AfriForum laid criminal charges against Beth Engelbrecht, Head of the Western 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 Engelbrecht 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 Deon de Jager, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for the Boland.
“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 De Jager.
The Western Cape Department of Health’s annual report indicates that the Department incurred irregular expenditures of R11,3 million in the 2016/2017 financial year. The department also incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditures of R7 000 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 Engelbrecht fulfilled her 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,” De Jager 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.