Health HoD suspension ‘won’t solve issues as department is rotten’ – Nehawu Ulundi victims sought
THE National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) said the suspension of the head of department of the crisis stricken KZN department of health, Dr Sifiso Mtshali, on Monday would not solve the problems besetting it.
The union said Mtshali was new to the department and could not be held responsible for the collapsing department.
“The department is rotten in totality, both at political and administrative level. Some of the alleged (bad) things started happening even before he took over as the HoD,” Nehawu’s Phakama Ndunakazi, said.
Mtshali, the former CEO of the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, took office in March. He took over from Dr Sibongile Zungu who left in 2015 after reports that she was no longer on good terms with the department’s MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.
In his short tenure, Mtshali who could not be reached for comment, encountered an ongoing oncologist crisis, several lawsuits and corruption scandals related to procurement of equipment mainly for hospitals.
Dr Imran Keeka MPL – DA KZN spokesperson on health matters, alleged that Mtshali was purged for accusing Dhlomo of interfering in administrative matters.
“According to HoD Mtshali’s frank admission in a recent ministerial task team report, (Dhlomo) meddled illegally in department’s administration.”
Keeka said that Premier Willies Mchunu should have instead fired Dhlomo, a man he accused of having done nothing to prevent the collapse of this critical service delivery department.
“KZN’s oncology and other health crises did not happen overnight. They also did not happen under Dr Mtshali’s watch alone. The common denominator is MEC Dhlomo. It is clear that Dr Mtshali is the latest scapegoat to take responsibility for a political bungle.” Health department spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi and his assistant, Agiza Hlongwane, did not respond to the allegations.
“We have no comment to make at this stage. An official comment will be made in due course,” Ndabe Sibiya, the spokesperson of the premier said. POLICE have urged for possible victims of the man dubbed the Ulundi serial rapist to come forward following his arrest last week on 12 counts of rape.
There is suspicion that the 37-yearold suspect may have assaulted more women during his reign of terror along the railway line near Mbhoshongweni area in Ulundi from 2012 to 2016.
“An appeal is extended to all complainants who have been victims of this suspect to please contact the investigating officer in Ulundi, WO Mucu Luhlongwane at 0358740330 or 0715602976,” police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbhele said.
The Ulundi SAPS believe that some of the rape incidents during the four years might have gone unreported.
The accused is reported to have stalked his victims from their work places at the Ulundi Plaza. He targeted women walking alone after knocking off duty late at night.
According to police reports the suspect threatened his victims with a knife and firearm and pulled them into nearby bushes where he would rape them.
“In an incident that occurred in 2015, the suspect was arrested for rape and taken to court but due to insufficient evidence, the matter was withdrawn.
“Samples were taken from him and forwarded for DNA analysis. The accused was then linked to 12 other cases which he allegedly committed in the same area,” Mbhele said.
The positive DNA led to a manhunt for the suspect by officers from the Ulundi Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit. The suspect who had narrowly evaded jail, was once again arrested last Wednesday in Ulundi.
Acting provincial commissioner, Maj-Gen Bheki Langa, who has prioritised crimes against women and children welcomed the arrest.“Our police will ensure that all criminals targeting vulnerable women and children will be removed from the community,” he said. The accused appeared yesterday in the Mahlabathini Magistrate’s Court facing 12 counts of rape and was remanded in custody.