Gauteng Health MEC Refuses To Answer Questions On Psychiatric Patient Deaths

Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu is refusing to answer my questions in the Gauteng Legislature relating to the deaths of psychiatric patients who were discharged earlier this year from Life Healthcare Esidimeni.

She has requested from the Speaker “an indulgence to hold in abeyance the response to the questions … pending the outcome of an internal investigation that the Department has commissioned to consider all relevant factors.”

She also says that she “is cognisant of the current investigation into the same matter by the Health Ombudsman who may also have a direct bearing on the questions.”

Mahlangu has refused to answer two written questions that asked about the breakdown of the deaths at the various NGOs, and also details of the monitoring and funding of the NGOs.

Today she refused to reply to my oral question in the House about assistance provided to relatives for funeral and other costs arising from the deaths.

Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe said that she was considering this issue after she had received an objection by DA Chief Whip Mike Moriarty.

I suspect the real reason Mahlangu is withholding information is that it would implicate herself further in the deaths and severely embarrass the department.

It is unprecedented and unacceptable for a MEC to refuse to answer official questions in the Legislature for such a flimsy reason.

The Speaker should rule that the answers by provided according to the rules in the public interest.



Media Queries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

Gauteng ANC Refuses To Publically Denounce President Zuma

ANC Speaker in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Lenteng Mekwge, has shielded her political bosses, Gauteng Premier David Makhura and ANC Provincial Chairman, Paul Mashatile from going on record and distancing themselves from oath-breaker, President Jacob Zuma.

The DA requested that the Legislature debate whether the ANC led Provincial Government distances itself from President Jacob Zuma, who was found guilty of breaking his oath of office by the Constitutional Court.

Residents of Gauteng have been left confused by the utterances of Premier Makhura and Paul Mashatile who have indicated that they are unhappy with the national ANC’s decision to slap Zuma on the wrists and want him to step down as President.

Their comments, and the action taken by Speaker Mekgwe today, indicate that this is nothing but cheap political grandstanding and electioneering, as was the case with the contentious e-toll matter.

Again, the ANC in Gauteng has proven that it is no different from the ANC it pretends it wants to change, but rather it takes its orders from Luthuli House and not from the will of the people.


Media enquiries:

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

082 960 3743

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