Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

"PREMIER David Makhura’s professed commitment to accountability cannot be taken seriously until he fires Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu‚" DA Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom said on Monday.

The member of the provincial legislature said it had been six days since Mahlangu disclosed "in an oral reply to my questions" that "36 psychiatric patients had died in unsuitable nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) where they were sent after the cancellation of the contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni".

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"Mahlangu bears the prime responsibility for the deaths as she stubbornly persisted with a rushed transfer of patients to NGOs, despite many warnings that they did not have the capacity to look after them‚" Bloom said.

He said he was launching a "Mahlangu monitor"‚ which "can be found at #MahlanguMustGo … and will be updated every day on my @JackBloomDA Twitter account".

"Every day that Mahlangu remains in office is an insult to those who died and their relatives who expect justice and accountability in this matter."

Last week‚ Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said he had asked the health ombudsman to investigate the deaths‚ after he had held a marathon consultation with Mahlangu.

While Bloom last week welcomed the minister’s intervention‚ he called for Qedani to step down or be sacked‚ saying: "My view is that nearly all the 36 patients that have died in the last four months would probably still be alive if they were kept at Life Healthcare Esidimeni."

TMG Digital