Health department officials enjoyed cash, loans, gifts and all expenses paid local and international holidays as a reward for corruption.
The Hawks have swooped on nine suspects including former senior and executive government officials, private individuals and businesses that are facing charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering activity against the Gauteng Department of Health.
Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo, said that eight of the nine suspects have handed themselves over to the police at the Johannesburg central police station and that they are expected to appear at Johannesburg Magistrates court soon. Mbambo said the ninth suspect is believed to be out of the country and police are in the process of applying for his extradition.
“This forms part of the second leg of investigation into allegations of gross irregularities committed at the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH), between the period of 2006 and 2010,” Mbambo said.
The case was referred to the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation unit by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) in September 2011 for further criminal investigation.
The main contract was for the establishment of a “Project Management Unit (PMU)” which was first awarded on the 04 July 2007 and was extended again on the 17 February 2009 for another three years, without putting it out on an open tender, and at a cost of approximately R273 million per annum.
OFFICIALS RECEIVED INTERNATIONAL TRIPS IN EXCHANGE FOR FRAUD AND CORRUPTION
“Several senior and executive officials of the department allegedly received gratifications from the main service provider and subcontractors in the form of cash, loans, gifts and all-expense paid holiday, local and international trips. It is further alleged that none of the Gauteng Health Department officials ever declared such gifts,” Mbambo said.
National Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya applauded the team for the arrests.
“Although this investigation had challenges of its own, our prioritisation has resulted in securing the attendance of the accused who shall also face the charge of pattern of racketeering activity which is in general terms organised crime,” Lebeya said.