Aids Focus

Motsoaledi explains recall of HIV kits

2012-07-17 12:16
Aaron Motsoaledi (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Aaron Motsoaledi (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

Johannesburg - The approval of a tender for HIV test kits despite an international warning was put through by junior officials, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Monday.

He said these officials, who issued the R22.5m tender for seven million HIV kits, were working by the book.

"I believe [they] should have elevated the matter to the level of the minister or director general."

Motsoaledi was briefing reporters in Johannesburg on a government decision to recall 500 000 of the kits already distributed under the tender.

The World Health Organisation issued a notice in January that some of the test kits, the SD Bioline, had been found to be faulty.

South Africa approved a tender for the kits in June.

Motsoaledi described this as "an unfortunate, but unacceptable event".

Explaining what happened, he said South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) had given the kits the nod after the batches it checked were found to be functional.

'Err on the side of caution'

NICD approval is a prerequisite for approval of such tenders.

In view of this, the junior officials granted the tender without referring to a higher authority.

"If they did, I would have erred on the side of caution by deciding not to award the tender to this company."

The health minister said he had now opted to "err on the side of caution" by recalling the 500 000 testing kits issued so far.

Motsoaledi, WHO officials, and local experts, who also attended the briefing, said the tests had not issued false positives or negatives.

Due to a flaw in the manufacturing of the kits, the tests would give an "invalid" answer, meaning that the result could not be read.

'Do not use as an excuse'

SA National Aids Council deputy chairperson Mark Heywood said the test controversy should be "seen in context" and should not dissuade people from being tested and knowing their status.

HIV Clinicians' Society president Francois Venter echoed this plea.

"People should not use this as an excuse to get out of their obligation," he said.

WHO director of Essential Medicines and Health Products Kees de Joncheere said his organisation had not banned the tests.

Procurement had merely been suspended for the time being.

De Joncheere said the flaws had been found in only some batches of the product, and not all of them.

Motsoaledi said that while the MCID had found the tests in South Africa to be safe, the government would work with the WHO to further investigate the quality of SD Bioline tests.


Read more on:    aaron motsoaledi  |  hiv aids  |  health  |  tenders


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Senior Recruitment Consultant

Cape Town
Recruitment Mecca

Maintenance Manager

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
DAV Professional Placement Group
R450 000 Per Year

Job: Analyst Developer (Web), Marketing Giant, 30-40k

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Initiate International
R30 000 - R42 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.