More reasons for Gauteng health MEC to be fired – Jack Bloom

DA says evidence is piling up that Mahlangu made a dreadful decision in rushing the transfer of patients from Esidimeni

More reasons for Gauteng health MEC to be fired

13 October 2016

More information has emerged that supports my call for Gauteng Premier David Makhura to fire Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu - who is still in office 30 DAYS since it was first disclosed that 36 psychiatric patients died in NGOs where they were transferred after the contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni was cancelled.

See my Mahlangu Monitor at Twitter @JackBloomDA #MahlanguMustGo

According to eNCA’s Checkpoint documentary this week, the Bophelong NGO in Hammanskraal is still operating with nearly 40 patients, despite the death of Billy Maboe, whose father Reverend Joseph Maboe found him there in poor condition and starving before he was sent to the Jubilee Hospital where he died four days later.

The eNCA crew found very crowded conditions and building work at Bophelong, which only opened in July this year as a division of the Odirile NGO registered in 2002. The staff say that Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu had visited the NGO and said it was "satisfactory".

The documentary also interviews Elisabeth Phangela who is still seeking answers about the death of her brother Christopher Makhoba who was the ninth patient to die at the Precious Angels NGO in Attridgeville which was sent 35 patients from Esidimeni. She did even know that he had been sent to this NGO, and was only told of his death on 15 July although it seems he died some days earlier allegedly of "natural causes".

In another case, Bertha Molefe tells how she struggled to cope at home with her 23-year-old daughter Sophia, who was sent to her from Esidimeni and died after taking a drug overdose.

Apart from the eNCA documentary, there is also a negative report about the Goitsemodimo NGO in Fochville which has 30 patients, one of whom is allegedly missing after she escaped to try and get back to Life Healthcare Esidimeni. 

It has been reported that the patients there are not fed well and that male patients are living in an unventilated garage.

The evidence is piling up that MEC Mahlangu made a dreadful decision in rushing the transfer of patients from Esidimeni, and has still not taken adequate measures to ensure that surviving patients are well-treated in the NGOs.

I am confident that the investigation by the Health Ombudsman will uncover the full story, but it is already obvious that Mahlangu has to be removed to show accountability and also to ensure that remaining psychiatric patients receive proper care

Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health, 13 October 2016