By Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:
There is confusion about whether Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has genuinely re-opened job applications for 31 positions at the Lenasia South hospital after accusations that ANC members were given preferential treatment.
Mahlangu was quoted by was quoted by Timeslive yesterday that the department “has delegated the Johannesburg Health District with the responsibility of overseeing the appointment of employees at the facility” and that “this will allay fears concerning the purported interference and maintain the integrity of the appointment process.”
She said that this step followed “allegations of corruption levelled against the Lenasia South Hospital management.”
But according to a written reply by Mahlangu to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature, she says that the job appointment process will not be re-opened in view of allegations of interference and favouritism that have been made to the Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector.
The 31 support staff positions at the hospital, which includes clerks, general assistants, drivers and porters, were advertised on 26 May 2015.
According to affidavits given to the HRC and the Public Protector, many applicants were unfairly denied the chance to apply because they were not given application forms, but ANC members were given the forms.
The local DA branch in Lenasia was successful in getting ANC ward councillor Paul Molutsi removed from sitting in on interviews, but Mahlangu falsely denies that he was ever part of the process.
The DA has also launched a petition to re-open the whole process, but Mahlangu seems to have gone ahead with interviews at the Johannesburg District Office.
According the DA PR Councillor for the area, Martin Williams, the process has been neither fair nor transparent to the community leaders who first raised the issue and have been following it closely since May.
He says that neither MEC Mahlangu nor anyone in her department has kept the community informed. “Instead, ANC-favoured candidates have been interviewed in secret at the Johannesburg District office, without the knowledge of Vinay Choonie and Andries Mahlangu, who have led the complaints process. Choonie and Mahlangu would like to know to whom the process has been transparent. They also want to know if the answers in the Legislature constitute a reply to the petition emailed to her on October 8 and handed in on October 9.”
Suspicions remain that ANC members are still getting preference and Lenasia residents are enraged over this double-dealing. They want to see a genuinely fair process that leaves no doubt that appointments are done without improper interference.
The jobs need to be re-advertised and I will continue to press MEC Mahlangu to redo the whole process.