The North West Department of Health has suspended three officials over allegations that they refused to give the vaccine to black people and then vaccinated their own friends and families. Picture: AFP
The North West Department of Health has suspended three officials over allegations that they refused to give the vaccine to black people and then vaccinated their own friends and families. Picture: AFP

White officials accused of denying vaccine to black residents and giving it to families, friends

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Aug 11, 2021

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Johannesburg - The North West Department of Health has suspended three officials over allegations they refused to give the Covid-19 vaccine to black people and then vaccinated their friends and families.

An investigator will be appointed to probe the allegations against the sub-district manager, nursing manager and a nurses at the Delareyville Community Health Centre.

Spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane said the issue came to the department’s attention after complaints were lodged on July 24.

“There were complaints in the community and a number of voice notes were circulating. There were also officials internally in the sub-district who gave a tip-off.”

Lekgethwane said the alleged discrimination was believed to have been going on for a long time.

“The allegations have racial connotations as it is alleged that the white managers reserved vaccines for their white families and friends and told black community members that there are no vaccines.

“It is alleged that they turned away some of the members of the community on several occasions, saying there were no vaccines. After community members went back to their homes, they called those favoured into private offices to administer vaccines.

“The department is in the processes of appointing an investigation officer whose work will be followed by normal public service disciplinary processes.”

Lekgethwane said the appointment of an investigating officer would look into whether the claims were true. If they were, the staff members would face disciplinary procedures.

IOL

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