Nelspruit police recover crucial heart medicine

2017-01-18 16:01
Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrates court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Mbombela - Three Mozambican nationals employed by the Maputo Heart Institute have appeared in court for alleged possession of suspected stolen prescription medicines.

Nelspruit police arrested Lucretia Desse Mitilana Manjaxi, 48, Orlando Ernesto Chibolico, 51, and Ramos Antonio Mabasso, 36, on the R40 road in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, on Friday.

They appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of possession of suspected stolen property. They were released on R2 000 bail each and ordered to reappear on February 17.

Nelspruit police spokesperson Captain Dawie Pretorius said officers had stopped and searched the three suspects following a tip-off from someone who had seen them pack medicine into their car. It was found hidden behind the back seat.

The three allegedly told police that the medicine was taken from the Mopani pharmacy and was destined for a hospital in Mozambique.

Pretorius said the suspects could not provide police with the appropriate permits that would allow them to carry medicine across the border.

Humanitarian hospital

Mopani pharmacy managing director Rob Gibbs said the three were employees of the Heart Institute in Maputo.

"The medicines were purchased by the Heart Institute. They were purchased and paid for by the Maputo Heart Institute, with the knowledge and permission of the Mozambican Ministry of Health. The medicines are life-sustaining and essential for their patients."

Gibbs explained that the Maputo Heart Institute was a small humanitarian hospital which provided free open-heart surgery to poor children with cardiac problems.

"They do specialised work and, therefore, need medicines that other pharmacies and even hospitals in Maputo do not stock. These medicines are subsequently not available in Mozambique."

"We are thankful that the medicines and vehicle have subsequently been returned to the hospital staff, and the medicines have been safely transported to the hospital in Maputo,” said Gibbs. – African Eye News Service

Read more on:    mbombela  |  healthcare  |  crime
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