CentralSAFS Health weighs in on arrest of former HOD and officials
─── OLEBOGENG MOTSE 14:56 Tue, 03 Aug 2021
The Free State Health Department has weighed in on the recent arrest of its former head, David Motau, and 13 other people for their alleged role in an R8,7 million fraud case that has rocked the department.
Free State Health Department spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, cautions that “not all the officials in the case were involved in criminal activities and it is important to not fall into a trap of generalisation, which may unduly impact the credibility of the implicated persons”. Despite making proclamations on the innocence of the current and former officials following their arrest, he says the department “is still being furnished with the charges levelled against each of the implicated officials and only then can they be empowered to clarify the status of each of the officials without meddling with legal processes”.
The fourteen accused are each facing fraud, forgery, money laundering, and corruption charges in connection with the submission of falsified invoices to the department by companies between 2011 and 2015 for non-existent services.
The department has made specific reference to Motau’s case, explaining that as far as they understand the former departmental head was apprehended for not taking internal disciplinary steps against those who allegedly defrauded the department. Mvambi says it was Motau who instructed the department’s Chief Finance Officer (CFO) to open a criminal case against the alleged tender fraud which took place between 2011 and 2015 and centres on the submission of invoices for non-existent work. He, however, could not institute disciplinary processes against those involved at the department due to the Hawks having had taken all documentation for their investigation. He says despite several requests for the documentation, the directorate did not furnish this to Motau.
Free State Hawks spokesperson, Christopher Singo, has declined to comment on Mvambi’s allegations saying the matter is still with the courts.
Meanwhile, all fourteen accused have been let out on bail of either R2000 or R5000 by the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court. The group is made up of government employees: Motsumi Krisjan Polori (46), Sarah Kenosi Legobate (44), David Motau (54), Sarah Kenosi Legobate(44), Mietje Johns (61), Limakatso Catharine Mabitle (62), Hillary Colleen Kala (56), John Motsemme Chakane (65) and company directors: John Tsietsi Polori (50), Thabo Moeti (39), Mavuso Victor Kwababa (49), Simon Njonga (40), Lebohang Beqezi (37), and Mmalefa Charity Moloi (39). The arrests come nearly two years after the Hawks raided the Provincial Health Department’s headquarters in Bloemfontein.