Photo: Arno Greyling from AfriForum speaking to SABC team.
AfriForum laid criminal charges against Thobile Mbengashe, Head of the Eastern Cape Department of Health, today as part of its national campaign against misappropriation in the public health sector. This follows after the organisation studied the Department’s annual report and found that Mbengashe was guilty of offences in terms of Section 86(1) of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999).
AfriForum will visit all nine provinces between 5 and 9 November 2018, during which criminal charges will be laid against the heads of each Provincial Department of Health.
“AfriForum is of the opinion that the misuse of taxpayers’ money is a national crisis,” says Arno Greyling, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Southern Cape.
It is time that taxpayers put pressure on the National Prosecuting Authority to make examples of heads of departments who do not fulfil their duties as prescribed by the Act. They are some of the biggest perpetrators in the misuse of taxpayers’ money,” adds Greyling.
The Eastern Cape Department of Health’s annual report indicates that the Department incurred irregular expenditures of R26,8 million in the 2016/2017 financial year. The department also incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditures of R6,8 million in the 2016/2017 financial year.
Irregular expenditures are all expenses that are inconsistent with what the Act prescribes. Unauthorised expenditures are all expenses incurred contrary to the approved budget. Fruitless and wasteful expenditures are expenses made in vain and that could have been prevented if reasonable precaution had been taken. This excessive expenditure could have been prevented if Mbengashe fulfilled his duties.
“The charges against the department heads are based on alleged financial misappropriation in terms of the above-mentioned Act. They must prevent irregular, fruitless, wasteful and unauthorised expenditures and must hold guilty parties accountable. The department heads let taxpayers down by failing to fulfil their duties,” Greyling concludes.
AfriForum wants to encourage the public to put the necessary pressure on the National Prosecuting Authority by sending an SMS with their name to 45344 (R1) or by signing the charges on AfriForum’s website at www.stopcorruption.co.za.