The newly appointed CEO of the Far East Rand Hospital, Dr Zachariah Mathaba, was employed despite facing charges of gross dishonesty for allegedly being paid overtime for two years that he “did not fulfil”, according to a report in The Sunday Independent. Mathaba is one of the 11 CEOs appointed by Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku at the end of October. This was revealed by Masuku at the Gauteng Legislature.
According to Masuku, Mathaba was charged in January this year for “gross dishonesty in that he applied for commuted or fixed overtime from 1 September, 2017, to 31 March, 2018, and 1 April, 2018, to 31 March, 2019, and did not fulfil his commuted overtime contractual obligation,” Masuku said. This occurred when he was a doctor at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital. Masuku said the normal disciplinary process is ongoing.
When asked why Mathaba had been appointed despite the serious charges against him, the report says Masuku’s spokesperson Philani Mhlungu downplayed the allegations, saying that the department has noted all media queries. “The department can confirm that the candidate has been appointed as CEO of Far East Rand Hospital. The Public Service Commission has made final findings on the matter, and the department intends to implement its recommendations,” said Mhlungu.
DA Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said he was shocked that Mathaba had been appointed despite serious charges against him that had not been finalised since January.
Meanwhile, the Gauteng Health Department released a statement saying it continues to fill all critical posts in a bid to maintain high standards of healthcare in academic, tertiary and specialised hospitals. A total of 1 974 posts are to be filled by the end of the current financial year.The Sunday Independent report (subscription needed)