Patients suffer as Provincial incompetence leads to national take-over of Charlotte Maxeke Hospital repair

It is truly shameful that the Gauteng provincial government has proved incapable of repairing the fire-damaged Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital and has therefore transferred this responsibility to the National Health Department.

I am not surprised, however, as the Gauteng Infrastructure Development Department (GDID) is notoriously incompetent and corrupt.

Two fishy contracts totalling R128 million for work on the hospital are being terminated, and nine senior officials have been suspended following the findings of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi, said yesterday at a meeting of the Gauteng Legislature Health Committee that her department “had no choice” but to ask the Premier to take the work away from GDID because of the corruption and lack of progress.

Meanwhile, lives are being lost because of unnecessary delays in fully re-opening the hospital.

The Accident and Emergency unit was supposed to open in January but according to Mokgethi will only be ready for patients in mid-March.

This puts massive pressure on other hospitals, particularly Helen Joseph Hospital where patients sleeping overnight in casualty have increased by 500% as they wait to be admitted to a ward.

More deaths can be expected amongst cancer and heart patients, and the waiting lists for surgery at CMJH are up by more than 3000 patients.

It is yet another disaster presided over by Premier David Makhura who perpetually makes poor appointments and fails to prevent corruption despite repeated promises.

The National Health Department should rope in the best private sector expects to speed up the repair of the hospital even before its target of completion by the end of next year.

#MakhuraPPE: DA challenges Premier Makhura to reveal action taken on PPE Looters

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is challenging the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura to reveal the actions that he has taken against the Gauteng personal protective equipment (PPE) looters.

So far nothing has been done to the looters as they continue to walk free and enjoy their daily lives despite the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) report exposing all the money that they have stolen from the people of Gauteng.

Premier Makhura claims that he has acted against the former Health MEC, Bandile Masuku, former Acting Head of the Gauteng Department of Health, Professor Mkhululi Lukhele and former Chief Financial Officer of the Gauteng Department of Health; Ms Kabelo Lehloenya. If his claims are true, then why does the SIU report state the following on page 231: 

 No recommendation for disciplinary action could be made against the former CFO, Ms Lehloenya, as she had resigned from the services of the Gauteng DoH with effect from 1 August 2020. No recommendation for additional disciplinary action could be made against Prof Lukhele (the HoD of the Gauteng DoH), because he resigned with immediate effect on or about 3 October 2020.”

The above evidence indicates that officials have resigned as a way of escaping accountability even if the Premier had forced them to resign. 

The fact that the officials have resigned does not mean that the Premier has taken action, criminal charges must be laid against them. 

Furthermore, there are no criminal charges that have been laid against the former Health MEC, Bandile Masuku for the role that he played in irregularly awarding the Royal Bhaca Projects (Pty) Ltd and Ledla Structural Development (Pty) Ltd a contract to supply PPE. 

The SIU report findings also state that the former MEC failed to fulfil his obligations to comply with the Constitution and failed his general oversight responsibilities in respect of his department failing to comply with the prescripts of the Constitution.

In addition, the Premier claims that the pension fund of the former MEC Masuku, Lukhele and Lehloenya were frozen so that the Gauteng government can recoup some of the stolen funds. We demand evidence to support this claim.

If Premier Makhura is serious about acting against those implicated in the Gauteng PPE corruption and those that have failed in their oversight role, why has he not acted on the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi?

The Gauteng Department of Education has irregularly awarded contracts to the value of R427 686 242.29 to 270 service providers for decontamination of Gauteng schools. All this happened under the watch of MEC Lesufi who is the political head of the department. MEC Lesufi, like former MEC Masuku, has failed in his oversight responsibilities to ensure that his department complies with the prescripts of the Constitution and supply chain management processes. Perhaps, former MEC Masuku became an easy victim because he is a political lightweight compared to MEC Lesufi who enjoys the support of a bigger constituency in the ANC across the province. If this is true, then it’ll also expose that taxpayers interest takes a back seat while cadre’s protection is paramount.

