Dis-Chem pharmacy in Canal Walk, Cape Town. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus
Dis-Chem pharmacy in Canal Walk, Cape Town. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Four Dis-Chem staffers arrested over fraudulent vaccine certificates

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published 20h ago

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Johannesburg - Four Dis-Chem employees have been arrested for allegedly providing fraudulent vaccine certificates at the pharmacy’s Krugersdorp President Square vaccination site.

The company said the four employees were part of temporary staff hired to assist in the administration of the Covid-19 jabs, which is currently being rolled out to millions of South Africans.

Dis-Chem Pharmacies said this was an isolated incident and that it had reported the matter to the police, who had since arrested and criminally charged the four suspects.

Spokesperson for the police in Krugersdorp, Captain Raymond Sebonyane said two men and two women were arrested on allegations of fraud.

Sebonyane said Dis-Chem Pharmacies opened a criminal case against the four staffers after it noticed a discrepancy at the vaccine site after a member of the public was allegedly charged R100 for a vaccination card.

“It is alleged that the complaint was commissioned by Dis-Chem head office to investigate the discrepancy that was taking place at the vaccine site in Dis-Chem Krugersdorp.

“The complainant was charged an amount of R100 after he asked for the vaccine card as he said that he lost his card after a second jab.

“Through interim investigation it led to other three suspects. The police were called and the suspects were detained at Krugersdorp police cells,” said Sebonyane.

He said the suspects, aged between 19 and 36, appeared in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

“Members of the community are warned to refrain from buying the vaccine (certificate).”

Dis-Chem CEO Ivan Saltzmam said they acted swiftly when they picked up a discrepancy during their routine daily balancing of vaccines doses to stock and the Electronic Vaccination Data System system.

“We did not hesitate to act as soon as this was brought to our attention as it is most upsetting to see that a small number of individuals felt they could take advantage of the vaccine roll-out drive.

“We do not tolerate any fraudulent or dishonest activity and more specifically, we abhor and condemn any action that serves to undermine or dilute government’s national vaccine rollout campaign,” said Saltzman.

He said Dis-Chem was fully behind government’s mass vaccination efforts and would continue working with the government to roll out the vaccines.

“We are fully supportive of government’s vaccine endeavours and have been closely involved in the effort to offer vaccines to as many people as possible.

“We will continue to maintain our vigilance to ensure the integrity of the process and we remain steadfast in our efforts to get more jabs in arms,” he said.

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