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Gauteng DA asks Makhura to step down over Esidimeni tragedy

During his State of the Province Address, Makhura insisted that his office had no role in the deaths of mental patients who died after they were moved from Life Esidimeni centres.

FILE: Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura has again been asked to step down by the DA after presiding over what the opposition describes as the worst health disaster in the province since democracy.

This week, during his State of the Province Address, Makhura insisted that his office had no role in the deaths of more than 100 mental patients who died after they were transferred from Life Esidimeni to unlicensed NGOs.

Parties are debating his speech at the Gauteng legislature.

The DA's Jack Bloom says Premier David Makhura should have fired the Health MEC over the Esidimeni tragedy.

“It is an indelible stain on your premiership. This is what people will remember you for. Your failure to fire Qedani missed the opportunity to show that the ANC in Gauteng is genuinely different from the ANC that refuses to hold President Zuma to account.”

Earlier this month, MEC Qedani Mahlangu resigned in the wake of a damning report on the department’s handling of the deaths of psychiatric patients in the province.

At the same time, Transport MEC Ismail Vadi praised Makhura, saying the province’s improved audit outcomes show that public funds are being used more prudently.

(Edited by Refilwe Thobega)