Modise maintains “no further details” on Heberon

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Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise appears to have put issues around acquisition and payment for a Cuban COVID-19 prophylactic to bed, telling a Parliamentary questioner, among others, there was no misrepresentation and “there are no further details”.

Responding to the latest in a number of Heberon related questions posed by Kobus Marais, Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow minister for her portfolio, a written reply has it “there was no misrepresentation of facts, on the matter, the Department [of Defence] had always recorded the irregularity in the financial records as irregular expenditure”.

In ongoing efforts to ascertain the what’s and why’s behind the multi-million Rand spent on bringing Heberon, not approved by local drug and medication regulators, to South Africa, Marais has gone as far as a statement to police for investigation. Among others, he maintains the prophylactic was smuggled into South Africa.

Modise further informs him, as regards irregular expenditure of R33.4 million highlighted by Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke, it will be “treated as per National Treasury’s irregular expenditure framework”. This process, according to the minister, “will determine the outcome”.

She also informed Marais “return of the medication to Cuba came out of a court order which the department had to comply with” adding there “are no further relevant details surrounding the matter”.