Health dept fires security firms

2011-02-21 17:43

Durban - Six security companies have been fired by the KwaZulu-Natal department of health following allegations of fraud, an official said on Monday.

"We have advised them that we would pay them for the month’s notice," said KwaZulu-Natal health department security manager Madoda Mpinda.

"We are serious about improving the safety and security of our patients, staff and property of government," he said.

Over the weekend the Mvimbeni, Madlula, Titan, Labalela, Mahona and Gcinemfa security companies were given letters requesting them to vacate the sites where they work within 24-hours.

The six security companies were providing security services in clinics and hospitals in the province.

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo’s spokesperson Chris Maxon said a departmental investigation had revealed a number of alleged transgressions.

Decomposing body found in toilet

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

Maxon 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.

"For an example, at Ngwelezane Hospital seven computers were stolen, a patient disappeared and was later found dead in the hospital grounds," said Maxon.

"Other security companies have been appointed to replace the security companies in all the sites," he said.

The department would continue to investigate the operation of private security companies working for the department.