Official suspended for baby formula scandal

Cornelius Lebeloe is being investigated for the alleged wastage of R7 million worth of formula.

Cornelius Lebeloe is being investigated for the alleged wastage of R7 million worth of formula. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The North West Department of Health has suspended a senior official for his alleged role in a baby formula scandal.

Cornelius Lebeloe is being investigated after the department bought R7 million worth of formula, failed to distribute it for three years and then spent another R2 million to incinerate the expired product.

Two other senior managers are also in hot water.

They are expected to explain their role in the procurement and processes that led to the apparent waste of state funds.

The department's Tebogo Lekgethwane says the investigation was launched after a report in the Mail & Guardian newspaper.

"He was at the forefront of that procurement [but] we just [got] to emphasise that the official is on cautionary suspension - he has not been found guilty."

Lekgethwane added the investigation began internally but external agencies would be brought in to expand its scope.