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Health dept admits IT head has no security clearance

Mpumalanga’s department of health has admitted that one of its senior managers has not been subjected to a vetting process, as required, three years after his appointment.

The South African government policy which requires all senior managers in the public service, supply chain management officials and officials working on critical infrastructure to be subjected to a vetting process.

Thus, government human resource units are required to facilitate a pre-employment vetting processes to be conducted by the State Security Agency to determine if a person is security competent or not.

Yet, Mpumalanga provincial executive council (cabinet) confirmed the appointment of Jasper Chimanzi following a cabinet meeting on 14 September 2016.

Mpumalanga’s department of health, appointed Chimanzi, who is a Zimbabwean national without subjecting him to a security clearance. 

“The criminal check was conducted by the South African Police Service before his actual appointment and currently security clearance is being conducted through the State Security Agency,” said departmental spokesperson, Dumisani Malamule.

According to Chimanzi’s Linkedin profile, he worked for the department of Public Works as an ICT senior manager in Limpopo province between 2001 and 2011.

When Ziwaphi/The New Era started this investigation, online search engines showed that the department of public works in Limpopo province had suspended Chimanzi in 2007 after he allegedly “installed a second data line at the department’s offices. It is feared this could compromise and expose sensitive information to the wrong people,” read the online article.

Malamule acknowledged this but said that Chimanzi was cleared of wrongdoing.

“Please note that the department of public works in Limpopo cleared the official through a formal inquiry in 2008 which established that there was no wrong doing from his side. He continued his duties as a Senior ICT Manager until 2011,” said Malamule.

Following several media enquiries made to the department of health, some of the online media articles had already been pulled down.

While Malamule claimed that his department conducted a reference check with the department of health in Kwa Zulu-Natal, where Chimanzi worked, he failed to disclose the outcome.

“The reference check was done with the KZN Department of Health,” that’s all he was prepared to say.

The New Era-Ziwaphi has independently established that in fact, the KZN department of health suspended Chimanzi in 2013.

“The purpose of this notification is to inform you about the suspension of the GM IT and Telehealth, Mr J Chimanzi.

“All contracts signed by the employee in question are subject to investigation, hence, certain projects might be suspended pending the outcome of process review being conducted by the department,” reads a letter leaked to Ziwaphi, dated 18 June 2013.

The letter also reveals that an external investigator was appointed to conduct an investigation on the matter.

It appears that Chimanzi’s Linkedin profile has not been updated to reflect his appointment at KZN Health and Mpumalanga’s department of health.

Malamule also denied that Chimanzi irregularly committed the department to a R12 million contract for the installation of virtual satellite in clinics in the province.

He denied that Chimanzi did not follow tender processes.

“The department only committed R4 million during the 2018/19 financial year and proper procurement process were followed using paragraph DOH18/19-03 [purchasing of service and payments through government bodies / institutions] of the Annual General Exemptions which states as follows:

“This authority is required to enable the department to procure services and process payments to government, such as the Deeds Office, Office of the State Attorney, Local Authorities, Government Printers, SITA, Sentech, FET Colleges, etc.” said Malamule.

Chimanzi is not the first senior official that the Mpumalanga provincial government has appointed without a security clearance.

In 2016 Ziwaphi exposed the former head of provincial treasury, Nombedesho Nkamba, of not having a security clearance since her appointment as a director in 2002, and head of department in 2013.

Malamule failed to respond to the role played by former premier David Mabuza and his friend who is an IT businessman in the appointment of Chimanzi.

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