Massive Condom Recall in South Africa
Bribery and corruption appear to be at the heart of a scandal resulting in the recall of 12.5 million defective condoms, with nearly eight million left to collect from the public. The burning question here is, how many have already been used? Southern Africa remains a hotbed of AIDS infection, and this sort of thing only fans the flames.
About five million condoms supplied by Zalatex have been collected since a recall and an additional 7,5-million condoms quarantined at the company's warehouse, the Health Department said on Thursday.
This follows charges that Zalatex bribed an official at the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) to approve inferior condoms.
Zalatex was one of seven private companies awarded a tender to support free condom distribution in the country.
SABS commercial executive John Stanbury said some of the measures taken since the allegations surfaced included suspension of the employee involved and tightening and changing of management.
The SABS also audited the other six companies, three of which were international, and was satisfied about their quality standards.
However, recent batches of condoms supplied by at least three of the companies would be retested over the next week as "anomalies" were found.
Director General of Health Thami Mseleku refused to provide the names of these three companies.
An urgent meeting would be held next week with the tender board where the contract with Zalatex would be reviewed.
The Health Department wanted the contract to be cancelled and for the company to be blacklisted.
The recall began last week:
he department of health is seriously considering suing condom distribution company Zalatex for supplying millions of defective condoms.
Health director-general Thami Mseleku said on Thursday that grounds for possible legal action against the company included that the defective condoms may have jeopardised the lives of consumers.
It was discovered last week that a South African Bureau of Standards official had allegedly been bribed by the company to push through the defective condoms.