#KZNOncologyCrisis: At least 530 lives lost – DA KZN

Imran Keeka says when the ANC could have done something, it did nothing

#KZNOncologyCrisis: 530 lives lost at the hands of the failing ANC government

22 January 2019

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal will follow up with its attorneys regarding the SAPS inquiry docket into the province’s Oncology crisis currently being investigated. This after further legal opinion, which points to the possibility that KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo could be charged with murder or, at the very least, culpable homicide.

At least 530 cancer sufferers have died as a result of the ANC-led provincial government’s failure to prevent and avert this crisis. When it could have done something, it did nothing.  The DA will not let this matter rest until such time as there is justice and closure for the families of hundreds of cancer patients who have died.

The ANC is killing South Africa. South Africans cannot depend on the failing ANC to care for their well-being. How many lives must be lost before the ANC is held accountable and justice prevails?

It took a complaint by the DA to the South African Human Rights Commission in 2016 to jump-start some form of action in terms of adequate oncology treatment for patients from MEC Dhlomo and his Department. While the oncology machines at KZN’s leading hospitals have since been fixed, the situation is not as rosy as the MEC and his officials would have people belie

- A report presented to the National Health Council last year estimated that there was a waiting list of around 8 000 oncology patients in KZN. Yet MEC Dhlomo stood before the provincial legislature and presented a figure of some 3 000 people who were on a list and a new list of some 500 patients when services partially resumed in around March last year. Either way, these are genocidal numbers.

- The MEC also failed to give details around these patients. We do not know where they are. Have they since died in hospices or are they at home dying? These are the lost patients of the Oncology crises created by MEC Dhlomo and a failing ANC. While he was making people wait, their cancer was spreading. Cancer does not wait for a MEC to wake up and do something.

-To add to this, KZN Premier Willies Mchunu was given the tools to hold this MEC to account - presented to him on a silver platter in the form of the SAHRC report – yet he too did nothing. This makes him complicit in the loss of lives, in the murders or culpable homicides

- During a Sitting of the KZN Legislature in November last year, the MEC made the false claim that the province has seven radiotherapy machines and that one more was to be installed at Grey's hospital in Pietermaritzburg. The truth is that KZN has only six machines. The seventh one does not in fact belong to the Department. It is only available as part of a contract with a private service provider

- In terms of oncologist numbers, Dr Zuma at Addington Hospital in Durban has withdrawn her resignation. However, Greys Hospital in Pietermaritzburg has lost two such professionals while others have also been lost in Durban. The situation is now worse than when the DA first wrote to the SAHRC in 2016. The situation is compounded by the MEC’s incessant complaints of there not enough graduating oncologists. But the entire registrar training programme is marred by controversy and the training of oncologists has since lost accreditation under his watch.

The cherry on the top though must be the declaration by National Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi that KZN’s oncology crisis was over when it is not. Why then did he promise R100million to fix the problem - money which has never reached the province and is yet another false promise by a failed ANC government. The answer, of course, is that this is just another attempt to sweep human rights abuses – which possibly even include murder – under the carpet.

Today, KZN’s Health Department continues to be brought to its knees, with one crisis after another – under the nose of a human rights violating and murderous MEC. This cannot continue.

South Africa belongs to all who live in it. A DA government will ensure that this becomes a reality but it has to take place while at least some of the levers of the state remain functional and not captured. ANC President Cyril Rampahosa’s short term election slogans will only bring long term disaster for the people of South Africa.

Only the DA can bring real change that builds One South Africa for All - where the people come first and the government takes care of its people.

Issued by Imran KeekaDA KZN Spokesperson on Health, 22 January 2019