Sub­poena for former MEC

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS -

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

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