Bogus Aids cure exposed

By Jo-anne Smetherham Time of article published Jul 16, 2003

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A man who allegedly claims he can cure HIV/Aids and cancer by giving patients "radiation treatment" inside a large glass box has been arrested.

Siphiwe Hadebe has offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and East London.

He claims on his website that he can eradicate HIV and restore HIV-positive people's immune systems after 30 days of treatment, at R2 000 for a three-hour session.

Hadebe has been charged with contravening the Medicines Control Act.

He appeared briefly in the Randburg magistrate's court on Monday and his case was postponed until next Monday for a bail hearing.

On Friday, Organised Crime Unit police raided Hadebe's house in Fourways, Randburg, and allegedly found 20 cases of drip bags in his garage. Meanwhile, health department inspectors had raided his Durban office in the Durdoc Centre in Smith Street and allegedly found:

  • A large glass box the size of a fish tank, lined with what looked like tin foil, which was apparently used for giving the "radiation therapy".

  • Six boxes of Sublimaze - a Schedule 7 drug which is used as an anaesthetic and administered as an injection in a muscle.

  • Tins the size of baby formula containers containing packs of lozenges, cheap multivitamins, a packet of a drug called Betamox - a form of antibiotic - two cigarettes dipped in a brown liquid, and a bottle of umbimbi.

    Hadebe claims umbimbi is a traditional medicine made from two indigenous herbs and a special salt.

  • Two receipt books with 400 entries dated from February to November last year. The receipts were typically for around R1 000.

    Hadebe's website advertises two three-hour sessions of "umbimbi radiation therapy".

    This consists of what the website describes as an umbimbi drip, oral administration of umbimbi, multivitamin pills, folic acid as well as an anti-retroviral cocktail.

    He also offers patients a host of tests - including HIV tests and measures to determine the strength of the immune system.

    Hadebe ran a similar operation in Johannesburg, health department inspector Russell Coote said, although it seemed his Cape Town business was smaller.

    A security guard at his Cape Town office, in Sea Point, said Hadebe came to the office only about once a month.

    Hadebe is a qualified medical technologist but not a qualified doctor, said Coote.

    His logo was "stretching the limits", with a small pyramid above his name. He also handed out cards for a funeral parlour.

    There are many charlatans in South Africa who claim they can cure HIV and Aids, according to previous reports.

    The Medicines Control Council has received several complaints, but the others were not as serious as that involving Hadebe, according to Coote.

    The Medicines Control Council, a division of the health department, has only four inspectors.

    The council had planned to swoop on gyms, doctors' rooms and pharmacies several months ago to clamp down on the sale of ephedrine, a stimulant used by bodybuilders and would-be slimmers, which is being sold on the black market.

    These raids were postponed when more urgent matters arose, including Hadebe's case.

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