After a forensic audit into the Eastern Cape’s health department’s matters, the auditing service revealed large scale nepotism and graft. It was proven that of the department’s combined employees, 544 were suspected to be ghost employees. This was determined after they found invalid identity numbers, the department commented.
8034 employees of the department were listed as directors of active companies while as many as 929 employees were listed as suppliers for the health department. Of the 8034 staff members that are listed as directors in active companies, the accounting services noted that 235 of these employees had received payment of R42.8 million from the Health department. The payments that were made to employees included 7.3 million which provided medical support personnel, R4 million and another R3.5 million for engineering support staff with emergency services members receiving R3.8 million.
The department also went on to reveal that its auditing found that there were 35 spouses of employees who were doing business with it and linked the spouses to payments that were made in excess of R11 million. In these supplier invoices were also noted procurement irregularities.
These and other findings all formed part of a forensic auditing investigation which was commissioned by Eastern Cape premier Noxolo Kiviet along with the MEC for health Sicelo Gqobana. The SIU, or the Special Investigating Union, along with the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the South African Revenue Service and the Eastern Cape health department carried out this auditing investigation.
The department went on to say that there were also many cases where they found procurement irregularities and that the payment manipulation is rife in order to avoid policy. Duplicate payments were made and no invoices were recorded. According to the department the goal of this auditing was to investigate irregular expenditure, tax transgressions, and illegal contracts and also to recover losses. They will attempt to recover any losses that they can. The SIU is also currently doing an investigation into the alleged manipulation of the procurement processes at the East London emergency services, among carrying out other investigations in the province.