South Africa News

Calls for suspension of health officials arrested for alleged PPE corruption

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for the immediate suspension of the former acting head of the department of health in the Northern Cape, Dion Theys, and chief financial officer (CFO), Mosimanagape Gaborone, following their arrest by the Hawks on Monday.

Theys and Gaborone appeared at the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court later on the same day and were granted a R20,000 bail each.

They are implicated in the awarding of personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts valued at R43 million, without following prescribed procurement procedures.

This is Theys’s second arrest by the Hawks in the space of six months.

Back in March he was arrested in relation to lease agreements for accommodation of nursing students believed to amount to R96 million.

“Gaborone is also no newcomer to the recourse of the law and was previously implicated in the controversial Intaka case,” the DA said in a statement.

The party questioned Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul’s decision to reinstate Theys from his acting head of department position back to “his former senior management position of provincial medical director after the March arrest”.

“Now, with Theys and Gaborone being implicated in yet another case, we cannot accept that either of them continues to operate from positions of influence within the health department.”

“While we welcome the firm stance being taken by the Hawks against corruption, we should not expect law enforcement to fight state-orientated criminality in isolation.”

The party said the department ought to take responsibility for wrongdoing by instituting its own internal disciplinary proceedings and removing further risk posed to the institution by individuals.

A number of damning allegations related to the health department have come out of the Auditor-General’s report on Covid-related corruption and the party said this was only “tip of the iceberg”.

The DA said it would request urgent reports from the department on progress regarding investigations into these findings.

Earlier this year, advocate Andy Mothibi, head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), briefed Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on the outcomes of investigations into corruption allegations related to Covid-19 PPE procurement by state institutions.

The presentation detailed Covid-19 expenditure per the national and provincial health departments.

The SIU announced it would take all the necessary steps to ensure that losses suffered due to irregularities, corruption, and maladministration were recovered and returned to the state.

-The Citizen

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Simosibucayi was born and raised in the same hometown KwaMashu, North of Durban where the show storyline is set. Learn More

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