health mec in court over 'cancer scanner fraud'

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The embattled KwaZulu-Natal department of health has been dealt another blow.

This after MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, pictured, is expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg regional court today on charges of corruption.

Nkonyeni was implicated in charges of fraud and corruption a few months ago for allegedly interfering with a tender process in her department when buying a cancer-detecting scanner. It is alleged that the department bought the scanner at an inflated price from Rowmoor Investment that is allegedly linked to her husband.

The scanner was bought for R1,5million while it is alleged to cost about R500000.

Sowetan has learnt that she was summonsed to appear in court but was not formally charged. The charges will be known when she appears in court today.

Last year Nkonyeni's former HOD, Busi Nyembezi, left the department after an independent forensic investigation fingered her in several tenders, including one for R15million. Nyembezi was initially suspended by Premier S'bu Ndebele and later tendered her resignation. The report on her alleged misconduct was never made public. Soon after, the Scorpions began investigating Nkonyeni.

Nkonyeni also serves as the ANC's provincial treasurer and is a member of the party's provincial list committee as it gears up for next year's elections.

ANC provincial secretary Senzo Mchunu said the ANC had received news that the Scorpions have laid charges against Nkonyeni. National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Tlali Tlali has vehemently denied any knowledge of the case.

Provincial health department spokesman Leon Mbangwa said they were busy preparing their statements.