Former health department head's R30m fraud case postponed due to ill health

The NPA accuses Dr Andrew Lekalakala of fraud.
The NPA accuses Dr Andrew Lekalakala of fraud.
PHOTO: Fani Mahuntsi, Gallo Images
  • The case against former senior North West health department official Dr Andrew Lekalakala has been postponed.
  • The delay was caused by Lekalakala's ill health.
  • He faces a R30 million fraud case after a tender was awarded to a Gupta-linked company.

Ill health has led to the case against a former North West health department head being delayed.

On Monday, the North West High Court postponed the fraud case against the North West Department of Health's former head of department (HOD) Dr Andrew Lekalakala to 3 October 2022, owing to his ill health. His attorney provided the court with a medical certificate.

READ | Former North West MEC, HOD acquitted of R8m fraud charges

Lekalakala faces two charges of fraud relating to the alleged fraudulent awarding of a contract for mobile clinics to Mediosa Health Pty (Ltd) in February 2017. The company is linked to the Gupta family. The mobile clinics were meant to serve rural communities in North West.

"A similar project was already being implemented in the Free State province, and Lekalakala - as the then-accounting officer - allegedly decided to participate in the same contract, and elected to apply the Treasury regulations that allow for participation in an existing contract arranged by another organ of state, with the same contract terms," said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Henry Mamothame.

However, the awarding of this contract allegedly did not comply with Treasury regulations and the project was not budgeted for, said Mamothame.

He said:

The accused also falsely indicated during a management meeting that the service by Mediosa Health was a National Department of Health initiative that would be rolled out to other provinces. He further lied that there was compliance with the Treasury regulations.

Mediosa Health allegedly received an upfront payment of R30 million. Lekalakala is alleged to have received gratification in the form of a trip to India, accompanied by his spouse and his associates.

City Press previously reported that the money generated from the mobile clinic contracts was used to build a billion-dollar hospital for the rich in Dubai. The hospital and scheme were allegedly the brainchild of the controversial Gupta family, according to the report.

"The State also intends proving that the service-level agreement was signed on this trip and not at the Department of Health offices," said Mamothame.

This is the second corruption scandal faced by the former HOD.

He was accused of fraud along with former North West finance MEC Wendy Nelson over his alleged irregular appointment as head of the department in 2014.

Both Lekalakala and Nelson were acquitted of the R8 million fraud charges.

Lekalakala is currently out on R5 000 bail.

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