Write to us: No Messiah will save us

2017-02-19 06:10
A family member of the victims Miriam Monyane, with Solidarity Helping Hand chairperson Dirk Hermann. (Reint Dykema)

A family member of the victims Miriam Monyane, with Solidarity Helping Hand chairperson Dirk Hermann. (Reint Dykema)

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Thabile Mange

A few years ago, 34 people were massacred in Marikana by the police and we were not outraged.

Now, more than 94 mentally ill patients have died as a result of the Gauteng health department’s ill-conceived decision to move them from Life Esidimeni to unlicensed nongovernmental organisations. Still we are not outraged.

The pertinent question is: What will it take for us to be outraged? Are 94 dead bodies not enough for us to stand up and say, enough is enough?

One day this government is going to kill all of us and there will be no one left to tell the story. Mark my words.

After the health ombudsman, who was commissioned to investigate the matter, announced that 94 (and still counting) mentally ill patients had died in Gauteng, I thought we were going to confront the government and demand some answers.

I was wrong. As it is now, we have forgotten about the matter and are moving on with our lives as if nothing has happened. How noble!

Mentally ill patients are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. They need our care, love, support and, most of all, protection.

But what do we do? We kill them. What kind of a society have we become? History is going to judge us harshly.

A night before the health ombudsman announced his findings on the mentally ill patients saga, the former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu tendered her resignation.

According to media reports, Mahlangu was forced to resign by the premier. In her resignation letter, she didn’t sound remorseful – no comfort for the families of the deceased.

The pertinent question is: Wasn’t Gauteng Premier David Makhura supposed to resign as well? I mean, 94 people have died under Makhura’s watch.

The likeable premier claimed to have had no knowledge of the conditions that the mentally ill patients were subjected to. Interestingly, Section 27 says he knew.

It is clear that our liberators are turning into our oppressors. And it seems we are waiting for a Messiah from somewhere to come and save us.

Well I have news: There is no Messiah who is coming to save us. We need to save ourselves.

Read more on:    qedani mahlangu  |  david makhura  |  marikana  |  health

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