Mapisa-Nqakula takes political responsibility for existence of Interferon in SA

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said she was misled but only takes some responsibility as the political head.

FILE: Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - As probes continue into the illegal importation of a drug from Cuba, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said that she took political responsibility but absolved herself of non-compliance.

The first consignment of the drug worth about R260 million landed in South Africa last year, together with Cuban medical personnel.

READ: Parly grills defence dept over illegal importation of Interferon that cost R260m

The drug is not registered for use in SA and the South African National Defence force only applied to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) for authorisation for its bulk use months later, when it was denied.

The minister said that she was misled but only took some responsibility as the political head.

“If there was non-compliance with the law by way of your detail in terms of your PMFA, I can’t take responsibility for that because it has nothing to do with me. But political responsibility for the existence in the country of the Interferon, I can never say that I did not know about it. I knew about it."

An inter-ministerial committee has been appointed by Mapisa-Nqakula to further probe the matter.

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