LIMPOPO Premier Stan Mathabatha has accepted Department of Health head Thokozani Mhlongo’s resignation amid a dark cloud of a PPE scandal she is alleged to be involved in.
According to the premier’s office spokesperson Ndavhe Ramakuela, Mhlongo cited personal reasons for her resignation.
Mhlongo, together with the chief financial officer Justice Modau and other senior officials, was undergoing an internal disciplinary process for their role in the PPE scandal.
Speaking to Pretoria News, Ramakuela said Mathabatha had not yet received the internal disciplinary hearing report.
“We have not received the report yet. As soon as we receive it and it has been processed by relevant structures, we shall make the outcomes known.”
He said an acting head of department would be appointed for a period until the vacancy was filled, in line with applicable legislation.
In January the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in a report revealed a range of offences in the procurement of PPE in the province, including irregularly appointing company, Pro Secure.
In the report the SIU found, among others, that the provincial health department irregularly awarded PPE tenders worth R125 million.
The SIU also found that Pro Secure was not registered with the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to distribute medical devices to a third party.
In April, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane published a report on an investigation into allegations of maladministration and procurement irregularities in the awarding of tenders for the supply of PPE by the Limpopo department of health. Unions, political parties and Mkhwebane have been calling on Mathabatha to activate remedial action against Mhlongo and other departmental officials.
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) had called for the immediate suspension of all implicated in the SIU report, including Mhlongo.
The SACP in Limpopo had called on the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) to prosecute all those who are implicated in the multi-million rand PPE scandal.