SEARCH & SEIZURE
Hawks raid properties of top ANC figure in R1bn Tembisa Hospital tender corruption probe
The Hawks have raided the home and business premises reportedly belonging to Sello Sekhokho, the ANC Ekurhuleni treasurer-general. The raid forms part of investigations into the R1-billion Tembisa Hospital tender scandal. Sekhokho is a key figure in an alleged extraction scheme uncovered by Gauteng health department official Babita Deokaran just weeks before she was assassinated.
The Hawks on Wednesday conducted search and seizure operations at a house in Bedfordview, and offices in Germiston and Edenvale, as part of a probe into alleged tender fraud at Tembisa Hospital.
Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha confirmed in a statement that a team had conducted simultaneous search and seizure operations at a house in Bedfordview, and offices in Germiston and Edenvale. Electronic equipment and documents were seized and no arrests were made.
“The action is informed by the ongoing investigation into alleged tender irregularities that resulted in approximately R1-billion being syphoned from the Gauteng Department of Health. It is a sequel operation to the one that was executed at the Tembisa Hospital premises towards the end of 2022,” said the statement.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Hawks swoop on Tembisa Hospital at same time investigation confirms the slain Babita Deokaran was right
The statement said that more than 220 entities and numerous individuals are subjects of an ongoing investigation into the allegations of corruption.
“This includes schemes that reportedly thrived in infringement of the Public Finance Management Act. These were made possible through tender manipulation, kickbacks, inflated prices, and/or duplicated invoices, among other contraventions.”
While no names were mentioned in the statement, the home and business premises that were raided reportedly belong to Sello Sekhokho, ANC Ekurhuleni treasurer-general. Sekhokho is a key figure in the alleged extraction scheme that was initially discovered and reported by Gauteng health department official, Babita Deokaran.
Deokaran was assassinated outside her home in Johannesburg in August 2021.
A News24 investigation revealed that in the weeks leading up to her death, she had flagged R850-million in dodgy payments out of Tembisa Hospital and was concerned about her safety. Deokaran had reported the irregular spending to suspended department chief financial officer Lerato Madyo, and had called for a forensic investigation, but nothing was done.
‘Tip of the iceberg’
Last year, Gauteng MEC for Health and Wellness Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko revealed in a written reply to questions from the DA’s Jack Bloom that Sello Sekhokho’s three companies – Kaizen Projects, Nokhokhoko Medical Supplies and Bollanoto Security – had received R14.5-million from 55 contracts from Tembisa Hospital in recent years.
Furthermore, Sekhokho has received more than R80-million in tenders from other hospitals in the province, despite reportedly not having a valid certificate to sell medical products.
Bloom welcomed the raid and hoped it would lead to criminal charges:
“I think this is the tip of the iceberg. I hope they get to the bottom of it, including the political connections … political protection … We need to know how it was able to go on for so long, and we need to find the political people as well…”
Incidents of corruption are not restricted to Tembisa Hospital, he said.
“It’s far wider than that. They mustn’t ignore the fact that this could only have happened with high-level acquiescence,” he added. DM/MC
This is a developing story.