The Health Ombud released his report on the deaths of at least 94 psychiatric patients last year in Gauteng. The patients had been transferred out of the Life Esidimeni hospital into the care of NGOs, none of which were qualified or equipped to look after them, in a cost-cutting move by the Gauteng Department of Health. Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu resigned on Tuesday night after the report was handed to Gauteng Premier David Makhura.
The findings of the report, which pointed to official culpability, outraged the public. Below are some of the comments.
Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu lied and 94 patients died - she must be criminally charged!— Jack Bloom (@JackBloomDA) February 1, 2017
Those who are responsible for the deaths of 94 patients should be held criminally liable because they are directly involved in homicide.— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) February 1, 2017
If 94 mental patients had died from official negligence in a normal democracy the entire natl govt wd have been forced to resign— Barney Mthombothi (@mthombothi) February 1, 2017
Qedani Mahlangu has fallen. We expect more heads to roll. 94 mentally ill patients dead due to negligence. This is genocidal. It's criminal.— Vusi Khoza (@vusumuzikhoza) February 1, 2017
Makgoba says MEC wanted to pay R100 per day, instead of R320 on patients - argued it was cost cutting #LifeEsidimeni— Cathy Mohlahlana (@CathyMohlahlana) February 1, 2017
#LifeEsidimeni If 94+ psychiatric patients died at these NGO's from hunger, cold and neglect. How many other people have died there too??!— Ayesha Nagdee (@AyeshaNagdee) February 1, 2017
94 mentally ill patients died in Gauteng,the economic hub of the sub continent. 94 people, at the hands of an uncaring dept.Let that sink in— Redi Tlhabi (@RediTlhabi) February 1, 2017
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Former US VP Hubert Humphrey: "The moral test of govt is how that govt treats...the sick, the needy and the handicapped."#LifeEsidimeni— Justice Malala (@justicemalala) February 1, 2017