 We demand that Premier Makhura must lay criminal charges against all those implicated and recover all the monies that have been stolen from the Gauteng government. We also demand that Premier Makhura provide evidence on what actions he has taken against the looters as a matter of urgency.

#MakhuraPPE: SIU report confirms the DA’s suspicions about procurement of PPE equipment

It is now evident that the MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, is not fit to hold the position of MEC for Finance in the Gauteng Provincial Government given the recent revelations in the Special Investigative Unit’s (SIU) report on the procurement of, or contracting of, goods and services during at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On numerous occasions I have asked the MEC for Finance to make public the names of the contractors or suppliers who received tenders to procure goods and services for the Covid-19 pandemic, but instead of producing this list, she indicated to me that this cannot be done because of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI), and year end audit processes which are preventing the disclosure of information.

It is clear that this was just an excuse to buy more time and to keep the 1906 tenders that were awarded without due process being followed, out of the public eye.

The report also indicates that in some instances the Treasury Instruction Notes 08 2019/2020 and 05 of 2020/2021 which set out the stringent guidelines for the procurement of goods and services during the Covid-19 pandemic were followed in the province.

This is extremely concerning, given that it is the taxpayers’ hard-earned money that has been squandered under the guise of government preparing itself to deal with a pandemic that seemingly has no end in sight. Small businesses especially those in the townships, were also not given an opportunity to earn an income.

The SIU report clearly indicates that only a few individuals benefitted from the opportunity to tender and that in many instances due process was not followed.

Contracts to the value of R6 037 901 185 are currently under investigation by the SIU, while 38 disciplinary hearings and executive action is also underway.

This trend of only empowering those businesses that may have political connections needs to end immediately.

Our residents are already suffering because of the decline in our economy and the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened this situation. The money that was lost to corruption over the last two years would have gone a long way to improving the lives of our residents had it been channelled to small business, entrepreneurs and used to improve our ailing infrastructure.

If Premier David Makhura is serious about rooting out corruption in our province, he will hold the MEC for Finance to account for the tenders that were not properly awarded under her watch. The MEC for Finance ultimately controls the public purse and needs to account for how every rand cent of our money is spent.

The DA once again calls on the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) to establish its own charter against corruption that every government department and accounting officer signs, so they can be held accountable for any missteps that take place in their department along with the officials responsible.

Gauteng spends R64 million on corruption investigations but Premier won’t release reports

The Gauteng Provincial Government has spent R63.8 million on 54 reports to investigate suspected corruption, but not a single one of these reports has been made public despite claims that the recommendations made have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.

This is revealed by Premier David Makhura in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Makhura, the investigations were done by 23 forensic and audit companies over the last four years. These companies were chosen from a panel of 35 approved service providers after following an open tender process.

Gobodo Forensic and Investigative Accounting was paid R9.1 million for four reports, broken down as follows:

• School Nutrition Programme – R4.6 million
• George Mukhari Hospital – R2.9 million
• Metrofile in the Department of Human Settlements (DHS) – R990 000
• Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs – R576 000

Other companies that have scored highly from expensive investigations include Bowmans Gilfillan, which was paid R7.4 million for three investigations, Deloitte was paid R6.1 million for three investigations, and Sekela Xabiso was paid R5.3 million for 5 investigations.

Notable investigations include the following:

• Security Tenders in the Health Department
• Foodbanks in the Department of Social Development (DSD)
• Dignity packs (DSD)
• Places of safety (DSD)
• Combi courts (Department of Sports)
• Microsoft (DHS)
• School uniform
• Nepotism (Office of the Premier)

The completed reports make a total of 1226 recommendations, of which 394 have been fully implemented, 312 are in progress and the remaining 520 are being dealt with in meetings between the Premier and each MEC and Head of Department on an ongoing basis.

Makhura says that 162 criminal cases have been referred to law enforcement agencies, 515 officials have been referred to disciplinary processes, and 128 civil claims have been instituted.

Furthermore, “steps are underway to ensure the recovery of R600 million lost from irregular conduct, unethical behaviour, corrupt practices or negligence.”

