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Wednesday, 03 July 2024 14:42

Gauteng Health Dept acted improperly in the appointment of Tembisa Hospital CEO |PP.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The Public Protector has found that the Gauteng Department of Health acted improperly in the appointment of the late Dr Ashley Mthunzi as the CEO of Tembisa Hospital.

The investigation found that there were material discrepancies in Mthunzi's application form, which were not properly investigated by the department.

Mthunzi died in April this year following a short illness.

The report also found that the department failed to subject Mthunzi to screening before making the appointment.

This included checking his financial stability, citizenship and criminal record.

Mthunzi was parachuted into the post in July 2021 by then-Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi.

The complaint was subsequently lodged by DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom back in 2022.

"The allegation that there were irregularities by the functionaries of the department during the recruitment and selection process of Mthunzi as the CEO of Tembisa Hospital is substantiated," the report found.

"The verification of Mthunzi's citizenship and existence of pending disciplinary proceedings could have been confirmed by the functionaries directly with the candidate and with his current employer."

Mthunzi was suspended after being implicated in the Special Investigating Unit's forensic investigation report on fraud, corruption, and maladministration at the hospital.

The SIU is probing the alleged irregular awarding of tenders to more than 200 service providers by the hospital supply chain management.

In 2021, Health Department official Babita Deokaran blew the whistle on irregular tenders worth more than R850 million at the same hospital; she was later assassinated.

The Public Protector made limited recommendations due to the departure of then-Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi and the subsequent resignation of then-Selection Committee members.

However, the remedial action was made against the head of the department.

"Within 120 days to appoint a service provider to conduct personnel suitability checks to all senior management personnel including non-SMS personnel in the supply chain management," the Public Protector report said.