Maverick Citizen

QUALIFICATIONS DISPUTE

Red flags raised over disputed credentials of new Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital CEO

Red flags raised over disputed credentials of new Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital CEO
Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. (Photo: Flickr / Amander Son)

The appointment of Dr Nthabiseng Makgana as the Chief Executive Officer of Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital has raised concerns by workers and the HR department that she lacks the necessary senior management level experience or MBA qualifications.

Concerns have been raised regarding the appointment of Dr Nthabiseng Makgana as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH).

Makgana was announced as one of three CEOs of provincial academic hospitals in March.

Irregularities in her appointment were noted in correspondence by the HR department of CHBAH to the Gauteng Health Department (GDOH) and Deputy Director-General of Corporate Services.  Daily Maverick has seen a copy of the correspondence.

The correspondence — in which the acting head of the Gauteng health department Arnold Malotana, chief director of human resource Mr E Ogle, and Deputy Director General Basani Baloyi are copied in — seeks to request any rational, justifiable including lawful additional information forming a foundation for consideration of the appointment of the CEO.

“Furthermore, the document seeks to bring to the attention of the authorities that the information at our disposal is insufficient to process the appointment lawfully and reasonably for it will result [in] irregular and unlawful appointment similar to the Rhahima Moosa case as found by the Office of Health Ombudsman,” read the correspondence.

Nthabiseng Makgana

Dr Nthabiseng Makgana was announced as Chief Executive Officer of Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in March 2024. (Photo: facebook.com/nthabiseng.makgana)

Insufficient experience at a senior management level 

The correspondence claims that Makgana has only three years of experience at a senior management level and it appears she is ineligible for the appointment.

“Both CHBAH2 (the advert) and CHBAH3 (Department of Public Services and Administration guidelines) set the minimum experience of eight years at senior management level for any candidate to be considered for selection. All candidates that have less years of required experience ought not to have progressed to the interview level [ought to have been eliminated at the shortlisting level]”, read the correspondence.

The correspondence requested any evidentiary documents proving the contrary, noting that “the document may not only be useful for processing the appointment but for the future referencing in the event the employer is put to test to prove compliance and or whether it upheld the rule of law when appointing the CEO in issue’.

A poster from the Gauteng Department of Health states that Makgana has over 10 years of experience in the public health sector, including five in hospital management.

“In addition to her Bachelor of Medicine Surgery (MBChB) qualification she attained in 2011, she obtained numerous certificates in disciplines. Dr Makgana is currently completing her Masters Degree in Business Administration in Health Care Management,” read the poster.

An exemption recommended and approved by the Department of Public Services and Administration (DPSA) cannot make the appointment regular or lawful. According to the correspondence, the doctrine of exemption does not apply at the tail end of the competitive process after other candidates were excluded for not meeting the requirements.

If an exemption was recommended, this recommendation should have come from the Premier and been approved by DPSA. However, no documents were provided to HR indicating the process followed (if the exemption applies) for Makgana to be appointed.

Contradictory qualification details

The Senior Management Service (SMS) Minimum Entry Requirements from E-gov which were completed presumably by HR representative Ms Sibongile Dladla misrepresents facts, according to the correspondence.

An SMS Pre-Entry Certificate is mandatory when applying for senior management positions in the public service. According to the advertisement for the CEO post, no appointment shall be effected without the recommended candidate producing a certificate of completion for the SMS Pre-Entry Programme, offered by the National School of Government.

To enrol for SMS levels 13 and 14, an individual needs to have an undergraduate qualification at NQF level 7 and either five years of experience at the middle management level (for SMS level 13), or five years of experience at the senior management level (for SMS level 14).

“It is not entirely correct that the preferred candidate has five years of relevant experience. The preferred candidate does not have five years at Senior Management level but less than three of relevant experience when taking cognisance, the duration of acting in the capacity of the CEO at Pholosong Regional Hospital,” read the correspondence.

The application form includes contradictory information as Makgana notes that she is still studying for an MBA in Health Management at Regent Business School, but also states that she obtained the qualification in 2024 from Regent Business School. On her CV, Makgana states she is studying for the same qualification at Regenesys Business School.

A tweet from Gauteng Health from 3 August 2022 states that Makgana is currently completing a Master of Business Administration through Regenesys Business School, while her LinkedIn profile states that she holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) from the University of Pretoria (2006-2011) and a Master of Business Administration from Regenesys Business School (January 2021 – December 2022).

Daily Maverick reached out to both business schools in an attempt to verify. Regent said they were unable to provide such information due to the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia) while Regenesys said “we cannot share our students’ personal information due to privacy reasons”.

The legal framework 

The advertisement for the post included the following requirements:

  • A degree/advanced diploma in a health-related field;
  • Registration with the relevant professional body;
  • A Master’s degree in Public Health and/or Management; and
  • A minimum of 10 years of management experience in the health sector at a senior management level.

The correspondence makes note of various statutory provisions and advises the authorities to review their position regarding the appointment unless there is contrary evidence.

