ANC slow to act against Qedani Mahlangu
20 March 2018
The ANC in Gauteng claims to take accountability seriously but it is only now taking former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu before its Integrity Committee for the Esidimeni tragedy.
Why did it take them so long when it was always obvious that she was primarily to blame for the deaths of 144 Life Esidimeni patients who were sent to illegally licensed NGOs?
More than a year after the devastating findings of the Health Ombudsman in this matter, Mahlangu is still a member of the ANC’s Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee.
She was given leave of absence to study in England, thus delaying her testimony at the Arbitration hearings chaired by former deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.
Brian Hlongwa, the ANC’s Chief Whip in the Legislature, said in a radio interview that he has advised her to go overseas for two years.
Recently she was embraced by President Cyril Ramaphosa at an ANC event in Soweto, who said that she “remains a comrade” despite what she had done.
The ANC cannot redeem itself in this matter as it staunchly defended Mahlangu even after she first disclosed the deaths of Esidimeni patients in reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature on 13 September 2016.
Premier David Makhura should have fired her immediately after the deaths became known, which would have saved lives because she and her officials continued to cover up what is happening.
The ANC in Gauteng should also hold Makhura to account for his failures in this terrible tragedy, but they continue to pretend that incompetence and corruption are not endemic in his administration.
Any action the ANC may now take against Qedani Mahlangu will have no credibility as it will be too little and too late.
Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 20 March 2018