DA Lays Charges Against Former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu

Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu

The DA is laying charges today against former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu who resigned this week after the devastating findings of the Health Ombudsman’s report into the transfer of mental health patients from Life Healthcare Esidimeni to NGOs without legal licenses where 94 patients died.

In my affidavit, Mahlangu is charged with culpable homicide and with contraventions of the Mental Health Care Act (MHCA) and the National Health Act (NHA).

Click here to view the affidavit.

Culpable Homicide

The crime of culpable homicide is defined as the “unlawful, negligent killing of another human being.”

The Ombud’s Report in numerous instances describes the conduct of the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) and by extension the MEC, as negligent. There can be no doubt that the deaths of the patients are as a direct consequence of that conduct, and that the conduct was not in accordance with the NHA, the MHCA and the Constitution.

It is therefore apparent that the MEC, in instructing the termination of the GDoH contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni, has prima facia met the requirements of culpable homicide.

Section 70 of the MHCA states as follows:

“(1) Any person who – 

(a) misrepresents a fact in any application, report, record, certificate; 

(b) obstructs or hinders any person in the performance of his or her functions; 

(c) neglects, abuses or treats a mental health care user in any degrading manner or allows the user to be treated in that manner; 

…. is guilty of an offence.

The MEC’s false statement in the Legislature on 13 September 2016 in which she said that 36 patients had died whereas the true figure was 77 patients is a prima facie misrepresentation of a fact in a report as considered by Section 70(1)(a) above.

Life Healthcare Esidimeni

Furthermore, the decision by the GDoH to terminate its contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni at the MEC’s instruction directly resulted in the neglect and abuse of numerous mental health care users. Instigating such treatment, let alone permitting it, is therefore a prima facie offence in terms of Section 70(1)(c).

I also charge the MEC with breaches of the NHA that relate the withholding of adequate health services as required in Section 3(2) and also the failure to provide discharge reports as required in Section 10.

I have laid these charges as it is important that there are consequences for contraventions of the law by politicians and also because I am not confident that the provincial government will lay similar charges against former MEC Mahlangu.

The scale of the deaths and the negligence make this a Medical Marikana that requires accountability from the perpetrators and justice for the victims.

Media are invited to the Johannesburg Central Police Station at 1 Commissioner Street at 12pm where I will be formally laying the charges.



Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

[Image source]

Premier Must Take Stern Action Over 94 Patient Deaths

Health Ombudsman’s Report

I am shocked to the core by the revelation today by the Health Ombudsman that 94 psychiatric patients died (and possibly more) after their transfer last year from Life Healthcare Esidimeni.

Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu lied to me in the Gauteng Legislature on 13 September last year when she said that 36 patients had died in the NGOs in which they were placed. Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba said that on that date 77 patients had already died.

Premier Makhura has to fire Mahlangu and ensure that disciplinary action is taken against the 11 senior health department officials identified in the report.

Criminal Charges

Criminal charges should also be laid against all implicated parties including those in the five NGOs where 80% of the patients died.

Premier Makhura must also ensure that immediate steps are taken to ensure the safety and well-being of all the patients who are still with the NGOs.

Makura’s image has taken a severe blow because of his failure to fire Mahlangu earlier and to replace her with a competent and caring Health MEC.

This is a crisis for the ANC in Gauteng and all those who failed to act earlier against Mahlangu.

I will study the full report and monitor the actions based on its findings.



Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

[Image source]

Another Psychiatric Patient Dies in Gauteng

Another psychiatric patient who was transferred to an NGO in Gauteng has died, bringing the reported total to 39 deaths although there may be more.

According to a weekend report, Julian Pieterson from Newclare in western Johannesburg died last week at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital where he had been transferred from the NGO.

His family had visited him at the NGO in Pretoria where they described the conditions as “terrible”, with no proper medication and patients not well fed.

It is also significant that Social Development Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu revealed for the first time last week that her own brother was one of the psychiatric patients who died when he “got transferred illegally like all the other families”.

Speaking at Constitution Hill on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Bogopane-Zulu said: “As the government, we acknowledge upfront what happened in Gauteng was wrong, the intentions were good but the execution was a disaster, absolute disaster. Patients’ medical assessments were not done, the referrals were not properly done.”

This devastating indictment by the deputy minister adds to pressure on Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu to resign or be fired by Premier David Makhura.

According to the Mahlangu Monitor at #MahlanguMustGo that I have set up on Twitter, it is now 90 DAYS that Mahlangu is still in office after admitting that 36 patients had died in response to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

It is utterly shameless that she continues to deny accountability and is protected by Premier Makhura.

I am confident that she will have to go once the Health Ombudsman completes his report which Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi must make public so that justice is seen to be done.



Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

DA Supports Families Demanding Gauteng Health MEC Be Fired

Mahlangu Monitor

This morning I attending the gathering outside the Gauteng Health Department head office of families of relatives who died after being transferred to NGOs earlier this year.

I support their demand that Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu accept responsibility for these deaths and resign or be fired by Premier David Makhura.

According to the Mahlangu Monitor on my twitter at @JackBloomDA #MahlanguMustGo it is now 44 days since she admitted the deaths – and is still in office.

I am horrified at the claim made today that the real figure is 60 deaths rather than the 37 that have been publicly acknowledged by the Department.

Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgopa

MEC Mahlangu must answer the official question for written reply that I asked 6 weeks ago about the number of psychiatric patients who died at each NGO.

This question is more than two weeks overdue for reply.

As more facts come to light the situation looks worse and worse.

I have made a submission to the investigation by Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgopa, and I hope that he will uncover all the facts and make a finding that ensures accountability and justice in this tragic matter.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

DA Launches Monitor To Push For Firing Of Gauteng Health MEC

Lifehealthcare Esidimeni

I have launched today a “Mahlangu Monitor” that will record the days that Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu still remains in her job after she admitted that 36 psychiatric patients had died in unsuitable NGOs where they were sent after the cancellation of the contract with Lifehealthcare Esidimeni.

Mahlangu disclosed this information in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature last week on Tuesday 13 September.

It is now SIX DAYS and Mahlangu has not resigned or been fired by Premier David Makhura.


The Mahlangu Monitor can be found at #MahlanguMustGo on Twitter and will be updated every day on my @JackBloomDA Twitter account.

Mahlangu bears the prime responsibility for the deaths as she stubbornly persisted with a rushed transfer of patients to NGOs despite many warnings that they did not have the capacity to look after them.

This is yet another example of ANC arrogance and lack of feeling for those who suffer from poor governance.

Premier David Makhura

Every day that Mahlangu remains in office is an insult to those who died and their relatives who expect justice and accountability in this matter.

While the investigations under way will establish negligence at other levels, it is abundantly clear that Mahlangu shoulders the bulk of the blame for this tragedy that has been compared to the Marikana deaths.

Premier David Makhura’s professed commitment to accountability cannot be taken seriously until he fires Mahlangu and replaces her with someone who ensures that the health department treats all patients with dignity and decency.


Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222