The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has written to the Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla demanding the release of Professor Mbulaheni Simon Nemutandani as a member of the medical and dental professions board.
In a lengthy letter, the union accused Nemutandani of:
- Lying under oath in the High Court application brought by Dr. David Motau against yourself (The Minister) and the Health Proffessional Council of SA (HPCSA) for his unlawful and irrational suspension from work.
- Meddling in the operations of the HPCSA in that he appointed a service provider in circumstances where he lacked the power to appoint service providers and,
- Appointed a service provider outside the approved panel of service providers
“We are further aware that the South African Medical Association (SAMA) reported irregular claims by Prof Nemutandani,” reads the statement.
“These irregular claims were widely reported in the media, and you ought to have been aware of them and you failed to investigate these reports.”
It said that it had information that Nemutandani “claimed and received fees for attending meetings of Council and other structures of Council in defiance and contravention of the Minister of Health’s directive”.
“You will recall that your office had issued a directive to members of Council and members of the professional boards against claiming if they were employed by public service.”
Prof Nemutandani was employed by the Gauteng Provincial Department of Health until August 2021, and he claimed fees for attending meetings irrespective of the Ministerial directive from the time when he was appointed as a member of the professional board and council until August 2021 when he ceased to work for Gauteng Provincial Department of Health.
Nehawu said that Nemutandani “cannot be allowed to remain in the HPCSA given his history of interference with investigations as indicated above”.
“We, therefore, request that you suspend Prof Nemutandani within 3 days of this letter and immediately institute investigation into his conduct, failing which, you leave us with no option but to formally report your maladministration of the HPCSA to the Public Protector and SIU.”
Back in October, Nemutandani was subject of controversy after over 100 foreign trained graduate doctors hauled the HPCSA and its executives,for contempt of the order.
This was after they had successfully lobbied the High Court in Pretoria to force the HPCSA to allow them to write either the theory or practical components of the South African board examinations, which would pave their way into practice.
However, they were left out of the board examinations, despite a court ordering the HPCSA to allow them to write.