Investigation launched after Mpumalanga EFF opens health department tender fraud case

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  • Mpumalanga police are investigating fraud allegations against senior health officials.
  • EFF members in the province made the allegations.
  • The investigation relates to a R648 million tender that was awarded to a company that was allegedly not qualified to receive the contract.

Mpumalanga police are investigating a fraud and corruption case against several provincial health department officials.

EFF members opened the case in Mbombela last week, alleging in a statement that a tender worth more than R648 million was awarded to a company that was not qualified to receive the contract.

According to the EFF, the tender is allegedly linked to a medical supply depot that provides equipment and medication to all facilities in the province and includes the procurement, warehousing and distribution of pharmaceuticals.

Members of the bid adjudication committee notified the senior official that the company did not meet the necessary criteria, the party said in the statement.

The party initially said eight officials had been arrested, but police have denied this.

"Police in Mpumalanga would like to categorically state that they did not arrest any official from the Department of Health as depicted in the media statement issued today by the Economic Freedom Fighters in Mpumalanga. However, it is true that there is a fraud and corruption case which has been laid by the political party at the Mbombela police station last week and an investigation thereof is under way," police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said.

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Hlathi added: "The relevant complainant has been duly informed about the developments of the investigation. Currently, police are obtaining statements and will in all material times closely work with the National Prosecuting Authority for guidance on this matter."

EFF provincial chairperson Collen Sedibe has since said that no arrests were made, but that statements were taken from all the "culprits".

"The arrest was imminent," he added.

Sedibe said:

The EFF views the conduct of these officials, as a very serious crime against humanity … The EFF further calls on the police to fast track the investigation and bring all involved in this gruesome fraud and corruption to book.

Mpumalanga health department spokesperson Dumisani Malamule said the department was aware of the EFF's statement. He referred all enquiries to the police, saying the matter was under investigation.

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