Gauteng health department pays legal head close to R4.7m for sitting at home

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Gauteng Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi.
Gauteng Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi.

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The Gauteng health department paid its suspended legal head almost R4.7 million in salaries. She has been sitting at home since July 2019.

Gauteng Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi revealed this on Monday in a written reply to a question from Gauteng DA Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom.

According to Dr Mokgethi, Advocate Mpelegeng Lebeloane, the suspended chief director for legal services, was instructed to remain at home following a Public Service Commission (PSC) report on her appointment. The report found irregularities in her transfer from the department of water and sanitation.

She had previously worked for the department of water and sanitation as the legal services director.

READ: Minister Kubayi accused of meddling in appointments

The PSC report directed the Gauteng health department to file an application with the labour court to declare the transfer and subsequent notch increments of Lebeloane void based on several irregularities found in her transfer.

The department had to make an application to the labour court to set aside the transfer to the Gauteng health department.

Dr Mokgethi said: 

In compliance with the directive of the PSC, the department instructed the state attorney on November 18 2020 to make an application to the labour court. The application was issued in the labour court and Adv Lebeloane gave notice of her intention to oppose the application.

She said the state attorney visited the labour court in July and was advised by the registrar that the court file had been submitted to the judge responsible for allocating hearing dates.

“The registrar indicated that the matters that are being allocated are for 2023. The department wants to see the matter concluded as speedily as possible, however, it remained constrained by court processes, which are outside its control,” Dr Mokgethi explained.

READ: Allegations of nepotism dog information regulator

Bloom raised concerns as the Gauteng health department appointed an acting legal head on top of continuing to pay Lebeloane R4 681 700 between July 1 2019 and September 30 2022.

“This is an enormous sum of money to pay for a botched appointment. It could have paid for 10 senior nurses for a year at our understaffed hospitals. The PSC investigated Lebeloane after complaints about her heavy-handed management style. I am appalled that the department’s mismanagement has wasted so much money that should be used to provide better care for hospital patients,” Bloom said.


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