Call to criminally charge Selebano, despite his resignation

2018-01-16 15:09
Dr. Barney Selebano. (Gauteng Government)

Dr. Barney Selebano. (Gauteng Government)

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Johannesburg – The DA has said the resignation of Dr Barney Selebano, the suspended head of the Gauteng health department, following the Life Esidimeni tragedy was not sufficient. The party has called for Selebano to be criminally charged as well.

Selebano was one of a number of health officials identified as being responsible for the transfer of mentally ill patients from Life Esidimeni facilities to a number of unlicensed NGOs.

The move resulted in at least 143 deaths.

READ: Suspended Gauteng health department head resigns

Selebano, who testified at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings in December last year and said he took "accountability", first launched an unsuccessful court bid to challenge a subpoena issued for him to appear before the hearings.

"I take accountability. It happened under my watch. There is no way that, if you are a leader and something happens, and then you suddenly want to walk away from it," he said at the hearings last year.

"If I had known that there would be mortalities – I wouldn't have guessed that – if I had known, then really that would have been unthinkable, that I would have gone on," he said.

Call for former MEC to be criminally charged as well

News of Selebano's resignation broke on Tuesday, and DA Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom said he wanted to see the suspended head criminally charged.

"I welcome the resignation of Dr Barney Selebano, the suspended head of the Gauteng health department, although it was inevitable that he would have been fired following the conclusion of disciplinary measures for his role in the Esidimeni tragedy," Bloom said.

"This is not sufficient accountability, however, and he should face criminal charges in a court of law along with former health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and other implicated officials," he said.

Mahlangu is expected to testify before the hearings next week.

"His resignation clears the way for the appointment of a new head for this troubled department which desperately needs strong leadership to fix budgetary problems and provide quality healthcare to all patients," Bloom said.

Read more on:    life esidimeni  |  qedani mahlangu  |  barney selebano  |  johannesburg

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