Parliament, Tuesday, 16 February 2021 – The Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans will tomorrow interact with the Surgeon-General of the South African Military Health Service Lieutenant-General Zola Dabula, the Chief Financial Officer Mr Siphiwe Sokhela, the Chief of Logistics Lieutenant-General Jabulani Mbuli and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) to find answers on the procurement of Heberon ® Alfa R (Heberon) procured for approximately R260,59 million by the Department of Defence.
Following a meeting on 3 February 2021, the committee committed to this engagement in the interests of accountability and transparency, as it was seriously concerned about the lack of planning and disregard for regulatory rules and regulations in the procurement.
The committee received a special audit report from the Auditor-General on the Department of Defence’s financial management of Covid-19 funds that highlighted various shortcomings. These include non-submission of information, resulting in a number of audit limitations; inadequate planning for the procurement, with no indication of how the department determined the required quantities; lack of evidence of prior approval from Sahpra for importing Heberon; no post-importation testing; and breach of cold-chain requirements, which potentially compromised the integrity of approximately 40% of the vials.
The committee considered this an indictment of the department’s procurement processes and committed to hold accountable those responsible. In addition, it is unacceptable that the contract used for procurement did not specify the quantity of Heberon required and was only signed after the first delivery had taken place.
Details of the meeting:
Date: 17 February 2021
Venue: Virtual meeting
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ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSONS OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS, MR CYRIL XABA
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