The burning issue is why none of these costly reports have been made public despite repeated promises that this will be done.

There needs to be far more transparency on this so that we can judge for ourselves whether appropriate action has been taken. Why are 520 recommendations still not acted on and why are no MECs held accountable for all this deplorable corruption?

I doubt whether much of the R600 million lost will be recovered as previous attests to recoup losses have failed dismally. More than R1 billion of irregular and wasteful expenditure has been written off already, including R723 million from the Department of Social Development, R124 million from Human Settlements and R83 million from Health.

Makhura’s big failure is that he has not prevented corruption in the first place. Money that is stolen or wasted is rarely recovered, which harms people in Gauteng who suffer from inferior services.

How can it be that people steal money from feeding schemes, dignity packs for schoolgirls, and places of safety?

The murder of health official Babita Deokaran shows how ineffectual Makhura has been in protecting whistleblowers and those who tried to spend money in the public interest.

The DA will continue to press the Premier to make all investigation reports public and ensure real accountability so that all rotten staff and politicians are removed and face justice in the courts.

Local Government Elections are coming up! Visit to check your voter registration status. 

SIU preliminary report: MEC Lesufi must make it public to ensure justice for children still learning in asbestos schools

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes that the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) MEC, Panyaza Lesufi has received the Special Investigative Unit’s (SIU) preliminary report on decontamination of Gauteng schools and demands that it must be made public to ensure transparency and accountability in dealing with identified and implicated officials.

The GDE wasted more than R431 million on decontamination of schools within three months. This money could have been used to eradicate asbestos schools, and build more classrooms to reduce overcrowding.  On a daily basis, so many children are having their health put at risk with the exposure to asbestos.  Classroom overcrowding is also not conducive during Covid-19. If this money was spent appropriately, it would have ensured that learners are taught in a conducive learning environment where their educational development could be nurtured.

This information was revealed by the department during the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s (GPL) Education Portfolio Committee meeting.

According to the department’s presentation, MEC Lesufi has received a preliminary report from the SIU with specific recommendations for the HOD to implement. The report has also been provided to the HOD for his consideration and action.

The recommendations include the institution of disciplinary processes against officials in the department in line with the Public Service Act and Public Service Regulations. The department is required to appoint an external legal practitioner or firm to review the report, formulate the charges and initiate them on behalf of the department. The department is also required to appoint an independent legal practitioner as the presiding officer of the disciplinary hearing.

In response to the recommendations, the HOD has considered the recommendations and has appointed an external legal team to evaluate the findings and supporting evidence, and to formulate charges against the identified officials. The HOD is currently awaiting legal advice on the recommendations, charges, and quality of evidence.

The DA welcomes the SIU’s preliminary report, and the progress made so far and believes that this is a step in the right direction to ensure that the department recovers all monies meant to ensure that our children receive quality education and are taught in a conducive environment.

We demand that MEC Lesufi must make this report public for transparency and accountability to the people of Gauteng who want to know what happened, and the role played by the implicated officials during this process. This will ensure that those implicated are dealt with accordingly and that absolutely nothing is swept under the carpet, with the monies are recovered. This will also set an example to all the government officials across all Gauteng departments that failure to adhere to the Public Finance Management Act and Treasury regulations will result in severe consequence management being implemented.

The DA will continue put pressure on MEC Lesufi to make this report public and to monitor the progress of implementation of the SIU preliminary report recommendations to ensure that those who are implicated are brought to book and they pay back every cent owed to the education of our children.

Local Government Elections are coming up! Visit to check your voter registration status.

Were the people of Gauteng robbed of R2,5 billion?

While people in Gauteng are vulnerable to the very dire risks of Covid-19, it is extremely concerning that the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigation has not yet revealed its report into possible corruption related to the building of Covid-19 related infrastructure.

