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Tembisa Hospital manager in hot water over 'political message'

Politics
Johannesburg – A Tembisa Hospital manager acted inappropriately for forwarding a "political message" that promoted the ANC ahead of last year's local government elections to an official communication platform.

These were the findings of an investigation by the Public Service Commission (PSC), which acted on a complaint lodged by the DA's Gauteng MPL and shadow health MEC, Jack Bloom.

Bloom told The Star that he filed the complaint after seeing a message written by Kgadi Mmatli, the corporate manager at Tembisa Hospital, on an internal management Whatsapp group in July 2016 ahead of the August 2016 elections; in which Mmatli wrote: "The TRUTH is, the ANC fought for your right to vote! Stay FREE, vote ANC! #stayfreevoteanc [SIC]"

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A Tembisa Hospital manager's acted inappropriately for forwarding a "political message" that promoted the ANC. These were the findings of an investigation by the PSC, which acted on a complaint lodged by the DA's Gauteng MPL and shadow health MEC, Jack Bloom.Picture: Antoine de Ras/Independent Media

In its findings, the PSC cited regulation 12(f) of the Public Service Regulations (PSR), 2016, which states that an "employee shall not abuse his or her position in the public service to promote or prejudice the interest of any political party or interest group".

The PSC added that it "found Ms. Mmatli's conduct (to forward a "political message", which seemed to be promoting a particular party, to an official communication) to be inappropriate and in contravention of the Departmental Policy and PSR, particulary regulation 12, which prohibits public servants to act in such a manner".

The PSC recommended that the head of department "should consider instituting corrective measures against Ms. Mmatli, for failing to upload good ethical behaviour relating to state resources entrusted in her care", and should "conduct regular workshops on the Code of Conduct for public servants with emphasis on the effective use of state resources".

Gauteng Health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, in a response to Bloom's letter with regard to whether her department had instituted the PSC's recommendations, wrote that Mmatli had been charged with "allegations of misconduct for abuse of state resources", adding that Mmatli's disciplinary hearing had been finalised in March this year; without detailing what actions were taken.

Bloom lauded the PSC's work, saying he did not believe that the health department would have taken action against the manager had he not approached the commission.

"I laid a complaint with the department first before I approached the PSC, but the department did nothing," he told The Star.

"So, I have to say that the PSC has done a very good job in this case, and I applaud it."

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The Star

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