COVID-19 Gauteng

Image via Twitter: GautengGov

Makhura reveals suspension of Gauteng Health officials in PPE corruption

The Gauteng Premier announced that SIU investigations have revealed that provincial health officials may have facilitated the dodgy tenders.

COVID-19 Gauteng

Image via Twitter: GautengGov

Gauteng Premier David Makhura updated the media on the status of investigations into personal protective equipment (PPE) and the COVID-19 related corruption in the province on Friday 7 August, announcing that a second official in the provincial department of health has been suspended following findings made by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). 

He also announced that he, along with the other 10 MECs in his provincial government, will undergo lifestyle audits at the behest of the SIU, who continue to try and gauge the scope of corruption that has occurred since the pandemic began in March. 

Two Gauteng Health officials suspended  

According to Makhura, the SIU is making headway into the investigation into COVID-19 procurement in Gauteng. “They have identified the need to open criminal cases based on the work they have done so far,” he said. 

Makhura is yet to announce the name of the official who was suspended on Friday morning, but said that the SIU’s investigation had uncovered enough damning evidence to prompt them to take action against the official. 

He said that the unearthing of evidence of corruption in his provincial departments had deeply ruptured public confidence in their ability to effectively administer a successful COVID-19 response. 

“The damning allegations of corruption regarding the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment have profoundly eroded public confidence in the collective work of the province in the fight against COVID-19,” he said. 

“The SIU has also identified two Gauteng Health officials who have allegedly enabled and facilitated this procurement corruption,” said Makhura.

“One of these officials has been suspended this morning, while the one who has resigned will be pursued legally.”

He added that the SIU has also unearthed evidence of corruption relating to irregular PPE procurement by the Department of e-Government, and said that the province has taken action to cancel any questionable contracts while they are being investigated further. 

“With regards to the other investigation already finalised by the SIU concerning irregular procurement at the Department of e-Government, we have already cancelled the contract and initiated disciplinary action against implicated officials.”

Gauteng MECs to undergo lifestyle audits

Jacob Mamabolo is standing in for Bandile Masuku as the province’s acting Head of Health, who has been placed on special leave following allegations of improper conduct involving the awarding of a personal protective equipment tender worth millions.

Makhura also said that he and others in his provincial cabinet will be subjected to lifestyle suits to ensure that their spending is in line with their respective levels of income. 

“From next week, the State Security Agency will commence with lifestyle audits on myself, as the Premier and the 10 MEC’s in the Gauteng Provincial Government, as we had resolved at the start of the 6th administration,” he said. 

He hopes that these audits will be completed in the next six to eight weeks. 

Baby-swapping probe initiated 

Makhura also announced that disciplinary action is being taken against a staff member allegedly involved in a baby-swapping incident at a Boksburg hospital in July. 

The incident happened at the Tambo Memorial Hospital last month.

Spokesperson for provincial Health Kwara Kekana said on Thursday  that the matter was regrettable.

“The two babies, a boy and a girl, were born on 24 July. The baby girl’s mother realised at about 9pm the same evening when she changed the baby’s napkin that it was not her baby as she delivered a girl and she instead had a boy,” she said. 

“The hospital reached out to the families to resolve the matter. Both mothers were interviewed by the sister in charge and the HOD and were counselled.”