Tomorrow, 26 July 2017, my colleague, Dr Imran Keeka, and I will lay charges of culpable homicide against the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsolaedi, and the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, for the deaths of the more than 300 cancer patients who tragically died on their watch.
Section 98 of the Criminal Procedures Act states that “it shall be sufficient in a charge of culpable homicide to allege that the accused unlawfully killed the deceased”- the actions by the Minister and the MEC were unlawful and led to hundreds of cancer patients losing their lives.
The DA will lay these charges based on the South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) Report on the state of Health Services in KwaZulu-Natal, which contained damning findings against both, the Provincial and the National, Departments of Health.
The report found that both the Provincial and the National Departments of Health were complicit in the violation of “the rights to human dignity and life of the affected patients” when they “failed to take reasonable measures to progressively realise the right to have access to health care services in the KZN province”.
Further, the report found that the Departments’ failure to provide access to adequate oncology services also “violated the rights to human dignity and life of the affected patients”.
The DA has repeatedly called for Dhlomo to be removed from his position, but the KZN Health Department has shown time and again that they lack the will and leadership, to hold the MEC accountable for his inaction.
When the lives of our citizens are at stake, health official must protect them, and not their cronies who neglected their duties.
The DA will work tirelessly to ensure that the sick and vulnerable in KwaZulu-Natal have access to the life-saving oncology treatment they deserve and are entitled to in terms of the Constitution of your country.