Special Tribunal orders freeze pension of former Limpopo Health HOD

The pension benefits of former Limpopo Health Department head of department, Dr Thokozani Mhlongo, have been frozen pending the finalisation of civil proceedings in a matter related to the unlawful procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the department.
Spokesperson for the Special Investigating Unit Kaizer Kganyago said the corruption busting unit obtained a Special Tribunal order to freeze the benefits following Mhlongo’s resignation from the department in June “in the face of a disciplinary hearing which emanated from SIU investigations in the affairs of the department”.
“The SIU will continue to pursue officials who resign in the face of an investigation or in the face of a disciplinary action by freezing their pension benefits and institute civil litigation to recover financial losses suffered by state institutions.
“The SIU investigations have uncovered irregularities in the appointment of service providers Clinipro Pty Ltd, Pro Secure Pty Ltd, and Ndia Business Trading (Pty) Ltd for the supply and delivery of PPE items which resulted in the department incurring irregular expenditure and/or a fruitless and wasteful expenditure of approximately R182 million,” he said.
Kganyago added that beyond the PPE scandal, Mhlongo alllegedly “exposed the department to wasteful expenditure” when authorising the procurement of 10 000 cellphones; for household COVID-19 screening; at a cost of R10 million.
“The department could only manage to distribute 388 of the 10 000 cellphones between September 2020 and March 2021 and the cellphones were distributed without the required screening application.
“After the physical counting of cellphones in storage by SIU investigators in March 2021, the department distributed 9 588 cellphones to community health workers for COVID-19 vaccination without the required application installed,” Kganyago said.

Source: South African Government News Agency