Gauteng Health headless in the middle of a pandemic

The announcement that Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku will be on leave of absence for at least four weeks in the wake of a tender corruption scandal exposes the complete brokenness of ANC rule in Gauteng. Real leadership cannot be expected from the appointment of Jacob Mamabolo as acting Health MEC at this crucial time as he has no health background or prior knowledge of this department.

Masuku was brought in to fix the long-running management problems in the Gauteng Health Department and was energetic in filling vacant hospital CEO posts and responding to certain pressing issues. Yet, he could not explain away the sudden resignation of Chief Financial Officer Kabelo Lehloenya at the end of May amidst allegations of PPE contract irregularities.

It is utterly incredible that this department is again embroiled in scandal a few short years after the deaths of 144 mental patients in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

It seems that corruption is too embedded in the ANC to be easily removed, and the usual vultures swooped in to take advantage of the millions being spent to counter Covid-19. Meanwhile, many hospital staff do not have proper PPE and have become infected by the virus.

We now have a headless department in the midst of a pandemic, and Premier David Makhura should also be held accountable for this disaster. He appointed Masuku and failed to effectively monitor what was happening in his department. He failed with Life Esidimeni and he is failing now.