Jehran Naidoo, IOL News
Pam Mohlabe has been fingered in an ongoing investigation that she issued medical cannabis licenses fraudulently. This report from IOL News.
This report first published on IOL News on 5 September 2023.
A former employee of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) is in hot water for her involvement in an ongoing investigation over the issuing of medical cannabis licences.
Sahpra said it was made aware that a former employee, Pam Mohlabe, is still acting as if she is an employee of SAHPRA, despite the fact that she was fired in 2021 for issuing medical cannabis licences.
"Ms Mohlabe was in fact dismissed from SAHPRA in 2021 for fraud for the very same transgressions.
She is purporting to represent SAHPRA in an official capacity and also issuing cannabis licences, and this is an illegal practice which SAHPRA will pursue through legal channels," SAHPRA said.
IOL contacted SAHPRA to find out more about the licences that Mohlabe issued, including how much they were worth and what it enabled the bearer to do with regards to the medical cannabis industry.
SAHPRA spokesperson Yuven Gounden did not disclose any information regarding the licences, but said "there is an investigation in progress and shall issue a statement once this is concluded“.
Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, Chief Executive Officer at SAHPRA, said Mohlabe’s conduct was not going to be tolerated.
"This unethical and unprofessional conduct will not be tolerated, especially when it can compromise safety. Medicinal cannabis is a highly regulated area, and such practices could be detrimental. At SAHPRA, we value the safety of the South African public," Semete-Makokotlela said.
A licence to cultivate, manufacture, or import cannabis for medicinal purposes is granted under the terms of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965, Sections 22C and 22D, according to the SAHPRA application form.
The licence is valid for a period of five years, unless SAHPRA revokes it.