Hlongwa, Mahlangu remain on high-level ANC body despite ban on public office

Gauteng ANC Chief Whip Brian Hlongwa resigned just hours before the party’s provincial executive committee released a statement in which it backed calls by its integrity committee to bar Hlongwa from public office.

Similarly prohibited from bearing office are Simon Mofokeng and former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu. Mahlangu presided over what has become known as the Life Esidimeni tragedy in which 144 state mental health patients lost their lives after she ordered their removal from long-term state-sponsored care at private hospitals.

Mofokeng was suspended as mayor of Emfuleni and later left office after claims surfaced that he had allegedly sexually assaulted a minor, several media outlets have reported.

Hlongwa is alleged to have crippled the Gauteng health department after a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report found that over R1.2-billion was lost to graft during his tenure as MEC. The 122-page document — released earlier this year by public interest law organisation Section27 — revealed new about the extent of rot at the provincial health department, which essentially became an informal arm of the now-liquidated consulting firm, 3P Consulting.

The report had been handed over to President Jacob Zuma in March 2017. Hlongwa told Bhekisisa in June that he had arranged to hand himself over to the Hawks in 2014 so that the allegations against him could be investigated.


He said: “My legal representatives had already prepared affidavits in support of the inevitable bail application when the Hawks informed me that, at that point in time, they would not be proceeding with my arrest.”

At the Presidential health summit earlier this month, SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi said the healthcare sector remains at a high risk for corruption and is one of their focus areas. He also warned decisive action had to be taken against those implicated in SIU reports.

“We want independent investigations that are turned around quickly and submit and identify findings appropriately. Once those findings come out, there’s this worry that there is no action.

“We would like to make sure that the space is known for taking actions. Prosecutions, civil litigations, disciplinary actions have to follow”, Mothibi explained.

In its statement, the provincial executive committee said it had disagreed with recommendations by the integrity committee that the trio’s behaviour carry possible consequences for at least some members’ standing in the party, including membership. The executive committee, however, did not go into specifics as to what those recommendations were and to who they applied.

Hlongwa and Mahlangu were elected to the party’s provincial executive committee in July.

Read the full statement below.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Laura Lopez Gonzalez
Laura Lopez Gonzalez
@Bhekisisa_MG deputy editor. Science lover & lurker.
Advertising

Reinstated Ingonyama Trust managers hit with retrenchment notices

The effect of Covid-19 and the land reform department’s freeze of R23-million because the ITB didn’t comply with budget submissions are cited as some of the reasons for the staff cuts

Battle over R6bn workers’ retirement fund

Allegations from both sides tumble out in court papers

Nigeria’s anti-corruption boss arrested for corruption

Ibrahim Magu’s arrest by the secret police was a surprise — but also not surprising

Eskom refers employees suspected of contracts graft for criminal investigations

The struggling power utility has updated Parliament on investigations into contracts where more than R4-billion was lost in overpayments
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday