Cyril 'rebukes' Supra for public tiff with Aaron over clinics

11 March 2018 - 00:02 By APHIWE DEKLERK
North West Premier Supra Ramoeletsi Mahumapelo last week issued a bizarre statement attacking Aaron Motsoaledi for visiting his province without notifying him.
North West Premier Supra Ramoeletsi Mahumapelo last week issued a bizarre statement attacking Aaron Motsoaledi for visiting his province without notifying him.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Tiro Ramatlhatse

North West premier Supra Mahumapelo was chastised by President Cyril Ramaphosa for his public spat with Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi over payments made to a Gupta-linked company.

Mahumapelo last week issued a bizarre statement attacking Motsoaledi for visiting his province without notifying him.

During his visit, Motsoaledi criticised the province's contract with Mediosa, a company providing mobile clinics to the province to service rural areas.

An ANC leader in North West who spoke to the Sunday Times on condition of anonymity said Ramaphosa had spoken to Mahumapelo on the sidelines of the party's elections workshop on Sunday. "I am told the president said he was unhappy about the public spat and they must sort it out."

Another ANC leader, who was present at the workshop, said Ramaphosa had advised both Mahumapelo and Motsoaledi to not engage each other in public.

Mahumapelo confirmed that Ramaphosa had spoken to him about the matter. He said the ANC had however ordered them not to talk to the media about it. "It was not a chastise at all by the president. It was a very comradely and cordial appeal to all members not to differ in public."

When asked if he had contacted Motsoaledi to sort out their differences, he said: "It's work in progress, my brother."

Motsoaledi said he did not attend the workshop and had not spoken to Ramaphosa about the matter but was prepared to talk at any forum Mahumapelo chose. "I will talk because I don't think there is anything I did wrong whatsoever ... by going to North West and visiting those clinics, because that's how government has always been working."

The province paid R30-million to Mediosa in 2017 before the equipment had been inspected.

It used a Public Finance and Management Act clause allowing it to grant the contract without a tender process because the company was already offering a similar service in the Free State.

The Gupta e-mails linked the company to the controversial family.

During his visit, Motsoaledi described the Mediosa contract as an "ATM card through which the Guptas are withdrawing money from the Department of Health".

Mahumapelo instituted a probe into the contract last month but failed to follow a recommendation by the provincial legislature to suspend Thabo Lekalakala, the head of the provincial health department, for his involvement in the contract.

ANC spokesman Pule Mabe said all ANC leaders in government were encouraged to engage through proper channels. "All of those things are being attended to internally. Comrades of the ANC have been encouraged to try to find one another and use available platforms at their disposal to be able to attend to those concerns."

Presidency spokesman Tyrone Seale said Ramaphosa had not informed him about the matter and referred the Sunday Times to the ANC.


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