President Jacob Zuma on Thursday said he had ordered Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to speedily implement the health ombudsman’s recommendations following the death of 94 psychiatric patients in Gauteng.
“I’ve instructed the minister of health to ensure that the health ombudsperson’s recommendations are wholly and speedily implemented without any reservations,” Zuma said while delivering his state of the nation address (Sona).
“We welcomed the recommendation…that there is an urgent need to review the National Health Act of 2003 and the Mental Health Act of 2002 with a view that certain powers and functions revert back to the national minister of health.”
His comments came after Speaker Baleka Mbete refused a request by the Democratic Alliance (DA) for a minute of silence for the 94 patients who died after they were transferred from Life Esidimeni to unlicensed facilities in Gauteng.
The DA MPs waved their flags, bearing the words “Remember the Esidimeni 94”.