Ramaphosa relative scores R381 million contracts from Gauteng hospitals

Companies linked to Mr Hangwani Morgan Maumela, a nephew by marriage to President Cyril Ramaphosa, have scored contracts worth R381 million in the last three years from Gauteng public hospitals.

This astounding figure is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

I asked her about contracts awarded to 12 companies that got R36 million from Tembisa Hospital last year. Murdered whistleblower Babita Deokaran had identified them as “possibly fraudulent” and other suspicious payments totalling R850 million.

According to a News24 investigation, these companies are linked to the Maumela family – Hangwani is a director of nine of these companies, while a relative heads the other three firms.

All the contracts were under R500 000 and were therefore signed off by the Tembisa Hospital CEO instead of going out to tender.

It is now revealed that the Gauteng Health Department has paid a total of R381.4 million to these 12 companies from April 2019 to date.

Of this amount, R356 million came from Tembisa Hospital, R22 million from Mamelodi Hospital, and R2.4 million from a number of other hospitals.

Much of this amount was for medical products. Still, Nkomo-Ralehoko admits that “none of the listed companies has SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) approval for the sale of medical products”, and she blames “inadequate processes and oversight.”

At various times, some of these companies were not tax-compliant or were deregistered for a period. They do not look like serious companies that provide real products at decent prices.

From available information, it appears that seven of Maumela’s nine companies operate from a single unit in a Sandton residential estate.

It is very suspicious that none of the hundreds of contracts awarded is over the amount of R500 000 which would require a tender process instead of the CEO signing off on them.

Nkomo-Ralehoko says that “after a number of assessments it was noted that the process followed could not detect split billing and some compliance issues.”

When I asked what was being done about the irregularities, she says lamely: “the department has now improved the internal controls at the Supply Chain Management (SCM) process in ensuring that there are reviews to identify split-billing and non-compliance through checklists.”

Maumela has been identified as a central figure in the Tembisa Hospital purchases that Babita flagged, scoring R36 million in contracts last year in one month alone.

He also has ties to Bejani Chauke, who is Ramaphosa’s principal political advisor. They are neighbours in a plush Hyde Park complex in walking distance of Ramaphosa’s private residence.

The SIU is already investigating the splurge of Tembisa Hospital payments last year, but needs to extend its probe to all payments made to Maumela’s fishy companies. Ramaphosa should authorise this by proclamation if he is serious about cleaning up all corruption in the Gauteng Health Department.

We need to know whether the products supplied were actually delivered and were good value.

I suspect that millions of rands were wasted that should have provided decent services to hospital patients.

It is utterly deplorable that the new Health MEC is not blacklisting companies that were seemingly non-compliant with legal requirements.

She admits there were serious irregularities, but doesn’t commit to any sanction against these companies or the errant officials. I will be pressing her to do so.

I will be writing to SAHPRA to investigate whether Maumela’s companies were legally authorised to sell medical products.

Strict action is needed to root out the rot in this department, not weak promises to do better in future

President Ramaphosa mum on e-Tolls that continue to be a burden to Gauteng residents

The DA and residents in Gauteng are disappointed that President Cyril Ramaphosa did not mention the scrapping of e-Tolls in the province during his State of the Nation Address last night.

In light of his economic growth plans he missed an opportunity to go the whole hog and free Gauteng’s economy all the way. Gauteng makes the largest contribution to our country’s economy and abolishing the burden of e-tolls could have benefitted the country as a whole.

This is an indictment on the residents of our province who are unable to afford to pay for a system that was imposed on them without any due process being followed.

This system is negatively impacting our already struggling economy as many small businesses were unable to afford to pay the e-Tolling fee each time their vehicles delivering goods passed a e-Toll gantry.

It is clear that the decision on e-Tolls has once again been kicked down the road which is not surprising at all.

As the DA we will continue to fight for the rights of our residents in the province, when we see that a new system that is intended to uplift our infrastructure is unfairly imposed on our residents.

