AT least four companies implicated in the Tembisa Hospital corruption that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is investigating, have received contracts worth R1.2 million in the last three months.
This is despite a promise that the suspicious companies would be blacklisted.
This was revealed by Gauteng Health and Wellness MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, in a written reply to DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom’s questions in the provincial legislature.
Bloom said the four companies are all linked to Johannesburg businessman Paul Mojalefa Mokoena, who is associated with companies that were allegedly irregularly awarded contracts at Tembisa Hospital, which murdered whistleblower Babita Deokaran, had tried to stop.
Deokaran was murdered for reporting corruption at the Gauteng Department of Health where she was working as the acting chief director financial accounting officer.
According to MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko, there were irregularities in all the contracts awarded to Mokoena's 14 companies, and none of them were registered with the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA).
Last month, she responded to the blacklisting call by the “Justice for Babita” petition.
“Blacklisting can only be done after the outcome of the investigation; however, measures have been put in place to ensure there is no recurrence and not to procure to the affected companies.”
But in the list of payments given in reply to Bloom’s questions on the Mokoena-linked companies, the following recent contracts were given:
“Meiday Trading and Projects got seven contracts worth R447 000 on 14 August this year to supply meat to the Sebokeng Hospital.
“Oneall Distributors got seven contracts on 21 July to supply meat to Sebokeng Hospital for a total cost of R482 150. On 17 August they got a R360 000 contract to supply diesel, and two contracts to supply fish costing R432 200 to Tambo Memorial Hospital.
“Malito got six contracts on 14 September to supply 41 pairs of shoes costing R38 950 to Tambo Memorial Hospital.
“The Mafahla Group got five contracts on 19 July to supply milk products costing R170 936 to Sebokeng Hospital, and on 14 August got two contracts worth R63 000 to supply surgical materials to Pholosong Hospital.
Bloom asked in each case, what process was followed in awarding the contract.
“The contract values were below R 1 million hence the department followed the request for quotation (RFQ) process in appointing the service providers,” said Nkomo-Ralehoko in the reply seen by The Star.
She said CEOs of health institutions had delegated powers to sign off on the award of contracts up to the value of R1 million.
Nkomo-Ralehoko said all companies that were linked to the irregular awarding of contracts at Tembisa Hospital were handed over to the SIU for investigation.
She also confirmed that all these companies did not have SAHPRA registration when they were awarded the contracts.
Asked what steps would be taken to ensure accountability, including disciplinary action and criminal charges, the MEC said the normal disciplinary process would follow after the investigation was concluded.
“This is outrageous that these companies, which are being investigated for alleged bid-rigging, are still getting contracts.
“They were all awarded by hospital CEOs on a request for quotation basis as they are under R1 million. The DA calls for effective measures to immediately halt contracts to the 224 companies implicated in vile corruption that steals money needed to fix our ailing hospitals,” Bloom said.