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15 February 2017


The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) applauded the action being taken by the Department of Health regarding the Life Esidimeni 94.  The Union is glad that progress is being made with the recommendations of the Health Ombudsman, but Hospersa stands firm in calling for criminal charges being laid against those implicated.


In his statement delivered in Pretoria yesterday, the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi briefed the media on progress made regarding the recommendations of the Health Ombudsman’s report.  He reported the commencement of disciplinary proceedings against Dr Tiego Ephraim Selebano and Dr Makgabo Manamela, as per the report recommendations.  He said that the Department of Health will be reporting the two doctors to the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and the South African Nursing Council (SANC) for professional and ethical misconduct.  He also said corrective disciplinary action has started against implicated members of the Gauteng Department of Mental Health (GDoMH).


“While we welcome the Minister’s action coming to the fore, we are adamant that the wrong message would be sent if the former MEC [Member of the Executive Council for Health, Ms Qedani Dorothy Mahlangu] is exempted from disciplinary or legal action due to her timely resignation,” said Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines.  “Hospersa remains firm on its stance that criminal charges should be brought against her [the former MEC] and the other implicated officials.  This would go a long way in addressing the endemic levels of poor management and maladministration that are plaguing the Department of Health,” he added.


The Minister also informed the media that seven (7) of the twenty seven (27) Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) involved have been closed.  He reported that the remaining twenty (20) will also be shut down with immediate effect.  He told the media that the patients’ families will be consulted throughout the process of identifying up-to standard facilities and avoid mistakes of the past.


“We are thankful that the Minister has closed the implicated NGOs,” said Desfontaines.  “We are also glad that he [the Minister] is showing progressive actions to avoid such incidents from happening in the future,” he added.


The Minister also used the briefing to formerly introduce the new Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa. 


“Hospersa would like to welcome Dr Ramokgopa in her new role.  We hope and trust that she will bring stability, transparency and clean governance to Gauteng Health.  We also call on her to root out all forms of poor management, maladministration and corruption in the province,” said Desfontaines.



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For interviews please contact Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines on 083-321-4427


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