The time for using e-Tolls as a political football and voting fodder is over and we demand that the ANC-led government makes a firm decision on this system for once and for all.


DA calls on President Ramaphosa to make a decision on the future of e-tolls

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to decide on the future of e-tolls as a matter of urgency, before the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) takes effect in July 2021

Last year, the DA raised concerns that operator class motor vehicles which do not pay e-tolls will be fined R500 and stand to lose one demerit point for every fine that is not paid.

This has now subsequently been changed and while the motorist will not receive demerit points, a fine will still be incurred, which is now double for failing to pay e-tolls.

The Act is just another way to force motorists to pay for e-tolls.

The DA has always been against the implementation of e-tolls as this is an unfair burden on the residents of Gauteng who are already struggling to make ends meet.

What is clear is that residents are not prepared to pay for e-tolls. We cannot have a situation where motorists are fined for something which they were not consulted on in the first place.

For a long time now, the residents of Gauteng have been told that a decision about the future of e-tolls will be made soon and a year later, still no decision has been made.

The e-toll system must be scrapped before it turns motorists into criminals.

Fishy Gauteng PPE contracts must be probed

The Gauteng Health Department needs to explain how a company owned by the husband of President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s spokesperson Khusela Diko reportedly scored a multi-million rand contract to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a report in the Sunday Independent yesterday, Madzikane Diko’s company, Royal Bhaca Projects (RBP), received part of the R2.2 billion PPE tenders awarded to 75 companies by the Gauteng Health Department since March 30, 2020.

It is also alleged that the department paid inflated prices, above the National Treasury’s regulated PPE price list published on April 15.

Diko has denied that RBP has a contract with the department or been paid any money, but the department’s expenditure report shows RBP was awarded another R47m PPE contract on March 30, two days before it got one for R78m on April 1.

Furthermore, it is alleged that RBP charged R58 per surgical mask compared to a regulated price of R12.48, and R85 per 500ml unit of Actigerm alcohol sanitiser, which is regulated at R46.37.

It appears that there were other fishy PPE suppliers for the R2.2 billion spent by the department in three months.

This may be the reason why the department’s Chief Financial Officer Kabelo Lehloenya resigned recently. We do not know if she was trying to stop the corruption or was perhaps implicated herself.

It should be unthinkable that anyone could benefit corruptly from this crisis by using connections to get contracts and charge rip-off prices.

I will be asking questions in the Gauteng Legislature to ensure that there is a proper investigation in this matter to ensure that all urgent purchases are value for money and free of corruption.

Ramaphosa didn’t provide promised staff at Tembisa Hospital

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the Tembisa Hospital in May 2018 but failed to provide extra staff and resources even though he saw for himself the gross understaffing and overcrowding that led to the recent baby deaths at this hospital.

I was reminded of this failed promise when the Gauteng Legislature Health Committee on which I serve did an unannounced visit to the hospital last week on Friday.

I was aghast to hear that 103 extra staff posts had been approved for the hospital a year ago, but there was no funding to add them to the staff establishment. Even worse, former Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa had cut 75 posts three years ago as part of budget-cutting efforts.

At the Ward 5 neonatal ICU unit, staff told us that they had only 19 staff but needed 40 staff.

At the Ward 4 neonatal ward where most of the deaths occurred there are 44 beds, but there were 61 babies when we visited and we were told that in December there were days when there were more than 100 babies.

According to Hospital CEO Dr Lekopane Mogaladi, the hospital has been managing to control Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) klebsiella cases which averaged two a month from January to October last year i.e. 14 cases in total. But they noticed a rise to 5 cases in November and got really concerned when there were 12 cases in December.

Overcrowding that increases the risk of cross-infection is a major problem – instead of one metre distance between beds, nurses told us that beds were often side to side.

There is only one doctor on call in the evening for the seven maternal and natal wards, which is extremely problematic if there are a number of emergency cases at any one time.

There is also a severe shortage of cleaning staff who are all on permanent overtime. For wards 4 and 5 there are only two cleaners.

