EC health dept to freeze salaries

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
By: 
Thando Cezula

East London - The Eastern Cape Health Department will be freezing the salaries of several staff members as part of its investigations into large-scale fraud, corruption and maladministration.

Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo on Monday said 260 cases of financial irregularity, amounting to R36 million, are currently being investigated by the department.

"We are in a process of freezing these officials' salaries. This is an illustration that the department doesn't tolerate fraud, corruption and maladministration. All individuals found guilty will be dealt with harshly," said Kupelo.

So far, the internal investigation by the department has resulted in 42 officials being dismissed for various offences, including two doctors, hospital managers, middle managers and a pharmacist.

"These officials were accused of allegations ranging from theft, fraud, sexual harassment and rape," said Kupelo.

The department's internal appeals committee rejected appeals by the disgraced officials for their dismissals to be reconsidered.

Kupelo added that a number of other officials are still being investigated for allegedly using state ambulances for unauthorised purposes. 

He said it has also been established that 100 companies, currently doing business with the department, belong to employees. He said these companies benefitted from tenders worth R6.7 million between April and December last year.

"We are trying to establish whether the tenders were awarded legally or not," said Kupelo. - BuaNews

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