Hospersa demands meeting with Mchunu

ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairman and premier Senzo Mchunu Photo: Sandile Ndlovu

Durban – About 200 members of the Hospersa trade union marched through Pietermaritzburg on Friday afternoon to demand a meeting with KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu over mismanagement and corruption in the province’s health department.

The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of SA memorandum that was handed over to Zakhele Mnqayi, the deputy director-general, accused the province’s health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and health department head Sibongile Zungu of “presiding over a department that is perpetually in a state of mismanagement and corruption”.

Hospersa spokeswoman Michelle Connolly, who read out the memorandum before it was handed over, highlighted examples of what the union perceived as mismanagement.

Referring to a recent Sapa report that the department had leased a hospital lorry for R52.8 million and bought another for R4.9

million, Connolly said the explanations on the tender awarded to Mzansi Lifecare (Pty) Ltd were needed.

“Furthermore, Mzansi Lifecare, one of the service providers in question, actually threatened a journalist investigating this matter.

“What type of conduct is that from a service provider? Does the state now enter into contracts with thugs who have no respect for basic democratic processes or for the principle of freedom of speech?”

She also questioned Dhlomo’s failure to answer questions put to him in the provincial legislature.

Connolly said the province’s health department had still failed to provide a reasonable explanation as to why two state-of-the art cancer radiotherapy machines that cost R120 million were standing idle.

“The tender relating to the procurement of this radiography equipment has been under investigation since 2009, yet, to date, nobody has been charged,” she said.

She said there was also a crisis when it came to the provincial ambulance service and pointed out that patients at Stanger Provincial Hospital, King Edward VIII and Addington hospitals in Durban “couldn’t even get a diagnosis” because those hospitals CT scanners were out of order. The department, she said, had failed to service the machines.

She questioned the department’s decision to provide police case numbers that did not match the crimes that were allegedly being investigated in the department.

Earlier this month the Democratic Alliance revealed that three case numbers related to corruption investigation and which provided by the department to the KZN Legislature’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts were in fact cases for urinating in public, malicious damage to property and driving without a drivers licence.

“While Hospersa is already aware that the MEC is a liar, as he has proven that much to us, the notion that fraudsters are running one of the most important portfolios in the province is incomprehensible.

Hospersa demands a meeting with KZN premier Senzo Mchunu,” said Connolly.

Independent Online