Investigation into Gauteng health corruption finalized
21 November 2019
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has finalised the criminal investigation into corruption at the Gauteng Health Department and will register the case on the court roll when a racketeering certificate has been obtained.
This is revealed by Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
According to Mazibuko, the final forensic report has been done but “the ﬁnal documentation pertaining to the Asset Forfeiture investigation and the racketeering certiﬁcate is awaited.”
Furthermore: “Once the Public Prosecutor has indicated that the charge sheet is ﬁnalised and once the Racketeering certiﬁcate has been authorized, shall the accused be arraigned.”
I hope that there are no more delays in bringing this case to court which has taken more than nine years since it was authorized by Presidential Proclamation R21 on 14 May 2010.
Those arrested should include Brian Hlongwa who was Health MEC from 2006 to 2009 when more than R1.2 billion corruption occurred.
According to evidence submitted in court by the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), which has brought an asset forfeiture application against him, there was "an apparent and generally corrupt relationship between Hlongwa and Payne" (note: Richard Payne was the MD of 3P Consultants which got massive contracts from the department).
Payne is alleged to have paid Hlongwa R1.6 million to assist him to buy a house in Bryanston in north Johannesburg for R7.2 million.
In my view, the evidence against Hlongwa and senior former officials of the department is comprehensive and damning.
The Gauteng Health Department has still not recovered from Hlongwa's disastrous tenure when financial controls dissolved, and service delivery suffered.
I strongly suspect that there has been political interference that has slowed down this investigation. It is astonishing that Hlongwa still appears to have support in the ANC as he was guest speaker on 9 October this year for the ANC Zone 8 Greater Johannesburg Region on the topic “The Developmental State - Are we still on track?” (see notice here). The irony is that he was one of the pioneers of state capture by private interests that has destroyed the capacity of the state.
We need to see that justice is seen to be done in this long-running case, with jail time for those found guilty in court.
Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 21 November 2019