Dr Imran Keeka, MPL
DA KZN Spokesperson on Health:
A DA oversight visit to Copesville clinic in Pietermaritzburg was yesterday obstructed by the office of KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo.
The decision to visit this clinic comes after numerous complaints of a filthy facility – one which is also failing to discard medical waste properly.
We did not have to look too far beyond the entrance to confirm this.
On arrival, we were advised that the sister in charge of the clinic was not present. Her deputy then informed me that without a letter from her manager, she could not permit the visit.
I subsequently spoke to the head of the ministry who confirmed that an instruction had been issued by the MEC’s office not to allow politicians to visit any health facility in the province.
This is not the first time that such a visit has been obstructed. Last time the MEC went so far as to threaten to complain to the Speaker’s office about such visits.
The DA wishes to reiterate that such obstruction is unconstitutional. It is s direct violation of Section 114 b (ii) of the Constitution of the Republic.
I have today written to KZN Speaker, Lydia Johnson, requesting that she investigate this instruction from the MEC’s office. It is a serious violation which requires her intervention.
The DA will also obtain legal opinion on the matter, since it prevents MP/L’s from performing vital oversight over the executive and is a clear abuse of power.
We repeat our earlier message – MEC Dhlomo has no right to regard public health facilities as his own private property, and MP/L’s who are performing their public duty, as trespassers on his land.