DA reports alleged corruption cases to Health MEC

By Dr Isak Fritz MPL, DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Health:

The DA has today reported two alleged cases of corruption and collusion within the Northern Cape Health Department to Health MEC Mac Jack.

This comes after Mac Jack has exposed a web of corrupt procurement practices, collusion and price fixing within the department through a specially established task team appointed by him to root out corruption in the department.

The DA has long since been highlighting irregularities within the department and we are relieved that finally someone is taking action.

The DA welcomes Jack’s willingness to publicly expose and deal with corruption within his department. His bold stance against corruption is truly refreshing in this province and is long overdue.

Given the more encouraging new stance of Jack toward corruption, the DA has today reported two alleged cases of corruption to him. The cases are as follows:

  1. The first case refers to the construction contract that was awarded for Kagung Clinic.

Based on our own investigation, it is evident that this was a prime case of tenderpreneurship whereby a contractor was appointed solely because of political intervention.

It has transpired that the directors of Lefanosi Construction and Trading, which was initially awarded the building tender in 2012, are none other than the former disgraced Municipal Manager of Mangaung, Mojalefa “JJ” Matlole, and his then colleague, Florence Mokgubu.

Matlole has previously been investigated by the Scorpions and was reportedly fired as manager of Bloemfontein’s Mangaung municipality after a disciplinary hearing found him guilty of fraud, theft and corruption involving tenders worth R130 million. Reports indicate that Matlole was then seconded to serve as manager of the Ngaka Modiri Molema municipality in North West, where he again made headlines for reportedly earning a salary of R1,4 million per annum. He was later accused of paying a recruitment agency about R230 000 to find a municipal manager, a job to which he was later appointed.

Poor performance by the connected contractor resulted in unjustified cost hikes for the health department. A total of R6,5 million was initially set aside for Kagung Clinic, of which construction was due to start in 2012 and end in 2013. It is now 2015, the clinic is only 30% complete and the contract value now stands at R18 million.

The DA has yet to determine who Matlole’s “friends” in the Northern Cape are but this, we believe, is a matter that should be pursued by MEC Jack’s investigative team.

  1. The second case relates to the catering and kiosk services at Kimberley Hospital.

Based on information received, we understand that both the catering service and the kiosk are being run by family members of a very senior manager at Kimberley Hospital. There are also allegations that this senior manager personally keeps a set of keys for the kitchen, and has free range of the available groceries.

The DA hopes that, if Jack is not already aware of these cases, he will also hand them over to his investigative team.

For years already the Northern Cape Health Department has maintained its notorious reputation of incurring the most irregular, unauthorised as well as wasteful and fruitless expenditure of all departments in the province. In fact, the collective irregular expenditure of this department already stands at over R4 billion.

It is as a direct result of this underhanded management of funds that the department, year in and year out runs short of funds to appoint health professionals and to procure adequate quality and quantity of equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals, and ultimately to provide quality health care services to all the people of the Northern Cape.

R4 billion could go a long way to correcting the wrongs in the provincial health system – there is no place for corruption in the Health department, no matter how big or how small.

We trust that Jack will take our concerns seriously and ensure that the necessary investigations are conducted.

The DA will monitor Jack’s ongoing expose of corruption within the Health Department closely to ensure that all cases are acted upon in a transparent and responsible manner.