Damning report fingers MEC Mahlangu!

Economical with the truth? MEC for Health in GP Qedani Mahlangu under pressure to resign following damning report on psychiatric deaths last year.

This is the calling from the Inkatha Freedom Party and Democratic Alliance to Gauteng MEC for Health Qedani Mahlangu, following the release of the much awaited report into the circumstances that led to the deaths of mentally ill patients last year.

According to Life Esidimeni report, headed by Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, released today, details among others, that there are unlicensed contracted non-governmental organisations around Gauteng and some evaded their constitutional obligations to the services.

“The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is disappointed by the actions taken to conceal the death of 94 mentally ill patients in the unlicensed contracted non-governmental organisations around Gauteng as revealed today by the Life Esidimeni report.

“The findings of the report are shocking as they show above all that the custodians of health are the ones who evaded their constitutional obligation,” said IFP Caucus Leader in the Gauteng Provincial Chairperson Bonginkosi Dlamini.

“The IFP fully concurs with the 18 recommendations made by the Ombudsman and we hope that the Premier of Gauteng will live up to his promise when he took office that he will fight corruption and misadministration,” adds Dhlamini.

“Furthermore, we call upon the Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu to do the most honourable thing and resign with immediate effect and maintain any shred of personal integrity that she has left,” he said.

DA’s Musi Maimane says Premier Makhura has to fire Mahlangu and ensure that disciplinary action is taken against the 11 senior health department officials identified in the report.

“Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu lied to me in the Gauteng Legislature on 13 September last year when she said that 36 patients had died in the NGOs in which they were placed. Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba said that on that date 77 patients had already died.

“Criminal charges should also be laid against all implicated parties including those in the five NGOs where 80% of the patients died.

Premier Makhura must also ensure that immediate steps are taken to ensure the safety and well-being of all the patients who are still with the NGOs,” he said.

Makhura’s image has taken a severe blow because of his failure to fire Mahlangu earlier and to replace her with a competent and caring Health MEC, he continued.

“This is a crisis for the ANC in Gauteng and all those who failed to act earlier against Mahlangu.

I will study the full report and monitor the actions based on its findings.”

“I want to emphasise that this is a provisional number and the actual number could be more,” Makgoba said when he addressed journalists.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi commissioned the probe in September last year after Mahlangu disclosed the deaths in Gauteng.

At the time of publishing department of health had not responded for a comment.

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