21 Disciplinary cases at Bara Hospital but no criminal charges

By Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:

There have been 21 disciplinary cases at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in the last three years, but not a single charge has been laid despite serious misdemeanours including fraud, theft, bribery, assault and damage to state property.

This information is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

In six cases that were finalised, the sanction was dismissal. This included the following:

  • Using hospital residence for sexual activities during working hours;
  • Misrepresentation or Fraud;
  • Fraud;
  • Damage to state property and attempted theft;
  • Unauthorised usage and damage to hospital property and driving a State vehicle without a licence and trip authority under influence of liquor; and
  • Bribery, Disrepute, Negligence and Dishonesty.

Periods of suspension and/or final written warning was given for the following:

  • Abuse of state vehicle;
  • In possession of 15 baby opsite (sic), 27 thermometers and 8 transparent films;
  • Absenteeism and improper conduct;
  • Usage of a clearly marked female toilet while there was a female in the toilet; and
  • Negligence and poor performance.

In only two cases was there a not guilty finding.

Of those cases still in progress, one dates back to March last year, and involves the alleged abuse of position in flouting HR practices to appoint an acquaintance.

Three cases of alleged gross negligence, failure to do proper head count and poor performance date back to December last year and have still not been finalised.

I am concerned about the slow cases and about the failure to lay criminal charges in cases where criminality has been established.

What justification can there be for not laying criminal charges in addition to the sanction of dismissal?

If a crime has been committed then the courts need to deal with it as well.

Criminal charges should automatically be laid when justified. This would serve as a further deterrence for employees who indulge in illegal behaviour at this hospital.