In response to allegations of corruption, President Cyril Ramaphosa, instructed the SIU to investigate all government spending in terms of Covid-19 regulations. This included Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as health infrastructure. As we now know, the PPE tenders were manipulated to unjustly enrich people connected to the ruling party and the question now being asked is whether the same manipulation was applied to tenders for the building of R2,5 billion worth of Covid-19 related infrastructure. This infrastructure was meant to bolster hospital capacity in response to the pandemic.

At the beginning of June, the provincial government had spent R2,01 billion of the original budget, with a further R513 million to be spent in the current financial year.

While the SIU has confirmed to the DA that the infrastructure projects that have been undertaken as part of the government’s Covid-19 response are under investigation, there has been no feedback on how this element of the investigation is going.

Extremely poor planning resulted in a budget of R589 million being allocated to create just 181 ICU beds at Anglo-Gold Ashanti when that amount of money could have built a whole new hospital from scratch. In addition, R264 million was spent on the now decommissioned Nasrec facility, where the majority of beds were not utilised, resulting in wasteful expenditure.

Despite the huge expenditure, many of the facilities have not been available to treat Covid-19 patients. Who knows how many people have become incredibly sick, or even died as a result?

The people of Gauteng have a legitimate expectation that the money they contribute via their taxes will be spent wisely for the benefit of all the people of this province.

The DA will not hesitate to hold the government to account to ensure that public funds are not stolen or wasted. We will continue to pressure the government and the SIU to provide information relating to the infrastructure spend as the people of Gauteng deserve to know exactly how their taxes are spent.

Local Government Elections are coming up! Visit to check your voter registration status.

SIU Report: DA calls for suspension of top Gauteng Education Department officials

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi to immediately suspend Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) Head of Department (HOD), Edward Mosuwe, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Johan van Coller and Supply Chain Management Chief Director, Samora Mhlophe following the Special Investigative Unit’s (SIU) report findings that 173 service providers appointed to decontaminate Gauteng schools were not accredited and not on the Central Supplier Database.

The Gauteng Department of Education irregularly spent more than R431 million on decontamination of schools within three months. 

The DA welcomes the SIU’s report findings and progress made so far and believes the recovered money should immediately be allocated to eradicating asbestos schools and classrooms, as well as the construction of more classrooms to alleviate overcrowding in schools. This will ensure more effective teaching and learning for students. 

The SIU has frozen the assets of 14 entities linked to over R431 million school decontamination tenders. The SIU was granted an order by the Special Tribunal to freeze assets and bank accounts worth R40.7 million which belong to seven companies, five individuals and two family trusts, to which the department awarded contracts.

This is a step in the right direction to ensure that they recover all our monies meant to ensure that our children receive quality education and are taught in a conducive environment.

The SIU report described the selection and appointment of suppliers to sanitise schools as haphazard and unfair as the Supply Chain Management Division was not involved in the process. The names of the service providers that were appointed were received via WhatsApp from the department’s officials. The fee paid to the service providers bears no relation to the work done.

All this points to the HOD, CFO and the Supply Chain Management Chief Director’s failure to adequately review and monitor compliance in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act and treasury regulations.

These three top officials of the department failed in their responsibilities to ensure that this tender is above board and that policies of supply chain management, procurement processes and financial management are adhered to.

They must explain what happened, where they were when all this happened and what role they played during this process. These three individuals are the main signatories and the decision makers within the department and should be taken to task and held accountable. 

So far, the SIU findings has revealed their incompetency and inability to lead this department as they have failed to follow proper supply chain and tender processes which has resulted in an irregular expenditure of more than R431 million.

We will not allow the behaviour of three individuals to bring the department that have a crucial role to play on the future of our children, to its knees.

The DA will continue to monitor the progress of the SIU investigation to ensure that those who are implicated are brought to book and they pay back every cent owed to the education of our children.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit to check your voter registration status.

DA calls for SIU investigation into LTE Consulting housing corruption scandal

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura to ask the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to urgently investigate the Gauteng housing project corruption scandal involving LTE Consulting.

The DA has learnt through media reports that LTE Consulting has been paid more than R938 million since 2014 for more than 25 Gauteng housing projects.

