Suspect condoms dumped

2007-12-27 00:00

Tens of thousands of possibly defective condoms were found dumped illegally near a primary school in the Ndwedwe area, north of Durban, on Christmas Day, Environmental Affairs MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu said yesterday.

Mthimkhulu vehemently condemned this illegal dumping and voiced concern over the huge environmental impact being created by the escalating dumping of condoms.

In October this year about 100 000 possibly defective condoms were found scattered over a large area in the Ntande area of Inanda. A few days later another batch was found dumped in Isipingo.

Department spokesman Mbulelo Baloyi said local people found the condoms strewn on the road near Ngonweni Primary School on the main road to Ndwedwe.

The culprits are not known yet, but the authorities are adamant they will be brought to book.

An official of the department’s Environment Management Inspectorate, also known as the Green Scorpions, visited the dump site and collected evidence.

A case has been opened at Inanda Police Station under Section 30 of the Environmental Conservation Act. The act outlaws the dumping of medically hazardous waste in any area other than a recognised and designated landfill site or incinerator.

Mthimkhulu said he has already liaised with Health MEC Neliswa Nkonyeni on the matter. He added that the continuing blatant disregard for the public health rights of people living in the area should not go unpunished.

According to Mthimkhulu, the condoms seem to come from the same batch that was dumped in October. "The investigation into the first illegal dumping is at an advanced stage and arrests are imminent as we have been able to trace the offending organisation.

We intend to hand over this matter to the police superintendent who is in charge of the first investigation as we believe that there are similarities in both cases," he said.

Following the Inanda illegal dumping, the Health Department’s investigation revealed that the company that produced the condoms was Kohrs Medical.

Health Department spokesman Leon Mbangwa said these condoms were apparently supplied to the Queenstown Aids Training Information and Campaign Centre in the Eastern Cape and it was unclear how these condoms ended up in Inanda.

The Isipingo batch discovery on October 15 was traced back to Juel Health, another of the seven companies contracted by the national Health Department to supply condoms.

The Sowetan newspaper broke the story about possibly defective condoms on August 28 with allegations that a South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) official had been bribed to pass them without testing them.

Mbangwa said the department will crack down on the unscrupulous suppliers who want to rob the department by providing below standard products.

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