EFF lay murder charges against former health MEC
Neo Goba | 2017-02-02 13:52:32.0
Warrant officer Patrick Ngubane and EFF’s MPL Mandisa Mashego.
Image by: Neo Goba
Economic Freedom Fighters members in the Gauteng legislature have laid murder charges against former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and the entire Gauteng cabinet after it was revealed in a damning report that 94 mental patients died due to the provincial health department’s negligence.
This follows Mahlangu’s resignation as both Health MEC and also as a member of the provincial legislature.
Her resignation came in the wake of the health ombudsman’s report on her department’s handling of the deaths.
“In instances like this‚ the (former) MEC cannot be held responsible by herself‚ the premier is also responsible as executive head of government in the province and he and the entire cabinet of the ANC government in the Gauteng province must take responsibility‚” said deputy chairperson of the EFF in Gauteng Mandisa Mashego.
Bertha Molefe, who lost her daughter breaks down during the Health Ombudsman’s announcement of the final report on the Life Esidimeni psychiatric patients’ deaths.
She was addressing members of the media after the red berets laid charges of murder against Mahlangu‚ Gauteng premier David Makhura as well as his entire cabinet at the Johannesburg Central Police Station on Thursday afternoon.
While other parties have described the Gauteng Department of Health’s handling of the transfer of mentally ill patients to NGO facilities as “appalling”‚ they also deem Mahlangu’s resignation as simply not good enough.
The Health Ombudsman revealed on Wednesday that 27 NGOs who received patients transferred from Life Healthcare Esidimeni were operating unlawfully.
At least 1‚300 patients were transferred between April and June last year when the provincial Health Department terminated its contract with Life Esidimeni after 40 years of service.
“We wanted them not to shut down the Life Esidimeni Hospital because they were not ready and it was evident. So all of them must fall and all of them must take responsibility for this because it’s not fair to only point fingers at one person when the entire system is rotten‚” added Mashego.
The EFF described this move by Mahlangu’s then department as being worse than the Marikana massacre in terms of numbers.
The ANC Youth League in the province are also expected to lay similar charges against Mahlangu and Makhura on Thursday afternoon.
Efforts to get comment from Gauteng health department spokesperson Steve Mabona were unsuccessful.