Qedani Mahlangu. Picture: SOWETAN
Qedani Mahlangu. Picture: SOWETAN

The ANC in Gauteng has told former health and social development MEC Qedani Mahlangu to step down 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.

It was reported that former health MEC Brian Hlongwa also received a similar letter. 

Mahlangu’s dismissal from the PEC comes after ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte wrote to Gauteng provincial secretary Jacob Khawe in November saying the party agreed that Mahlangu and  Hlongwa should step down from provincial party leadership.

Mahlangu and Hlongwa were elected onto the party’s PEC during its elective conference in July. In her previous role as health MEC‚ Mahlangu became the central figure behind the Life Esidimeni tragedy‚ which resulted in the death of 144 psychiatric patients after they were transferred into the care of unlicensed nongovernmental organisations.

Hlongwa faces damning allegations of corruption during his tenure in the same portfolio.

DA Gauteng health spokesperson MEC Jack Bloom said on Tuesday it is “disgraceful” that ANC members voted Mahlangu onto 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.”

Hlongwa resigned as Gauteng chief whip in October amid corruption allegations of R1.2bn during his tenure as health MEC.

Hlongwa and 11 other health officials were accused of corruption and fraudulent activities in a Special Investigating Unit report on the period 2006-2009, when he was MEC.