Gauteng Well being MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi was requested a number of questions on Tuesday at a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature by the DA’s Shadow Well being MEC, Jack Bloom, about corruption that happened at Tembisa Hospital involving tens of millions of rands spent on private protecting tools and different medical provides.
Of 5 questions, Mokgethi answered just one, on why murdered whistle-blower Babita Deokaran’s request for a forensic investigation wasn’t acceded to after she flagged suspicious transactions.
“There was no formal request for a forensic investigation that was tabled,” stated Mokgethi.
She dismissed the remainder, saying they “fall off” as a result of her first reply.
“I feel that the MEC is being disingenuous by referring to an ‘official’ request for an investigation. In response to the proof within the News24 investigation which is particularly referred to in my query, she [Deokaran] had made the request by e-mail and in WhatsApp messages,” Bloom stated.
“Mokgethi additionally declined to touch upon my follow-up query for her to answer the Sanco [SA National Civic Organisation] assertion in June this 12 months that there was corruption on the Tembisa Hospital and that she was allegedly the ‘mastermind’ behind the tender procurement corruption. It’s unacceptable that the Well being MEC geese questions and refuses to take accountability on this severe matter,” Bloom stated.
Pusetso Morapedi, the director of the Platform to Defend Whistle-blowers in Africa, stated leaders like Mokgethi ought to “construct public stress and motion for the instantaneous investigation and prosecution of perpetrators”, reminiscent of those that killed Deokaran.
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“[They should] take it upon themselves to share extra details about protected reporting of wrongdoing and the channels to make use of for protected disclosures, recognising that whistle-blowing could be a matter of life and loss of life.”
Morapedi stated it was solely on paper that the legal guidelines in South Africa have been ample to guard whistle-blowers.
“We’ve seen many whistle-blowers who’ve suffered… prolonged harms, reminiscent of loss of life, blacklisting, bullying, harassment, threats, authorized prices and different financial impacts, which are sometimes the toughest to beat.”
Bloom questioned the MEC’s actions after the loss of life of Deokaran.
“Why did she not be sure that there was an intensive probe of every little thing that Babita was involved about earlier than she was murdered by individuals who wished to silence her? I believe that the MEC was a part of the cover-up at Tembisa Hospital, as a result of it’s linked to senior ANC officers in Gauteng.
“We all know, for example, that Sello Sekhokho, the treasurer-general of the ANC’s Ekurhuleni area, obtained three tenders value R2.3-million for overpriced items on the hospital. Gauteng Premier David Makhura can be delinquent in not guaranteeing a correct investigation was finished a 12 months in the past,” stated Bloom.
“It is vital that politicians don’t escape accountability moderately than solely blaming errant officers.” DM