Hospital managers 'corrupt'

TENSE: Nehamu says nepotism led to employment of 100 cleaners at the hospital.  Cicra 2008. Pic. Peggy Nkomo.  © Sowetan.
TENSE: Nehamu says nepotism led to employment of 100 cleaners at the hospital. Cicra 2008. Pic. Peggy Nkomo. © Sowetan.

Sipho Masombuka

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union has threatened to go on strike if the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria fails to act on recommendations to take disciplinary action against five managers accused of corruption.

The threat follows recommendations by the Gauteng Shared Services Centre (GSSC), which investigated the employment of 100 cleaners in August 2006.

Upon the completion of their probe in September last year, the GSSC recommended that the hospital's CEO Dr Ernest Kenoshi initiate disciplinary action against the five managers.

The GSSC launched the investigation after concerned staff claimed that a number of posts were occupied by people who did not meet the requirements. These people, they claimed, were friends or relatives of the managers.

The GSSC discovered that most of those appointed had lied about their work experience and educational qualifications. Some of them had allegedly submitted their application forms long after the deadline.

One of the cleaners, whose name is known to Sowetan, admitted to investigators that she had filled in an application form on behalf of a relative and that she was part of the panel that short-listed her. Although she admitted to wrong-doing, she disagreed with investigators that her actions amounted to fraud and corruption.

The investigation also fingered three other senior hospital staff, also known to Sowetan, and accused them of corruption. One of them has since resigned.

GSSC senior manager of employee relations Fezile Cakwebe said their duty was only to investigate and make recommendations.

"I cannot comment on the actions or lack of thereafter. Our responsibility ends when we submit our report containing the recommendations," Cakwebe said.

The hospital's spokesman Fredah Kobo said the managers fingered in the investigation would not be charged because there was no case against them.

Nehawu provincial chairman Joe Mpisi said the union had tried to talk to Kenoshi about the matter but he had declined to discuss the issue.

"We commissioned our own investigation, and we also recommended that the managers be charged with corruption. We are surprised that this has not happened. This leaves us with no choice but to go on strike on a date still to be set," he said.

Kenoshi could not be reached for comment.