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.



Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

DA Debates Gauteng Social Development 2015/16 Annual Report

Speech by: Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL

“Secrecy over transfers to NGOs will be exposed by the DA”

  • There is no detail of transfers to each of the 2598 NGOs in Gauteng.
  • The department had 1017 abnormal appointments out of a staff compliment of 5417.
  • The department had a 17.8% vacancy rate (910 posts). Of these 47.7% were of lower skill as in Level 1-2).
  • No people with disabilities were recruited in the department during this period.
  • Out of 4198 employees, 3016 used sick leave costing the department R19 million.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by: Ashor Sarupen MPL

“The good, the bad and the ugly”

  • 49 individual consultants worked on 21 projects for a total of 896 work days, totalling over R2million in spend.
  • Only 75% of the EPWP grant given to the department was spent.
  • Domestic abuse is still a serious problem, drug addiction and gangsterism still plagues too many of our communities.
  • Women are disproportionately the victims of domestic violence, and many see no escape, trapping them into abusive relationships, despite the work by the department.

The full speech can be obtained here.



Media Enquiries:

Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development

060 558 8297


Ashor Sarupen

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance

060 558 8303

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Conviction Rate in GP Domestic Violence Cases Dismal

Bekkersdal and Randfontein Police Stations

During recent oversight visits to various police precincts across the province, it has become clear that domestic violence is an increasing concern in most of our communities.

Following requests from Bekkersdal and Randfontein residents, I submitted questions to Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, to establish the state of such cases in these areas.

The replies show a high number of cases with very low conviction rates. In Randfontein alone, 511 domestic violence cases were reported in 2014/15 with only 13 successful convictions, while in Bekkersdal, there were no successful convictions despite 155 reported cases in the same year.

Sadly, these two police stations reflect the state of domestic violence across the province with community after community raising their concerns with us.

Successful Conviction

A successful conviction is largely reliant on good police work and many Gauteng residents are not receiving this service from the officers assigned to their safety.

Domestic violence tears apart not only families but the very fabric of our society.

I will be writing to MEC Nkosi-Malobane to discuss ways in which domestic violence policing can be strengthened.

Those who suffer abuse at the hands of those closest to them deserve the closure and safety that a successful conviction brings.


Media Enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson: Community Safety
060 558 8309

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Domestic Violence the Cause of Alex Shooting

Alexandra Police Station Constable Shoots Wife

Last night the wife of a police constable went to Alexandra Police station to report domestic violence.

The police Constable followed her and shot and killed his wife, the Major who was assisting her and 3 other people. He then fled the scene. As he arrived home he fired at police members who returned fire which killed him too.

I would like to offer condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the deceased.

Domestic Violence

This incident highlights the terrible consequences of domestic violence if it is not dealt with effectively. Too often, South Africans ignore all the signs which point towards domestic violence.

In March this year, the Civilian Secretariat reported to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police that out of 156 police stations countrywide that were checked for compliance with the requirements of the Domestic Violence Act, only one was fully compliant.

This indicates that the majority of police also do not take domestic violence seriously.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega

The other issues this incident highlights is the high rate of domestic violence amongst police members and the fact that not enough psychological assistance is available for members of the SAPS.

There are very few social workers and psychologists within the SAPS to provide these services. There is also an enormous stigma in the SAPS around seeking psychological assistance. If one does so, one is seen as weak or “crazy”.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has said that the incident will be investigated properly so that the SAPS can learn from it and avoid tragedy in the future.

Why has this not been initiated before now? This is not the first incident where an SAPS member has killed their partner and family. It is part of a pattern which has been evident for many years.

It is time to investigate the value of initiating mandatory debriefing sessions for every SAPS member. More psychologists and social workers must be employed and psychometric testing should perhaps be conducted not just on application to the Service, but at various intervals throughout a member’s career.

The situation cannot be allowed to continue.


Media enquiries:

Kate Lorimer MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety

083 642 2727

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