Durban – Dr Sifiso Mtshali, head of the department of health, has resigned after being suspended by KwaZulu-Natal premier Willies Mchunu, pending an investigation into the irregular and illegal repair of oncology machines at the Addington Hospital in Durban.
In a statement, Mchunu said he had been in ongoing consultations with the provincial executive, including Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and Finance MEC Belinda Scott.
"Dr Mtshali has not admitted the allegations against him, but offered to resign if provincial government had lost confidence in him," Mchunu said.
"It was alleged that the appointment of KZN oncology to repair oncology machines at Addington Hospital was irregular and illegal. The allegations had attracted widespread publicity and considerable negative press and public criticism," Mchunu said.
"Legal action has been taken by the Department of Health to set aside the agreement concluded with KZN oncology, and to reclaim funds already paid," he said.
"Among the issues considered by us were the issue of repairs to oncology machines and the appointment of KZN oncology to do so," he said.
"As the executive authority responsible for heads of department, I felt it would be prudent to accept the resignation, given the seriousness of the allegations, as well as to avoid further legal and forensic costs being incurred, and to bring finality to the issue," he said.