

On Wednesday, the committee received a special audit report on the financial management of COVID-19 funds by the department which highlighted the inadequate planning for the procurement of Heberon.

The reports also highlighted that the department failed to provide clarity on required quantities, lack of evidence of prior approval by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) for the importation of Heberon, and no post-importation testing which resulted in approximately 40% of the vials’ integrity possibly being compromised.

Last week, the Hawks and SAHPRA were reported to have attempted to confiscate the Heberon consignment from a depot in Pretoria but an altercation allegedly occurred thwarting their effort.

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza received the first batch of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at the OR Tambo International Airport.

In the video below, the first batch of the vaccine arrives in South Africa: