Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo: Brenda Masilela/ANA

Johannesburg - The DA has written to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane requesting an investigation into three “suspicious” contracts awarded by the Free State Health Department, with one having links to the Guptas. 

The party said contracts entered into with Buthelezi EMS, Mediosa and Halo Aviation were awarded irregularly through political connections and were a waste of millions of rands. 

The companies were contracted to provide mobile healthcare services for the province, but the DA argues that the contracts did not live up to expectations and did not provide health services to the province’s residents.

It was reported earlier this year that Mediosa was paid R25 million by the Free State government to roll out healthcare services as part of the pilot project for the National Health Insurance plan. 

The Gupta-linked Mediosa had also been awarded a contract to supply two mobile health clinics in the North West and that contract was also questioned by the Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi. 

Motsoaledi then instructed the provincial government to end the contract as it appeared to only be a "milking cow for the Guptas". 

"We are of the opinion that these contracts were awarded due to political considerations, that they are inflated, and that there is no real value for money. We also believe that the hundreds of millions of rands spent over the last three to four years could have been better applied to expand the capacity of emergency, mobile clinic services and patient transported services in the Free State within the provincial department of health," said the DA. 

"Mediosa, a Gupta-linked company, was awarded a contract for mobile clinic services, and received a generous R10 million advance payment. The DA is of the opinion that this decision was politically motivated. It is interesting to note that this company shared directors with Halo Aviation, as company registration details show."

"We would like to know whether these decisions are based on emergency medical needs in each case as informed by qualified Emergency Services Personnel and/or a medical officer," said the party.

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