Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula pleaded ignorance in parliament about drug control regulations at the time of the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF’s) importation of an unregistered Covid-19 drug from Cuba without the necessary approvals in place.

The SANDF has been under fire for violating all acquisition rules and health regulatory protocols after procuring Heberon Interferon-Alpha-2B, an unregistered medical drug from Cuba, which is said to significantly boost the immune system. It was invoiced at about R260m for the drug and about R35m of taxpayers’ money has already been paid...

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