A year’s delay in charging Tembisa Hospital CEO with corruption

Issued by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
24 May 2023 in Press Statements

Tembisa Hospital CEO Dr Ashley Mthunzi will only face disciplinary charges of corruption in August this year. This is a full year since he was placed on precautionary suspension after media investigations revealed that murdered whistle-blower Babita Deokaran tried to stop R100 million “possibly corrupt” contracts at the hospital, and flagged other transactions worth R850 million.

This information was revealed yesterday by Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in an oral reply to my questions at a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature.

Chief Financial Officer Lerato Madyo was also suspended in August last year. According to the MEC, while there are no specific charges against her at this stage, she features prominently in the allegations because she approved payments.

I am most concerned that it has taken so long for the disciplinary cases against Mthunzi and Madyo to proceed.

According to the SIU investigation report released in December last year, Dr Mthunzi was responsible for “authorising purchase order request forms which led to the irregular appointment of 13 service providers. The finding is based on the 27 payment documents received and analysed by the SIU”.

Babita Deokaran requested Madyo to do a forensic audit of the suspicious payments at Tembisa Hospital but she failed to do so.

The disciplinary action against Mthunzi and Madyo needs to be concluded as soon as possible to ensure accountability, and it should assist in laying criminal charges and finding out who else was involved in this matter.

Their positions are currently filled with acting people who lack authority to fix the deep rot that hinders decent care to hospital patients.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has still not issued a proclamation to expand the SIU probe into the Tembisa hospital payments.

The delay fuels suspicions this is because politically protected people benefit from the contracts, including Hangwani Morgan Maumela, Ramaphosa’s nephew from his first marriage. Companies linked to him got R356 million from Tembisa Hospital in the last three years, as well as R22 million from Mamelodi Hospital, and R2.4 million from other hospitals.

Furthermore, the three companies owned by ANC bigwig Sello Sekhokho got R14.5 million from 55 Tembisa Hospital contracts, and R84 million from 225 contracts from other Gauteng hospitals in a three year period.

We need decisive and speedy action to stop the Eskom levels of corruption in the Gauteng Health Department.