DA wants crackdown on herbal Aids medico

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

The DA wants the government to crack down on an Ubhejane manufacturer, Zeblon Gwala, who has claimed his traditional medicine can help people living with HIV and Aids.

DA health spokesman Gareth Morgan said yesterday that the government's new Aids and HIV programme will suffer if action is not taken against "fraudsters getting rich on the suffering of people with Aids".

The Health Department has previously slammed the DA for wanting a crackdown on Gwala, accusing the party of running a "publicity campaign" and being "arrogant" in its approach to traditional African medicine.

Ubhejane is reportedly made from a mixture of about 80 undisclosed herbs and costs about R342 for a month's supply, more than the cost of antiretrovirals. It is sold in two litre bottles.

Initial tests by Professor Nceba Gqaleni, deputy dean of the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Medical School, has found that the substance is not toxic to cells grown in test tubes. But he has said he has not tested it on humans.

The state has now decided to send a sample of Ubhejane for forensic analysis.