Dis-Chem has confirmed that four of its employees were arrested for allegedly providing fraudulent vaccine certificates.
The pharmacy group says the staffers had been hired to assist in administering COVID-19 vaccines at its site in Krugersdorp, President Square, where people have been queuing up for jabs.
Local news outlet Krugersdorp News reported that the employees, two men and two women, appeared in court on charges of fraud on Monday, 13 September 2021, after being handcuffed on Friday.
According to police, a complaint had been laid by someone who claimed he was charged R100 for a new vaccine card. The person had reportedly received his second shot.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Dis-Chem CEO Ivan Saltzmam said they acted swiftly when they picked up a discrepancy during their routine daily balancing of vaccines doses to stock and the Electronic Vaccination Data System.
“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 roll-out drive,” Saltzmam said.
Dis-Chem further reiterated that they remain supportive of government’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, which has so far seen 15 million jabs being administered.
“We will continue to maintain our vigilance to ensure the integrity of the process and we remain steadfast in our efforts to get more jabs in arms,” Saltzmam added.
Dis-Chem has also moved to assure South Africans that this is an isolated incident.
“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,”
Dis-Chem CEO Ivan Saltzmam
It all comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday evening that plans are afoot to introduce a vaccine passport – amid the continuous spread of COVID-19. A number of South African companies have already opted to make vaccines mandatory for their employees.
“We will also be providing further information on an approach for vaccine passports which can be used as evidence of vaccination for various purposes and events so people are able to demonstrate they’ve been vaccinated,” he said.