Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and former Chief Whip Brian Hlongwa have been ordered to step down from Gauteng ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) by the ANC’s National Working Committee (NWC).
Letters were sent to Mahlangu and Hlongwa yesterday informing them of the NWC’s decision and requesting them to step down from the PEC “with immediate effect”.
The Gauteng PEC initially dug in its heels after the ANC’s provincial integrity committee recommended that the pair should neither hold public office nor be represented on ANC structures.
Mahlangu oversaw the transfer of mentally ill patients from Life Esidimeni to private facilities during which time at least 144 patients died and 1 418 others were affected.
“She acted with impunity thinking that she will get away with murder because the users and their families were vulnerable and poorly resourced. She acted with an ulterior motive that remains concealed even after many days of evidence before the hearing,” said retired Judge Dikgang Moseneke at the conclusion of his commission of inquiry in the Esidimeni matter.
She acted with impunity thinking that she will get away with murder because the users and their families were vulnerable and poorly resourced. She acted with an ulterior motive that remains concealed even after many days of evidence before the hearing.
Hlongwa has been implicated in R1.2bn in graft allegations by the Special Investigating Unit while he was Gauteng Health MEC between 2006 and 2009.
The huge debts that the Gauteng Health Department incurred during Hlongwa’s term led to Mahlangu deciding to terminate the Life Esidimeni contract to save costs.
On Monday, families of the Esidimeni dead met with officials from the Gauteng Premier’s office then marched to Luthuli House. They say government still has not paid them the R1,2-million they were ordered to by Retired Judge Dikgang Moseneke at the conclusion of his commission of inquiry.
Mahlangu and Hlongwa were sent letters yesterday by Gauteng’s deputy secretary Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.
“Please note that while the PEC had decided that you should remain a member of the PEC, the NWC has decided that you set down,” Nkomo-Ralehoko wrote to Mahlangu.
The PEC was informed of the NEC’s decision in a letter from ANC Deputy Secretary Jesse Duarte dated 20 November, which followed a presentation about the pair to national ANC officials by Gauteng secretary Jacob Khawe on 12 November.
Mahlangu and Hlongwa are allowed to remain ordinary members of the ANC.