Johannesburg - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi put up a false front when he testified at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings and ''shed crocodile tears'', Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said on Monday.
"We love Minister Motsoaledi but he gave us Life Esidimeni....we are not going to be mislead by his crocodile tears. He is a minister and therefore should take responsibility. This thing of choreographing crying and decide to cry at paragraph six is just a performance,'' Malema said during a media briefing.
''It cannot be that patients die with more missing and no one is arrested or lost a job. No one could have touched [former health MEC] Qedani if she didn't resign....they should actually have fired her even after her resignation. We do not deserve such people among us.''
Malema had previously praised Motsoaledi for doing ''a good job'' in the public healthcare system, but on Monday accused him of being a media darling and misleading everyone.
''After doing media interviews Motsoaledi goes home to sleep...we do not want a health minister who goes to interviews, we want him at the hospitals. He is busy over nothing...you cannot see his work. He misled all of us...there was nothing wrong in praising him at the start of his term...there were signs of a committed person but when we looked deeper we found that he is busy over nothing.''
Motsoaledi broke down in tears and apologised to the families and survivors of the botched transfer of patients from the Life Esidimeni facility to unregistered NGO facilities across the Gauteng province during his testimony last week.
He went on to call for a probe into the possible abduction or kidnapping of patients from the Life Esidimeni facility. At least 144 psychiatric patients died from mostly starvation, dehydration or neglected at unlicensed NGOs in Gauteng after they were transferred from Life Esidimeni.
Section 27 revealed during last week's hearing that the death toll could rise to 156 after 12 families said their deceased loved ones did not appear on the official list of fatalities.
Malema said the red berets has dedicated 2018 as the year of public health care ''to expose'' incompetence, negligence and corruption".
The party said it would attend to every clinic and hospital to ensure that there were skilled staff, medicine and a caring environment ''that treats our people with dignity.''
''We resolved to establish a public healthcare office that will receive daily complaints from our people. We shall ensure to respond to all complaints received within 48 hours. We shall expose all public health institutions that are in a bad condition. We shall name and shame nurses, doctors and all health practitioners who are involved in negligence, corruption, and humiliation of our people,'' Malema said.
African News Agency/ANA