DA calls on KZN Health MEC to lay criminal charges against Federation for Economic Transformation

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Imran Keeka, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on  Health

DA calls on KZN Health MEC to lay criminal charges against Federation for Economic Transformation

 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has recommended and supported the view of the KwaZulu-Natal health portfolio committee that criminal charges be laid against members of the Federation for Economic Transformation.

The move comes after the group held provincial Health HOD, Musa Gumede and his team hostage at the Department’s Pietermaritzburg-based head office on Thursday last week while making several demands. The same mob also threatened department officials, telling them that they know where they live, which cars they drive and where their children go to school.

The DA condemns this barbarism and thuggery in the strongest possible terms. It is criminal and intimidation of this sort requires that this unruly mob must face the full might of the law.

During a meeting of the KwaZulu-Natal Health portfolio committee on Friday, which was not attended by Dhlomo who is on leave, members were told that the following demands were made of Dr Gumede:

  • That he resign with immediate effect due to his alleged incompetence;
  • That the KZN Treasury intervention task team which is currently trying to fix the mess within the Department leave with immediate effect. This demand is based on their claim that Treasury is making matters worse;
  • That tenders must be advertised and must also be given exclusively to black South Africans and not to those classified as Indians; and
  • That a certain individual, who was unnamed, be reinstated to the Supply Chain Management (SCM) with immediate effect.

During the meeting with Dr Gumede, the group’s final demand was acceded to by MEC Dhlomo, who had come especially to meet them on demand and his acting HOD, both of whom were clearly under duress.

The individual concerned then joined the mob and demanded that all previous charges brought against him by the Department through internal processes be withdrawn. Again, under very difficult circumstances the MEC and HOD succumbed.

The DA regards this kind of coercion as unacceptable. That such hooliganism was resorted to points to massive corruption within the Department’s SCM unit. This official must be fired while criminal charges must also be laid against him.

The committee was also told that MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo would meet with the Federation for Economic Transformation today. This is simply astounding when he should, in fact, have had the police waiting for them at the meeting. There can be no place for indulging such criminality.

During the same meeting it also emerged that the Department’s SCM staff had not reported for work on Friday after being threatened the previous day. To add to this, KZN Finance MEC, Belinda Scott, has also threatened to pull her task team out due to concerns over staff safety.

Not only will this result in their good work to date going down the drain, it will also spell disaster for the millions of KZN citizens that depend on state healthcare.

The events of the past few days are unprecedented. They have shown that there is complete anarchy when it comes to access to state resources by crooked characters who belong behind bars. It is also clear that the patronage network and deployment of greedy, incapable cadres, resulting in such criminal activity has come back to bite the ANC.

The time has now come to ensure that competent people who are fit for purpose are appointed.

The DA expects MEC Dhlomo to act with immediate effect and to lay criminal charges. He cannot allow his Department, its facilities and the millions who use them to be held to ransom.

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