Gauteng health dept head suspended

2017-02-08 19:07
Qedani Mahlangu  (Jabu Kumalo, Netwerk24)

Qedani Mahlangu (Jabu Kumalo, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – The head of Gauteng’s health department has been suspended following the Health Ombudsman’s findings about the Life Esidimeni deaths.

Dr Barney Selebano’s suspension was effective immediately and in line with the ombudsman’s recommendations, the Gauteng premier’s spokesperson Thabo Masebe said on Wednesday.

Dr Ernest Kenoshi was appointed the acting HoD.

More heads were on the chopping block, Masebe told News24.

“Other officials against whom adverse findings were made will also be suspended soon.”

Last Wednesday, Ombudsman Prof Malegapuru Makgoba said he found that 94 mentally-ill patients died after the Gauteng health department moved them from the Life Esidimeni facility to 27 unlicensed NGOs last year, to save money.

Makgoba identified Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, Selebano and director Dr Makgabo Manamela as the “key players” in the project. Mahlangu resigned the night before the report was released.

 “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,” he said.

Makgoba found that although most of the deaths occurred at 16 of the 27 NGOs, all of them lacked experienced, qualified staff and the proper facilities and resources.

Mahlangu had previously claimed that her department had vetted all the NGOs.

There was prima facie evidence that certain officials and certain NGOs had violated the Constitution and contravened the National Health Care Act, Makgoba said.

He recommended that disciplinary proceedings be instituted against Selebano and Manamela for gross misconduct for their conduct during the investigation, which included tampering with evidence.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  healthcare

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