Damning NW health report shelved

(iStock)
(iStock)

A damning report on the contract between a Gupta-linked company and the North West government was sent to the provincial legislature two months ago for tabling and adoption, but has been mysteriously shelved.

This is according to highly placed ANC leaders in the province, where communities and ANC alliance partners have made calls for Premier Supra Mahumapelo to step down on allegations of, among others, enabling Gupta state capture and tolerating corruption.

The company, Mediosa, which has a R180m contract with the North West government, was paid R30m in advance, before they did any work.

The legislature committee responsible for tabling items on the agenda had received a copy of the Mediosa report, but it has provided no explanation for why it had not been tabled.

In February the provincial health department appeared before the joint inquiry on Mediosa by the North West provincial legislature portfolio committee on health and social development, as well as the standing committee on provincial public accounts.

Health head of department Thabo Lekalakala revealed during the meeting that Mahumapelo authorised a trip to India for him and other officials to see Mediosa’s mobile clinic service.

The final legislature report from the Mediosa probe, which City Press had seen, recommends that:

. Lekalakala give a written confession on his trip to India which was sponsored by Mediosa;

. Lekalakala be suspended;

. Lekalakala produce a copy of the contract;

. The provincial treasury provide reasons why it transferred R50m to the health department on the eve of the R30m payment to Mediosa;

. The provincial treasury provide reasons how the health department could procure these services without its involvement;

. A legal opinion to be sought on the continued engagement with Mediosa;

. Officials responsible for the Mediosa payment are named;

. A comparative analysis be conducted on services rendered by Mediosa and similar services that were offered by Samsung for free; and

. Criminal charges be laid given Lekalakala’s “criminal confession”.

City Press further revealed that out of the R954 charged per patient for screening by Mediosa, R650 was to be paid to subcontracted companies from Dubai. The money would then be funnelled into the companies’ United Arab Emirates bank accounts, from where it would be used to fund the Guptas’ new business venture: Dubai Healthcare City.

But the company said this week that “all allegations that have been levelled at Mediosa are patently untrue”.

However, the legislature probe found that the department had appointed the company without following the supply chain processes. There was also a contradiction between Lekalakala and the MEC Magome Masike on the number of purchased trucks.

“The HOD mentioned that they have purchased four trucks and on the other hand the MEC only mentioned two, one delivered and the other one is still outstanding.”

Mediosa had changed its name three times since 2015 and had been in operation for only three weeks in the Free State when it was visited by health officials for benchmarking.

The committee also flagged another contract with Buthelezi and High Care Emergency Medical Services, where money used was from the HIV conditional grant.

The provincial treasury also confirmed that “it is not allowed that the allocated budget for the HIV conditional grant be used for any other thing”.

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