Condoms: 3 in court

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

Three men charged with fraud and corruption in connection with the scam over defective condoms appeared in the Pretoria specialised commercial crimes court yesterday.

Zalatex factory manager Sajeev Joseph, chief executive of Zalatex Lester Hurwitz and South African Bureau of Standards senior employee S'phiwe Fikizolo are out on bail.

They were not asked to plead and magistrate Dawie Jacobs postponed the case to November 23.

Joseph and Hurwitz are accused of paying Fikizolo to certify defective condoms.

A Sowetan expose revealed that more than 6,3 million defective condoms might have been released to the public as a result of the scam, putting millions at the risk of contracting HIV.

The company involved in the scam, Latex Surgical Products (LSP), has a three-year contract with the Department of Health through Zalatex, its black economic empowerment wing. The contract is to produce condoms to be distributed free to the public.

The contract started in 2005 and ends in February 2008. During this period, LSP is expected to have supplied the government with 38 million condoms.