Special Investigating Unit welcomes sacking of EC health MEC

Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba has been fired.
Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba has been fired.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the decision by Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane to relieve health MEC Sindiswa Gomba of her duties on Thursday.

Mabuyane also committed to subjecting the former superintendent-general of the health department to a disciplinary inquiry.

This relates to their involvement in the procurement of motorcycle ambulances to the value of R10,148,750. In September 2020, the Special Tribunal granted an order interdicting the Eastern Cape health department from further implementing the controversial R10m mobile clinic scooter contract.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) sought the order after allegations that the department purportedly expedited the contract for the procurement of 100 mobile clinic scooters from Fabkomp (Pty) Ltd in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The SIU investigated the allegations relating to this procurement and found that the procurement process was irregular and made findings relating to the MEC and the former superintendent of the Eastern Cape provincial department of health,” said SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

Kganyago said the SIU made two referrals relating to the MEC and the former superintendent, which recommended administrative action and disciplinary action respectively.

The referrals were made to Mabuyane on February 1 and supplemented on February 12.

Kganyago said in view of the contract award that was irregularly made by the department, The SIU instituted civil proceedings in the Special Tribunal to interdict the department from executing the contract and making any payment based on it.

“The Special Tribunal granted SIU the interdict and interdicted the department from making any payments to the supplier and from accepting delivery of any goods from the supplier, pending the finalisation of review proceedings to challenge the validity of the award and resulting contract. The civil proceedings to review and cancel the contract have been instituted by SIU in the Special Tribunal and the matter will be heard on April 22 2021,” he said.