Today's Labour News

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sanursingcouncilCity Press reports that five years after the Life Esidimeni catastrophe, which resulted in the deaths of 144 mentally ill state patients, four of those accountable for it have still not been suspended by their professional councils.

The formal judicial inquest into the deaths of the patients will begin on Monday in the Pretoria High Court. On Friday, the SA Nursing Council (SANC) advised that steps had still not been taken against Dr Makgabo Manamela, then director of mental health at the Gauteng health department, her then deputy, Hannah Jacobus, and Dumi Masondo, former chairperson of the Gauteng review board. The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) has also not yet suspended Dr Barney Selebano, who was then head of the Gauteng health department. The health department confirmed that Selebano and Jacobus had retired and received their full pension payments. Jacobus worked at the department until her retirement. The then MEC for health, Qedani Mahlangu, Selebano and Manamela all resigned in 2017, around the time that the health ombudsman recommended that those whom he called the “architects” of the tragedy and everyone involved in it be suspended. “Quick action against such employees is important for government. That’s why we’re currently working on the process,” said SANC CEO Sizeni Mchunu in response to a query. She did not explain why the “quick action” had still not taken place – four years after the recommendation. Christopher Tsatsawane of the HPCSA said the case against Selebano had been postponed due to the current level 4 lockdown, but also failed to explain why the matter had been delayed for years.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Suzanne Venter at City Press


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