DA Challenges Gauteng Premier To Fire Health MEC

Madam Speaker, 14 days ago in this House the Honourable Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu admitted in reply to a question that 36 psychiatric patients had died at the NGOs to which they had been transferred after the cancellation of the contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni.

This has been compared to the lives that were lost at Marikana.

I have been informed by a relative that one more patient has since died at the Cullinan centre.

There has been a justified outcry at this high number of deaths in a short time at NGOs that were quite obviously not suitable to look after these patients. We were also told that they were transferred without the files that contained their medical history.

The Health Ombudsman is doing an investigation, but it is clear that the primary blame and negligence lies with the Health MEC. She was warned by relatives, NGOs and interest groups that the transfer process should not be rushed and that there were not enough NGOs with the expertise and resources to take so many patients.

I also gave warning in this House and requested the Honourable MEC to extend the contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni for another six months.

In most other democracies, the political head would have shown accountability by resigning, but we have an arrogant ruling party that cares more about itself than the people it should serve.

I have launched a Mahlangu Monitor on Twitter that is counting the days before the Honourable Premier gets the political courage to do the right thing and fire the Health MEC responsible for so many avoidable deaths.

The Monitor is updated every day. It is now 14 days and the Honourable Premier has still not fired her.

The reputation of his administration suffers for each extra day that she remains in office.

How many more days before the Honourable Premier appoints a new Health MEC who will be conscientious and accountable in treating sick people with decency and dignity?


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222