Subpoena for former MEC
Former Gauteng heath MEC Qedani Mahlangu, pictured, under whose guard the botched relocation of former Life Esidimeni psychiatric patients took place, will be subpoenaed to appear before the arbitration hearing in December.
Mahlangu had indicated she would only be available at the end of January 2018.
“The [former] MEC is represented by a law firm, Ngcebetsha Madlanga Attorneys. She has indicated through her attorneys that she would appear here between January 21 and 31. We have, however, taken a decision to subpoena her to appear on December 6,” attorney for the state Tebogo Hutamo said yesterday.
He added that it had been difficult to trace Mahlangu. Hutamo initially told the arbitration Mahlangu could not appear as she was preparing for examinations overseas.
“The only difficulty is on her whereabouts … her attorneys have been requested to provide her formal address to ensure delivery of the subpoena.”
Mahlangu’s whereabouts had been a bone of contention after it was reported she was in the UK furthering studying at the London School of Economics (LSE). But the Mail & Guardian reported on Saturday the LSE had no record of Mahlangu studying there or registering as a student.
On Sunday, the ANC in Gauteng came to Mahlangu’s defence, rejecting suggestions that the party does not know her whereabouts and that she was reluctant to appear at the arbitration.
ANC media liaison officer Motalatale Modiba said Mahlangu requested leave of absence from her provincial executive committee responsibilities at the end of August to travel overseas to pursue postgraduate studies.
“Therefore, any suggestion that the organisation does not know her whereabouts is incorrect. Qedani is still an elected member of the provincial executive committee. The referral of her matter to the provincial integrity committee is being processed internally,” Modiba said.
Mahlangu is widely blamed for the botched relocation of more than 3 000 former Life Esidimeni patients to unlicensed NGOs, where 141 of them died due to starvation and neglect. Fifty-nine of them are still unaccounted for.
Other top officials subpoenaed to appear are suspended head of the provincial department of health Barney Selebano and director of mental health Makgabo Manamela. – ANA