Motion of no confidence in Makhura defeated

2017-02-28 14:50

Johannesburg – The motion of no confidence in Gauteng Premier David Makhura was defeated during the third sitting of the provincial legislature on Tuesday.

The ANC, which constitutes a majority in the legislature, voted against the motion.

The ANC battled it out in an hour-long debate with the EFF and DA.

The motion was tabled by the EFF. The party wanted Makhura to account for the deaths of more than 100 mentally ill Life Esidimeni patients who died when they were moved from the hospital to 27 NGOs.

ANC MPL Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said the motion had upset families of the deceased, who saw this as political point-scoring on the side of the opposition.

DA members outside the Premier's office
DA members outside the Premier's office. (Sisa Canca/News24)

She said she had spoken with family members, warning them about the motion.

One of the families had said that it was unfair, she said.

"The families were clear when they said to us, please stop politicising the Life Esidimeni matter."

Political football

She said the families of the Life Esidimeni patients who died had pleaded that their lives should not be used as a political football.

Mayathula-Khoza was quickly interrupted by EFF MPLs who claimed Mayathula-Khoza was not taking the matter seriously.

EFF leader Mandisa Mashego said the ANC was responsible for the deaths of the country's citizens.

"Government killing citizens in South Africa has become a norm... What does it mean when the executive authority of the province is ignorant to such gross negligence that is happening right under his nose?"

Mashego said the EFF strongly believed that Makhura had failed in his duties to exercise executive authority and oversight.

The DA's John Moody appealed to the ANC to vote with its conscience and vote to remove Makhura.

'Huge preventable loss of life'

Jack Bloom of the DA said, since he had started serving as an MPL in 1994, it was the first debate that had called on the premier to be removed.

"This is because no previous premier presided before such a huge preventable loss of life. There are various points that the honourable premier could have intervened."

Bloom said that had Makhura fired former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in September, when the deaths were estimated at 36, Makhura could have saved over 30 patients.

"That's how many more people died after he first heard that it was 36."

ANC Chief Whip Brian Hlongwa said this was the EFF and DA's opportunity to gain the attention of the media.

"Clearly those who are sitting in the opposition, they know they don't have the 2/3 majority. It was important to bring here because, as they said in their statement, that this will provide an opportunity for interviews and photographs."

The ANC expressed its confidence in Makhura and applauded him for his swift actions in following recommendations by the health ombudsman.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  david makhura  |  johannesburg  |  politics  |  life esidimeni

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