Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has reacted to reports that Oxford University academics gave South African babies a new TB vaccine which had been linked to the deaths of monkeys in tests.Picture: Jacques Naude

Parliament - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Friday described the Gupta-linked Mediosa clinic in the North West Province as an "ATM card" through which the politically-connected fugitive family were withdrawing money from the health department.

Motsoaledi was on a walkabout at the clinic, which received an upfront payment of R30 million from the North West health department to provide mobile clinic services.

"The health service in South Africa does not need this service at all. In fact, I don't think I'll be wrong to characterise it as an ATM card through which the Guptas are withdrawing money from the department of health. Unfortunately I can't describe it in any other way," Motsoaledi told reporters on Friday.

The minister said given that health services were in "dire straits" given a tight budget due to pressures on the national fiscus, the contract with the Gupta-linked company should be cancelled.

"Our health facilities are congested because we have so many people to see...we don't have any spare money to do what is being done here," he said.

"I really ask that this service be terminated forthwith. Whoever entered into this contract must find a way to terminate it because its not a service that SA needs at all."

Last month, the Hawks announced they were investigating the project. Workers at the clinics were not paid their February salaries.

African News Agency/ANA