FIRM: Gauteng ANC chief whip
 Brian Hlongwa.
JOHANNESBURG - Ten private sector companies have been implicated in corruption worth R1.2 billion in the Gauteng Department of Health.

A Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigation into corruption in the department between January 2006 and May 2010 also implicated 12 public servants and politicians, including former Health MEC Brian Hlongwa, in corruption, fraud, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, financial misconduct and irregular procurement.

The SIU findings were released yesterday by health activist and social justice non-profit organisation Section27, the Treatment Action Campaign and Corruption Watch.

It was handed to former president Jacob Zuma in March last year, seven years after he issued the proclamation ordering the investigation. The report was released to Section27 last month following a Promotion of Access to Information Act application.

The SIU, among other things, uncovered evidence of various trips or “flights for favour” provided by 3P Consulting and Hlongwa and a few department officials between 2006 and 2009.

It also claimed that bribes were paid to Hlongwa and shelf company Ukwakha being used by 3P Consulting director Richard Payne as a platform to entertain the corrupt activities, adding that former director of executive support programme management Dr Obakeng Mookeletsi held an FNB account in the name of “OS Mookeletsi trading as an ANC Fundraising Account”, with the money in the account used to pay for ANC-related venues, T-shirts for supporters, photography services, catering and equipment hire.

Also read: R1.2bn worth of corruption uncovered in Gauteng Department of Health

Amethyst, a member of Baoki Construction whose members also included 3P Consulting and AME Africa Healthcare, paid R100000 into the fundraising account in January 2009 and two further payments of R200000 and R5000 in March of the same year.

Zanenza Communications, a contractor to 3P Consulting, was paid a total of R19653 from this account.

The report also details how 3P Consulting arranged and paid for a luxury spa treatment for Hlongwa and his wife, together with limousine transport, in September 2009 and the SIU discovered email correspondence indicating that Payne, The Life Channel Africa owner Phil Austin and Hlongwa discussed benefits to the Western Rangers Football Club.

Payne, Mookeletsi, Regiments Healthcare financial director Calvin Sehlapelo and Ken James were directors of the football club.

The report said these gratifications were to advance the business interests of 3P Consulting.

“In the context of the corrupt relationship between 3P, Baoki, the department’s officials and the former MEC Brian Hlongwa, the payments are seen to have had an effect of further inducing and sustaining the preferential treatment and unlawful conduct by the officials of the department and Hlongwa.

“Their objectivity was accordingly tainted by the preceding and ongoing corruption,” it said.

Criminal matters identified in the SIU investigation against a number of department officials, including Hlongwa, Mookeletsi, former chief operating officer and special adviser to Hlongwa, Dr Abdul Rahman, former director of ICT Ms Mosupi and the former chief director of supply chain management Valdis Ramaano were referred to the South Gauteng Director of Public Prosecutions for contraventions of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

The SIU has also referred the evidence of alleged corruption by the directors of 3P Consulting and Baoki Consortium to the relevant prosecuting authorities and the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

Corruption Watch’s Kavisha Pillay said the TAC and Corruption Watch had written to the various investigating and prosecuting authorities to ask about the progress and status of these matters and hoped to have a response soon.

The SIU said evidence pointed to the commission of fraud by 3P Consulting in that it, among other things, double invoiced the department for services rendered, which led to a loss of R10.8m and irregularly added a 5percent administration fee they were not entitled to in respect of the subcontractors’ invoices, which led to a loss of R16.03m.

The department also suffered a loss of R25.96m due to fraud committed by 3P Consulting and its staff.

- BUSINESS REPORT