Mahumapelo must withdraw from probe into Gupta company payments: NW ANCYL

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File: Former North West Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, is joining a court application to set aside the ANC NEC's decision to disband the Provincial Executive Council.

RUSTENBURG - The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in North West on Thursday said national government must institute a forensic investigation into the provincial health department following reports that the department paid R30-million up front to a Gupta-linked company.

ANCYL spokesperson Tshiamo Tsotetsi said the upper sphere of government must institute and monitor a forensic investigation and not the North West provincial government.

North West premier Supra Mahumapelo on Monday instituted a forensic investigation into the provincial health department to deal with allegations that the department of health paid Mediosa R30-million upfront and made a further R180-million available to the company, which is linked to the controversial Gupta family.

The investigation is set to be headed by the North West director-general and will also probe other procurement related matters.

"We call on the North West premier Supra Mahumapelo to withdraw his participation in any process aimed at resolving an impasse surrounding the health department.

"We call on the premier to withdraw his participation and allow the upper sphere of government to institute the forensic investigations on the matter at hand. He must allow the process to be credible and dignified."

Tsotetsi said Mahumapelo was the chairperson of the Executive Council (Exco) that put three departments under administration, one of which was the department of health in April 2015.

"This would have meant that the department of health was not able to execute any big transaction without the knowledge and approval of Exco and the provincial treasury.

"Our call for the premier to withdraw his participation is further informed by the confession under oath by the health HOD [head of department] Dr Thabo Lekalakala that the trips he undertook to India were authorised by the Premier Supra Mahumapelo, with all expenses paid for by Mediosa company."

READ: ANC members call for removal of NW premier Mahumapelo

He said it was public knowledge that Mahumapelo was allegedly an ally of the Gupta patronage and possible criminal network, which would therefore suitably link him directly to the confessions under oath by the health department HOD.

"In our view, all this combined with the fact that the HOD of health had confidence to undermine his MEC and not report to him directly but elsewhere, affirms the premier as a possible roleplayer within the unfortunate affairs at the department of health in the province. 

"Therefore his participation in instituting a forensic investigation on a subject matter he is possibly implicated in will certainly rob the process of its credibility. We therefore call on the national department of health or relevant law enforcement authorities to lead a process of any form of investigations on the NW health department debacle."

Following a marathon meeting of the legislature portfolio committee that lasted from late Tuesday night to early Wednesday morning, the Hawks was roped in to probe allegations of fraud and corruption.