Gauteng Premier David Makhura. FILE PHOTO: ANA

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura remains at the helm after a motion of no confidence brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA) failed in the provincial legislature on Tuesday.

Thirty-eight members of the provincial legislature (MPLs) voted against the removal of Makhura while 27 voted for the motion, out of a total of 65 votes. There are 72 MPLs in the legislature.

"Six members were absent, and one abstained, and 65 cast their vote," announced Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe.

The DA's provincial leader John Moodey brought the motion in the light of the botched transfer of psychiatric patients from Life Esidimeni to ill equipped Gauteng non-governmental organisations (NGOs), where more than 140 of them died of negligence and general lack of care. 

Moodey called on Makhura to step down saying he and his provincial team failed the patients and their families and contravened Chapter 2 of the Constitution.

READ: DA motion a cheap political shot, says Ramokgopa

The DA's health spokesman Jack Bloom said the tragedy could have been avoided if the authorities took the warning bells seriously as far back as 2015.

"You ignored the signs of disaster that everyone else could see...as you know, I stoop repeatedly in this house, I showed placards. It might have been theatrical but points were made and none were taken," said Bloom, who had red-flagged the eminent disaster along with right groups such as Section27.

Earlier, African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Brian Hlongwa accused the DA of trying to "hoodwink" Gauteng residents into believing in their motion.

Hlongwa said the motion was "spurious, frivolous and should be dismissed with the contempt it deserved."

African News Agency/ANA