Fort Napier corruption probe facts challenged

2008-09-24 00:00

Staff at Fort Napier hospital have raised concerns about the findings of an investigation that cleared Human Resources manager Nozipho Ndwandwe on allegations of corruption at the hospital.

In a letter to The Witness, a group who sign themselves “concerned parties” and whose identities are known to The Witness, claim the investigation was not properly conducted because staff members and the hospital manager were not aware of the investigation.

The letter challenges the Department of Health (DoH) over procedures followed in the investigation. It asks: “Who conducted this investigation, as no staff member or the head of this institution was informed of any investigation? Why was the DoH special investigation unit (SIU) not involved?”

The letter alleges that there was a “cover-up” for the finance and systems manager, who went on paid leave for more than six months following irregular tender transactions effected at the hospital.

“How can it be stated that there was no cover-up, because when the HR manager was charged, the finance manager should have been charged, as both parties were involved in the same case.”

In June, KZN DoH spokesman Leon Mbangwa said action would be taken against the manager when he returned from leave. The manager has not been charged and The Witness has now learnt that he has since resigned.

The Witness forwarded the letter to the department for a response. In his reply, Mbangwa accused the “concerned parties” of “mud-slinging and character assassinations that are perpetuated by faceless individuals who claim to be in the employ of the department”.

“As a government arm, we are obliged to practise free and fair labour practices without fear or favour. We instituted an investigating team to look at the allegations that were laid against the HR manager.

“The investigators did not find anything untoward that could have led to disciplinary action being taken against the HR manager. These processes were free and open to any person who was believed to have evidence to bring such evidence … It is therefore unfortunate that after an investigation was conducted, we now hear of ‘concerned parties’ who never took the opportunity to present their evidence before an investigator,” said Mbangwa.

He urged the writers to present whatever evidence they may have so that the department can deal with the issue. “Complaints and submissions can be forwarded to the district manager or the area general manager or DoH SIU.”

sandilez@witness.co.za

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