Govt fires health chief

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Mpumalanga health department head Confidence Moloko has been sacked.

The provincial government announced on Friday that Moloko would leave the provincial administration from April 1, one year before his contract expires.

"Since Moloko became head of health and social services the department has confronted many challenges, including high management and staff vacancy levels," said the director-general in the premier's office, Khanya Ngema.

Sibongile Zungu, current deputy-director-general, has been appointed acting head of the department.

"The department is facing the future with much greater confidence than before," he said.

Moloko was appointed to his R850000-a-year post in April 2006. The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union has long called for Moloko to be sacked.

The union blames Moloko for the crisis caused by an ongoing shortage of doctors.

The union has since 2006 accused Moloko of sabotaging medical services and appealed to Premier Thabang Makwetla to dismiss him.

Sowetan reported earlier that a crisis was developing in Mpumalanga state hospitals and that patients were being left unattended because of a shortage of doctors.

"We welcome this long overdue decision," Manana said. "Poor people seeking medical services had to endure Moloko's incompetence for too long.

"We presented a petition to Makwetla in 2006, citing numerous problem areas in the public healthcare sector resulting from Moloko's lack of leadership qualities and sense of duty and his apparent hostility towards workers,"

Moloko is accused of having caused the low morale in the department. During his stay more than 10 senior managers left.