The world's worst outbreak of listeriosis in history has claimed 180 South African lives and counting. Now, the time-honoured national pastime of finger-pointing and blame-shifting has begun. The Department of Health says an Enterprise Foods factory in Polokwane is ground zero for the current outbreak. The CEO of Enterprise's holding company, Tiger Brands, said on Monday there was "no direct link" between their products and the disease - but the National Institute for Communicable Diseases begs to differ. Cosatu, meanwhile, maintains that the Department of Health must own up to its poor management of the outbreak. By REBECCA DAVIS.
"There is no direct link between any of the deaths and our products."
That's what Tiger Brands CEO Lawrence MacDougall told journalists at a press briefing on Monday afternoon. He was responding to the announcement by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Sunday that the source of South Africa's current listeriosis outbreak has been traced to cold meat products emanating from an Enterprise Foods factory in Polokwane.
Pressed by journalists, MacDougall reiterated at least five times that there was no "concrete link" between Enterprise products and the 180 deaths thus far from listeriosis.
"Nothing," he stressed at one point.
As a result,...