IFP wants heads to roll over cancer saga

2013-05-20 15:54

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Durban - The IFP on Monday called for KwaZulu-Natal's health MEC and the head of department, to quit over their failure to keep two cancer radiotherapy machines operational at a Durban hospital.

In a statement IFP national deputy spokesperson Joshua Mazibuko accused MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and department head Dr Sibongile Zungu of failing to address critical issues at Addington Hospital.

He said the IFP was making the call for their resignation following the airing of a report on the hospital's oncology department on television programme Carte Blanche.

“It is a shame that cancer patients must continue to stare death in the face when the department spent more than R100m purchasing the radiation machines, which are said to have been gathering dust... Frankly, the MEC and his HOD are nonchalantly gambling with people’s lives."

He said the honourable thing for them to do was quit.

Maintenance

The department stopped paying a maintenance contract for the machines after claiming the tender had been obtained fraudulently.

The company that was awarded the tender and installed the machines - Tecmed Africa - stopped servicing in January.

Professor Amo Jordaan, who headed Addington's oncology department since 1980 and quit last year over the failure to keep the machines working, said up to 100 patients a day had been receiving radiotherapy when the machines were functioning.

Fraud

On Friday Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko said the two cases being investigated against Tecmed involved fraud, corruption and circumventing Public Finance Management Act tender procedures.

He said investigations in the two cases, which were opened in May and July 2010, were nearing completion.

A number of e-mails and phone calls to the health department between early April and May from Sapa went unanswered.

On Friday health spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said the questions had been received.

Mazibuko said if KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize failed "to act decisively in the event of the two failing to voluntarily step down, the IFP will weigh options available to us, to force them to act".

Read more on:    ifp  |  hawks  |  zweli mkhize  |  sibongiseni dhlomo  |  durban  |  health

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