DA welcomes booting of Qedani Mahlangu but charges must follow

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the belated decision of the ANC that former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu step down as a member of the ANC’s Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee.

It reflects poorly on the failing ANC in Gauteng which wanted to retain her on the PEC but has now been over-ruled by the ANC’s National Working Committee (NWC).

It is also disgraceful that ANC members voted her onto the PEC despite her responsibility for the deaths of 144 mental health patients in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

I suspect that the NWC only took this decision because of the upcoming elections, but voters should remember that President Cyril Ramaphosa embraced Mahlangu at a ANC march in Soweto earlier this year and said that “a comrade is always a comrade”.

Mahlangu should be charged for her leading role in the Esidimeni deaths, but the police investigation is taking an inordinately long time.

People are sick and tired of protection for ANC comrades – there needs to be real accountability so that the Esidimeni culprits are convicted in court with long prison sentences.