New KZN health CFO illegally appointed

2015-04-02 14:17
KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo (The Witness)

KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo (The Witness)

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Durban - The controversy surrounding the appointment of KwaZulu-Natal health department chief financial officer Ndoda Biyela took a dramatic turn on Thursday when Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said that the appointment was illegal.

Speaking at a press conference in Durban, Dhlomo said: "If Mr Biyela is in the department, he is there unlawfully, illegally and therefore trespassing."

On Tuesday, health department head Sibongile Zungu confirmed that Biyela had been appointed CFO for the department in February.

The news of his appointment sparked an outcry from opposition parties, as Biyela had been suspended as CFO of the Gauteng health department last August.

While the Gauteng health department has never stated what came of these allegations or exactly what they were, Jack Bloom, the Democratic Alliance's spokesperson for health in Gauteng, said he believed the allegations related to a linen contract reportedly awarded in May 2013 without going to tender.

Dhlomo on Thursday also declined to reveal the exact nature of the allegations, but said he had a report from the Gauteng health department on the allegation.

"It was very scary. While they are only allegations, it was something you can't ignore," he said.

Dhlomo said that Zungu had transferred Biyela from the Gauteng health department to the KwaZulu-Natal health department, even though Biyela had already resigned and Zungu was on leave at the time of the transfer.

He said that Zungu had written a letter on January 29 transferring Biyela to KwaZulu-Natal, even though Biyela had left the employ of the Gauteng health department in December.

"On Saturday January 30, the KZN health MEC (Dhlomo) wrote a letter to Biyela, telling him that he must not come to the department of health in KZN under this cloud.

"So, if he did, he came on the strength of correspondence betwen himself and Dr Zungu.

Null and void

He said Biyela's transfer was "unprocedural and therefore null and void".

Dhlomo said he had not been aware of Biyela working at the department and that Zungu had failed to consult with him over the filling of the chief financial officer post.

He expressed surprise that Biyela was working as he had not seen Biyela at important meetings, such as the health portfolio committee.

Asked whether Biyela had received a salary, Dhlomo said that any salary Biyela received would be illegal.

Dhlomo refused to be drawn over his relationship with Zungu, except to say: "You can glean [it] from the discussion we are having here today."

The Mercury newspaper on Thursday quoted Biyela as saying: "I had a settlement with the Gauteng department of health through the Public Sector Bargaining Council.

"My appointment [in KZN] is lawful and in accordance with the Public Service Act and its regulations."

Opposition parties have questioned his appointment and demanded answers as to how it took place.

The IFP's health spokesperson, Ncamisile Nkwanyana, said: "It is shocking that Mr Biyela gets appointed in KZN when he was suspended as chief financial officer of the Gauteng department of health in August last year following allegations of irregularities relating to procurement processes in the department.

"How a person who was mentioned in serious allegations can be employed in such a vital position dealing with finances is beyond logic."

Read more on:    da  |  ifp  |  sibongiseni dhlomo  |  sibongile zungu  |  durban  |  local government

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