No, it is not true that contraceptive pills are being smuggled into Zimbabwe from SA

The Claim: Contraceptive pills are being smuggled to Zimbabwe from South Africa.
The Verdict: claim verdict

By Gracious Nyathi

The Claim: Contraceptive pills are being smuggled to Zimbabwe from South Africa.

Source: Social media posts

A Twitter post from one user Rayray75733911 claimed that Zimbabweans were smuggling contraceptive pills from South Africa back to the country.

This Twitter user further claimed that Zimbabweans collect medication from South African health facilities by pretending to be sick and then smuggle the pills to Zimbabwe.

However, this false claim is baseless and misleading as the pills in question are smuggled from Zimbabwe to South Africa.

In the two unrelated pictures posted, one with two plastic bags filled with contraceptive pills and the other with South African soldiers in a bush with seemingly intercepted goods.

The contraceptive pills in the picture are a Zimbabwean product which goes by the name “Red week” and is given for free in all government hospitals.

According to a Gender links article, birth control pills such as Marvelon, Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol with Ferrous Fumarate tablets are smuggled to the neighbouring and are mostly used by Zimbabwean migrant women.

The oral contraceptive pills are supplied in Zimbabwean public health facilities for free, then smuggled into South Africa and sold between R20 and R25 a blister packet.

South African public health facilities do not supply the same pill.

Both pictures were shared by the South African National Defence Forces (SANDF) on their social media pages. The picture with two bags with contraceptive pills was taken after the SANDF intercepted the bags near the Zimbabwe border. The pills were said to be worth R423 916.

The picture of the SANDF officers was taken after they intercepted a group of people who were smuggling some goods into South Africa from Zimbabwe. The luggage contained sneakers worth R748 416 according to SA Customs.  

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