Premier must act on public protector report into scootergate

Issued by Jane Cowley, MPL
Shadow MEC for Health

Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, and the Department of Health must act on the Public Protector’s final report on the scooter scandal. The Public Protector was clear about two things – there was clear maladministration and improper conduct around the tender process, and disciplinary action must be taken against the officials who were involved in the procurement process.

This will be a test for both the new Head of the Health Department, Dr Zungu, and the Premier.

Dr Zungu has the unenviable task of disciplining some very senior officials, who have in the past been untouchable and the Premier needs to take disciplinary steps against the previous Head of Department, Dr Mbengashe, who is now one of his personal advisors.

Premier Mabuyane made it clear that he wishes to preside over a clean government. There is only one way to do that and that is to apply consequence management when it is due.

The flouting of Supply Chain regulations, Treasury regulations and the Constitution when entering into contracts for goods and services is a very serious matter and deserves more than a slap on the wrist.

I will write to the Head of Department to establish what disciplinary action will be taken against those involved.

The fact that the Public Protector has recommended that senior officials involved in the corrupted tender process attend a workshop on Supply Chain Management and Treasury regulations pertaining to procurement speaks volumes about the lack of capacity at senior level in the Department of Health.

In a capable state, competent and suitably qualified people are employed at all levels of management. There should be zero tolerance for maladministration and improper conduct.

Corruption and criminality are shown the door and face the law. Until there are appropriate consequences for improper conduct, chaos and cadres will continue to rule supreme.