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AfriForum charges Health head


“It was found that Jonkers is guilty of offences in terms of the Public Finance Management Act”.

AFRIFORUM yesterday laid criminal charges against Dr Steven Jonkers, head of the Northern Cape Department of Health, as part of the organisation’s national campaign against the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill.

According to AfriForum, the department’s annual report was studied and “it was found that Jonkers is guilty of offences in terms of the Public Finance Management Act”.

AfriForum said this week that it would visit all nine provinces between November 18 and 22, 2019, during which criminal charges will be laid against the heads of each provincial Department of Health.

“The squandering of taxpayers’ money is a national crisis and the responsible parties should be brought to book. That is why we laid these charges today (Wednesday). This misappropriation of funds is one of the main reasons why we cannot rely on the government to implement NHI: They have shown that they cannot be trusted with taxpayers’ money,” said Lize-Mari Smit, AfriForum’s district co-ordinator for the Karoo.

According to AfriForum, the Northern Cape Department of Health’s annual report indicates that the department incurred irregular expenditures of more than R412 million in the 2017/18 financial year.

“The Department also incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditures of almost R5.3 million in the 2017/18 financial year. The department also incurred unauthorised expenditure of more than R100 million in the 2017/18 financial year,” Smit stated.

She explained that irregular expenditures comprised all expenses that were inconsistent with what the act prescribes.

“Fruitless and wasteful expenditures are expenses made in vain but that could have been prevented if reasonable precaution had been taken. Unauthorised expenditures are all expenses incurred contrary to the approved budget. This excessive expenditure could have been prevented, had Jonkers fulfilled his duties.”

“The charges against the department heads are based on alleged financial misappropriation in terms of the above-mentioned act. They must prevent irregular, fruitless, wasteful and unauthorised expenditures and must hold guilty parties accountable. The department heads are letting taxpayers down by failing to fulfil their duties,” Smit concluded.

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