Johannesburg: A South African court has blocked the government from buying 11 million female condoms from China, saying they are too small, a newspaper reported today.
The finance ministry had awarded a contract to a firm called Siqamba Medical, which planned to buy the Phoenurse condoms from China, the Beeld newspaper said.
A rival firm, Sekunjalo Investments Corporation, turned to the High Court in Pretoria after losing the bid, arguing that their condoms were 20 percent larger than the Chinese ones.
Judge Sulet Potterill blocked the deal with Siqamba, ruling that the female condoms were too small, made from the wrong material, and were not approved by the World Health Organisation, the paper said.
South Africa has more HIV infections than any country in the world, with 5.38 million of its 50 million people carrying the virus.