Gauteng Premier David Makhura File picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/Independent Media
Parliament – Cabinet has called on Gauteng Premier David Makhura to take disciplinary action against senior officials implicated in the chaotic transfer of psychiatric patients from Life Esidimeni, which resulted in over 100 deaths.
Cabinet said on Thursday, following its meeting in Cape Town on Wednesday, it was concerned about the deaths of so many patients in the facilities in Gauteng.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi appointed Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba to investigate the deaths when the matter came to his attention.
On Wednesday Makgoba told the joint committees on health in the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces that the number of deaths has risen to more than 100.
This is from the 94 deaths that were earlier recorded by him.
He said he expected the figure to increase to more than 100, with more bodies being uncovered.
“Cabinet joins President Jacob Zuma in extending condolences to the families and friends of the mentally ill patients who died in Gauteng,” said Cabinet. “Government, and society at large, has a responsibility to protect and care for the vulnerable,” it said.
It welcomed Motsoaledi’s intervention in appointing the health ombudsman to investigate the deaths.
It also welcomed actions taken by Makhura on the matter.
“Cabinet further calls on Premier Makhura to ensure that appropriate disciplinary action is taken against all who may have conducted themselves improperly or negligently,” it said.