GEMSNews24 reports that the Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS), which is positioning itself to administer the National Health Insurance (NHI) fund, has been rocked by allegations of tender rigging, fraud, maladministration and corruption totalling more than R300 million.

The accusations of graft at GEMS are detailed in a series of 10 explosive forensic reports which show that over a period of five years the scheme had appointed and paid more than R300 million to companies in which some of its executives had direct financial interests. Following a tip-off, in May 2017 GEMS appointed Ligwa Advisory Services, a firm of independent auditors, to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption in a number of contracts entered into between the scheme and certain companies between 2012 and 2017. In January 2018, Ligwa presented GEMS with a series of hard-hitting forensic reports accusing former executives, in particular Bhelekazi "Bella" Mfenyana, Dr Guni Goolab and Liziwe Nkonyana, of wrongdoing. Goolab, who left GEMS at the end of January last year, was the scheme's principal officer, while Mfenyana and Nkonyana, who both left in April 2017, were respectively contracts manager and communications executive. Ligwa Services, which also conducted lifestyle audits on some of GEMS' executives, uncovered irregularities and possible fraud and corruption in the appointments and payments made to various service providers. GEMS spokesperson Dr Phumelela Dhlomo said GEMS has been quite transparent in dealing with all issues emanating from Ligwa's reports.

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