Mystery surrounds the SA government’s apparent decision to pay R439m to bring in 217 health-care professionals from Cuba. The group — nicknamed the Cuban brigade — consists of doctors, biostatisticians, epidemiologists and health technologists.While the government has yet to comment on the leaked documents outlining the spending, questions have arisen about why it appears to be paying R5.58m to put them up at Pretoria’s four-star Sierra Burgers Park hotel for their required 14-day quarantine. Their advisers’ accommodation was planned to cost another R7.7m.Yet that R5.6m figure is roughly double what it would cost to house 217 guests had they booked online at the going rate of R810 a night.When the FM visited the hotel on Sunday, military police were apparently in charge. Regular hotel staff all have medical-grade masks, but said they weren’t allowed to speak to the media. Sierra Hotel Group owner Sean Johnston hung up when contacted by the FM and did not return calls.Asked if the Cu...

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