'Health Dept legal advisers warned against Gupta-linked Mediosa'

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says despite warnings from the department’s legal unit, head of department Thabo Lekalakala contracted the company without a tender being issued.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi visited the Mediosa mobile clinic in the North West on 2 March 2018. Picture: Hitekani Magwedze/EWN.

NORTH WEST – Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says the North West Health Department's legal unit declared the contract with Gupta-linked company Mediosa unlawful when it was proposed initially, but for some reason it was signed anyway.

The department paid R30 million of the R180 million contract before the fraud was exposed.

In its motivation, the department says the mobile clinic was meant to serve rural communities. However, the minister says it amounts to fruitless expenditure.

Motsoaledi has finally broken his silence on the Gupta-owned company.

“In fact, I don’t think it would be wrong to characterise it as an ATM card through which the Guptas are withdrawing money from the Department of Health.”

He says despite warnings from the department’s legal unit, head of department (HOD) Thabo Lekalakala contracted the company without a tender being issued.

“In the document they showed me the legal unit said this contract must not be signed as it’s illegal. He signed despite the advice.”

Motsoaledi says he’s pleading with Premier Supra Mahumapelo to ensure that the HOD never works in the Health Department again.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)