The Gauteng health department has refuted claims made by Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng shadow MEC for health Jack Bloom that the now suspended Tembisa Hospital CEO, Ashley Mthunzi, was appointed as head of the hospital last year while facing a disciplinary hearing.
Bloom alleged that in a written reply on 15 September 2021, he was told that Mthunzi was facing a disciplinary hearing based on misconduct where he was given a final written warning.
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Department says Mthunzi was not facing disciplinary hearing
“The Department would like to categorically state that at the time of his appointment Dr Mthunzi was not facing any disciplinary charge or action,” said the department in a statement.
Mthunzi is now on suspension together with chief financial officer, Lerato Madyo, over the improper procurement and payment of service providers at Tembisa Hospital totaling R850 million.
If these claims made by Bloom were true, it would have disqualified Mthuzi from the position of being a CEO at the hospital.
“The Department dismisses any assertion that the appointment of Dr Mthunzi was dodgy and wishes to state on record that his appointment followed an open and transparent recruitment and selection process.
“It must be stated that on the 15th September 2021 the then acting head of department signed a report prepared by an internal investigator recommending that Dr Mthunzi and other officials should be given final written warning(s) without applying the audi alterum pattern rule (which is the principle of hearing the other side in any matter),” the department said in a statement.
The department stated that the investigator did not follow the appropriate process when he recommended that Mthunzi and other officials be given written warnings.
DA visit to Tembisa hospital
Bloom on Tuesday went to visit the hospital to oversee the materials bought that were worth the R1.5 million they claimed.
A News24 report alleged that the hospital spent almost R850 million on dodgy payments, including the R500 000 used to purchased 200 pairs of skinny jeans that were worth R2 500 per pair.
Mthunzi has since denied these allegations and said that the money was used to buy suture material.
“I signed for suture material. We’ve got proof that the invoice was for suture material and what we received was suture material,” Mthunzi told Radio 702.
He said the skinny jeans were an administrative error and said he had proof that the money was spent on suture material.
Bloom went to check the conditions and the quality of the armchairs and handtowels that the hospital overspent on.
“There are no skinny jeans, cloth handtowels or leather armchairs at the Tembisa Hospital – this is what I found when I visited this morning to check whether these items reportedly bought for R1.5 million had actually been delivered.
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