MEC to start on a clean slate

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The new Mpumalanga MEC for community safety, security and liaison says she will not allow the outcry over her appointment to shift her focus on her job.

Sibongile Manana had blundered when she was MEC for health in 2001. But Manana, who incurred the health department R100000 in legal costs between 2001 and 2004 when she refused to provide ARVs to raped women and prosecuted doctors who did so, has pledged to fight crime in Mpumalanga.

She has warned that the days for "rotten police" in the force were over and vowed to deal harshly with lawmen whose actions endangered the lives of innocent people.

Manana caused a row when, as MEC for health, she hounded out the Greater Nelspruit Rape Intervention Project, an NGO that ran a rape crisis centre in the province and funded ARV prescriptions.

One doctor who lost his job because he continued to prescribe ARVs to raped women, Dr Malcolm Naude, fought back.

He took the department to the Labour Court for unfair dismissal, arguing that he was following his conscience as a doctor and that politicians should not interfere with a doctor's professional judgment.

In October last year, the Labour Court found that Naude had been unfairly dismissed and awarded him R100000, with costs.

Manana said corruption and crime were among the key priorities of the new government.

She said public servants should educate the public to report crimes as they were stakeholders in crime prevention.

Manana urged officials to report corrupt and fraudulent activities in government so that communities could also learn to report crime to the police.

"We have been called by the president to serve the people. Let us change gears and move with speed by first cleaning out corruption within government while ensuring that service delivery is enhanced," she said.