Saturday Star

ANC scolds youth league for ‘unbefittin­g grandstand­ing’


cious, despicable and unbefittin­g not only to members of the ANC, but humanity at large,” the party said in a statement.

“During this difficult period, all structures of our movement should be focusing their energies on supporting the bereaved families… this is is not the time for squabbling around leadership positions and unfortunat­e public displays of disunity.”

Following the release of the damning report into psychiaric patients’ deaths – who died after they were transferre­d from provincial government contractor Life Esidimeni Centre, to 27 NGOs around the province – opposition parties such as the EFF and the DA led the charge against Mahlangu and Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

The EFF laid criminal charges against the provincial leaders on Thursday. The youth league in the province, led by its chairperso­n, Matome Chiloane, followed suit and went to the Johannesbu­rg central police station and laid murder charges against Mahlangu, who resigned on Wednesday, a day before jealth ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba released the report.

The youth league further demanded that Makhura resign as premier.

The ANC said society expected all its structures to lead and help affected families heal and find closure.

“Where there are genuine issues to be engaged with the leadership of the ANC in Gauteng, the ANC calls for the ANCYL to raise these within acceptable organisati­onal and societal norms. The ANC calls on the ANCYL nationally and the ANC in Gauteng to strongly re primand the Gauteng ANCYL for their inhumane behaviour,” it stated.

Makgoba revealed on Wednesday that in contrast to a figure of 36 fatalities given by Mahlangu in the provincial legislatur­e last year, at least 94 psychiatri­c patients out of 1 300 had died between March and December 2016, after they were moved from the department’s contractor, Life Esidimeni, to several non-government organisati­ons in the province.

According to the report, the patients were transferre­d to NGOs that lacked basic competence and experience. They also did not have the leadership capacity to care for mentally ill patients and were operating under invalid licences.

The number could have risen as the rest of the patients remained at the NGOs.

Makgoba’s investigat­ion found that the death of only one patient was a consequenc­e of mental illness, while the causes of death of the other 93 included malnutriti­on, dehydratio­n, heart attacks and diarrhoea.

Mahlangu will be replaced by incumbent Deputy Minister of Health Gwen Ramokgopa. She is a medical doctor and a former mayor of the city of Pretoria. She previously served as Gauteng health MEC from 1999 to 2006. – ANA

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