Tembisa management have been crying for extra staff for a long time now, particularly for the maternity section which delivers 16 800 babies a year, the second highest number of births in the country after Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

President Ramaphosa was supposed to allocate extra health staff in his stimulus budget last year, but Tembisa Hospital only got one pharmacist instead of the extra nurses and doctors that they desperately need.

The 10 baby deaths at this hospital from antibiotic-resistant klebsiella could have been avoided if President Ramaphosa had listened and acted effectively when he visited there nearly two years ago.

Note failed promises in the health sector will unfortunately lead to more avoidable deaths in hospitals.

Ramaphosa, Makhura and Tau, join me and Mashaba in accounting to the people of Alex

On Thursday, 18 April 2019, I will be hosting a townhall meeting with Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and the people of Alexandra so that we can reflect on what has been done since 2016, and what more needs to be done to make Alex into a place to be proud of. In addition to this I extend an invitation to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Gauteng Premier David Makhura and former Mayor Parks Tau to account for the period between 1994 and August 2016.

This engagement with the people of Alex will also present an opportunity for all three spheres of government to forge a partnership and commitment to working together in order to put the people first. Above all, we are servants of the people, therefore party politics should be put side so that we can build a broken community.

It is most disappointing that the ANC chose to play with the lives and emotions of the people by hijacking and criminalising a community movement. From day one the City of Johannesburg Executive was ready to engage with the community, but ANC Ward Councillors instead chose to fuel fires running a disinformation campaign and spurring the community to engage in criminal acts. On Sunday, 07 April 2019, I will be laying charges against the Ward Councillors we have been identified as the ringleaders of a carefully coordinated campaign to fuel the fires of anarchy in Alex.

Further to this, I have written to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to probe whether the ANC is indeed in violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct. The harshest sanction that comes with a violation of the Code is being disqualified from contesting the elections.

As the DA, in both government and opposition, we are committed to Building One South Africa for All by ensuring that communities like Alex become places of pride, development and production.

I trust that Ramaphosa, Makhura and Tau will heed the call by joining me and Mayor Mashaba, a man of action, on 18 April.

When the people we commit to serve call, we have a duty to answer and listen

Ramaphosa ignores Esidimeni victims

The Democratic Alliance notes that ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa made no reference in his Manifesto speech on Saturday to the Life Esidimeni tragedy even though many victims have still not received the promised compensation.

Ramaphosa steered clear of acknowledging and apologizing for what has been described as the worst human rights abuse since apartheid, with 144 deaths of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Recompense for the tragedy is still incomplete as there are delays in paying about 200 victims monetary compensation as determined by Justice Dikgang Moseneke’s arbitration award.

Furthermore, 21 former Esidimeni patients are still missing, many of whom are probably dead in an unmarked grave.

The ongoing tragedy is that mental health patients in Gauteng and other provinces continue to receive sub-standard care in poor facilities, and waiting lists are long.

It is yet another example of the failing ANC’s dire failure to provide quality health care even as doubtful promises are made to improve in future.

The failing ANC is killing our people. The power to bring change and build One South Africa for All that ensures that all our people are treated with dignity lies in the hands of voters.

State Security Agency must probe plot to remove Ramaphosa

by Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL – DA National Spokesperson

The DA is calling for an investigation by the State Security Agency into the meeting that reportedly took place in early September involving former president Jacob Zuma and senior members of the ANC, including Secretary-General Ace Magashule, former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, and ANC Women’s League Secretary-General Matuba Meokgo.

It would be easy to dismiss the meeting at the Maharani Hotel in Durban, which reportedly also involved the former SAA Chairperson, Dudu Myeni, and criminally-convicted Nelson Mandela Bay Councillor, Andile Lungisa, as an internal party matter. However, if reports are to be believed, the subject of discussion was nothing less than the removal of the President of South Africa.

If true, the meeting was an effort to undermine our constitutional order and those who participated in it may be guilty of a criminal offence. The seriousness of the allegations cannot be overestimated.

