North West provincial government commits to combat corruption

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The North West Provincial Government (NWPG) says no stone will be left unturned in its fight against crime, greed and corruption.

The statement comes as the provincial government held a briefing on Thursday morning to address recent protests that engulfed Mahikeng last week, leaving the city at a standstill as protesters looted and set public and private property alight.

“We have instituted 29 forensic investigations and 22 of them have been completed. We will also pursue former public servants, who are fraudulently living in government houses for free, costing us thousands of rand in rates and taxes.

“In this regard, we are going to intensify our struggle against greed, crime and corruption without fear or favour,” said the Education and Sport Development MEC Sello Lehari on behalf of the NWPG.

MEC Lehari was joined by MEC Manketsi Tlhape of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development, and Community Safety and Transport Management MEC Mpho Motlhabane.

The violent protests saw President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was on a working visit to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, cut his trip short, to attend to the challenges that engulfed in the town.  

According to the President, issues with the Premier and corruption in the province were some of the concerns raised during a meeting he held with the provincial government and political leadership to discuss ways to quell the violence.  

Strike action in the North West Health department 

In February, following allegations of corruption into the procurement of medical mobile unit, Mediosa, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo instituted an investigation.

On Tuesday, the provincial government released a statement confirming that a report looking into the procurement of Mediosa had been concluded.

“The forensic investigation in relation to Mediosa has been completed and the report was delivered to the Department of Health yesterday for implementation of the recommendations.

“The next phase of the investigation relates to other contracts, to name but a few: Buthelezi emergency medical services, High Care emergency medical services, Moepathutsi and OGC Bokone Bophirima property developers,” said MEC Lehari.

While violent protests have calmed down after the President paid a visit, an ongoing strike between the trade union, NEHAWU and the Health Department has since picked up steam with healthcare workers downing tools, leaving patients displaced.

In a bid to curb the impact on patients and members of the public, the South African Military Health Services has stepped in to assist.

“We would heartily like to thank the South African Military Health Services for ensuring continuity of the provision of health services in Mahikeng,” said MEC Lehari.

MEC Lehari said Premier Mahumapelo has appointed a team of three MECs to attend to the issues facing government employees in Health and Social Development. The MEC said government and NEHAWU are in talks to end the strike.

“We want to applaud NEHAWU leadership for the robust manner in which discussions have been taking place,” said the MEC.

Ngaka Modiri Molema District has been hard hit through the closure of central medical depot, clinics and two major hospitals. Disruptions have also spread to some facilities at Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati and Bojanala Districts.

“The unfortunate victims are the largest sections of society who do not have an alternative to the services provided by public health. Most of the patients who receive chronic medication and have not had access to medication stand to develop severe resistance which has a deadly consequence on their lives,” said the provincial government.

MEC Lehari said while government respects the right to protest, it urged residents to do so by using existing democratic platforms to express their views.

“It is our call to all people of the North West in general and in particular the affected areas to use existing democratic platforms to express their views. We want to reiterate that every citizen must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise by courts of law,” said the MEC. – 

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