When are we go­ing to call the gov­ern­ment to ac­count?

The Star Late Edition - - LETTERS - Krugers­dorp

A FEW years ago, 34 peo­ple were mas­sa­cred at Marikana by the po­lice force and we were not out­raged. Now 94 psy­chi­atric pa­tients have died as a re­sult of the Gaut­eng health depart­ment’s ill-con­ceived de­ci­sion to move them to un­li­censed NGOs.

Still we are not out­raged. The per­ti­nent ques­tion is: what will it take for us to be out­raged? Are 94 bod­ies not enough for us to say enough is enough? One day this gov­ern­ment is go­ing to kill us all and there will be no one left to tell the story.

Af­ter the health om­buds­man, an­nounced these pa­tients died in Gaut­eng, I thought we were go­ing to con­front the gov­ern­ment. I was wrong. We have for­got­ten about the mat­ter and are mov­ing on with our lives as if noth­ing hap­pened.

How no­ble! These pa­tients are one of the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in so­ci­ety. They need our care, love, sup­port and pro­tec­tion. What kind of a so­ci­ety have we be­come? His­tory is go­ing to judge us harshly.

For­mer Gaut­eng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu’s res­ig­na­tion letter didn’t sound re­morse­ful – a cold com­fort for the fam­i­lies of the de­ceased. Wasn’t Gaut­eng premier David Makhura sup­posed to re­sign too? The like­able premier claimed hav­ing no knowl­edge of the con­di­tions the pa­tients were sub­jected to. In­ter­est- in­gly, Sec­tion 27 says he knew.

Our lib­er­a­tors are turn­ing to be our op­pres­sors. And it seems we are wait­ing for a Mes­siah from some­where to come and save us. Well, I have news: there is no Mes­siah who is com­ing to save us. We need to save our­selves. Thabile Mange


JOBS ON THE LINE: Work­ers from var­i­ous South African poul­try sec­tors marched to the EU head­quar­ters in Pre­to­ria fu­ri­ous over cheap im­ports and mount­ing job losses ear­lier this month. But, there is more at stake than job losses.

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