'Please learn from this horror' - EFF tells Makhura

2017-02-23 21:23
David Makhura (File, Netwerk24)

David Makhura (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - If Gauteng Premier David Makhura can take credit for all the good work his administration has done in the past two-and-a-half years, he should also take credit for the bad, the EFF said on Thursday.

“He must equally take responsibility for the deaths caused by his government. It is not playing political football, as he suggests, but demanding accountability,” EFF MPL Mandisa Mashego said during a debate on Makhura’s state of the province address in the Gauteng legislature.

Makhura said during his address on Monday that the families of the more than 100 Life Esidimeni patients, who died during a botched transfer to unlicensed NGOs, had asked his office not to use their pain as a “political football”.

“Lives are gone, people have died and it will never end in our hearts and our minds,” Mashego said.

The party did not accept Makhura’s explanation that the decision to transfer the patients was made without his knowledge.

Social justice organisation Section27 and other MPLs had raised the issue with him several times, she said.

“Premier, please learn something from this horror,” she said.

She urged Makhura and his colleagues not to meddle with the 94 charges of murder the party had laid against him and former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu.

She urged Makhura not to waste taxpayers’ money on memorial stones and false gestures of remorse. Makhura said a memorial would be erected at Freedom Park, Pretoria, in honour of the patients.

DA MPL Jack Bloom said Makhura could have acted earlier, but did not because “Qedani was too big to fire”.

This was a missed opportunity to show that the ANC in Gauteng was different from the rest of the party, which refused to “hold President Jacob Zuma to account and let others get away with outrageous things”.

Makhura had presided over the “largest medical disaster in this country,” apart from the HIV/Aids pandemic since 1994.

“It is an indelible stain on your leadership. This is what people will remember you for,” Bloom said.

He believed that if Makhura had acted earlier, lives would have been saved.

Gauteng’s newly-appointed Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa earlier said she had met all those involved in the Esidimeni tragedy to ensure all the recommendations in the health ombudsman’s report were implemented.

She said extraordinary measures should be put in place to ensure a rigorous and regular assessment of compliance with laws, guidelines, and standards aimed at protecting patients.

Read more on:    eff  |  david makhura  |  johannesburg

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