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South Africa: Special Investigating Unit to Probe Tembisa Hospital Scandal – South African News Briefs – August 15, 2023

 

President Orders Special Investigating Unit Probe Into Tembisa Hospital Scandal

President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe into alleged corruption networks involving R1 billion at Tembisa Hospital, reports News24. In 2021, whistleblower Babita Deokaran raised the alarm over suspicious transactions. She was killed three weeks after filing her report. The scandal involves irregularities in procurement processes, with officials allegedly ignoring discrepancies in bid documents to ensure contracts were awarded. Among those implicated is Tembisa Hospital tender figure Hangwani Morgan Maumela, who is related to Ramaphosa. Maumela and his cousin reportedly secured millions in contracts from the hospital and other facilities. The president denies knowledge of Maumela’s business dealings. Several officials implicated have resigned or been suspended. A murder trial related to Deokaran’s killing is ongoing, and separate corruption investigations are being conducted by the Hawks.

Woman Who Embezzled R537 Million Said to Have Spent R5 Million on Gambling in One Night

Hildegard Steenkamp, a woman convicted of embezzling R537 million (about U.S.$24 million) from her employer over a 13-year period, reportedly spent a significant portion of the stolen funds on gambling and an extravagant lifestyle, reports News24. Testimony in the ¬†Johannesburg Commercial Crimes from forensic investigator Graeme Dawes is that the stolen money was used for overseas travel, gambling, jewelry, and fashion items. The court heard that the largest gambling expenditure in a single night was R5 million. Steenkamp was found to have duplicated payments and transferred funds to her late husband’s account, stealing over R20 million in one month alone. Court proceedings are set to continue with arguments regarding the appropriate sentence, with Steenkamp expected to provide her testimony. Her legal counsel has indicated that they will not present expert reports.

eThekwini Municipality Cleans Up Ohlange Wastewater Pump Station After Viral Sewage Video

The eThekwini Municipality has initiated a cleanup at the Ohlange wastewater pump station following viral video of sewage overflow, reports Mail & Guardian. The video, captured by Peter Graham and ActionSA’s Alan Beesley, revealed the station’s deplorable condition and lack of functioning pumps. The pump station, previously a source of sewage pollution in the Ohlange River and Umhlanga sea, had been repaired after flood damage in April 2022. Despite repairs, the station struggled with sewage volume. The municipality has cited ongoing repairs and installation of new pumps and a control centre for improved functionality. Vandalism and misuse of sewer systems have been highlighted as key issues contributing to blockages and overflows.

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