Health Minister Joe Phaahla is adamant the security company contracted to guard Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital could not be linked to the theft charges after a fire that broke out at the health facility in April.
According to an IOL report, Phaahla said this when responding to written parliamentary questions by the IFP’s Duduzile Hlengwa. Hlengwa asked the minister whether, in light of a case opened for theft of items estimated at R200 000 at the hospital, he would explain how some fire doors were left unguarded when an amount of more than R3m was being spent on security detail each month at the hospital. She also asked whether the relevant security company was being held liable for the theft.
In his reply, Phaahla said Gauteng Health reported that immediately after the fire, the city had inspected the facility and found out that the hospital has more than 1 500 fire doors, which are at the back of the wards and lead to the fire escape routes. “The hospital had to remove burglar doors next to the fire doors and this meant wards were left with no protection on access to the wards,” he said. “This meant that the risk of criminals entering the wards was high in the wards using the back end of the wards without being detected,” he said.
“It has been difficult to apportion the liability to the security company as all hospital staff had to vacate the building due to the uncertainty of the safety of the building, including security personnel,” he added.
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