Pharmacy staff nabbed over fake vaccine cards

KZN mall lashed for barring unvaccinated visitors from its office

Four pharmacy employees have been nabbed after issuing out fake Covid-19 vaccine certificates.
Four pharmacy employees have been nabbed after issuing out fake Covid-19 vaccine certificates.
Image: 123RF

Four pharmacy workers have been arrested for issuing fraudulent Covid-19 vaccine cards while the debate about mandatory jabs at places of work rages on.

The temporary employees worked at the Dis-Chem Pharmacies vaccination site at President Square in Krugersdorp, on the West Rand, and have been arrested and criminally charged for providing fraudulent vaccine certificates. The alleged fraud was picked up during a routine daily balancing of vaccine doses to stock and to the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).

“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 rollout 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 the company CEO, Ivan Saltzman.

Yesterday, the University of Cape Town (UCT) received jabs of its own from the SA Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union (Saptu) who accused the institution of being “on the verge of implementing mandatory jabs for staff and students”. Earlier this week UCT confirmed that it was looking into implementing a mandatory vaccination policy, however, it said the matter would be discussed during a senate meeting tomorrow.

 Using the consolidated directions on occupational health and safety measures of May 28, the union charged that the policy showed consideration for the employees’ right to bodily integrity, religious beliefs and opinion.

“In Saptu’s opinion the government is abdicating its responsibility by encumbering the volatile labour market with resolving underlying issues. In the present framework, the coercive element is coupled to someone’s contract of employment. The stark choice is between being vaccinated or being unemployed. It is iniquitous and should never have been necessary. If the government believes that mass vaccination is the answer to overcoming the coronavirus, it should not make it employers’ responsibility to handle,” said Saptu’s general secretary Adv Ben van der Walt.

The union said it would offer its legal services to employees who feel pressured by their employers to take the jab.  

Meanwhile, Galleria Mall in Amanzimtoti in KwaZulu-Natal received backlash on social media yesterday over its notice that bars unvaccinated visitors from entering its mall management offices. It said visitors would be required to produce proof of vaccination to gain entry.

“For your peace of mind, mall management staff is all vaccinated,” read the notice.

Mall spokesperson Anusha Timul stressed that all shoppers, vaccinated or unvaccinated, will be allowed entry to the mall, however, she did not respond to questions relating to how their staff reacted to the new policy.  

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