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ANC deeply disturbed by ANCYL Gauteng statements following passing of mental patients in the province

3 February 2017

The African National Congress is deeply disturbed by utterances attributed to the ANC Youth League in Gauteng following the tragic death of 94 mental health patients in the province. This devastating passing of our people is a sad and traumatic catastrophe that should never ever happen again. At all times, government, and society at large, is expected to ensure that that the most vulnerable amongst us are nurtured and protected. The ANC welcomes the commitment by the Gauteng Provincial Government to continuous engagement with the bereaved families. We trust and are confident that the Provincial Government will offer no excuses for what transpired as this tragedy could and should have been avoided. We commend the Gauteng Premier's commitment to utilise the Health Ombudman's Report into this tragedy as the basis for further action.

Death is a harrowing and painful experience, most especially in such distressing circumstances. No person should ever grand stand on anyone's pain. It is for this reason that the ANC finds the statements of the ANC YL in Gauteng atrocious, despicable and unbefitting not only members of the ANC but humanity at large. During this difficult period, all structures of our movement should be focusing their energies on supporting the bereaved families; it is not the time for squabbling around leadership positions and unfortunate public displays of disunity. Our people expect the ANC and the government it leads to focus and unite around helping them heal and find eventual closure. Where there are genuine issues of the ANC Youth League in Gauteng to be engaged with the leadership of the ANC in Gauteng, the ANC calls for the Youth League to raise these within acceptable organisational and societal norms. The ANC calls on the ANC Youth League nationally and the ANC in Gauteng to strongly reprimand the Gauteng ANC Youth League for their inhumane behaviour.

The African National Congress once again sends its deepest condolences to the bereaved families and urges the Gauteng Provincial Government to continue seeking to assuage their pain. We further call on the Provincial Government to speedily implement measures to give effect to the remedial actions called for in the Health Ombudman's Report to ensure that this calamity never befalls our people again.

Issued by the African National Congress
Zizi Kodwa 082 330 4910
National Spokesperson
Khusela Sangoni 072 854 5707
National Communications Manager