MARCH AGAINST GRAFT
Treatment Action Campaign calls for suspension and arrests of all involved in public health corruption
The Treatment Action Campaign has demanded action against corruption and the theft of funds meant to improve the public healthcare system.
On Monday, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) marched from Loftus Park to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to hand over a memorandum to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Health Dr Joseph Phaahla.
TAC national chairperson Sibongile Tshabalala said the march was not merely the continuation of the call to fix Gauteng’s public healthcare system. Tshabalala said the march called on the Presidency and the minister of health to take responsibility and act fast in making sure that those who have stolen public funds from the department of health are held accountable, and that criminal charges are laid against them.
She said it was not just a provincial problem, but a nationwide crisis.
“When we marched to [Gauteng] Premier [David] Makhura’s office we were talking about the collapsing healthcare system; public clinics and hospitals that are dysfunctional and a lack of basic resources in the facilities that make it impossible to render a standardised public healthcare service.
“If it wasn’t for corruption maybe things would be better. We are unable to receive services on the ground because of the corruption in the health department by the government officials appointed to serve the nation.
“Corruption and theft of public funds are rife in the department of health at all levels. This takes away resources needed for quality healthcare delivery.”
Over the years there have been multiple reports of corruption in SA’s national and provincial health departments, including the misuse of R150-million in the Digital Vibes saga under the watch of Dr Zweli Mkhize, the investigation into alleged misuse of Covid-19 funds by Dr Bandile Masuku and the murder of whistle-blower Babita Deokaran.
The TAC has called on Ramaphosa to:
- Do all in his power to bring about criminal proceedings against those implicated in the Digital Vibes saga; and
- Act fast against Mkhize, Dr Anban Pillay and other implicated officials in the department.
The TAC has also called on the minister of health to suspend with immediate effect all department of health officials implicated in corruption cases.
The president and the minister were unable to meet the TAC group. The memorandum was received by Mandla Feni from the Office of the Presidency and Deputy Minister of Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.
Anele Yawa, the general secretary of the TAC, said they had agreed with the Presidency and minister of health to convene a meeting in the next 14 working days.
“The meeting is a platform for them to give responses to the list of issues raised in the memorandum.” DM/MC
*The memorandum is not yet available online.
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