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Appointment of NW Health HOD: The more things change, the more they stay the same

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Appointment of NW Health HOD: The more things change, the more they stay the same

8th April 2021

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) in North West rejects the Department of Health’s recent appointment of Obakeng Mongale as its Head of Department (HOD).

This appointment, as announced by MEC Madoda Sambatha yesterday, signals continued failed attempts to steer the Department into the right direction.

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Obakeng Mongale, former HOD of Department of Public Works, is not a new figure to North West administration. He left in 2014 under a cloud of controversy after being named in a tender scandal along with former Provincial Director-General, Lydia Sebegoe, who was the HOD of Health at the time.

In a forensic report by JGL Forensic Accounting Services shortly after, it was stated that they both failed to comply with the provisions of the Public Finance and Management Act and the Division of Revenue Act.

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The investigators recommended that disciplinary procedures be instituted against all senior officials implicated in the wrongdoing.  Mongale however, left without any action taken against him.

It is shocking that this Department, after hailing itself as a paragon of discipline in recent days by suspending officials left and right, will now appoint a person who has previously been accused of misconduct.

This appointment follows the vacancy that was left by another controversial figure, Thabo Lekalakala who is currently standing trial for failing to follow supply chain processes.

The fact that the Department has been under administration in terms of Section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution since 2018, along with a list of scandals ever since, proves that it is not capable of taking healthcare forward.

The DA will submit questions to the MEC to find out who the other candidates were, copies of their CVs, their background checks and security clearance certificates and the interview report that led to the appointment of Mr Mongale.

We will further request our national health spokesperson, Siviwe Gwarube, to direct the same questions to the Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, in order to ascertain how this appointment was concluded under his watch as the Executive Authority of the Department, as outlined in the Section 100 protocols.

Issued by DA

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