Life Esidimeni families seething over the re-election of Qedani Mahlangu to ANC PEC

24 July 2018 - 13:40
By Kgaugelo Masweneng
The Life Esidimeni Family Committee is outraged by the re-election of Qedani Mahlangu to the ANC PEC in Gauteng.
Image: ALON SKUY The Life Esidimeni Family Committee is outraged by the re-election of Qedani Mahlangu to the ANC PEC in Gauteng.

The memories of those who died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy have been “dishonoured and trivialised” by Qedani Mahlangu’s re-election to the ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in Gauteng‚ says the Life Esidimeni Family Committee.

The committee said on Tuesday‚ in a strongly worded statement on behalf of families affected by the tragedy‚ that it was outraged.

By allowing Mahlangu to participate in the PEC‚ the party was effectively condoning the heinous acts perpetrated under her watch‚ it said.

“If ANC represents the people and is for the people‚ then how are these elections reflective of the will of the people?

“Qedani Mahlangu is found to have been responsible for the Life Esidimeni tragedy‚ in which over 140 of the most vulnerable members of our society died. It is unacceptable that in light of the overwhelming evidence concerning Mahlangu’s integrity and fitness to hold office that she has been re-elected‚” committee spokesperson Christine Nxumalo said in a statement.

The committee believed that Mahlangu was being helped to “evade accountability” for the tragedy and lamented the fact that her case had been submitted to the ANC’s integrity committee‚ but not heard before she was re-elected to the PEC.

“We‚ as affected families‚ still await updates from the police on their criminal investigations‚ including in relation to Mahlangu’s role. The National Prosecuting Authority says it's yet to finalise the Life Esidimeni cases.

“Forty-five inquest dockets are apparently awaiting a decision on whether to prosecute. The Family Committee demands to know why the police are dragging their feet on such an important matter. We need answers and we want everyone responsible to be held accountable‚” Nxumalo said.

Gauteng ANC deputy chairperson Panyaza Lesufi acknowledged the backlash over Mahlangu being re-elected in an interview on radio 702 on Monday evening. “It’s quite clear that South Africans want us to act on this matter‚” he said.