Suspended HPCSA boss David Motau maintains his innocence
Suspended Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) CEO and registrar, Dr David Motau, says he will plead not guilty to all charges he ends up facing.
On Thursday, acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi placed Motau on precautionary suspension, effective immediately.
This after Motau appeared in the Bloemfontein magistrate's court on Monday, where he was charged with the contravention of the Public Finance Management Act. He was released on a bail of R5,000.
Motau says there are no reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution against him, and will plead not guilty.
This emerged in a letter, dated Tuesday, from Motau's lawyers to HPCSA president Prof Simon Nemutandani to appraise him on the criminal charges Motau is facing as former head of the department of health in the Free State.
Kubayi said Motau's suspension was necessitated by the seriousness of the allegations and its ramifications for ethical dynamics in the health fraternity.
In a letter seen by TimesLIVE, lawyers N Gawula Incoporated, representing Motau, said any allegations of financial irregularity at the Free State health department predated Motau's tenure at the department by some three years.
They said that when Motau heard of the allegations, he was at the forefront of having them investigated.
“Consequently, we will safeguard and protect our client's rights and we will undertake all efforts to prove his innocence beyond any reasonable doubt,” their letter reads.
Motau was appointed head of department in 2013.
The lawyers said that in the third year of Motau's tenure at the department, he was contacted by the auditor-general’s office which said there were numerous gross financial irregularities.
These flagged irregularities were between 2011 and 2015, and there was alleged collusion between departmental staff and external individuals or entities, whereby the department incurred financial losses for paying for services that were not provided, Motau's lawyers said.
After being alerted by the AG, the lawyers said Motau approached the provincial finance department and asked it to investigate the matter, as his department did not have the necessary capacity and resources to do so internally.
After meetings between Motau's former officials, the police, the provincial accountant-general and the state law advisers, the matter was reported to the Hawks in the Free State.
They said the Hawks investigated the complaint between 2016 and 2021.
“On Friday July 30 2021, to our client's surprise, he was contacted by the relevant officer of the provincial commercial crimes unit, Bloemfontein, who informed him that a warrant of arrest had been issued and instructed him to present himself at the relevant court by no later than Monday August 2 2021,” the lawyers said.
In the letter to Nemutandani, the lawyers said they arranged that Motau be present, where he was formally charged and granted bail.
“We pause to point out that there is nothing in the charge sheet relating to charges of fraud, corruption, racketeering, maladministration, nor any of the foregoing subsets/synonyms levelled against our client, as erroneously and/or deliberately reported in the media ..." the lawyers said.