Health official in court over bribery

2011-05-26 00:00

HEALTH MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo sat in on a hearing in which one of his staff members is charged with corruption, in the Commercial Crime Court in Durban yesterday.

The deputy manager in the department’s supply chain management section, Busi Ndaba, was arrested on Tuesday following a sting operation by the police and the Department of Health.

The department was informed of monthly bribes that Ndaba allegedly collected from service providers.

On Tuesday police arrested her in Durban when she was meeting the representative of Falethu Security and Cleaning Services, allegedly to collect a bribe.

The MEC sat through the proceedings, which were adjourned for a bail hearing on June 1.

The bribe that Ndaba allegedly received was supposed to sway the selection of a service provider.

Police reacted within 24 hours of her receiving the bribe.

Attempts by Ndaba’s defence lawyer, Abbyle Tsholo, to reduce his client’s stay in prison were futile, with state prosecutor Sipho Mthombe standing firm on his request for a one-week remand.

Magistrate Kim de Freitas was convinced by the state to allow no less than seven days so that the police could be given enough time to investigate possible further allegations.

“I am happy with the proceedings thus far and I’m certain justice will be meted out,” said Dhlomo.

“This is another example to show that as a department we will leave no stone unturned in exposing corruption.”

Ndaba’s arrest is part of the department’s effort — announced two years ago — aimed at rooting out corruption and wastage that led to over-expenditure in the previous years, amounting to close to R2 billion.

A number of senior managers and officials have been dismissed or are facing criminal and internal charges, while others have opted to resign.

A joint task team from various government departments is leading the anti-corruption campaign and is receiving the co-operation of the public and staff.

 

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