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Health dept mum on Lekwene legal costs

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The cash-strapped Department of Health has refrained from commenting on whether it is covering the legal costs of the MEC for the Department of Health Maruping Lekwene.

Maruping Lekwene

THE CASH-STRAPPED Department of Health has refrained from commenting on whether it is covering the legal costs of the MEC for the Department of Health Maruping Lekwene.

Lekwene obtained an urgent interim interdict in the Northern Cape High Court on Friday, to prevent remedial action from being taken against him after the Public Protector made adverse findings against him regarding his role in appointing the chief executive officer of the Northern Cape Gambling board Vincent Mothibi.

At the time Lekwene was the MEC for the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism.

A private legal team consisting of an instructing attorney along with two advocates appeared in the Northern Cape High Court on his behalf on Friday.

The court application was made by Lekwene in his personal capacity as well as MEC for the Department of Health.

The costs of the urgent interdict alone, is estimated to amount to around R100 000.

The application to review the findings of the Public Protectors report will be heard in court on September 3.

The findings of the Public Protectors report call for the Premier to institute disciplinary proceedings against him on allegations of improper conduct and maladminstration.

In court papers, Lekwene pointed out that the Premier did not have the powers to discipline, but could only dismiss an MEC.

He is concerned that the implementation of the recommendations of the Public Protector will result in his removal from office as well as cause reputational and financial damage.

Lekwene believed that the findings were “disastrous” to his political and professional career.

The Department of Health did not respond to media enquiries.