Senior executives of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) have written to Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla suggesting an “independent” acting chief executive be appointed to replace twice suspended Dr. David Motau.
Dr. Motau was suspended in early August, reinstated five days later, and then suspended again the same month.
In June, Dr. Motau was appointed CEO of the HPCSA, which together with 12 professional boards under its ambit, was established to regulate the education, training, and registration of doctors and other health professionals.
Dr. Motau was arrested on Monday, 2 August 2021, and appeared at the Bloemfontein Magistrate‘s Court alongside 12 other suspects.
The suspended CEO, who denies any wrongdoing, was released on bail.
The HPCSA has gone through several episodes of leadership instability, especially in the recent past.
Now the HPCSA executives are warning the minister against looking in-house for an acting chief executive.
In their letter to the minister, the executives who say they are “whistleblowers” implore Phaahla not to appoint any of the current HPCSA bosses to act in place of the suspended chief executive.
“Our concerns have been heightened by recent developments, including the newly announced re-suspension of the current HPCSA’s Registrar/CEO,” said the letter.
The executives say they are concerned the HPCSA – a state entity – could end up under people they consider corrupt.
“We had hoped that the appointment of the current Registrar/CEO would finally end the instability that has gripped the organisation so debilitatingly in the recent past,” said the letter.
“To date, senior executives have not been substantially consulted or even informed about developments and have had to mostly rely on media reports and third-party utterances.
“We, however, have a stake in whatever arrangements that you, entitled to do so, make regarding his replacement, albeit temporarily, especially in the aftermath of his [Dr. Motau] re-suspension.”
The executives also urged the minister to investigate serious criminal and maladministration allegations against two of their seniors.
Efforts by The Bulrushes to get comment from the HPCSA president, Professor Simon Nemutandani, were unsuccessful.
When Dr. Motau was suspended the health minister said he would make a replacement appointment in due course.