NW Health Dept recommends Premier Mahumapelo suspends HOD

Thabo Lekalakala admitted to going on a Mediosa-sponsored trip to India, calling it an official government expedition.

FILE: Former North West Department of Health HOD Thabo Lekalakala. Picture: health.nwpg.gov.za

JOHANNESBURG - The North West Health Department has recommended that Premier Supra Mahumapelo suspend its head of department after he made a damning confession before Parliament's portfolio committee on Health about a controversial contract with a Gupta-linked company.

Thabo Lekalakala admitted to going on a Mediosa-sponsored trip to India, calling it an official government expedition.

This was a week after an advance payment was made to the company.

The portfolio committee on Health has heard that HOD Thabo Lekalakala failed to produce the R108 million contract that the department was believed to have with Mediosa.

The Gupta-linked health care organisation is alleged to have been awarded a tender unfairly and paid R30 million in advance.

The Health Department's Tebogo Lekgethwane says as per Parliament's suggestion, it has recommended that Lekalakala be suspended.

"What the MEC did was to ensure that all the issues that were discussed were in the records and all the recommendations are incorporated in the report, including the recommendation that the HOD be suspended."

However, the premier's office says that it has still not received this recommendation.