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Open the Contracts: Court rules in favour of vaccine transparency Judgment handed down in the Pretoria High Court on 17 August 2023!

The Health Justice Initiative v The Minister of Health and Information Officer, Department of Health

On 22 February 2022 in Gauteng, South Africa, the HJI launched legal proceedings for the disclosure of all Covid-19 vaccine contracts and any applicable agreements with relevant companies and entities.

This follows an access to information request to the National Department of Health (NDoH) which was refused.

This case was heard by Millar J in the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday, 25 July 2023.

On 17 August 2023, the Pretoria High Court ruled in our favour in our bid to compel the National Department of Health to provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine procurement contracts. The Court ordered (per Millar J) that all COVID-19 vaccine contracts must be made public, and the costs of the case were awarded in our favour.

Access the judgment and court papers

  • Access the High Court judgment here. (3MB)
  • Access our press release on the judgment here. (17 August 2023)
  • Access all other court papers here.
  • Access our fact-sheet about the case here.
  • Access “One-Sided” | A Multi-stakeholder Analysis: South African COVID-19 Vaccine Procurement Contacts here. (5 September 2023)

Access the Documents

Access the Documents

Following the release of South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine procurement contracts, the Health Justice Initiative worked with a multi-stakeholder group to conduct this analysis of the four agreements. We found the terms and conditions are overwhelmingly one-sided and favour multinational corporations, placing governments in the Global South, and in turn, the people living in these countries, with unusually hefty demands and conditions, including a lack of transparency, and very little leverage against late or no delivery of supplies or inflated prices resulting in gross profiteering.
“ONE-SIDED” PART 2 is a follow-up analysis to various documents, released as a result of HJI’s court case, which detail the South African government’s negotiations with various suppliers of COVID-19 vaccines. (See the first analysis, focused on the contracts themselves, here.) 
While all of the negotiation documents are useful and relevant for future pandemic preparation, this report provides detailed analysis only for the additional documents shared in relation to Pfizer, and for documents shared relating to Moderna. It draws on the expert legal and analysis support of Public Citizen.
  • Download the full “ONE-SIDED” PART 2 report here.
  • Download the full set of negotiating documents released to HJI below.
  • Download the press release here.

Download the Negotiating Documents