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'NW health HOD misrepresented work experience'

NW health HOD Thabo Lekalakala, who is on forced leave pending an investigation into claims of corruption against him, has denied any wrongdoing.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The North West portfolio committee on health says it has written confirmation that embattled health HOD Thabo Lekalakala misrepresented his work experience when applying for the post which he’s held since 2015.

Lekalakala, who is on forced leave pending an investigation into claims of corruption against him, has denied any wrongdoing.

He is accused of benefitting from the Gupta family’s Mediosa health scheme.

Lekalakala faces a barrage of allegations against him, including fraud and corruption charges over the alleged misrepresentation of his work experience, after he stated that he had worked as a chief director.

Now the chairperson of the portfolio committee on health, Madoda Sambatha, says they have written proof the HOD did not meet the requirements.

“The department of health confirmed in writing that the last position for Dr Lekalakala was that of a director, not a chief director.”

Earlier this year, Lekalakala said the claims amounted to libel.

“These claims of misrepresentation, I don’t know where they get that, but also the issue deals directly with the issue of my integrity.”

He said he had begun a legal process to clear his name. Those involved have confirmed the receipt of letters from Lekalakala’s lawyers.

The portfolio committee says it will allow the courts to handle the matter.

MOTSOALEDI: WHY DOES LEKALAKALA STILL HAVE HIS JOB?

In February, the portfolio committee suggested that the HOD be removed from his position after he confessed to paying Gupta-linked company Mediosa R30 million upfront.

Various bodies, including the Hawks, have instituted investigations following Lekalakala’s appearance in the provincial legislature a few weeks ago, where he also admitted to accepting a trip to India a week after the Mediosa deal.

At the time Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said he did not understand why Premier Mahumapelo has still not taken action against the HOD, even after the department provided proof of illegal activity.

According to Motsoaledi, MEC Magome Masike has been forced to ask Lekalakala to go on leave because he has no authority to fire him.

But Mahumapelo said that he is following the law and conducting a thorough investigation and won’t fire Lekalakala until then.

LISTEN: Lekalakala must face charges, says Minister