Brits Hospital fraud case: Health HOD appears in court

The head of the provincial health department, Obakeng Eden Mongale, stands accused of unlawfully awarding a R470m tender.

The North West Department of Health’s head of department was arrested last Thursday for his alleged involvement in a R470m fraudulent Brits Hospital deal.

Obakeng Eden Mongale (52) appeared in the Mahikeng Magistrate’s Court on the same day, for alleged contravention of section 38 of the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999.

Mongale handed himself over to the police that morning.

It is alleged that in 2008, Mongale awarded IIima Projects and Tsoga Developers a tender to the tune of over R470m to construct Brits Hospital. Investigations by Serious Commercial Crime Investigation revealed that the two companies were awarded the tender without meeting requirements.

“In 2010, Ilima Projects was allegedly placed under provisional liquidation, which resulted in the termination of the contract. A new company was appointed to complete the construction of the hospital. The department had spent over R57m when the contract was terminated. The new contractor had to carry out major remedial work amounting to more than R4m, which resulted in the extension of time and cost, which constituted wasteful expenditure,” says Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Tinyiko Mathebula.

The accused was released on R50 000 bail and his case was postponed to January 31, 2024, for further investigation.

He has been ordered to hand in his passport to the investigating officer and not to communicate with state witnesses. The court further ordered the accused not to leave the province without informing the investigating officer.

The North West head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Major-General Patrick Mbotho, and the province’s director of Public Prosecutions, Dr Rachel Makhari, lauded both the investigation and prosecution team for working in collaboration towards ensuring that the accused is brought before court to answer to the allegations against him.

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