Stealing ARVs for whoonga 'is murder'

2011-01-19 14:20

Johannesburg - Stealing antiretrovirals (ARVs) is murder, the National Association of People Living with HIV and Aids (Napwa) said on Wednesday.

"The lives of many people who are HIV positive depend on ARVs. Therefore those people who are selling ARVs... for recreational use are killing innocent people," Napwa secretary general Nkululeko Nxesi said.

His comments follow the arrest of Moses Dladla, 41, and Johannes Mahlangu, 44, in Olifantsfontein last Thursday.

They appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Monday after allegedly being found with stolen ARVs worth R200 000.

Dladla and Mahlangu implicated a third man, 48-year-old Busami Chauke, who was initially arrested for possession of dagga in Norkem Park, but later implicated in the ARV case.


They were found in possession of Viread (an ARV drug) and two plastic bags each carrying about 20 batches of ARVs. Their arrest was the result of a tip-off from a member of the public.

Police believed the men stole the ARVs to make an illegal drug known as "whoonga", a concoction of Stocrin (an ARV drug), dagga, sore throat medication Strepsils and rat poison.

The case was postponed to March 25 for further investigation. They face charges of possession of stolen property.

Nxesi called for better security in the public health system.

The Treatment Action Campaign on Monday said people who stole antiretrovirals were "very cruel".

"Stealing them is robbing people of their right to health care and life," spokesperson Caroline Nenguke said.

  • THH - 2011-01-19 14:46

    I love how most will claim to be socialists and given the chance to be a capitalist even at the cost of human life, will dive into it with arms wide open.

  • AJB - 2011-01-19 15:01

    Ha ha - this is so unbelievably sad. Whoonga. What the hell animals.

  • pointblankza - 2011-01-19 15:10

    I agree, I have seen first hand what whoonga is doing to the community at eMolweni and Kwandangezi (Shongweni)... Not only are they potentially robbing people with HIV they will kill to get their hands on their HRV's.. a disgusting drug, worse then "sugars".

  • Sash - 2011-01-19 16:08

    ARV'S, Strepsils and rat poison,.wow,.why dont they just jump off a bridge while they at it,.WTF

  • jaycee - 2011-01-19 16:55

    I agree but am wondering how Thabo Mbeki might feature in this viewpoint.

  • Mr.Glum - 2011-01-20 15:07

    Are those spreading aids not also cruel murderers?

      pointblankza - 2011-01-20 15:27

      You mean those doing so intentionally? Yes.

  • KSG - 2011-01-20 15:19

    I honestly find it find it hard to believe that whoonga is made from ARV's. From the research I have done, Whoonga is crack heroin, imported into S.A by Tanzanians, not that I'm defending guys found with tons of ARV's. Think of it this way, how is it possible that the police have located a whoonga production lab? I will tell you why, it is not made in the county. DUMMIES!!!It is time that the misleadning of people ends, we need more vigilant officers in our borders AND GET RID OF AIRHEADS who spread assumptions rather than facts. "WHOONGA from ARV's" was a thought from an empty vessel.

  • Bill - 2011-01-21 10:02

    Catch them and hang them by their balls untill they are dead!

  • unskinnybob - 2011-01-21 10:47

    Stealing ARVs may be murder but sticking it anywhere unprotected is definitely SUICIDE. Nice leading by example Zuma. Showertime.

  • Shaun - 2011-03-15 15:22

    HIV drugs are NOT used to make "whoonga". Whooga or Unga is the street names for a form of Heroin similar to Thai White. Unless the drugs contain some form of opiate, there is no way this is possible. One would think that the cops would have at least checked this out before releasing such a stupid statement and the journalist checked it out before publishing it. Maybe they were chasing the dragon together!!

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