NEWS & ANALYSIS

Willies Mchunu fails cancer sufferers - DA KZN

Francois Rodgers says Premier should have acted against Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo

Premier puts ANC party patronage ahead of KwaZulu-Natal cancer sufferers

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal condemns KZN Premier Willies Mchunu’s failure to act against provincial health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, following an oncology crisis in the province which has left some 300 patients dead as a result of inadequate treatment.

Last week MEC Dhlomo and his department were named in a South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) Report as having violated the rights of oncology patients at Addington and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospitals to have access to health care services.

The DA expected the Premier to be bold and decisive following this damning finding.

Instead he has blamed ‘challenges’ across the health sector as a whole, an adverse economic climate and a lack of capacity within the department itself. In short, he blamed everyone but the MEC. This in spite of the DA continually warning the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal of the looming crises in health for the past four 4 years. The Premier and the MEC had plenty of opportunity to correct the crisis. Yet they chose to ignore our warnings.

In failing to act against MEC Dhlomo, the Premier has failed the people of KwaZulu-Natal, placing ANC party patronage ahead of the dire needs of cancer patients. As the head of health services in KwaZulu-Natal, the buck stops with the MEC. That the Premier does not or will not see this is further proof of the cadre deployment system that exists within the ANC.

The DA will not allow this matter to rest - we will continue to fight for accountability. In the coming days we will announce further interventions aimed at holding MEC Dhlomo accountable. We will also continue to pressure Premier Mchunu to relieve the MEC of his duties.

This battle is far from over.

Statement issued by Francois Rodgers MPL, Leader of the DA in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, 23 June 2017