Brian Hlongwa: The rotten apple that crippled the Gauteng Health system

By John Moodey MPL,  DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered in the Gauteng Legislature during the DA/EFF motion debate on ANC Chief Whip Brian Hlongwa’s fitness to hold office.

Madam Speaker,

Honourable Members,

The ANC in Gauteng has held an unspoken mantra that it is the “better ANC” and has not succumbed to the many corruption scandals that have plagued the party, particularly dealings with the Gupta’s.

Premier David Makhura is the self-anointed poster boy in his so-called fight against corruption.

He has told members of this House that the Gauteng Government has never been captured.

Is it not then ironic that one of the initial proponents of state capture, which has paralyzed the State and wreaked hardships on our people, sits alongside the Premier as the ANC Chief Whip in this Legislature?

Yesterday, there were news articles in which Honourable Brian Hlongwa asserted that the “sudden” release of the SIU report into corrupt activities that took place during his tenure as Gauteng Health MEC is nothing but a rouse to paint the ANC in a negative light.

Yes, Honourable Hlongwa, it does cast a dark shadow over the so-called “clean” ANC.

But your presence in this legislature dismantles your own prophecies and exposes the ANC’s true nature – corruption and you Sir are its face.

The SIU investigation which was initiated in 2010 may not be a new story, but the findings in the report confirm all that you have come to deny over the past few years.

You, Sir, were one of the original sinners that opened the flood gates for looting on a grand scale.

It is through your nefarious dealings that the Gauteng Health Department lies in tatters.

Your greed has caused untold suffering to residents of this province who make use of public healthcare. A lack of maintenance, broken equipment – sometimes no equipment at all and late payments to suppliers are just some of the results of your appetite for public funds.

When the people seek answers about the poor state of Gauteng’s healthcare facilities, when people die in our hospitals due to a lack of much needed equipment – I will tell them to ask Brian Hlongwa why he made off with millions of Rands of their money.

Even the decision to plug the gaping hole that is the health budget by transferring mentally ill patients from Life Esidimeni to ill-equipped NGO’s can be traced back to your looting.

If you hadn’t stolen the money, then there may have never been a need to terminate the Life Esidimeni contract.

Premier Makhura, you have in your ranks a miscreant – one you knew all about before taking office in 2014.

It then begs the question, “is the ANC in Gauteng serious about tackling corruption within its ranks?”

The simple answer is that it is not.

Honourable Hlongwa should not have returned to this institution – one that is tasked with looking out for the well-being of our people when it is evident that he is only here to enrich himself.

It is clear that the ANC shields its own from scrutiny. It is clear that the Premier has failed to effectively tackle corrupt individuals within his organization.

It is abundantly clear that the ANC in Gauteng is synonymous with corruption. The two can never be separated.

Honourable Hlongwa, stop pretending to be a victim. Stop acting as if you are a saint.

Do the right thing, recuse yourself from this House.

If you don’t we will pack your bags for you.