More than 50 employees who bought posts through a jobs-for-cash scam at a Gauteng hospital have been allowed to remain as employees of the facility after they exposed senior officials who were implicated in the illegal operation. A Sowetan report says this is according to Jerry Mosasane, the spokesperson for Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital in Jabulani, Soweto. The Hawks are also investigating the scandal.
The report says according to Mosasane, 111 disciplinary hearings were conducted at the hospital after reports that officials were selling posts for nurses, porters and clerks for amounts ranging from R2,500 to R10,000. Mosasane said 52 people who had bought the posts were allowed to remain as employees after they co-operated with authorities by identifying senior officials who were involved in the scam.
The officials included a deputy director for nursing who was acting CEO of the facility at the time, human resources officials and line managers.
The Gauteng Health Department has conducted disciplinary hearings in the instances at the hospital, Democratic Alliance (DA) MPL Jack Bloom is quoted in News24 as saying. This was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramakgopa in response to a question Bloom posed in the Gauteng provincial legislature.
Bloom said Ramakgopa told the legislature that trade unions had helped to uncover the “huge jobs scam” and the Hawks were now investigating it.
“Cases have also been opened with the police for employees who extorted money under the false pretences that they could get jobs for people at the hospital. All but eight of the 111 cases had been finalised, resulting in various periods of suspension for 98 employees, one demotion, some dismissals and a resignation,” said Bloom.
An assassin had even been hired to murder the hospital CEO, but he had been caught and convicted and was awaiting sentencing, Bloom added. The report says it is alleged that Zandi Qwabe, a clerk at the hospital, organised hitmen to kill the CEO and the labour relations manager. This was reportedly revealed during a press briefing in December 2017.
Bloom said it was concerning that most of the implicated officials were still at work.
He said there were also “serious accusations” that a senior manager had offered jobs for sex but no one had laid a formal complaint.
Ramakgopa wanted to create an “enabling environment” for people to come forward if they had any information about this, said Bloom. “It is very distressing that senior hospital management was unable to prevent such large-scale corruption,” he said.
The report said the Health Department did not respond to a request for comment.