Tainted by Esidimeni deaths, Qedani Mahlangu booted from ANC PEC
The ANC in Gauteng has booted the former health and social development MEC Qedani Mahlangu from its provincial executive committee (PEC).
ANC Gauteng deputy provincial secretary Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko wrote to Mahlangu on December 10, instructing her to step down from "participating" in the Gauteng PEC with immediate effect.
"Whilst the PEC had decided that you should remain a member of the PEC, the NWC [National Working Committee] has decided that you step down," the letter reads.
Mahlangu's dismissal from the PEC comes after ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte wrote to Gauteng provincial secretary Jacob Khawe last month saying that the party agreed that Mahlangu and Brian Hlongwa should both step down from provincial party leadership.
Both Mahlangu and Hlongwa were elected onto the party's PEC during its elective conference in July.
Mahlangu, in her previous role as health MEC, became the central figure behind the Life Esidimeni tragedy, which resulted in 144 psychiatric patients dying after they were transferred into the care of unlicensed NGOs. Hlongwa faces damning allegations of corruption during his tenure in the same portfolio.
In a statement on Tuesday, DA Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said it was "disgraceful" that ANC members voted Mahlangu on to the PEC.
"I suspect that the NWC took this decision only because of the upcoming elections, but voters should remember that President Cyril Ramaphosa embraced Mahlangu at an ANC march in Soweto earlier this year and said that a comrade is always a comrade," Bloom said.
"Mahlangu should be charged for her leading role in the Esidimeni deaths, but the police investigation is taking an inordinately long time."