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News - Date: 05 October 2018
Written by: Kaizer Nengovhela / Viewed: 3235
The Limpopo Department of Health suspended the Louis Trichardt Memorial Hospital’s chief executive officer (CEO), Dr Irene Malatji, last week while allegations of corruption, maladministration and nepotism are being investigated.
The suspension follows weeks of protest action by employees and general workers at the hospital. The workers demanded the resignation of the CEO. Last month, the workers’ union representative handed over a memorandum to a representative of the Department of Health wherein the department is urged to remove the CEO from the hospital.
The groups involved include members affiliated to the National Health Education & Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa), Health & Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) and the Public Servants Association (PSA).
The Department of Health’s spokesperson, Mr Neil Shikwambane, said that Malatji’s suspension followed an investigation into allegations of nepotism and corruption. He did not want to elaborate on the nature of the charges against Malatji, merely stating that no charges had been brought at the time. “We are still waiting for the investigator’s report,” he said.
Asked how long Malatji’s suspension would continue, Shikwambane stated that he could not give a time frame, as “these things can drag on and on”. He did, however, state that the department wanted to conclude the issue as a matter of urgency.
For the interim, Ms Lettie Ramaru has been appointed as acting CEO.
Nehawu’s local chairperson, Mr Mashudu Mabala, said that the workers and unions were satisfied with the department’s decision to suspend Malatji, whom they blamed for not providing “strategic leadership”. He said that Malatji had tarnished the image of the hospital and they needed a person who would change the hospital to be a home of the patients.
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Louis Trichardt Memorial Hospital's suspended CEO, Dr Irene Malatji.
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.