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Life Esidimeni: ANC slams its Gauteng youth wing

The ANC says this is not a time for grandstanding and the league has avenues to use if they want to express any issues.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) says it finds comments made by the youth league in Gauteng on the Life Esidimeni tragedy atrocious and this should not be a time for squabbling over leadership positions and displaying disunity.

Yesterday, the ruling party lashed out at the league saying this is a distressing time and all structures within the movement should focus on supporting the bereaved families.

The mother body is seething after the league in Gauteng joined opposition parties in pressing charges against former health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and called for Premier David Makhura to resign over their handling of the tragedy.

The ANC says this is not a time for grandstanding and the league has avenues to use if they want to express any issues.

Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says, “And the Youth League has got a better platform to engage its own mother body the ANC in Gauteng. We hope they will use this opportunity because we must work together to comfort and to give necessary support to the bereaved families.”

NOT SHUTTING DOWN NGOS RIGHT NOW

The Gauteng provincial government has moved to clarify that NGOs which have been housing Life Esidimeni patients and later found to be operating illegally have always existed as care facilities but not equipped to cater for mentally ill patients.

The provincial government says on the basis of this, they will not be shutting down these facilities.

Earlier this week, health ombudsman professor Malegapuru Makgoba released his investigation into the circumstances around the deaths of 94 psychiatric patients.

He found that all 27 of the NGOs were not lisenced or equipped to house the patients.

Makhura’s office says it’s not concentrating on shutting down these NGOs right now but on taking mentally ill patients away from dangerous conditions.

Spokesperson Thabo Masebe says they are prioritising on terminating the contracts.

“What we’re doing, which is very clear from the report of the ombudsman, is to move the people who are there.”

Masebe says these NGOs were established before the Life Esidimeni deal was established.

“Remember NGOs are there, they’ve been functioning. They were not set up for the purpose of securing for the mentally ill patients.”

However, this does not rule out further action against the owners of the institutions as political parties and the families of the 94 who died have laid criminal charges against them.

The report into the ‘circumstances surrounding the deaths of mentally ill patients: Gauteng province’ by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)