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DA’s Bloom won't retract claims of financial mismanagement at GP COVID facility

Suspended Health MEC Bandile Masuku has threatened legal action against Bloom, saying he was spreading false information.

FILE: The Nasrec COVID-19 field hospital, which cost about R350 million, was meant to accommodate at least 1,500 patients – but Bloom claims only 700 patients were admitted. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Jack Bloom said he would not retract his remarks on alleged financial mismanagement at one of Gauteng’s largest COVID-19 facilities.

Suspended Health MEC Bandile Masuku has threatened legal action against Bloom, saying he was spreading false information.

This came after Bloom published a statement on the Nasrec Field Hospital where he said pending per COVID-19 patient equated to almost R500,000 per person.

The province has been further accused of “probable corruption” as hospital beds lie empty at the makeshift hospital.

The provincial government has, however, defended the multimillion-rand project as being based on worst-case scenario models.

Masuku gave Bloom an ultimatum to retract his statement regarding the admission of patients at the Nasrec field hospital.

However, the DA leader said was standing by his comments that the suspended MEC mismanaged public funds.

The facility which cost about R350 million was meant to accommodate at least 1,500 patients – but Bloom claims only 700 patients were admitted – with each one costing the province close to R500,000.

“I am certainly not going to retract my statement. This is what it has been costing and I think it needs to be justified. We suspect that there has been massive corruption involved and the DA will be handling the legal aspect.”

Bloom said this was another reason why Masuku should be fired in addition to his failure to prevent alleged corruption in personal protective equipment contracts.

“He is already accused by his own party of not doing sufficient oversite to the PPE contracts. Well, I don’t think he did sufficient oversite for the field hospital and quite frankly, for a lot of the other expenditures.”

Masuku said Bloom’s claims were dangerous, misguided, and reckless – and aimed to mislead the public and tarnish his image.

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