Following an investigation by Corruption Watch, the Mpumalanga Department of Health has extended its probe into a multi-million rand contract awarded to Mkhago Health Care Services as part of the province’s Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision programme.
In October 2013 the health department suspended the R182-million contract with Mkhago Health Care Services when Corruption Watch revealed that the contract was not put out to tender.
The law stipulates that all contracts over R500 000 are to be awarded through a public competitive bidding process
Strengthening and accelerating the investigation
Provincial health spokesperson Ronnie Masilela said that the department had joined forces with the integrity management unit in the premier’s office, to strengthen and accelerate the investigation. Masilela previously noted that the investigation would be completed by the end of November 2013 – but now, according to him, the matter has proven to be “a little complex” and will require a time extension in order to complete other parts of the investigation.
"It is against this background that we request to comment no further on this very matter until the investigations are concluded, which we believe will be soon," said Masilela.
Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi has instructed the department to report back to him on the findings of the investigation and how the contract was awarded.
Mkhago Health Care Services is a private company belonging to Dr Ebby Mkhabela, a doctor linked to a botched circumcision procedure on a young Mpumalanga boy. Mkhago is one of six service providers for circumcision that are working with the department.