Gauteng health official suspended over lack of action in awarding of contracts during Covid-19 pandemic

30 September 2020 - 11:52
Gauteng premier David Makhura has suspended the head of the province's health department after he failed to carry out his duties in the awarding of contracts for the procurement of goods and services during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gauteng premier David Makhura has suspended the head of the province's health department after he failed to carry out his duties in the awarding of contracts for the procurement of goods and services during the Covid-19 pandemic. 
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Antonio Muchave

Gauteng premier David Makhura has placed the head of the provincial department of health under precautionary suspension with immediate effect.

The precautionary suspension of Prof Mkhululi Lukhele on Wednesday follows recommendations by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in a report presented to Makhura on September 22. 

“The SIU found the head of department (HoD) failed to exercise his responsibility in the awarding of contracts to certain companies for the procurement of goods and services in relation to the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“The actions, or omission, by the HoD may have resulted in the department incurring fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” said Makhura. 

Lukhele was expected to remain under precautionary suspension pending the completion of investigations by the SIU and disciplinary proceedings for misconduct. 

The DA had earlier called for Lukhele's suspension.

DA MP Jack Bloom alleged that the HoD authorised the choice of a “fishy” company for a R140m contract that was found to be irregular and was cancelled after R17.2m had already been paid.

Bloom called for the SIU reports to be made public and criminal charges instituted against all those implicated in corruption.

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