Health: sacked security companies ‘threaten’ department officials

2011-03-17 00:00

PROVINCIAL Health Department officials have received cellphone threats on their lives after the department had terminated contracts with six security companies which provided security services in clinics and hospitals in the province.

Department spokesperson Chris Maxon yesterday confirmed the threats and said that the matter is under investigation.

He wouldn’t say who or which agency is handling the investigation. The companies whose contracts were terminated are Mvimbeni, Madlula, Titan, Labalela, Mahona and Gcinemfa security.

The Witness has learnt that the officials, including Maxon himself and the department’s security manager Madoda Mpinda, were threatened after contracts with the companies were terminated last month.

“I’ve received cellphone messages with strong language with the sender saying that they know where I reside.”

“We’re not surprised by the threats and we believe that the department took the right decision by replacing the security companies.”

“As a department which seeks to root out corruption we appeal to anyone with credible information that implicates department officials in fraudulent or any malpractice to come forward. Threats by criminals won’t stop us from providing services to the people and rooting out criminal elements from the system,” said Maxon. It was reported in the media last month that an investigation into the companies had revealed a number of alleged transgressions by some of these companies.

These included claims made for work not done, provision of under-qualified personnel, use of unlicensed firearms, and fraud.

At the time Maxon had said the department’s concerns about safety and security at its hospitals and clinics were sparked when a decomposing body was found in the toilets of a lecture theatre at the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital.

A number of other security problems had occurred in a number of hospitals and clinics.

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