Health MEC must step aside

Issued by Jane Cowley, MPL
Shadow MEC for Health

As scandal upon scandal piles up against Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba, the honourable thing for her to do would be to step aside, allowing for the work of the Department of Health to continue without the accompanying drama.

If MEC Gomba was as loyal to the ANC as what the party has been to her, putting her position ahead of the people the party claims to serve, she would have already informed Premier Oscar Mabuyane of her intention to step aside in face of the corruption charges she is facing.

This is not the case though, with MEC Gomba showing her true colours once again, staying on despite being out on bail following her arrest on charges relating to fraud, money laundering, and the contravention of Municipal Financial Management Act.

A capable state would never have appointed an individual who has been embroiled in as many scandals, and who is so clearly out of her depth, in the position in the first place.

Gomba’s performance as the MEC for Health since May 2019 has, from the outset, been plagued with failures, weak leadership and serious allegations of corruption.

Her ongoing failure to implement recommendations made by the Health Ombud has resulted in mental health care facilities in the province being some of the worst in the country.

The provincial response to the Covid-19 pandemic under her leadership has revealed in shocking, and often tragic, detail just how rotten the provincial Health Department has become.

Under MEC Gomba the Department’s medico-legal claims have ballooned. There are massive supply chain problems, critical human resources issues, failing infrastructure and a collapsing emergency medical service.

The Department is corrupt to the core, with the Special Investigating Unit probing at least 239 cases related to PPE corruption in the Department, amounting to over R622-million, not to mention the scooter ambulance procurement, driven by MEC Gomba herself.

In attempting to protect her, Premier Mabuyane exposes his overarching loyalty to political expedience as opposed to meaningful health service delivery.

MEC Gomba must go. She has wreaked enough havoc.