Health Minister Joe Phaahla has placed the new HPCSA Registrar and CEO, Dr David Motau on precautionary suspension for a second time after initially lifting the suspension imposed by acting Health Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi earlier this month.
In a statement, the HPCSA confirmed that the new Registrar’s precautionary suspension has been reinstated pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct relating to his tenure as Head of the Free State Health Department. The Council says the aim of the precautionary suspension is to maintain the integrity of the Council while investigations are conducted.
Motau was arrested on the 2nd of August and appeared in the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court alongside 12 other suspects on charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption. The charges relate to allegations of payments that were made to the department’s service providers between January 2011 and December 2015 with no services rendered for the payments.
Two days later the acting Health Minister announced that Motau was placed on precautionary suspension, saying it was necessitated by the seriousness of the allegations and its ramifications to the health fraternity. However, a day after his appointment as new Health Minister, Phaahla sent Motau a letter, telling him that that his precautionary suspension had been lifted with immediate effect and requesting that he report for duty on receipt of the letter. However, a week later, the health minister seemed to have changed his mind and reimposed the suspension.
HPCSA President Prof Simon Nemutandani says the Council will consider the findings and recommendations of the investigation once it is concluded to decide on the way forward.
He added that the HPCSA will only comment further on the matter once the investigation has been concluded and that the minister will appoint an acting Registrar/CEO soon to manage the Council’s operations.