7 August 2020

Yesterday afternoon the Ministry became aware of a tweet posted by the DA’s Ms Siviwe Gwarube, where she accused the Minister of Health, Dr Zwelini Mkhize, of lying about the status of Maseve Field Hospital in the North West and alleged it was still an empty field. Despite being corrected on the same platform by a senior official from the National Department of Health (who is currently an administrator at the Department of Health in the North West), she persisted with her allegations and preposterously changed her story to suit her false narrative and cheap political agenda of opposing anything by government, to the extent of her lying and misleading the public.

As courtesy and acknowledging that she is a fellow MP, the Minister called Gwarube to ask her why she would lie when the parliamentary reply clearly refers to Maseve Hospital when she was on a completely different site. She apologized and admitted she had made a mistake. She acknowledged that the Minister had never said anything about the site she visited and that she could have heard it from a third party. The Minister graciously accepted her apology, in an effort to engage in a civil and honourable manner with a fellow parliamentary member.

However, it was disappointing to learn that she has run to social media and conveniently referred to the call with the Minister as an attempt by him to explain himself to her. When the Minister called her, he believed that she may be confused. The future field hospital to be constructed by the province was never discussed with Gwarube, and had nothing to do with the Minister’s response she quotes from Parliament.

It is regrettable that she has decided to continue with her petty politicking, which can only be attributed to immaturity. Gwarube is now challenged to publicly produce the parliamentary reply where reference is made to the field she decided to visit. For the benefit of the public, the reply sent to parliament is attached.

From her statement now, it is clear Ms Gwarube is desperately searching for publicity to remain relevant. It is unacceptable for her to lie to the public. It is clear she asked a question and deliberately distorted the answer: That is dishonesty and abuse of parliamentary privilege.

The Minister has asked Gwarube several times and we make the plea again: this is not the time to play politics. This is a time to work together and provide solutions- not to create confusion. If Gwarube is at all honourable, she must do the honourable thing: retract her statement and apologize to the Minister and the public.

For Further Queries
Dr. Lwazi Manzi