Probe into 111 ‘cash for jobs’ cases at Soweto hospital nears completion
Gauteng’s health department has conducted disciplinary hearings for 111 cases involving a “cash for jobs” scam at the Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital in Soweto.
DA Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said this was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in an oral reply to his questions in the Gauteng Legislature on Tuesday.
Ramokgopa‚ in her response‚ divulged that trade unions had helped to uncover the scam and it had been handed over to the Hawks for investigation.
The department began its probe in 2017.
“The situation was so bad that an assassin had been hired to murder the hospital CEO‚ but he had been caught and convicted‚ and was currently awaiting sentence‚” said Bloom.
Ramokgopa said at a media briefing in December 2017 that Zandi Qwabe‚ a clerk at the hospital‚ had organised hitmen to have the CEO and the labour relations manager killed.
“She was convicted on 13 November 2017 for conspiring to commit murder‚” Ramokgopa said at the time.
Bloom said cases had also been opened with the police for employees who had extorted money under the false pretence that they could secure jobs for people at the hospital. The hospital was opened in 2014.
“All but eight of the 111 cases have been finalised — resulting in various periods of suspension for 98 employees‚ one demotion‚ some dismissals and a resignation‚” said Bloom.
The revelations about the outcome of the health department’s probe follows another cash-for-jobs case that is being investigated by the Gauteng education department.
Bloom said he was concerned that the vast majority of those who got jobs for cash were still working at the hospital‚ which had a reputation for “poor service”.
Bloom added that there were serious accusations in 2017 that a senior manager had offered jobs for sex‚ but Ramokgopa disclosed that nobody had come forward to lay a formal complaint. She said she offered an enabling environment for anyone who still wanted to make a complaint in this regard‚ according to Bloom.
“It is very distressing that senior hospital management was unable to prevent such large-scale corruption‚” said Bloom.
“Only the best people should have been hired to provide quality care at this hospital. There should be dire consequences for those who undermined the appointment system.”