National health lab fires two suspended officials
CAPE TOWN – The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) yesterday fired suspended chief executive Joyce Mogale and chief financial officer Sikhumbuzo Zulu following disciplinary proceedings that took months to conclude.
The axing of the two comes just weeks after President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) in March to investigate allegations of maladministration, unlawful conduct and intentional or negligent loss of public money since July 2015.
The NHLS said yesterday that Mogale and Zulu had been charged with irregularities and failure to fulfil their duties in relation to three procurements, totalling about R200 million.
The charges related to exceeding delegations of authority, irregular payments made to service providers and irregular appointment of service providers.
“They had been on suspension since February 2017 in a disciplinary process marred by delay tactics and legal technicalities by the suspended employees,” a statement from the NHLS said.
In September 2017 Mogale and Zulu failed to have their suspensions set aside by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
Disciplinary proceedings against the two were further delayed after the NHLS terminated the services of its attorneys.Meanwhile, the SIU investigation, as directed by President
Ramaphosa, is investigating the provision of computer hardware and support services, among many others. Further comment could not be obtained from the NHLS yesterday.