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HomeTalking PointsSA’s Health minister and opposition MP slug it out over forensic failures

SA’s Health minister and opposition MP slug it out over forensic failures

wilmotmotsoalediThe operation of the national Health Department’s Forensic Chemistry Laboratories (FCL) has developed into a fiery exchange of public statements between Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and the Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Wilmot James after the opposition MP was denied access to the Durban FCL.

Motsoaledi acknowledged ‘serious backlogs … particularly in relation to blood alcohol samples’. He said that while the ministry had nothing to hide, he confirmed to James that he had issued instructions not to allow parliamentarians ‘willy-nilly to come in and out of health facilities as they please without proper arrangement’, since this would turn these facilities into ‘political playgrounds rather than honest oversight’.

James points out that FCL) whose job it is to produce test results for the courts on behalf of the South African Police Service (SAPS) to enable the prosecution of drunk drivers, take an average of 11 months to do a 19 minute test. ‘The cumulative consequence of the obvious inefficiency of the FCLs is that by November 2014, there was an accumulated backlog of 69,476 samples, 90% of which was for drivers suspected of being drunk.’

[link url="http://www.polity.org.za/article/da-dr-wilmot-james-on-oversight-denied-at-durban-forensic-lab-2015-01-14"]Polity statement on DA denied access[/link]
[link url="http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/department-under-fire-over-blood-test-delays-1.1812402#.VNC2H2Qn9E4"]Cape Times report[/link]
[link url="http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=925035&sn=Detail&pid=71654"]Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s full reply to DA’s Wilmot James[/link]
[link url="http://www.gov.za/minister-aaron-motsoaledi-responds-statement-dr-wilmot-james-forensic-chemistry-laboratories"]Motsoaledi’s statement in response to James[/link]
[link url="http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=931452&sn=Detail"]James’ most recent full response to Motsoaledi[/link]

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