Pa­tient death saga: more in fir­ing line

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - BALD­WIN NDABA

GAUT­ENG De­part­ment of Health head Dr Bar­ney Sele­bano will be hauled be­fore a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing af­ter he lost his ap­peal against the find­ings of the health om­buds­man’s Esidimeni re­port.

This was re­vealed by the MEC for Health, Dr Gwen Ramok­gopa, while re­spond­ing to ques­tions from the DA’s Jack Bloom in the Gaut­eng Pro­vin­cial Leg­is­la­ture yes­ter­day.

Ramok­gopa said her of­fice wel­comed the de­ci­sion of the in­de­pen­dent ad hoc tri­bunal, headed by re­tired judge pres­i­dent Bernard Ngoepe, to dis­miss Sele­bano’s ap­peal.

She said the prov­ince would, through the of­fice of pro­vin­cial di­rec­tor-gen­eral Phindile Baleni, in­sti­tute dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against Sele­bano.

Ramok­gopa also said a sim­i­lar process would be un­der­taken against Dr Mak­gabo Manamela, who also lost her ap­peal.

Health Om­bud Pro­fes­sor Male­ga­puru Mak­goba wel­comed the dis­missal of the ap­peal. In his find­ings, Mak­goba or­dered that “dis­ci­plinary hear­ings must be called against the head of de­part­ment, Dr Tiego Ephraim Sele­bano, and di­rec­tor for men­tal health direc­torate Dr Mak­gabo Manamela, for gross mis­con­duct and/or in­com­pe­tence.

“The find­ings against th­ese two doc­tors must be re­ported to their re­spec­tive pro­fes­sional bod­ies for the ap­pro­pri­ate re­me­dial ac­tion to be taken,” Mak­goba ruled.

Yes­ter­day, Ramok­gopa said they would in­sti­tute the dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings soon.

She con­firmed that one of the chief di­rec­tors, M Pitsi, who was also im­pli­cated in the re­port, had since won his ap­peal against the health om­buds­man’s find­ings, and as a re­sult, no dis­ci­plinary ac­tion would be brought against him.

Bloom wanted to know why one of the se­nior of­fi­cials, Levi Mosenogi, was not charged.

In her re­ply, Ramok­gopa said: “Levi Mosenogi, the head of project plan­ning, was not men­tioned as one of the of­fi­cials to be in­ves­ti­gated. He was a project man­ager dur­ing the first phase of the trans­fer, but that role was taken by some­one else.”

She, how­ever, said of­fi­cials would study Mosenogi’s tes­ti­mony dur­ing the Esidimeni hear­ings headed by re­tired deputy chief jus­tice Dik­gang Moseneke and make a de­ci­sion on whether to charge him or not.

Ramok­gopa was re­act­ing to Bloom’s state­ment that Mosenogi had im­pli­cated him­self dur­ing his tes­ti­mony be­fore Moseneke.

She also in­di­cated that other of­fi­cials were found guilty dur­ing their in­ter­nal dis­ci­plinary hear­ings, and most of them were given writ­ten warn­ings.

Ramok­gopa said they had been re­ported to their re­spec­tive pro­fes­sional bod­ies, such as the SA Nurs­ing Coun­cil.

In the leg­is­la­ture, Bloom cried foul over the fi­nal writ­ten warn­ings, but Ramok­gopa al­layed the fears, say­ing that the pro­fes­sional bod­ies could re­view their de­ci­sion.

Ramok­gopa was adamant that they wanted the fam­i­lies of the pa­tients who were trans­ferred from Esidimeni to il­le­gal homes to re­ceive jus­tice.

“We are co-op­er­at­ing fully with the Spe­cial In­ves­ti­gat­ing Unit, who are prob­ing our of­fi­cials for con­flict of in­ter­est.

“We are also co-op­er­at­ing with the po­lice and Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity.”

‘We want the fam­i­lies of pa­tients to get jus­tice’

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