News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
27 Aug 2019
11:54 am

Suspended North West health boss arrested for fraud

News24 Wire

His co-accused, Wendy Nelson, appeared in court on Friday for fraud and was granted R20,000 bail.

North West Department of Health HOD Dr Andrew Thabo Lekalakala. Picture: health.nwpg.gov.za

Suspended North West health boss Thabo Lekalakala was arrested for fraud on Monday.

Lekalakala appeared in the Mmabatho Regional Court in Mahikeng on the same day and was released on R20,000 bail, said Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi to News24.

Lekalakala’s co-accused, former North West finance MEC Wendy Nelson appeared in court on Friday for fraud and was also granted R20,000 bail.

The two are expected to appear in court again on September 6, Mulaudzi said.

According to provincial Hawks spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso, Nelson was arrested following investigations into allegations pertaining to the irregular appointment of a senior official in the health department in 2014.

That year, the department advertised the post, for which Lekalakala applied.

Then premier of the North West, Supra Mahumapelo, appointed a selection committee to evaluate the candidates.

News24 understands the committee shortlisted candidates based on their level of qualifications, which included a Bachelor’s degree in health science and at least five years of experience as a senior manager in the health service environment at the level of chief director.

Lekalakala allegedly provided false information but despite this, he was still recommended for the post.

City Press reported over the weekend that Nelson’s arrest was linked to the dubious appointment of the health department head who sealed the controversial R180 million Gupta-linked Mediosa contract.

Nelson was handpicked by Mahumapelo as acting premier while his future as premier hung in the balance, according to the weekly publication.

North West department of health spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane told News24 on Tuesday that Lekalakala was still undergoing a disciplinary hearing.

“He challenged his suspension in December and was reinstated effective January 2019,” Lekgethwane said.

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