Denosa calls for Makhura to step aside amid SIU Covid-19 corruption probe
Johannesburg - Denosa in Gauteng has called on Premier David Makhura to step aside to give space to the on-going investigation into Covid-19 corruption within the provincial health department.
The nursing union’s provincial executive committee met at the weekend to discuss the latest development in the health department, including the axing of Dr Bandile Masuku by Makhura over the Covid-19 tender corruption scandal.
Makhura’s decision to remove Masuku came after the preliminary report of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) recommended that administrative action be taken against him for his failure to exercise oversight during the pandemic.
Denosa provincial chairperson Simphiwe Gada indicated that the union was yesterday preparing a letter to Makhura calling on him to also vacate his position until the completion of the investigation by the SIU.
Gada said there were allegations that were continuing around Makhura’s involvement.
“His name has been coming up and we think that where there is smoke there might be fire and therefore he should also consider taking special leave and allow for the SIU investigations to conclude. When that process has happened and his name is cleared as well, we will gladly work with him,” Gada said.
He charged that Makhura had never been personally held accountable for major scandals that plagued his administration in recent years, including the Life Esidimeni tragedy and burning of the Lisbon building which housed the health department and which was declared to be not compliant in terms of occupational health and safety standards.
“This Covid-19 also happened under his watch and we think that Premier Makhura really in all honesty must be able to confront the truth. He is a leader that we respect but sometimes being a leader requires that you must be decisive and be willing to take responsibility,” he said.
Gada said Masuku was doing a good job at the helm of the department since his appointment by Makhura last year after elections.
He said the union had called on Masuku to ensure the filling of critical posts and the improvement of staff morale which was lowered by the persistent paralysis that plagued the department.
“I did this by introducing a programme that is called employee value proposition. He went on the ground and met workers from the frontline. We were able to register progress in improving staff morale and addressing staff shortages in the hospitals and clinics,” Gada said.
Gada further pointed out that Masuku had also improved governance and administrative stability in the department, before being mired in the Civid-19 tender scandal.
“It is fair to say since his appointment, he registered the desired progress in turning things around in the department. Under his stewardship, the department was also improving from its previous reputation. Regrettably, having done a good job, came the monster called Covid-19… now all that hard work is overshadowed by this scandal,” he said.