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By Editorial staff


Preventing future tragedies like Life Esidimeni

Reflecting on the failures and injustices of the Life Esidimeni tragedy and calling for accountability.

The way that the ANC’s self-assessment and disciplinary procedures work, we would expect that former Gauteng MEC for health Qedani Mahlangu – just found responsible for some of the deaths in the Life Esidimeni tragedy – would be given an ambassador’s post, or even a ministerial job.

After all, many of the ruling party’s worst miscreants have not only not been disciplined, they have gone on to greater – and more expensive, taxpayer-funded – things.

Mahlangu is but one example, though, of a party which purports to be trying to build a better life for all the people of South Africa but which, in reality, doesn’t give a damn about the most vulnerable in society and those unable to challenge its capricious bureaucracy.

The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that at least some of the deaths at Life Esidimeni were due to negligence on the part of Mahlangu, as well as the former director of Gauteng’s mental health services, Dr Makgabo Manamela.

Ultimately, though, it was on Mahlangu’s watch that 144 people died in an ill-conceived plan to move patients from care facilities to places where personnel were not adequately qualified to care for them.

ALSO READ: Former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu responsible for Life Esidimeni, court rules

This is about more than Mahlangu, though. It is about the cesspool of corruption and incompetence which is the Gauteng department of health.

Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko was reappointed as MEC in the recent provincial Cabinet announcement… no doubt because the ANC didn’t want any nonparty person snooping into the dirt in the department.

That dirt includes the corruption at Tembisa Hospital, which cost the taxpayer R1 billion and whistle-blower Babita Deokaran her life.

As in so many other places in our benighted country, it is the little people who suffer, like the families and friends of the 144 victims, of neglect and incompetence.

In their memory, we must say to the ANC: Never again.

ALSO READ: Esidimeni families relive tragedy of 144 deaths

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