The case against former Head of Department at the North West Department of Health, Dr Andrew Lekalakala, 58, and alleged co-conspirator Joseph Leshabane, 61, was postponed at the Molopo Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for further investigation.
The former HOD was brought up on charges of fraud and contraventions of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), the National Prosecuting Authority confirmed.
The case, which seeks to uncover corruption within the DOH to the tune of over R130 million, was postponed to January 31, 2024.
Lekalakala was released on R10,000 bail, while Leshabane, who is implicated through his company, was charged with six counts of fraud amounting to over R49 million and was released on R50,000 bail.
The former high-level government executive and company executive were busted by the Hawks near the Mahikeng area in the North West on Monday.
The case also involves other high-ranking government officials within the North West Department of Health, according to the NPA.
In a country with an ailing public health system, desperate for any form of development, those in power were accused of halting the progress of the health sector.
The other individuals involved include Lydia Keneilwe Sebego, 63, former Head of Department at the North West Department of Health; Vuyo Mbulawa, 54, Chief Director at the North West Department of Health; and Roulgh Lotwane Mabe, 69, a service provider.
Lotwane appeared before the court on Friday.
All of the accused suspects were released on bail.
“The court granted Sebego R10,000 bail, Mbulawa R20,000, and Mabe R100,000. Sebego is facing two charges of Contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Mbulawa is facing ten charges of fraud, and Mabe is charged with six counts of fraud.
“During the years 2008 to 2009, the North West sought to build two hospitals in Ledig [Moses Kotane Hospital] and Vryburg [Joe Morolong Hospital]. A tender was subsequently awarded to MR Property (Pty) Ltd, a company belonging to Mabe.
“The charges against the two former heads of department relate to service level agreements that were signed between the two companies and their directors on services that needed to be rendered to the two hospitals. The said services were, however, not rendered, while these companies allegedly submitted fraudulent invoices, which were paid by the department after being authorised by Mbulawa,” the NPA said.
“This allegedly led to a loss of over R86 million to the Department of Health, paid to Mabe’s company, and over R49 million paid to Leshabane’s company.”
The State is also arguing that the two former HOD’s signed the SLA’s knowing full and well that the two receiving companies did not meet the relevant requirements.
Lekalakala is also out on R5,000 bail relating to another case and is back in court on February 12, 2024.
The case involves the sourcing of mobile clinics to Mediosa Health, a company linked to the Gupta family.