North West health boss gets bail in Gupta-linked fraud case

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North West Health boss Dr Thabo Lekalakala has been granted R5,000 bail by the Molopo Magistrates Court in Mmabatho after being arrested for fraud, corruption and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act. A report on the IoL site says Lekalakala was arrested on Friday morning for the alleged fraudulent appointment of Gupta-linked company, Cureva – later known as Mediosa – as a service provider of mobile clinics in the rural areas of the province.

He allegedly appointed Mediosa without proper tender procedures. Instead, he allegedly signed a service level agreement (SLA) whilst on a trip to India funded by Mediosa. Mediosa was paid an upfront amount of R30m soon after the SLA was signed.

The case against him was postponed to 12 February for a High Court date. In another case, Lekalakala will appear alongside former North West Finance MEC Wendy Nelson. They face a charge of fraud relating to Lekalakala’s appointment as head of department in 2014. It is alleged Lekalakala lied about his qualifications and did not qualify for the position. They are out on R20,000 bail each in this case.

The Hawks did not say much about the charges of fraud, corruption and two counts of contravention of Public Finance Management Act but City Press reports that they relate to the controversial Mediosa mobile clinic tender which was sealed by Lekalakala.

According to an internal communiqué of the Hawks on the planned arrest of Lekalakala: “The allegations are that Dr Andrew Thabo Lekalakala employed by the department of health in the North West Province as the head of the department appointed an entity by the name of Cureva, later known as Mediosa, on 2017-02-21. Cureva/Mediosa was to provide mobile clinics to service the rural areas in North West Province,” the communiqué read.

Report on the IoL site

City Press report

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