21 June 2018
Twelve public servants and politicians, and 10 private sector companies have been implicated in corruption in Gauteng Department of Health between January 2006 and May 2010. Business Report stated.
Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa but it is highly urbanised, containing the country’s largest city, Johannesburg and its administrative capital, Pretoria.
Former President Jacob Zuma appointed a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in 2010 to investigate the corruption. SIU handed its report to Jacob Zuma after seven years in March 2017. The report was never released to the public. It was only released over a year later in May 2018 by the Ramaphosa administration following a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) request by the civil society organisation SECTION27.
Of those implicated a few have been lightly disciplined after disciplinary enquiries, others were allowed to resign and walk away and Brian Hlongwa (in picture above) remains in office, seemingly protected. Hlongwa is the chief whip of ANC Gauteng.
Many of the matters that were referred to the SIU for investigation involved a small firm called 3P Consulting, which went into liquidation. 3P Consulting provided kickbacks, luxury trips and other corrupt benefits to senior politicians, including Hlongwa, who was a member of the executive council at that time. 3P Consulting seconded 20 of its staff members to key positions within the department, including an acting chief financial officer who approved payments to 3P Consulting. The SIU could not find any document requesting the secondment of 3P Consulting personnel.
3P Consulting provided 10 overseas trips to Hlongwa, Mookeletsi and Rahman between 2006 and 2009. These included trips to London, Vienna, Mauritius, Dubai, Singapore, with all expenses paid by 3P Consulting. The SIU report also lists bribes paid when Hlongwa bought a house in Bryanston valued at R7.2m in 2007 through one of his companies.
The Gauteng Health Department is currently in debt of more than $438million. Civil society organisations have said that Gauteng health system is in crisis. Telephone lines to the Gauteng Health Department’s head office have been cut because Telkom has not been paid. One hundred Gauteng ambulances are out of operation every day. Thousands of Gauteng patients not receiving correct medicines.
The civil society partner organisations (Section 27, Treatment Action Campaign(TAC) and Corruption Watch) will actively engage the Gauteng government and the Presidency to ensure implementation of the policy recommendations contained in the SIU report. They want Hlongwa to be removed swiftly and investigations into other corrupt officials to go ahead speedily.