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South Africa recalls 1.35 mn leaky condoms

More than a million condoms ordered for delegates attending the African National Congress centenary celebrations have been recalled after claims that they are faulty.

The 1.35 million government-issue contraceptives were delivered to guesthouses, hotels, restaurants and bars before the conference began in Bloemfontein earlier this month and all bore the South African Bureau of Standards stamp (SABS).



The 'Choice' condoms were aimed at promoting safe sex among the 1,00,000 party faithful, some of whom were dubbed "pantypreneurs" by the local media because of their penchant for late-night bars and bed-hopping.

The problem with the condoms was discovered after people complained to the HIV charity, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).

"People would claim that the condoms burst. When we investigated the complaints, it turned out the condoms are porous," said Sello Mokhalipi, of the TAC.

The Free State health department has now recalled the batch of 8,700 boxes amid fears of unwanted pregnancies or HIV/Aids transmission.

Jabu Mbalula, a spokesman for the department, said it was investigating how the condoms got SABS approval, and they would now be subjected to laboratory tests.

"There is no reason for people to panic," Mbalula said.

Not the first leak
The last major recall of condoms in South Africa was in August 2007 when 20 million were recalled after "hundreds of thousands" were found to be faulty.

Did you know?
South Africa has one of the highest infection rates of HIVĀ -- the virus that causes AidsĀ -- in the world.

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