‘It’s fake news’: Mpumalanga premier says family not awarded vaccine tender

02 February 2021 - 17:46 By shonisani tshikalange
Mpumalanga premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has condemned claims about her family being awarded a vaccine distribution tender.
Mpumalanga premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has condemned claims about her family being awarded a vaccine distribution tender.
Image: Instagram

Mpumalanga premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane dismissed claims on Tuesday that a family member owned a company awarded a tender to distribute Covid-19 vaccines as “fake news”.

Mtsweni-Tsipane condemned the claims circulated on social media as an attempt to tarnish her image.

Posts shared on social media claimed a company registered on January 29, Jova Vaccines Supply, was owned by Mtsweni-Tsipane’s daughter.

It was further alleged the company was given a vaccine distribution tender worth R200m.

“The premier of Mpumalanga notes with concern the dissemination of fake news alleging the involvement of a member of her family in a company alleged to be the distributing agent for the Covid-19 vaccine,” said her spokesperson Sibongile Mkani-Mpolweni.

Mkani-Mpolweni said no member of the premier’s family was involved in an enterprise called Jova Vaccines Supply.

“Such unfounded and disparaging allegations are part of the attempts by individuals or a group of individuals to tarnish the image of the premier,” she said.

“The peddling of fake news is not only irresponsible, it undermines the efforts of the interministerial committee (IMC) led by the deputy president to successfully manage the rollout of the vaccines and save lives.

“The premier reiterated the message of the president that the distribution of the vaccine and all ancillary logistics will be co-ordinated by the IMC.”

Mtsweni-Tsipane urged the people of Mpumalanga to give the IMC sufficient time to outline how vaccines would be distributed to provinces.

She also urged people to be vigilant and guard against the dissemination of fake news.

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