Home News Parties call for fraud accused NC Health officials to be suspended

Parties call for fraud accused NC Health officials to be suspended

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Dion Theys was arrested earlier this year in connection with three lease agreements to the value of R96 million for the JP Hugo Residence for student nursing accommodation signed in 2014. Picture: Supplied

Two senior Northern Cape Department of Health officials were arrested by the Hawks on Monday on charges relating to fraudulent PPE tenders.

OPPOSITION parties in the Northern Cape have called for the immediate suspension of the former acting head of the provincial Department of Health, Dr Dion Theys, and chief financial officer Mosimanagape Gaborone, who were arrested by the Hawks on Monday on charges relating to fraudulent personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders valued at R43 million.

Theys was also charged with contravening the Public Finance Management Act in March this year after signing three lease agreements to the value of R96 million for the JP Hugo Residence for student nursing accommodation in 2014.

Gaborone was previously charged in the Intaka saga, where water purifiers and oxygen machines were procured by the Department of Health from Intaka Holdings (Pty) Ltd for health facilities in the Northern Cape at inflated prices and in return for kickbacks.

The charges, involving fraud, corruption and money laundering, were provisionally withdrawn in the Northern Cape High Court in 2018 pending the finalisation of a myriad of civil and other matters that were instituted by Intaka director Dr Gaston Savoi in KwaZulu-Natal.

The DA provincial spokesperson for Health, Dr Isak Fritz, said on Tuesday that both senior officials were implicated in “very serious charges”, where prescribed procurement procedures were apparently not followed.

“The Hawks arrested Dr Theys on a second occasion, less than six months after his arrest in March this year in relation to the lease agreements for nursing student accommodation,” Fritz pointed out. “Gaborone is also no newcomer to the recourse of the law and was previously implicated in the controversial Intaka case.

“The DA has on numerous occasions questioned the decision by Premier Zamani Saul to transfer Dr Theys back into 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 Department of Health.”

Fritz said that the Department of Health should institute its own internal disciplinary proceedings and prevent further risk to the institution by suspending Theys and Gaborone.

“A number of damning allegations related to the Health Department have come out of the auditor-general’s report on Covid-19-related corruption, which is no doubt only the tip of the iceberg. The DA will also request urgent reports from the department on the progress in relation to investigations into these findings that also relate to controversial PPE contracts,” Fritz added.

FF+ MPL Danie Coetzee welcomed the arrests and pointed out that for years the Department of Health had been plagued by corruption and mismanagement, while those who are implicated seemingly went unpunished.

“MEC after MEC that is appointed at this department appears unable to prevent the rot, while investigations drag on. It is unacceptable to allow ongoing corruption to flourish at a department that is supposed to cater for the most vulnerable,” said Coetzee.

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