The Kagung Clinic, under construction in the John Taole Gaetsewe (JTG) district, first came under the spotlight following the shocking admission by the Northern Cape Department of Health that the contractors were in fact appointed purely because of political intervention.
The DA can today reveal that we have since not only obtained evidence to support this claim but we have also managed to ascertain that poor performance by the connected contractor also resulted in unjustified cost hikes for the health department.
It has transpired that the directors of Lefanosi Construction and Trading, which was initially awarded the building tender in 2012, are none other than the former disgraced Municipal Manager of Mangaung, Mojalefa “JJ” Matlole, and his then colleague, Florence Mokgubu.
Matlole has previously been investigated by the Scorpions and was reportedly axed as manager of Bloemfontein’s Manguang municipality after a disciplinary hearing found him guilty of fraud, theft and corruption involving tenders worth R130 million. Reports indicate that Matlole was then seconded to serve as manager of the Ngaka Modiri Molema municipality in North West, where he again made headlines for reportedly earning a salary of R1,4 million per annum. He was later accused of paying a recruitment agency about R230 000 to find a municipal manager, a job to which he was later appointed.
Matlole is believed to have a penchant for the high life. He reportedly lived at the Mafikeng Protea Hotel for an extended period, at a cost of approximately R40 000 per month to the Ngaka Modiri Molema municipality. His drinks bill, which reportedly featured Johnnie Walker Green Label and Glenfiddich whiskies, and Devil’s Hill cocktails, which cost R175 each, was also said to have been covered by the municipality.
While the DA has yet to determine exactly who Matlole’s “friends” in the Northern Cape are, we have our suspicions and will continue to pursue other avenues in order to establish how, and through who, he was awarded the Kagung Clinic Tender.
A total of R6,5 million was initially set aside for Kagung Clinic, of which construction was due to start in 2012 and end in 2013. It is now 2015, the clinic is only 30% complete and the contract value now stands at R18 million.
According to the Health Department, the services of the building contractor were terminated due to non-delivery and quality problems. The contractor applied for reinstatement, which was granted on conditions, with which the contractor could not comply. The contract was finally terminated in 2014. The Independent Development Trust, as the Implementing Agent, is busy with the procurement of a new contractor.
It makes no sense to the DA as to why a contractor, who fails to perform, would be given a second chance to waste time and money when the healthcare of our communities is at stake. The only logical explanation is that there was political interference in the case of the Kagung Clinic, as was inferred by the Health Department.
The DA condemns the abuse of political muscle. The sick people, of the impoverished villages of JTG, are now suffering the most as a result of greedy ANC cadres, who put their own selfish desires above the basic needs of the poor. The DA has a zero-tolerance attitude towards corruption, which includes the “favours for friends” approach of the ruling party. We will stop at nothing to uncover the truth behind the Kagung Clinic scandal and will be submitting a Public Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to the IDT in an effort to gain the particulars of the tender and the contract.