'Four huge businesspeople milked Tembisa hospital' - Panyaza Lesufi

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Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi.
Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi.
Alfonso Nqunjana
  • Panyaza Lesufi says he'll release the SIU's report on corruption at Tembisa Tertiary Hospital. 
  • Lesufi says the report implicates four prominent businesspeople. 
  • Babita Deokaran was assassinated after flagging corruption at the hospital. 

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi says four businesspeople plundered the finances of Tembisa Tertiary Hospital.

On Wednesday, Lesufi and MECs visited the hospital, which has been plagued by issues of financial mismanagement and corruption.

Lesufi said his government was worried about corruption, but they wanted to act on facts.

He said that, next week, he would release a preliminary Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report on corruption at the hospital.

"We didn't just want to react emotionally without evidence. Now that there is evidence… there are four huge businesspeople that have milked this hospital on the basis of the report I have. It is a preliminary report, so we don't know [if] the end product will be the same.

Lesufi said:

On the evidence of the preliminary report, the evidence is damning. We must act as government. That is why I am willing to release the report. If you don't solve those problems, patients will continue to not have proper food. Patients will continue to not have proper facilities. We want to cut the umbilical cord very quickly.

Whistleblower Babita Deokaran flagged some of the multimillion-rand corruption at the hospital.

She was murdered outside her home in Johannesburg South after dropping her daughter off at school in 2021.

Six men have been charged with her murder.

In the investigative series, SILENCED, News24 exposed corruption at the hospital, as well as the people and companies believed to have unduly benefitted from contracts, worth R850 million, flagged as suspicious by Deokaran.

READ | DA demands Gauteng health dept blacklists companies linked to Tembisa Hospital corruption

Lesufi said he wanted to release the report, so the hospital could start "a new chapter".

"This hospital has been under the spotlight for the wrong things - in terms of procurement matters, in terms of how they run their budget. 

"I am here to reassure them [staff] that we have the necessary support and they can do their work… The staff complement that is here is doing exceptionally well. The problems we have in this hospital is not about a doctor who did not do a certain surgery.

"The problem we are having is people who were bidding for work… that unfortunately affected the life of somebody. That is the part that motivates me to find a lasting solution."

He said they were also working on getting a permanent CEO for the hospital after Dr Ashley Mthunzi was removed. 

Lesufi said he would also release a report on the R500 million Anglo Gold Ashanti Hospital in Carletonville.

The hospital was identified as a critical care facility at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.   

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