Health Products Regulatory Authority, SAHPRA, says they are looking into the reported claim by Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu that she had secured medicine from Russia for the late African National Congress (ANC) Deputy Secretary General, Jessie Duarte – but Duarte had succumbed to cancer before the medicine arrived in South Africa.
According to media reports, Sisulu said she secured medication for the struggle stalwart while on a trip to Russia but it arrived too late. Duarte died on Sunday after a long battle with cancer. She was 68.
SAHPRA says it is engaging with the Minister’s office.
SAHPRA spokesperson Yuven Gounden says the regulatory authority has strict rules and guidelines on the import and export of medicines.
“It must the noted that there are numerous oncology medicines that are registered by SAHPRA and are available in South Africa for a range of cancers. In the event that a treating oncologist needs to secure an unregistered medicine for a specific patient, SAHPRA does have a mechanism in place as guided by Section 21 of the Medicines and Related Substances Act. In terms of the Section 21 Act, unregistered medicine on a named patient can be accessed under strict conditions. This permission is subject to confirmation from a medical professional that the product is needed and that no similar product is available in the country.”
Meanwhile, the memorial service of Duarte will be held at the Johannesburg City Hall on Thursday.
Her political home has ordered provinces to fly the ANC flag at half-mast. Duarte was laid to rest at the Westpark Cemetary in Randburg on Sunday.
In a final farewell to Duarte, the ANC has arranged for the nation to pay tribute to its fallen stalwart.
Duarte will be remembered for her contribution to the liberation of the country in a memorial service at the Johannesburg City Hall on Thursday.
“As part of the national week of mourning, a number of activities have been planned culminating into a National Memorial Service scheduled to take place on Thursday the 21st of July 2022 at the Johannesburg City Hall starting at 14 hours. Condolence books are also available at our provincial offices including here at Luthuli House for both our members and the general public who may wish to convey their condolence message in person,” says ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe.
ANC to honour Jessie Duarte on Thursday in a memorial service: