The Ekurhuleni Mayor, Mzwandile Masina has misled the residents of Ekurhuleni about procuring a vaccine for Covid-19 from Cuba.
Mayor Masina made an announcement during his State of the City Address that he would use the City’s emergency funding to procure the vaccine ‘Inferon B’ from Cuba to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.
According to Africa Check, Mayor Masina was referring to the interferon alpha-2b, a drug used to treat the symptoms of diseases caused by some earlier strains of coronavirus. This drug will not cure Covid-19.
This clearly indicates that no proper research was conducted before the Mayor made his announcement.
Mayor Masina was irresponsible in his pronouncement and gave false hope to the residents while the nation is in crisis.
Even though Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize subsequently confirmed that there is currently no vaccine for Covid-19, Masina has yet to withdraw his statement.
Masina has a reputation for opposing and undermining President Ramaphosa, and his pronouncement shows that he prefers to play internal ANC politics rather than rally around a fact-based plan that the president has put forward to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Furthermore, the COGTA Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also made a determination that the spread of fake news about the coronavirus will be punishable, and the DA will be exploring if Masina’s announcement constitutes a violation of this determination.
The DA will continue to monitor the usage of the Ekurhuleni’s emergency funds to ensure that the public money is not shipped overseas to procure a vaccine that does not exist.
We call on all politicians to act responsibly and follow the lead of the Department of Health in combating the spread of Covid-19.