DA welcomes suspension of Gauteng health department head

2017-02-09 17:25
Qedani Mahlangu. (City Press)

Qedani Mahlangu. (City Press)

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

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance has welcomed the suspension of the head of Gauteng's health department, Dr Barney Selebano, following the deaths of 94 mental health patients.

"This is a necessary step in the disciplinary process which will open the way for new top level appointments that will hopefully be more professional and ethical," Jack Bloom, MPL of the DA, told News24.

Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba revealed last week in a report that 94 patients had died after being transferred from Life Esidimeni to various NGOs across Gauteng.

The rushed transfer came after the department's contract with Life Esidimeni was not renewed.

Bloom also welcomed the notice of intention to suspend mental health head, Dr Makgabo Manamela. The DA has said that the ombudsman's report names nine other senior officials who also need to be suspended and disciplined.

In the report Makgoba identified health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, Selebano and Manamela as the "key players" in the tragedy.

"Their fingerprints are peppered throughout the project. The decision was reckless, unwise and flawed, with inadequate planning and a chaotic and 'rushed or hurried' implementation process," Makgoba said.

READ: Overhaul entire Gauteng health care system – SA Psychiatrists


The office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura said it remains focused on implementing the recommendations of the report.

Previously, spokesperson Thabo Masebe told News24 "other officials against whom adverse findings were made will also be suspended soon".

"From the time when we accepted the report, we said we would swiftly implement the recommendations of the ombudsman, which is what we have been doing since last week. We continue to give the matter our utmost priority," said Masebe.

The DA has called on the department of health to prioritise finding accommodation for mental health patients currently being accommodated by unlicensed NGOs.

According to Bloom, existing psychiatric hospitals are overcrowded and the department should request Life Esidimeni to reopen its doors in order to house mentally ill patients.

Mahlangu stepped down last week, hours before the health ombudsman released his report.

Opposition parties, the EFF, DA and COPE laid charges against Mahlangu and called for Gauteng Premier David Makhura to step down.

A new acting head of department has been appointed in the interim.

"The newly appointed acting head of the department, Dr Ernest Kenoshi, faces a daunting task in restoring morale and establishing effective management," said Bloom.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  healthcare

Join the conversation!

24.com 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

/South Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

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 24.com 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.