Political parties have mixed reactions to suspension of Health Dept HOD

The DA’s Jack Bloom says the suspension of Barney Selebano is a step in the right direction & the EFF wants the premier to resign.

FILE: Dr Barney Selebano. Picture: health.gpg.gov.za

JOHANNESBURG – There’s been mixed reaction to the suspension of the Health Department’s HOD over the Life Esidimeni tragedy, with the Democratic Alliance (DA) welcoming the move and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) insisting that Gauteng Premier David Makhura must follow suite.

On Wednesday, Makhura suspended Dr. Barney Selebano following the damning Health Ombudsman report into the deaths of 94 mentally ill patients.

The Director of Mental Health, Makgabo Manamela, has also been served with a notice of intention to suspend her.

She’s been given 48 hours to motivate why she should stay in her position.

The DA’s Jack Bloom says the suspension of Selebano is the step in the right direction and has wished acting HOD Dr Ernest Kenoshi well.

“Dr. Kenoshi is generally well regarded. I think that he’s got a huge task to do and I hope he does well.”

However, the EFF's Christina Mabala says the party still wants the premier to resign.

“He hasn’t done anything. We want to see him be accountable as well, he must take responsibility.”

The premier’s office says it has thus far visited 20 of the NGOs and will have the process completed by Friday.

Life Esidimeni: How the tragedy unfolded

A timeline of the events leading up to deaths of 94 psychiatric patients from Life Esidimeni, and the subsequent investigations.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)