Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Hardly a day after Sowetan exposed the deteriorating and appalling conditions at the Helene Franz Hospital in Blouberg, outside Polokwane, chairperson of the board, Dan Mosena, was fired.

The department of health fired Mosena for talking to the media about the conditions at the hospital. He was fired by health MEC Seaparo Sekoati in terms of the National Health Act.

The act gives powers to the MEC to appoint and fire members of the hospital board.

"Mosena's role as board chairperson is to advise the management of the institution on issues related to service delivery and not to work against it," said the department.

The department said instead of doing so, Mosena has been running to the media with information without even having a clear understanding of what the information was all about.

Spokesman Phuti Seloba confirmed Mosena's dismissal, saying among other reasons Mosena did not tell the public that the hospital was one of those earmarked for revitalisation.

Mosena has also allegedly failed to convene meetings of the board since his appointment in November last year.

Mosena had allegedly refused to attend workshops called by the department to make sure he understood his role.

"In light of his actions, the department concluded that it had lost trust and confidence in him and that its relationship with him was irreparable," Seloba told Sowetan.

Seloba added that the hospital's chief executive would have to explain why he was unable to address the alleged problems at the institution.

Firing a board chairperson is not new at the hospital. In 2004 then chairperson Sanny Mannya was given the boot while the entire board was disbanded for "uncooperative behaviour".

The department at the time was led by then MEC Sello Moloto, the current Premier.

Mosena said a dismissal letter will not intimidate him.

He said he was appointed by the community and not the department.

"I am being used as a scapegoat in this crisis. I will take them to court and I will win," he said.