KZN health department investigations questioned

2015-04-03 17:32
(File: DA)

(File: DA)

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Durban - The DA claims that one of the KwaZulu-Natal health department's major investigations into fraud and corruption is in fact nothing other than a probe to determine whether one of its staff members urinated in public.

As laughable as this seems, the problem stems from the department's failure to provide the correct police case numbers to opposition parties and the province's standing committee on public accounts (Scopa).

The DA's health spokesperson said that when he queried an investigation into a tender for CT scanners at Durban's Addington Hospital and asked for case numbers, one of those that was provided to him by the department had nothing to do with tender irregularities.

It was in fact a case of a man having been charged for urinating in public.

Misleading Scopa

The case according to him had been opened at Durban's Point police station.

"The numbers were all obtained from the Point police station - the police station that crime relating to Addington is reported to - or moved to if reported elsewhere.

"The DA can only conclude that the MEC and his department are misleading Scopa and the auditor general - either wilfully or as a result of poor admin," he said.

News24 can confirm that the three case numbers provided to Scopa in February were also incorrect.

CAS 247/8/2013 had nothing to do with procurement irregularities at Addington Hospital as had been described in the health department's Scopa report.

Police confirmed that the case was one that was opened against a person who was allegedly driving without a driver's licence.

The charge was subsequently withdrawn. It is not known if the person charged was an Addington Hospital staff member.

The department claimed in the Scopa report that CAS 210/7/2010 and CAS 562/5/2010 were opened with police for "investigations into allegations of misconduct by the former general manager for infrastructure development and the irregular appointment of Cluster/Project Managers by IDT."

The problem with these two case numbers is that they are the same case numbers that the department previously alleged were opened against the company Techmed for fraud in connection with the tender for two state-of-the-art cancer radiotherapy machines.

No such case exists

 While it is not known exactly who or what IDT is, Techmed supplies equipment and not staff. It is unclear how the same case numbers can be used for two different alleged crimes.

Also, in the department's submissions to Scopa the department claimed it was investigating "Allegations of Fraud, Corruption and other Malpractices at Nkandla Hospital".

The department has stated in its submission that CAS388/08/2011 was opened. However, police spokesperson Thulani Zwani said that no such case at the Nkandla police station exists.

KwaZulu-Natal Scopa chairperson Maggie Govender said that all officials are required to "swear or affirm the truth".

"They will be found in contempt of the legislature and could be charged," she said, when asked what the sanction was if officials are found to have supplied incorrect information.

No comment could immediately be obtained from the KwaZulu-Natal health department.

Read more on:    scopa  |  durban  |  local government  |  health

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