Were skinny jeans and armchairs delivered to Tembisa hospital? Department won’t tell so I will see for myself

Issued by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
21 Sep 2022 in Press Statements

The Gauteng Health Department has refused to confirm whether over-priced skinny jeans, luxury armchairs and hand towels were delivered to the hospital after paying R1.5 million for these items.

In a written reply to my questions regarding the purchase of these items by the hospital, Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi responded as follows:

“The office of the Premier has appointed the special investigating unit (SlU) to investigate all matters related to the alleged fraudulent activities in Tembisa tertiary Hospital that were flagged by the late Ms Babita Deokaran.

A process of scoping and gathering more information on top of what is currently being publicised regularly in the media. To that extent, the Department is unable to respond to all matters raised in the question from (i) — (x) pending the finalisation of the investigations.”

This is a poor excuse not to answer at least some of my questions on these suspicious purchases, including whether the items were actually delivered.

Why is the department scared to answer this simple question?

If they won’t tell me, I will find out for myself.

According to a News24 investigation, the hospital paid R850 million to fishy companies for over-priced goods, including R500 000 for 100 leather armchairs, face cloths at R230 a piece, and 200 skinny jeans for young girls at R2500 each.

Meanwhile, patients suffer because of a shortage of beds and equipment at this overcrowded hospital.

Tomorrow (Wednesday 21 September), I will visit Tembisa Hospital at 10am and see if I can find out if the armchairs, jeans and face cloths are at the hospital.

Media are welcome to attend.