The Public Servants’ Association (PSA) has welcomed the dismissal of former Eastern Cape health MEC Sindiswa Gomba.
The union said keeping her in the position would have set a precedent “that stealing from a public purse is acceptable (sic)”.
Gomba was sacked by Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane after she was implicated by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in the awarding of a R10 million tender to a company for the acquisition of the infamous scooter ambulances, as well as alleged fraud around former president Nelson Mandela’s funeral.
Her dismissal would allow her time to focus on her Mandela funeral fraud case, Mabuyane said at the time.
The PSA said the health department under her leadership had “failed to deliver on its mission to provide and ensure accessible, comprehensive and integrated services in the Eastern Cape”.
“Her incompetence is well documented, including the R10 million scooter ambulance tender scandal, which was discontinued after a public outcry. She was further found wanting in the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the PSA said in a statement.
“Although the allegations are not related to her current role as the MEC, those in public leadership positions must be beyond reproach to espouse public trust. Corruption is like cancer that is destroying the public service hence it must be treated with the seriousness it deserves.”
The union added that the attendance of court proceedings would have divided Gomba’s attention and added to the many challenges facing the department.
“Allowing the MEC to continue in her role would have sent wrong message to the public and set a wrong precedent that stealing from a public purse is acceptable (sic),” the statement said.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Xolile Nqatha has been appointed as acting health MEC until a permanent appointment can be made.
Gomba has retained her role in the Eastern Cape Legislature.