“In the absence of any rational, reasonable, and justifiable basis to appoint CHBAH CEO, the DDG corporate services should advise the AHOD and the MEC that the appointment cannot pass muster the legality test and thus will be irregular and unlawful”.

Organised labour voice concerns, hospital standards dropping

A worker at the hospital who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal said organised labour at the hospital had written a letter to Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, the MEC for Health and Wellness in Gauteng citing concerns regarding Makgana’s appointment on 13 March 2024.

The letter, which Daily Maverick has seen, states that organised labour in CHBAH “are greatly concerned about the discrepancies in the information that is shared in the public domain”.

“In logical terms, the period from the time of obtaining the first qualification till the present, her work experience does not make sense. Perhaps the selecting panel might have overlooked certain details in calculating her work experience in senior management level,” read the letter.

The letter calls for an urgent intervention to correct this and cautions that failure to address this issue will attract a lot of public opinion and instability within the institution. According to the worker, the MEC has not replied to the letter.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Doctors’ SOS as Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital faces essential food shortage

“Most of the staff in management positions and some of the doctors know that she (Makgana) does not qualify, but they say they want to follow protocol but how can you follow protocol when this issue is dire and service delivery is going down in the hospital,” said the worker.

Clinicians were reportedly surprised that the acting CEO, Dr Mkhulu Percival Selepe, who appeared to be doing well was replaced by Makgana.

“He was doing very well, the hospital was improving, cleanliness was improving, the supply chain was improving, the service at Bara was improving, now everything is going down again,” he said.

“The other day we did not have bread. We are running short of consumables, patients are repeating meals the whole week, food quality has dropped, cleanliness of the hospital has dropped, maintenance has dropped”.

Daily Maverick sent questions to GDOH on 2 May and on 3 May. GDOH acknowledged receiving the media inquiry and was “processing it internally for a response”.

On 7 May, GDOH requested copies of the documents on which the allegations are based. At the time of publication, GDOH had not replied. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Kid Charlemagne says:

    A lifestyle and qualifications audit of all senior public officials is required with urgency.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    How does POPIA apply if someone voluntarily makes their qualifications public?

    Basically all the education institutions are achieving by denying is to allow people to lie with impunity and to render the instituions qualifications meaningless.

    Loco.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    How does POPIA apply if someone voluntarily makes their qualifications public?

    Basically all the education institutions are achieving by denying is to allow people to lie with impunity and to render the instituions qualifications meaningless.

    Loco.

  • Lynda Tyrer says:

    Another one who cannot tell the truth of her real qualifications. How come this is not properly investigated BEFORE someone is appointed and the fact that she has lied on her CV should mean immediate dismissal not suspensions and nonsense like that.

  • Random Comment says:

    This is what happens when merit is abandoned in favour of other criteria. It mostly causes inconvenience and delays in the civil service; but here, it’s a case of life or death.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    She does seem very junior for the post…ever HR has concerns

  • Steve Davidson says:

    So, my questions are as follows:

    Q1: Who is she related to?
    Q2: How much did she have to pay?
    Q3: How on earth could anyone who dresses like a tart be given a hugely responsible job like that?

    Just asking…

  • alex alexander says:

    Just another cadre deployment?

  • John Patson says:

    Ja, but is she any good at the job?
    There are people with two day’s “senior managerial experience in the health sector”, who can do a brilliant job, while others with 20 years experience could not organise a sticking plaster in a first aid cabinet .

    • Albert Boorman says:

      It is an open secret that these high level positions are bought and sold, and that individuals tend to get rotated rather than barred after dismal management. I don’t know the healthcare experience of other CEOs, but I’m sensing either she “isn’t one of the ranks” from the inflated corporate management’s perspective, or she is just a generational cadre.

  • Anil Maharaj says:

    Minimum requirements are there for a reason. A candidate who does not satisfy these requirements should not even be shortlisted, let alone appointed. Thus, Steve Davidson’s comments are very relevant.

  • Anthony Krijger says:

    This is a typical example of BEE in motion. This is what is most important to the ANC. The fact that people do not have proper qualifications and the result is yet another hospital in ruins, corrupt tenders, funds misappropriated and all because a person was appointed according to their BEE status and nothing else.

  • Allrite Jack says:

    Is it at all likely that any of the ANC apparatchiks have a genuine qualification from a meaningful university?

  • Martin Molteno says:

    Looks remarkably like a repeat of the appointment of Mamogheti Phakeng to the Vice Chancellor of UCT …. Another disaster appointment based primarily on the basis of racism or affirmative action????

  • Tshepang Moloi says:

    This is another classical oversight of our government for failure to conduct, meticulously, screening and vetting before recommending and appointing the candidate. Sheer disregard of quality assurance in government recruitment processes.

  • Francoise Phillips says:

    Remember Tembisa Hospital and the R800 00 skinny jeans contract? Remember Babita Dekoran? Remember the ANC health minister and his Digital Vibes scam? The ANC steals and assassinates whistle blowers.
    Vote wisely to end the inhumane suffering ANC criminality causes the nation.

  • Janette Klein says:

    Maybe she’s being put in position to help with the coming National Health scam ?

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