Spendthrift medical scheme curator removed

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A High Court judge has removed the provisional curator of medical scheme Samwumed, who he found was incurring "exorbitant" and "unproductive" expenses that were not helping to solve the scheme’s problems. Business Day reports that Judge AJ Engers found "good cause" to remove Duduza Khosana, who was earning R234,000 a month and has incurred expenses of at least R100,000 since her appointment at the 80,000-member Samwumed in May.

The judge said that Khosana was making "radical changes" at the scheme rather than serving her primary purpose, which was to fix the scheme’s dysfunctional board of trustees that resulted from faction fighting within the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu).

"I find it disturbing that she has seen fit to make what are possibly far-reaching decisions without having addressed the main problems she was supposed to," Engers said in his judgment.

The report says in August, Andre Maxwell, the scheme’s former deputy chair, argued in his urgent application to remove Khosana that her decisions to restructure the scheme’s benefits, cancel key contracts and suspend senior management were causing it irreparable harm. In September, Dr Sipho Kabane, the acting registrar of the Medical Schemes Council, who asked the court to appoint Khosana in the first place, lodged his own application asking for her to be removed. Kabane said he had lost trust in her as she had failed to plan steps to tackle the scheme’s problems.

But, the report says, the judge had harsh words for Kabane, pointing out that his office had taken 18 months to deal with the problems at the scheme and was "high-handed" with Khosana, informing her both of his concerns and his intention to remove her in July.

Engers appointed Joe Seoloane as the new provisional curator in line with Kabane’s recommendation. He ruled against Kabane’s request that Khosana cover his costs, ordering both parties to pay their own costs. Engers also ordered Kabane and Khosana to cover Maxwell’s legal costs.

Business Day report

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