Yvonne Fontyn
1 minute read
18 Jan 2018
7:55 am

Esidimeni tragedy simply shameful

Yvonne Fontyn

The person who must ultimately carry the can for the whole mess is former health MEC Qedani Mahlangu.

Former Gauteng Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu, who resigned when it emerged she lied to both Gauteng Premier and Health Minister abou the gravity of Life Esidimeni tragedy. Source: Gauteng Legislature

It took long enough but, finally, two of the key Gauteng health department officials in the Life Esidimeni scandal – which took the lives of 144 vulnerable patients – have resigned.

On Tuesday, suspended Gauteng head of mental health department Dr Barney Selebano resigned and yesterday, director of mental health Dr Makgabo Manamela, who was also on suspension, tendered her resignation.

Whether or not they are convicted of unprofessional behaviour, or even criminal conduct, remains to be seen. The arbitration hearing into the scandal resumes today and, no doubt, retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, who is presiding over the process, will continue to grill all of the officials involved – and to fight for the rights and dignity of the victims, even if it is posthumously.

The person who must ultimately carry the can for the whole mess is former health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, who is expected to be called to answer at the hearings later this month.

The buck stops with her and with the ANC administration of the province which, despite its promises of a better life for all, made life worse for, and even ended the lives of, people who could not look after themselves.

It is simply shameful.

Yvonne Fontyn.

Yvonne Fontyn.

Gauteng mental health director resigns from department after Esidimeni saga

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