Alone and under siege. That’s how former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu will face the families of 143 psychiatric patients who were sent to their deaths under her watch in 2016 and 2017. She will not have the luxury of the anonymity she enjoyed in Londonwhere she found shelter from the public glare after her resignation in February last year, and she will not have the backing of her erstwhile departmental managers.

If her track record is anything to go by, Mahlangu will not accept any personal blame for the shambolic plan to move 1300 patients to NGO facilities when she is expected to the stand Monday at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings.

It’s Mahlangu’s testimony that the families of those who died in atrocious circumstances – in pain, hungry, thirsty, cold and neglected – have been waiting to hear.

Described as “extremely arrogant” by opposition politicians in Gauteng, she has until now only accepted political accountability for the deaths because they occurred under her leadership as the MEC for health and therefore the “final authority in the department”. ….more