Nine officials implicated in Esidimeni tragedy still at work for the Gauteng Health Department
20 March 2019
Nine officials who were implicated in the Life Esidimeni tragedy still work for the Gauteng Health Department, with two disciplinary investigations still going on more than two years after it occurred.
This was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in an oral reply to my questions yesterday in the Gauteng Legislature.
She said that 7 middle management staff has received final written warnings and counseling. They cited fear and instructions from the previous Director of Mental Health Dr Makgabo Manamela.
The outcome of “an independent process” was still awaited with regard to Chief Planning Director Levy Mosenogi and Deputy Director General Clinical Services Dr Richard Lebethe who were cited in evidence at the Esidimeni arbitration hearings.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura said in February last year that further disciplinary processes would take place against officials who only got warning letters. He told the arbitration hearing: “We’re so determined to proceed with those disciplinary processes of any of our officials who did something that was wrong.”
This is yet another failed Makhura promise. I am horrified that these officials still work for the department.
Furthermore, a permanent head of the Mental Health Directorate has not yet been appointed.
It is clear that the ANC provincial government does not have the political will or the competence to punish and hold to account all those responsible for the Esidimeni tragedy in which 144 mental health patients died.
Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 20 March 2019