It is alleged that of the R938 million paid to LTE Consulting, records show that R224 million of those funds were for projects that LTE Consulting claims it has never worked on.

The LTE Consulting has denied that it was paid R224 million for the following projects: Diepsloot East, Simunye Extension 2 in Johannesburg and Bikoville in Hammanskraal, Tshwane yet records show that the payment was made by the department to LTE Consulting with regards to the mentioned housing projects.

LTE Consulting has been receiving lucrative government contracts from the ANC-led administrations across the province namely, Ekurhuleni and the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements.

It is also alleged that LTE Consulting has donated millions of rands to the ANC in Gauteng and its local structures.

This clearly indicates that these donations were made as a golden handshake in exchange for tenders.

A lack of financial control has been a major challenge for this department resulting in money being wasted with nothing to show for it.

The R224 million paid to LTE Consulting could have built over 750 RDP houses for our people who are desperately in need of dignified housing.

It is unacceptable for the department to pay millions to service providers when the service has not been rendered.

The DA calls on Premier Makhura to ask the SIU to investigate the Gauteng housing project scandal involving the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements and LTE Consulting.

Should LTE Consulting be found to have received these funds, then they should pay back the money and officials from the department and politicians who are implicated should face the might of the law.

Gauteng Health Head should be suspended

Gauteng Premier David Makhura should immediately suspend Professor Mkululi Lukhele, the Head of the Gauteng Health Department, who is implicated by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in the irregular award of PPE contracts according to a report in City Press newspaper today.

According to the report, damning evidence has been unearthed of price tampering, inflation of the value of goods, and collusion between Gauteng health officials and companies that were awarded lucrative PPE contracts.

This includes R80 million payments to a company owned by presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko’s husband, Nkosi Thandisizwe Diko. The Diko’s are family friends of suspended Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife Loyiso.

The SIU has reportedly found that Lukhele failed to institute disciplinary processes against Lehloenya even after her “unlawful and irregular conduct” was reported to him.

Makhura has been inexplicably slow in suspending Lukhele who is the accounting officer for the department and was plainly derelict in his duty to ensure that proper procurement procedures were followed.

Last month I called for Lukhele’s suspension after it was revealed in a reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature that he

authorized the choice of a fishy company for a R140 million contract that was found to be irregular and cancelled after R17.2 million was already paid.

The SIU reports need to be made public and criminal charges instituted against all those implicated in corruption.

I welcome the SIU’s reported recommendation that Lehloenya and Lukhele pay back R29.7 million that was overpaid to Ledla Structural Development, a company used to channel money to Diko’s company Royal Bhaka.

Swift action is needed to recover funds and clean up the deep rot in this department, which needs new political and administrative leadership untainted by previous failures.

Top Gauteng Health Official still not disciplined 12 years after fishy contract

A Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report recommended that a top official in the Gauteng Health Department face disciplinary action for the appointment of a fishy contract 12 years ago, but this was not implemented because the SIU reported wrongly that he had left the Department.

This is revealed by Acting Gauteng Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

I asked why this official, who is a director of human resources management and organizational development, had not been disciplined even though the SIU criticized his role in the irregular appointment of Kalvest Consulting Services for a R127 000 contract to evaluate a transformation project at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in May 2008. The SIU says that Kalvest was appointed through an unjustified deviation from the tender process and did not do a proper job.

According to Mamabolo, the Department is aware that the official was adversely mentioned in the SIU report, which was completed in March 2017 but only made public in May 2018. Furthermore, he confirms that the Department is aware that the SIU report indicates erroneously that the official had left.

Mamabolo now says that he has instructed the Department “to compile a report on all outstanding disciplinary cases and immediately institute disciplinary measures.”

I wonder what other disciplinary matters have been delayed or ignored for years, and who is protecting these officials. Why is it only now that an Acting MEC is cracking the whip on these cases?

The rot in this department needs to be thoroughly cleaned out, otherwise the thievery and massive wastage of resources will continue instead of quality care provided to everyone.