DoD leaves disastrous 1 Mil upgrade to the Hawks

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No disciplinary action has to date been taken against anyone apparently involved in the disaster that is the 1 Military Hospital repair and maintenance project (RAMP).

This was revealed by Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise when answering, in writing, a five part question by parliamentarian Kobus Marais on the multi-million Rand upgrade of what was a prestigious and internationally respected military medical facility.

She told Marais, the Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow minister for her portfolio, no disciplinary action was taken “against any staff,” adding recommendations in a Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DWPI) report was referred to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) – the Hawks. This happened in September last year where it has the case number HQ 01/09/2021.

A number of people seemingly attached to or part of the project to upgrade the military hospital on the northern side of Thaba Tshwane have, according to Modise, left SA National Defence Force (SANDF) employ, she said, without divulging numbers. This will apparently not hinder the Hawks’ investigation.

Without specifying dates, Modise committed to tabling the report of the SANDF board of enquiry into the 1 Mil RAMP to both parliamentary defence committees – the Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) and the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV).

On specialist medical equipment acquired for the RAMP, Marais was told four items costing over R20 million were purchased. A multi-slice CT scanner, three flat panel general radiography machines as well as a mammography machine were declared obsolete before they could be put into service. As to what is happening to the expensive and unused equipment Modise informed Marais “the internal process of asset disposal is underway and will be reflected in the financial statements to the [Department of Defence] annual report”.