TO: Print and Electronic Media Houses
FROM: Office of the President, ADeC
SUBJECT: The tragic death of Dorothy Nolulama Mcwera in the Tshepsisong looting
DATE: Saturday, September 09th, 2018
EMBARGO: For Immediate Release
The tragic death of Dorothy Nolulama Mcwera in the Tshepsisong looting
The death of Dorothy Nolulama Mcwera is a sad event and breaks the heart of all South Africans. It is doubly tragic as she leaves behind four innocent children who have been rendered motherless due to the incompetency of government departments who are poorly managed and leave innocent people exposed as they fail to carry out their mandates.
Nolulama’s death was unnecessary, it could have been easily prevented just as the looting of foreign shops which blemishes our international reputation could have been prevented.
You would ask why I make these blistering assertions. I make them because the premise of the protest was on an initial conviction by members of the community that they were being sold fake and expired food products that made them sick. But their cries and protests went into the ears of the government departments that have grown deaf from incompetency and often I wonder if they still remember their state-mandated functions. I place the blame for the death of all who died in the sporadic lootings and the chaos that ensued from the nefarious elements of the society at the doorstep of the Department of the Health – Food Control.
I would remind them again of their functions since it feels like they have forgotten, on their website they boldly place the following:
• Administer food legislation. This includes developing and publicising regulations for food safety, food labelling and related matters as well as developing technical guidelines where necessary
• Inform, educate and communicate to industry, consumers, the media, government departments and other stakeholders about food safety and related matters
• Audit and support Port Health Services in the provinces related to the control of imported foodstuffs. Audit and support Municipal Health Services in metros and district municipalities related to law enforcement, monitoring, information, education and communication and other activities
• Evaluate risk assessments related to agricultural chemicals and food produced through biotechnology for the departments of agriculture and forestry and fisheries
• Co-ordinate routine and specific food monitoring programmes and attend to food safety alerts
• Act as South Africa’s National Contact Point for the joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) and the European Union Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)
• Convene or serve on national and international bodies that deal with food control matters.
What part of “Co-ordinate routine and specific food monitoring programmes and attend to food safety alerts” was unclear to these individuals that are charged with this mandate? When the members of various communities raised their concerns about the influx of expired foods and products, why were these cries ignored? The sickness in government permeates every parastatal, people forget their functions. The next few days the ANC led government and the MEC of Safety will make all the noises of fake sympathy and promise to investigate a crime that could have been prevented. This tragic event could have been prevented if their counterparts in the Department of Health had simply carried out their mandate, investigated and closed down shops that were guilty of these acts.
We the ADeC give the family of Nolulama and to the other families that lost their loved ones, the assurances that we will make their deaths count, we will push the Department of Health on this matter. Their deaths will not be a statistic but a call to action that must force government departments to wake up and be reminded that they owe a duty to the people of South Africa.
Cell: 082 388 9096 | 067 026 2270
Facebook: African Democratic Change