Thursday, 30 May, 2024
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SIU gets Presidency nod for Tembisa Hospital probe

Pension benefits of Tembisa Hospital officials who left the facility during a preliminary probe into alleged tender corruption will be frozen, says the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which this week got the green light from the President for a full investigation into the R1bn fraud and looting scandal.

The proclamation was signed almost two years after Babita Deokaran uncovered the first tentacles of the rampant network of corruption, resulting in her assassination.

Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the SIU would bring its full array of investigative powers to bear, including the forensic analysis of communications and banking records, and the power to subpoena those implicated in the scandal.

Last year, after a News24 investigation series lifted the lid on what Deokaran found at Tembisa, then-Gauteng Premier David Makhura had asked the SIU to look into the matter.

As part of a secondment agreement, the SIU examined a fraction of more than 1 200 transactions Deokaran flagged as “possibly fraudulent”.

The SIU found hospital officials overlooked a litany of discrepancies in bid documents, all of which were either missed or ignored to ensure the contracts were awarded, saying in a preliminary report in December that the irregularities uncovered were just the tip of the iceberg.

Face the music

Of the nine people implicated in the SIU report, three have already resigned. The remaining six were suspended on 10 July.

Their belated suspension came less than two weeks after News24 revealed these hospital officials were still in their posts, despite the Gauteng Health Department holding a dossier of evidence which could have been used as a basis to charge them with misconduct.

Six men accused of Deokaran’s murder are standing trial in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) with the case expected to sit on Thursday.

Additionally, the Hawks are steering their own corruption investigation, which has resulted in a series of raids, but no arrests.

The Health Department said processes relating to the disciplinary cases of the suspended chief financial officer and CEO were under way and were being handled from the Premier's Office.

 

News24 article – SIU to freeze pension benefits of officials who left Tembisa hospital amid corruption probe (Restricted access)

 

News24 article – SILENCED | Ramaphosa unleashes SIU in R1bn Tembisa Hospital scandal (Restricted access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Tembisa Hospital officials suspended after SIU report

 

Tembisa staff linked to R1bn fraud still at work

 

Tembisa Hospital tender prices were upped by 2 000%

 

 

 

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