ANC Councillor And Police General Implicated In Unlicensed Premises For Psychiatric Patients

Police Major-General Sandra Malebe-Themba

I have established that a ANC councillor and a police general are involved in a NGO which looked after more than 100 psychiatric patients transferred from Life Healthcare Esidimeni at two unlicensed premises in Tshwane.

Police Major-General Sandra Malebe-Themba is the Executive Chairperson of the Re-Bafenyi Victim Empowerment Centre (RVEC) which is a NGO based in Atteridgeville that was established in 2011. Its primary purpose is to provide a safety net to all victims of domestic violence and abuse.

But Rebafenyi Mental Health is a recent programme added by RVEC which says in a presentation had two 24-hour operational centers:

– At Hennops River with 59 beneficiaries
– At Phelindaba (Schuverberg) with 60 beneficiaries

Tshwane ANC councillor Nosipho Makeke-Tyobeka

Tshwane ANC councillor Nosipho Makeke-Tyobeka is listed as a committee member of Rebafenyi Mental Health. At the time she was the MMC for Sports, Recreation and Arts
and Culture and states in her profile that she is a member of the ANC Women’s League.

Last year in November I pointed out that the Rebafenyi facility in Hennops River was blatantly contravening municipal by-laws. This was according to a report by the Tshwane Health and Social Development Department which investigated the NGO after complaints received by DA Councillor Kingsley Wakelin that people living there were jumping the fences and disturbing the neighborhood.

The Health Ombudsman found that neither of the two Rebafenyi facilities were operating with legal licenses and the patients have since been transferred elsewhere.

Christopher Mogwarane

Christopher Mogwarane (56) was one of the patients transferred to Rebafenyi in Hennops River from Esidimeni and died there. According to his brother Lucas, he was not happy there and he did not appear to be getting proper nutrition and medication.

There were fortunately no deaths at the Phelindaba facility, but the patients were unexpectedly placed there in June last year by Rebafenyi and the owners placed signs saying they were not legally liable for anything that happened to them.

I suspect that money was the motivation for certain NGOs taking psychiatric patients that they could not care for properly.

Refanyeni was paid R2700 per patient per month, so it got about R270 000 a month for patients.

Investigation into Money Flow

It is shocking that a senior ANC Councillor and a police general are involved in a dodgy NGO with unlicensed premises in which one patient died, possibly from neglect.

General Malebe-Themba resigned from the police in 2013 after a misconduct probe but was re-employed after acting commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane took office in 2015. She is currently facing a complaint of racism.

There should be an investigation into the money flows and who personally benefited at all the NGOs where Esidimeni patients were placed.

Criminal charges should be pursued in cases where money was diverted into private pockets while patients were neglected and their lives placed at risk.



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Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

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