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Opposition parties: Esidimeni crisis was covered up in lies

Opposition parties say Life Healthcare Esidimeni crisis was brought up numerous times but covered up in lies.

FILE: A screengrab of Life Healthcare Esidimeni private hospital in East London. Picture: www.lifehealthcare.co.za.

JOHANNESBURG – While the portfolio Health Committee says the Life Healthcare Esidimeni crisis only came up informally, opposition parties say the matter was brought up numerous times but covered up in lies.

The committee met at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on Tuesday to analyse the department’s third quarter report.

The department will appear before the committee next week to account for the findings in the report.

The chairperson of the committee Nompi Nhlapo said the issue of moving patients from Esidimeni was only brought up informally, but she trusted the Health Department.

“When the department reports to us that there’s something like this, we can’t say the department is lying. We must trust the department. There must be honesty and there must be transparency.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Christina Mabala and the Democratic Alliance's Jack Bloom say the concern about the patients was brought up by both parties.

“So some of the things, the chairperson takes them lightly because I also mentioned the issue of some of our health institutions that are being refurbished and people are getting kickbacks through tenders, and so forth.”

Bloom said, “People have lied before the house on this matter, officials, the MEC herself. I think we’ve to go see for ourselves.”

Bloom said the legislature was closed during the election period, halting some oversight work.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)