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The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants answers on who is footing the bill for the ongoing legal costs of the Head of the provincial Health Department, Dr Dion Theys, and his co-accused in relation to criminal charges of violating the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).
This comes after Theys’ latest arrest alongside the Chief Financial Officer of Health, Mr Daniel Gaborone and other officials, in relation to the irregular procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw the health department suffer a loss of R16,9 million. The bail hearing was due to get underway in Kimberley today.
Theys was convicted of contravening Section 86(1) of the PFMA just last week in relation to lease agreements for nurses’ accommodation.
Given that the MEC of Health, Maruping Lekwene, confirmed in July last year that the health department was footing the legal bills for Theys, which at the time amounted to R1 million, we want to know whether the department continues to offer legal aide to Theys, as well as his co-accused. We also want to know whether the health department is paying their bail.
In addition, the Health Department must come clean on whether it has recouped legal fees relating to the previous trial of Dr Theys in which he was criminally convicted.
Violations of the PFMA facilitate fraud, corruption and money laundering. They are not financial mistakes that can simply be pardoned by government institutions, or even worse, paid for with state funds through endless expenditure on the legal fees of culprits, in addition to the actual losses suffered as a result of crime.
The DA will urgently submit parliamentary questions to the MEC of Health and the Premier regarding the legal fees and bail payments of Theys and company. Anyone who is prepared to rob the most sick and vulnerable people of society of health care, must themselves pay the price of justice.
Issued by Harold McGluwa MPL - DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader