Doctor in possession of state medication appears in court

Monday, September 7, 2009
Gabi Khumalo

Mafikeng - A North West private doctor, who was found in possession of state medication, has made a brief appearance at the Ganyesa Magistrate Court.

Dr Tshepo Maebana, who works as a private doctor and part time doctor at a public hospital, was arrested on Friday after being found in possession of state medication at his private surgeries, for commercial purpose.

North West Police accompanied by provincial MEC for Health and Social Development Rebecca Kasienyane raided the two surgeries in Morokweng and Ganyesa on Friday and recovered medication dispatched for public health facilities in the district.

At Morokweng, the police uncovered boxes of medication and pills clearly labelled as government property.

On questioning, the suspect refuted the allegations of theft levelled against him and denied any knowledge of the medication but failed to explain how the medication labelled as government property ended in his surgeries.

He was then taken to his second surgery in Ganyesa where the police uncovered more boxes of state medication. With the evidence at hand, the suspect was then arrested.

Expressing her disappointment on the recent incidents, MEC Kasienyane said the department was faced with many challenges and could not afford to have state resources being diverted elsewhere for self enrichment by fraudulent people, let alone a doctor.

"It is a sham! It is theft, if this allegation can be proofed to true. We were alerted about this alleged theft and upon receiving the information, we requested immediate investigation.

"It is suspected that this might very well be the work of a syndicate and if it happens that there are people within the department who are involved, we will act swiftly in imposing the law," said MEC Kasienyane.

She said she was more worried about the fact that the suspect also worked on a part time basis at one of the provincial facilities, the Taung District Hospital, which raises more suspicions of an internal network operation.

"It is difficult at this stage to determine the value of the medication stolen as there are indications that this theft has been going on for some time," she said.

The case was postponed to 14 September 2009

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