- The EFF has called on members to march to Saphra to demand approval of the Chinese and Russian coronavirus vaccines
- Saphra says they are aware of the march but will not change their stance on the vaccines until research is completed
- Malema has accused Saphra chairperson of having a vested interest in Aspen and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
EFF’s Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu will lead a march to the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) in Tshwane to demand that the Chinese and Russian Covid-19 vaccines be approved immediately.
The EFF has threatened to stage a sit-in at the Sahpra offices until their demands have been met.
According to News24, Saphra CEO Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela has made it clear that Saphra would not be "influenced or swayed" by anyone or anything other than science.
Semete-Makokotlela spoke at a webinar, hosted by News24 and journalist, Redi Tlhabi, on Wednesday.
Semete-Makokotlela said, if they gave into the EFF’s demands then the public or the medical community would view Saphra as an untrusted health regulatory body.
Saphra has explained that before approving vaccines, vaccine makers needed to submit all necessary documentation. Sahpra only received this for the Sinopharm vaccine (Chinese vaccine) on Wednesday and has not yet completed an assessment of the safety data for the Sputnik V vaccine (Russian vaccine).
Semete-Makokotlela gave an example with Ivermectin, a drug that is considered as a possible treatment for Covid-19, that the organisation did not approve for use in South Africa. She added that had they given in to pressure to approve the drug, negativity around the drug would have affected the organisation.
She said they would continue to stand their ground and follow all processes..
“Similarly with these vaccines, until we satisfy ourselves, as a regulator, we will not bow down to any pressure. Yes, they will be marching on Friday. I will be there. I'll receive the memorandum and we'll take it from there. And I will go back to the office, and I'll work with my team,” said Saphra CEO Semete-Makoktlela.
Malema has previously asserted that the only reason Saphra has not approved the Sputnik V and Sinovac for use in South Africa was because the organisation’s chairperson Helen Rees is married to Fazel Randera who is a shareholder in Aspen.
Aspen is in charge of the distribution and manufacturing of the Johnson & Johnson covid vaccine in South Africa. Saphra has denied Malema’s claims and has reiterated its independence as an organisation.
EFF leader wants vaccine rollout process improved before harsherlLockdown
Briefly News previously reported that Julius Malema has solidified his stance on the Government's attempts to curb the spread of Covid-19. Malema stated that the party is against any stricter measures implemented while the vaccine roll-out programme is still unstable.
On Tuesday, Malema stated that he knew that President Cyril Ramaphosa was considering moving the country to Alert Level 5 once more for 21 days. On Tuesday the President spoke about the government's plan to impose tighter lockdown restrictions, specifically in Gauteng.
Ramaphosa stated that there were various indications that harsher regulations would need to be implemented or imposed.
According to News24, Malema made the claims during an interview while Ramaphosa told journalists that the government's National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will need to analyse the country's Alert Level and move forth from there.
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Source: Briefly News