NEHAWU strike blamed for stalled probe into Gupta-linked company contract

Premier Supra Mahumapelo says investigators unable to access critical documents and information

Mahumapelo blames NEHAWU strike for stalled probe into Gupta-linked company contract

5 April 2018

Forensic investigations instituted by North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo into the provincial department of health have been hindered by the ongoing strike by members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (NEHAWU), his office says.

NEHAWU members have embarked on a now one-month strike over the awarding of a R180m contract to Gupta-linked company Mediosa.

The office of the premier instituted forensic investigations into allegations of procurement irregularities in the contract, however, it says, investigators have experienced setbacks.

"The investigators are unable to access critical documents and information which is in the premises of the department of health," said the premier's spokesperson, Brian Setswamburg.

The department of health said it has had meetings with NEHAWU in a bid to resolve the issues which the union has raised.

The department's director-general, Keneilwe Sebego said that the sooner issues between the department and the union are resolved, the sooner investigators will be able to conclude their work.

However, NEHAWU provincial secretary Patrick Makhafane said that the strike action could not have affected the investigations.

"I've heard that lame excuse before. It is an excuse to run away from the allegations," said Makhafane.

"How can we prevent management from gaining access to their offices? They know where the documents are."

Makhafane said that NEHAWU would be meeting with the MEC on Thursday to discuss a way forward.

"At the moment things have remained the same and we are at loggerheads with management," said Makhafane.