Axe MEC if leaked report on psychiatric patients death is confirmed - DA

2017-01-31 17:04
Qedani Mahlangu  (Jabu Kumalo, Netwerk24)

Qedani Mahlangu (Jabu Kumalo, Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The DA on Tuesday urged Gauteng Premier David Makhura to axe Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu should leaked details of the Health Ombudsman’s findings into the deaths of dozens of psychiatric patients be confirmed.

The patients died after being transferred from the Life Esidimeni facility in Johannesburg to numerous non-governmental organisations (NGOs) after the department cancelled its contract as part of cost-cutting measures.

Life Esidimeni looked after about 2 000 patients and got its funding from the department.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi appointed health ombudsman, Malegapuru Makgoba, in September to investigate.

READ: Leaking Health Ombuds draft report was selfish, says family member

The Sowetan reported on Tuesday that according to a draft report it had seen, 71 patients had died, instead of the 36 initially reported.

According to the draft report's findings, the NGOs at which most of the fatalities occurred were poorly resourced and staff did not have the necessary experience.

There appeared to be evidence of human rights violations and actions which disregarded the Constitution, National Health Act, and the Mental Health Care Act, the report reads. The decision to move the patients was not properly planned.

READ: Health ombud to release report into the death of mentally ill patients

In the draft report, according to The Sowetan, questions are raised about Mahlangu’s suitability to stay in her job.

DA Gauteng shadow MEC for health, Jack Bloom, said Mahlangu should have resigned or been fired long ago for what he called her “inexcusable neglect”.

“It was abundantly clear from the start that the Health MEC had bungled the transfer of patients which led to avoidable deaths.”

He hoped action would be taken against implicated parties.

Makgoba on Tuesday said he would not comment on the report until its release on Wednesday.

Makgoba handed a draft interim report to Mahlangu on January 6. She undertook to provide him with feedback by Friday, January 13, he said. That evening, he received a letter from her, asking for an extension. Makgoba granted her one until Tuesday, January 24.

Mahlangu’s spokesperson Steve Mabona declined to comment. The power to hire and fire a premier rested with the provincial premier, he said.

Read more on:    jack bloom  |  qedani mahlangu  |  johannesburg  |  healthcare

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Play with your pet when you're not at home

Many pets are alone at home during the week while their owners are at work. So what do these animals get up to while they’re home alone?



How to get rid of fleas
12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.