We cannot allow infighting of the failing ANC to undermine South Africa’s constitutional democracy. This plot proves yet again that the failing ANC is incapable of changing and that its internal party conflicts threaten to destabilise a country that is already in a technical recession plunging millions of our people into unemployment and poverty.

The meeting also illustrates how today’s ANC is no different from the Zuma-era ANC, replete with the same corruption-tainted officials and failed premiers, now recycled into even more senior positions under President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Instability in the ANC cannot result in instability of the country. That is why it is essential that the Minister of State Security, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, orders an investigation into this matter urgently to determine the nature of the gathering and whether or not any of the discussions centred on the removal of President Ramaphosa which could destabilise South Africa.

E-tolls: Gauteng ANC Must March with the People

ANC Must March on SANRAL

Following the Gauteng ANC’s march to Eskom on load-shedding last week, the DA calls on Chairperson Paul Mashatile to announce whether they will now march on SANRAL after yesterday’s e-tolls announcement.

The Gauteng ANC rejected e-tolls with much fanfare last October at their provincial congress.

They have since betrayed the people of Gauteng with a brand new enforcement strategy to ensure people across Gauteng pay e-tolls or face severe punishment.

Will the ANC again march against themselves for a problem they have created?

Cost-effective Alternative to E-tolls

The truth is there is a simple, cost-effective alternative to e-tolls. The only thing needed is political will for government to ring-fence a small portion of the fuel levy to pay for the freeway upgrades.

In 2013, Sanral’s Vusi Mona said that 17% of all tolls would go toward collection fees.

At a cap of R450 per vehicle per month, that would have translated into R76-50 per vehicle per month.

However, with the cap reduced to R225 per month, the R76-50 still needs to be collected, driving up the percentage collection rate up to 34% per vehicle per month.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Claims

If this ANC government is indeed a responsive and attentive government as Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa claims, it would long ago have realised that there is no need to resort to threats when cheaper and less complex methods of funding are available.

E-tolls are killing jobs and slowly strangling Gauteng’s economy, and ultimately, the rest of South Africa will pay the price.

People are opposed to e-tolls, and by resorting to jackboot tactics, the ANC government will only alienate them further.

The DA reiterates our call for a provincial referendum on e-tolls, asking the question: Do you want a small increase in fuel levies, free from expensive collection fees and government threats, or not?

Given the severe betrayal of the people by the Gauteng ANC, we believe allowing people to vote on e-tolls is the most effective way for fairness and justice to prevail.


Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

[Image source]

Scrap E-tolls: The Only ‘Dispensation’ That Works

Unfair and Unjust SystemJohn Moodey DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

Today Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce more ways to pay for e-tolls, instead of scrapping them altogether – despite the fact that less and less road users are willing to pay for this unfair and unjust system.

According to the National Department of Transport, since January there has been a dramatic drop in the number of people registering for e-tolls, as well as a steady decline in revenue collected.

This disproves the assertion by Premier Makhura and the e-toll review panel that people are not fundamentally opposed to paying tolls on Gauteng’s highways.

People are feeling the financial crunch of increases in municipal rates, electricity, petrol and income tax, and are simply not willing or able to pay e-tolls.

Stealth Methods to Pay for E-Tolls

Instead of scrapping e-tolls altogether, the ANC’s response is to introduce stealth methods hidden in licensing and other fees to force people to pay.

The fact is that the e-tolls system does not have the ability to cope and deal with debt collection, and the introduction of the hybrid model will further complicate an unsustainable system.

So while the economies of Gauteng and the country are reeling from the effects, and unemployment spirals out of control, Deputy President Ramaphosa and Premier Makhura are standing at a crossroad today.

They could act in the interests of the poor and working class by scrapping e-tolls altogether, or open a Pandora’s Box of civil disobedience and non-compliance on a scale never seen before.

The choice is theirs, and the consequences will be felt at the polls in 2016.


Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

[Image source]