- The national health department wants the DA to apologise for allegedly misrepresenting comments by one of its senior officials.
- The department said its DDG did not suggest that National Treasury delayed SA's Covid-19 vaccine acquisition.
- The DA says it will not retract, nor apologise, for the statement it issued last week.
The national Department of Health has called on the DA to apologise for misrepresenting comments by one of its senior officials, relating to the National Treasury and the delay of Covid-19 vaccine acquisition.
According to the department, the DA's Geordin Hill-Lewis "incorrectly and purposefully" misrepresented comments made by the health department's deputy director-general, Dr Anban Pillay, in a recent interview published in the Financial Mail.
"Dr Pillay did not suggest that the National Treasury delayed South Africa's Covid-19 vaccine acquisition," health department spokesperson Popo Maja said in a statement.
He said the DA was guilty of an "extremely mischievous distortion of facts".
However, the DA retaliated by saying it will not retract, nor apologise, for the statement it issued last week.
"We can only conclude that the attempt by the DoH to shift blame has been met with an angry response from Treasury, and they are now trying to back-peddle," Hill-Lewis said.
He said the DA did not care about the Cabinet's "squabbles".
"The DoH should spend less time fighting with the Treasury and the DA, and spend more time delivering the vaccine," added Hill-Lewis.
The DA accused the department of conveniently ignoring quotes from the Financial Mail, which make their position clear.