The South Africa Department of Health has condemned the actions of the official of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), who has put millions of people at risk by illegally passing millions of condoms, which had not met the quality assurance requirements.
This follows an article by Sowetan (published on 22 August 2007) which stated that a company, Latex Surgical Products (LSP), which was awarded a contract by the Department of Health through Zalatex to produce Choice condoms for the public, had allegedly bribed the official to pass the defective condoms.
The implicated authority has been suspended from work and SABS has opened a criminal case against the official and the company involved.
The SABS, which is responsible for quality assurance testing prior to any distribution, has assured the Department of Health that it has withdrawn the LSP/Zalatex certification (last Friday) to manufacture condoms.
LSP/Zalatex is one of the seven (7) companies, which had been awarded the tender to produce male condoms. Zalatex received a 9% (which is 76 million condoms) stake of the total amount of 850 million condoms. The contract started in October 2005 to September 20, 2007. The estimated Zalatex’s value of the contract is about R49 per 200 condoms.
SABS has also reported to the Department of Health that two condom consignments for March and July 2007 from Zalatex were subjected to an investigative audit and they did not pass the quality test. The 6 (six) other companies passed the investigative random stock check.
The Department of Health is recalling all two condom consignments for March and July 2007 (about 4,6 million condoms are affected according to the Logistics Management Information System [LMIS] ) 2007, from warehouses and health facilities throughout the country.
We will also approach National Treasury, which is responsible for management of the contract of the implicated SLP/Zalatex, to discuss the way forward and will do everything in our power to protect our people.