Health facilities are not political play grounds – Motsoaledi

2015-01-29 17:46

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has expressed shock at the DA’s allegation that he was stopping it conducting oversight visits to Forensic Science Laboratories (FCLs) countrywide.

“Parliament has about 400 members, and we don’t believe that it is practical, feasible and desirable for our democracy for each and every member to demand that I account to them individually... as it seems to be the cause [DA MP] Dr Wilmot James is embarking on,” he said today.

The minister said he had stated before that there was a backlog at Forensic Laboratory Services, particularly in relation to blood alcohol samples.

He had, on numerous occasions, responded to all parliamentary questions about this matter, as posed by James and other MPs.

Motsoaledi said he had received numerous e-mails from James last year, and earlier this year, and had held a formal meeting with him on January 9.

Earlier today, James said the Democratic Alliance had once again been barred from conducting oversight visits at the Johannesburg and Pretoria FCLs.

“Section 55 (2) of the Constitution allows for Parliament to ensure that all executive organs of state in the national sphere of government are accountable to it, and to maintain oversight of the exercise of national executive authority,” he said.

“It is now time for Minister Motsoaledi to stop dodging accountability and come clean to South Africans....”

In response, Motsoaledi said he had indeed instructed officials not to allow MPs to “willy-nilly” come in and out of health facilities without proper arrangements.

However, the minister said he had nothing to hide.

“If Wilmot James wants to turn health facilities into political play grounds, he must not expect me to be party to that.

“Can you imagine what will happen to productivity if any MP just goes to a facility anytime even without prior arrangement with management structures of that facility – as he did and wants to continue to do – all in the name of ‘oversight’?,” he asked.

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