AfriForum laid criminal charges in Port Elizabeth today against Dr T.D. Mbengashe, Head of the Eastern Cape Department of Health, as part of the organisation’s national campaign against the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill. This follows the organisation studying the Department’s annual report and finding that Mbengashe is 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 18 and 22 November 2019, during which criminal charges will be laid against the heads of each provincial Department of Health.
“The squandering of taxpayers’ money is a national crisis and the responsible parties should be brought to book. That is why we laid these charges today. This misappropriation of funds is one of the main reasons why we cannot rely on the government to implement NHI: They have shown that they cannot be trusted with taxpayers’ money,” says Arno Greyling, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Southern Cape.
The Eastern Cape Department of Health’s annual report indicates that this Department incurred irregular expenditures of more than R255 million in the 2017/2018 financial year. The department also incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditures of almost R1 million in the 2017/2018 financial year.
Irregular expenditures comprise all expenses that are inconsistent with what the Act prescribes. Fruitless and wasteful expenditures are expenses made in vain but that could have been prevented if reasonable precaution had been taken. This excessive expenditure could have been prevented, had 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 are letting taxpayers down by failing to fulfil their duties,” Greyling concludes.
AfriForum encourages the public to oppose the NHI by giving AfriForum their mandate and submitting their comments on the NHI on AfriForum’s website at https://afriforum.co.za/en/divisions/campaigns/national-health-insurance/.