DA’s Jane Sithole threatens career of Mpumalanga health MEC

A memorandum calling for the end of the career of Mpumalanga health MEC Gillion Mashego has been received.

Mashego is being given a hard time by DA legislature member and shadow health MEC, Jane Sithole.

Both Mashego and Sithole do not see eye to eye and Sithole says she has written a number of letters to Premier David Mabuza for him to fire Mashego.

This week members of the Democratic Alliance, led by Sithole, marched to the Mpumalanga provincial legislature and handed over a memorandum calling for the immediate resignation of Mashego.

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Soon after 3 August 2016’s local government elections, Premier Mabuza reshuffled his cabinet and chopped four MEC heads in his cabinet. Sithole, who is the chairwoman of the DA in the province, released a statement and slammed Mabuza for not including Mashego in the list of those fired MECs.

“The right thing to do is for MEC Mashego to resign and make way for someone who will move the department of health forward,” said Sithole in a statement released to all media houses this week Tuesday.

“MEC Mashego’s leadership has not improved the Department at all and there is no indication of any positive changes in the Department since it was put under curatorship in 2014,” she said.

Officials in Mashego’s department confirmed they were now in possession of Sithole’s memorandum and will respond within the allocated 14 days.

SEE ALSO: Mpumalanga health department criticised for scrapping 13 000 jobs

In the memorandum, which 013NEWS has seen, Sithole charges Mashego of the following:

 ▪Disorder or lack of control of the amount of hours or overtime worked by healthcare professionals.

▪Failure to implement the turnaround strategy requested by the Human Rights Commission in 2014 for the department.

▪Staff shortage and delayed appointments, resulting in some underspent budget of R83.5 million.

▪Non-compliant with national health standards.

▪Increased maternal mortality rate from 77.5/100 000 deaths in the 2nd quarter of the 2014/15 financial year to 135.3/100 000 deaths in 2015/16.

▪Abolishment of 12 836 posts, of which 3 120 were funded, causing ‘severe staff shortages’.

▪Destruction of expired medicines worth over R5 million.

Responding to questions from 013NEWS, spokesman for the premier, Zibonele Mncwango, said that “cabinet reshuffles are the prerogative of the premier” and that “the premier would not succumb to political pressure by opposition parties.”

“Whenever the premier does reshuffling it is based on the strength and leadership capabilities of the deployed. Since MEC Mashego came in there is stability there and he is implementing the turn around strategy of the department after a curatorship was lifted.

“Furthermore, the Statistician General recently commended the provincial government on the decline in maternal mortality. All health facilities have medication, the department is busy employing doctors and nurses and the Executive Council is satisfied with progress made since the intervention following the visit to all hospitals in 2012,” he said.

(edited by MLM)

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