- Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has laid all blame for the problems in North West at its premier’s door
- Motsoaledi said his advice against Thabo Lekalakala’s appointment was ignored by Supra Mahumapelo as was his later suggestions to suspend the HOD
- President Cyril Ramaphosa has put the provincial health department under administration following riots calling for Mahumapelo’s removal last week
Health Minister Aaron Motlosaedi has swiftly shifted all blame for the issues besetting the beleaguered North West provincial health department towards its premier, Supra Mahumapelo.
Briefly.co.za has believes this will add to escalating calls in the province for Mahumapelo’s head as riots broke out recently in the province calling for the premier to be recalled.
Motsoaledi, who now has been given the responsibility as national head of health to take over administration of the provinces health department, said he had advised the premier not to appoint Thabo Lekalakala.
Meanwhile, Mahumapelo has said he welcomes the decision by cabinet to put his province's health department under administration.
Motsoaledi contends that earlier calls to the premier to suspend Lekalakala, were also reportedly ignored leading to the present crisis.
President Cyril Ramaphosa stepped in this week to appointed a ministerial task team headed up by Motsoaledi to deal with the province’s most urgent matters.
The president also put the provincial health department under the control of central government as tempers rose and riots raged in the province.
The health minister announced plans to appoint a team of seven administrators to deal with the issues. Of that team, one member will take up the office of suspended HOD, Thabo Lekalakala.
Motsoaledi said ministers have limited powers to intervene until it is too late, he bemoaned the premier having ignored his warnings.
“Now I am being open to you, because before I tried to be nice. The person who was appointed HOD was working in my department as a director, and I warned that this person won’t make it because I know him,” he said.
“You remember when I went to the North West Mediosa facility, I made a call for the HOD to be suspended and the premier waited two months? He only suspended him last month, because of the strike.
“Now that he has been suspended, neither he nor the MEC has the power to institute disciplinary proceedings and charge him,” said the health minister.
The disgraced former HOD, Lekalakala, who allegedly misrepresented his qualifications at the time of his appointment three years ago, is also implicated as an alleged beneficiary of the Gupta-linked Mediosa health scheme.
Motsoaledi has only a fortnight to set up his administration team, and just over three months to complete his inventions. He explained that he wasn’t expected to give permission for the HOD’s appointment.
“I went to the North West to call for the Mediosa contract to be terminated. Now they are asking where was the minister, but when provinces decide on these contracts they don’t ask permission from me, because it is not provided for in the law,” said Motsoaledi.
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