ANC denies Mahlangu ducking hearing
THE ANC in Gauteng yesterday again rejected suggestions that the party does not know the whereabouts of former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and that she is reluctant to appear before the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearing.
Responding to claims that Mahlangu’s present whereabouts were unknown, Gauteng ANC media liaison officer Motalatale Modiba repeated what the party said in a statement last Tuesday.
The ANC in Gauteng had been in discussion with Mahlangu on her availability to appear before the arbitration led by former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, he said. “She indicated she does not have any problem to appear but was not on the list of witnesses. She has made contact with the office of the arbitrator to discuss the logistics of appearing.”
At the end of August, Mahlangu had requested leave of absence from her provincial executive committee responsibilities to be able to travel overseas for purposes of pursuing her post-graduate studies.
“Therefore any suggestion that the organisation does not know her whereabouts is incorrect. Cde Qedani is still an elected member of of the PEC (provincial executive committee). The referral of her matter to the provincial integrity committee is being processed internally,” Modiba said.
Earlier yesterday, the DA called for Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s role in the transfer of Life Esidimeni mental health patients to dubious NGOs, which led to 141 deaths, to be investigated following new evidence that he knew about the move.
Former mental health review board director Dumi Masondo on Friday told the Esidimeni arbitration hearings that Makhura had attended meetings on the move of the patients, DA spokesperson Jack Bloom said. “This flatly contradicts Makhura’s claim that he did not know that the patients were sent to NGOs but were going to other state health facilities,” he said.
Masondo also said that Mahlangu was instructed to end the Life Esidimeni contract by “people above her”. She was testifying under oath so her accusations had to be taken seriously, Bloom said.
Makhura, Mahlangu and others “should face tough questioning so we finally get the truth about the Esidimeni tragedy,” Bloom said. – ANA