Premier Makhura: The mastermind of Esidimeni must go

May 15, 2018

John Moodey MPL, DA Gauteng Provincial Leader

Madam Speaker, we are gathered in this House, not to pass judgement, but to conclude what should have been done some time ago.

Following the most gruesome deaths of 144 mentally ill patients; some of the most vulnerable members of society, the Premier should have done the honourable thing and resigned from office.

To hold public office is a privilege and honour which comes with huge responsibility.

As the leader of the Gauteng Government, the Premier has even greater responsibilities to carry. He is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of his government.

Yet it was his government which was the judge, jury and brutal executioner of some of the province’s most vulnerable citizens.

People who are marginalised and rely upon public representatives to protect their rights, to human dignity and respect. Negligence is the hallmark of his government – the ANC’s 5thadministration.

Negligence and shirking of responsibility together with a lack of compassion led to so many unnecessary gruesome deaths.

The organisation that once was guided by leaders with high ethical and moral values, people who bravely fought for the emancipation of all our people, has unfortunately lost its moral compass.

If the moral compass is not lost, then at most it is broken.

Under Premier Makhura’s watch, 144 vulnerable people were sentence to death. They were treated worse than animals, allegedly transported in bakkies and trucks packed in like sardines, to questionable NGOs, whose management was more interested in making money than to care for these helpless patients.

I am sure that the herd of cattle the former ANC president received as a gift from the North-West Premier, were transported with every care and better conditions than the Life Esidimeni victims and survivors. Furthermore, that herd of cattle was and is better cared for in every respect than what the victims and survivors of the Esidimeni tragedy experienced.

If one considers the horror stories told at the commission of enquiry, it is unbelievable that in this new South Africa human life can still be so cheap and disrespected.

This ANC Gauteng has murdered more innocent people than the combined number of people massacred in Sharpeville and in Marikana.

This heinous act my fellow South Africans is an indictment upon us all, especially if we continue to deny, cover-up and deflect responsibility.

Madam Speaker, the DA does not bring this motion to this House to win some moral victory.

We do so because we have an ethical and moral obligation as public representatives to protect those whom we were elected to serve, that is ALL our citizens.

Those include the people this administration sent to their deaths.

Former MEC for Health, Qendani Mahlangu only resigned from her position when the magnitude of the atrocities became apparent.

Her resignation was not a noble act, as she stated she would take “political responsibility “for her actions. She has not shown any remorse for her arrogance and callousness.

The building of a monument in memory of the victims and survivors of the Esidimeni tragedy must be a constant reminder to all us that never again should such a horror occur in our province or country.

The ANC’s complicity in the unfolding of this avoidable atrocity will be recorded in the history of SA.

They will never outlive this act of negligence.

Ultimately the name Makhura will be recorded as the lead villain in this horror story. The only way to salvage some dignity in his legacy as Premier is by him doing the honourable thing and resign from office. If not, then today, he must be removed from office by the Members of this House.

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