Today, 5 March 2018, Black First Land First (BLF) opened criminal cases of murder and attempted murder at the Hillbrow Police Station against four white monopoly capital (WMC) entities, namely Tiger Brands and its subsidiary Enterprise Foods; as well as Remgro and its subsidiary Rainbow Chicken. The criminal conduct of the WMC companies which has resulted in food products being contaminated by the listeriosis monocytogenes strain sequence-type 6 has in turn led to the death of at least 180 people and infected 1000 more people who are survivors of the infectious disease. The case of murder relates to all those who have been killed while the case of attempted murder relates to all those who have been infected but are survivors of the dreaded listeriosis disease. In support of its charges against the criminal WMC companies BLF submitted the following affidavit by its President, Andile Mngxitama, to the South African Police Services (SAPS):
Affidavit of Andile Mngxitama in support of criminal charges against Tiger Brands, Enterprise Foods, Remgro and Rainbow Chicken
I the undersigned Andile Mngxitama do hereby make oath and state:
1. I am the President of Black First Land First (BLF), and I am duly authorized to depose to this affidavit on behalf of BLF.
2. BLF is a Black Consciousness, Pan Afrikanist movement which embraces the Sankarist leadership ethos. It is registered with the Independent Electoral Commission as a political party and is situated at Office 602, Renaissance Building, corner of Main and Elloff Streets, Gandhi Square, Johannesburg.
3. The contents of this affidavit are, unless the context indicates otherwise, within my personal knowledge. They are to the best of my knowledge both true and correct. The submissions of law that I make are based on the advice given to me by my legal team.
4. On Sunday, 4 March 2018, the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, publicly announced that products (including polony) of a factory of Enterprise Foods which is situated in Polokwane in Limpopo had caused the outbreak of the infection listeriosis. Listeriosis is an infection that is caused by the bacterium, “Listeria monocytogens” which in turn is contracted by consuming food that is contaminated. It is extremely harmful and has already led to the deaths of at least 180 people and infected about one thousand (1000) more people. In this context the “SITUATION REPORT ON LISTERIOSIS OUTBREAK, SOUTH AFRICA, 2018” by the National Institute For Communicable Diseases indicates inter alia as follows:
“As of 2 March 2018, 948 laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases have been reported to NICD from all provinces since 01 January 2017 … To date, 742 cases were reported in 2017, and 206 cases in 2018. Females account for 56% (517/917) cases where gender is reported. Where age was reported … 41% (379/914) are neonates (new born children) aged ≤28 days”.
5. More specifically this factory of Enterprise Foods which is a subsidiary of Tiger Brands, has been found to be “the source of the world’s largest outbreak of listeria”. Its products include Bokkie‚ Renown‚ Lifestyle and Mieliekip.
6. Evidently listeria is a vicious germ that is only in food because of unsanitary conditions and a total disregard for the safety of others.
7. To this end the argument by Tiger Brands that it is a company that prioritises the health and safety of consumers above all else” does not hold true.
8. Over 16 environmental samples taken from the Polokwane factory of Enterprise Foods had tested positive for the listeriosis monocytogenes strain sequence-type 6 (ST 6).
9. Also “[t]he results from the factory were confirmed at midnight on Saturday (3 March 2018) at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) as the strain to blame for the outbreak that killed 27% of patients in South Africa”.
10. Tiger Brands is reported to have “proactively amplified its (own) testing for listeria and confirmed it had found a low detection of a strain of listeria in some products on February 14, though the presence of the ST6 strain had not been confirmed by its tests”. Furthermore, it had “sent its samples to an external laboratory to test for the strain itself and should receive the results on Monday (5 March 2018)”.
11. It is concerning that notwithstanding the fact that Tiger Brands and, by extension, Enterprise Foods has known of a strain of listeria in some of the products on at least 14 February this year it did not recall its affected products. Moreover even after the NICD has already confirmed the test to be positive on 3 March 2018 for the listeriosis monocytogenes strain ST 6 in the said (more than 16) samples from the Polokwane factory, Tiger Brands is still awaiting the results regarding samples sent to an external laboratory to test for the same listeria monocytogenes strain ST 6.
12. Furthermore Tiger Brands is only now recalling certain contaminated products because it was ordered to do so by the National Consumer Commission.
13. Quite evidently, “listeriosis affects the elderly‚ those with compromised immune systems such as people with HIV/Aids and diabetics, and newborn babies”. It also affects “pregnant woman who may have no symptoms when being infected with the bacteria but can pass it onto their babies”. Numerous stillbirths may have been increased because of pregnant women being infected with listeriosis.
14. All processed and “ready-to-eat products” like polony, viennas‚ frankfurters, russians, sausages, ham, meat spreads, corned meat, salami, pepperoni, and all other uncooked food that is refrigerated could be contaminated – some of which could easily be “cross contaminated in shops as they are often stored next to (the contaminated) polony”. All processed foods must be recalled.
15. Another corporation that is equally responsible for producing and selling listeria monocytogens strain ST 6 infected products is the Rainbow Chicken factory in Wolwerhoek, Sasolburg which tested positive for the bacterium. To this end the polony has been recalled from Rainbow Chicken which is a subsidiary of Remgro which is owned by Johan Rupert et al.. But what about the other processed foods of Rainbow Chicken? All its processed foods must be recalled.
16. Black First Land First (BLF) is not surprised that the criminal actions of both Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken – which in turn arises from unsanitary conditions and a total disregard for the safety and well being of others. – has led to the death (related to listeriosis) of 180 people. This is just the deaths that are recorded. The truth is that we don’t know how many people actually died of listeriosis since the outbreak of the infection that is caused by the listeria monocytogenes strain ST 6 bacterium.
17. The Public Investment Fund (PIC) is the major shareholder in Remgro, of which Rainbow Chickens is a subsidiary. To this end the PIC owns 15.9% of the shares in Remgro. Also the PIC is the major shareholder in Tiger Brands, of which Enterprise Foods is a subsidiary. In this regard the PIC owns 11.4% of the shares in Tiger Brands.
18. This effectively means that Tiger Brands and Remgro (as well as their respective subsidiaries) get the government, via the PIC, to invest in their respective companies. This puts the state via the PIC in a conflict of interests situation thereby compromising it (the state) as a major shareholder from bringing it (these companies) to book. In this way the big profit interests of these companies are maintained and perpetuated. The conduct of these companies accordingly amounts to corruption by white monopoly capital.
19. BLF is hereby laying criminal charges of murder in respect of those who have been killed and attempted murder in relation to those who have survived – against Enterprise, Tiger Brands, Rainbow Chicken and Remgro and or its owners for intentionally producing and selling food that is contaminated and infected with the said listeria. If they handled the food with the required care and safety precautions, it would not have been contaminated and infected with the listeria monocytogenes strain ST 6 bacterium.
20. While the public is called upon to return the poisonous foods for a refund, nothing is said about compensating the millions who bought and consumed these foods since the outbreak of the infection; paying reparations for those who have been killed by consuming the contaminated foods or otherwise harmed by it; and refunding / paying all medical bills resulting from the treatment of listeriosis including any symptoms associated with the infection.
21. The perpetrators of these heinous crimes against the people must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and appropriately sentenced. They cannot be allowed to act with impunity.
I hereby certify that the deponent knows and understands the content of this affidavit and that it is to the best of his knowledge both true and correct. This affidavit was signed and sworn to before me at on this day of 2018, and the Regulations contained in Government Notice R.1258 of 21 July 1972, as amended, have been complied with.
COMMISSIONER OF OATHS