A report in Sunday Times reveals that a furious Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has uncovered possibly one of the greatest scams of state funds in South African history.
According to the paper, government is investigating collusion between people suing government hospitals for malpractice and state attorneys who either settle cases that have no merit whatsoever or defend the cases so badly that they invariably lose.
Estimates put the cost at more than R80 billion in a large-scale scam that began at least six years ago and is concentrated on hospitals in the Eastern Cape – although the practice occurs nationwide.
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is now probing how several state attorneys allegedly receive kickbacks from claimants’ lawyers in return for intentionally bungling cases.
Justice Minister Michael Masutha and Motsoaledi confirmed to the Sunday Times that the scams are so entrenched that the state has lost at least R60 billion since 2013 in