Published on: 06 November 2023 Category: Media Statement

The North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha has on Monday, 06 November 2023 announced that the Department’s Superintendent-General Mr Obakeng Mongale hasbeen granted a special leave of absence to afford him time to deal with allegations of contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) which have been levelled against him.

The allegations have to do with a R470 million tender for the construction of Brits Hospital which Mr Mongale awarded when he was the HOD of the North West Department of Public Works in 2008. It is alleged that Mr Mongale awarded the tender to Ilima Projects and Tsoga Developments and that the two companies did not meet the tender requirements. “While the SG handed himself over to the police on the 3rd November 2023, he has protested his innocence and it is only fair that he should be given space and time to deal with the allegations. I have therefore granted him a special leave of absence pending the finalisation of his court case”, said MEC Madoda Sambatha

MEC Sambatha also indicated that affording the SG a special leave of absence will assist the department to seek legal counsel on the matter. However, the determination of leave of absence (clause 26.3) does provide for special leave for various reasons including “for any other purpose”. “I have also taken a decision to appoint the Chief Director for Corporate Services Dr Madipuo Tlhogane as the Acting Superintendent-General for the period of the special leave of absence of the substantive SG”, said MEC Sambatha

LATEST ON OTHER CASES INVOLVING TWO SENIOR MANAGERS The Department can also state that the disciplinary processes involving the former Chief Financial Officer, Ms Bertha Maleka has been concluded. The outcome of the disciplinary hearings found her guilty. She faced several charges including contravention of various supply chain management prescripts, contravention of the departmental records management policy, financial misconduct and others.

Another matter is that of Mr Vuyo Mbulawa who was transferred from the Office of the Premier (OOP) to the Department of Health in January 2023. Since his transfer, he never reported for duty due to alleged ill-health. He has since applied for temporary incapacity leave. The application has been referred to the Department’s Health Risk Managers for determination of whether the incapacity leave should or should not be approved. The application is thus pending. Prior to his appointment at Office of the Premier, Mr Mbulawa was a Corporate Services Chief Director in the Department of Health and was on several occasions appointed as the Acting HOD. He was charged with misconduct relating to the procurement of medical equipment for Moses Kotane and Joe Morolong Memorial hospital. He never attended any sitting of the disciplinary inquiry thereby occasioning several postponements. The reason for his non-attendance of the hearing is the alleged ill-health. His last attempt to have the case postponed did not succeed. The chairperson dismissed his application for a further postponement and the inquiry proceeded in his absence. The Department adduced evidence of its witnesses and closed its case. The chairperson of the inquiry is expected to hand down a ruling on the guilt or innocence of Mr Mbulawa before end of this month (November).

“In the light of the outcome of the disciplinary process involving the formers CFO, I have then given the Department a go ahead to advertise and fill the position of the CFO since it has now been officially vacated. On the matter involving Mr Mbulawa, I will therefore not temper with the current processes but will await the ruling by the chairperson of the enquiry”, concluded MEC Madoda Sambatha.

Enquiries: Tebogo Lekgethwane Department Spokesperson 0674227763

Khuthala Tshangela MLO MEC Support 0664586915

Issued by North West Department of Health END

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