Police thwart DA's attempt to lay charges against Motsoaledi over oncology crisis
The DA’s attempts to open culpable homicide charges against Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo were thwarted on Wednesday morning, as police “feel there should be bodies”, the party says.
The party claims that 300 cancer patients have died on Motsoaledi and Dhlomo’s watch as an oncology crisis — characterised by a chronic shortage of specialists and out-of-order specialist equipment — continues to grip the province.
DA KwaZulu-Natal health spokesperson Dr Imran Keeka said police were asking, “Where are the bodies?”
“They feel that there should be a body. They’re looking for technicalities‚” he said outside the Point Road police station‚ where they had hoped the case would be opened.
The police station is in close proximity to Addington Hospital‚ which is at the coalface of the ongoing public healthcare crisis.
A baffled Keeka and his colleague‚ DA national health spokesperson Patricia Kopane‚ went to the station with a contingent of reporters shortly after 11am but were told to wait for the station commander and police spokespersons Col Thembeka Mbhele and Col Thulani Zwane.
When the officials arrived‚ reporters were chased outside.
Later‚ Keeka and Kopane stormed out‚ saying the laying of charges would be delayed because of the police’s demand.
“They also said they are awaiting their legal team to advise of the matter. I mean‚ what proof do you need when it’s all contained in the [SA] Human Rights Commission [report]?” said Keeka.
Kopane said this was proof of sheer incompetence on the side of the police.
The SAHRC report into the state of healthcare services in KwaZulu-Natal found that both the provincial and the national health departments acted unlawfully‚ and that the right of access to healthcare was infringed.
“The DA will ensure that there is finally justice for the more than 300 cancer patients who tragically lost their lives‚” said Keeka.