Election of Mahlangu will cost ANC

Former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu.
Former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu.

The new ANC leadership in Gauteng started its tenure on a wrong footing when delegates at its provincial elective conference at the weekend picked Qedani Mahlangu to serve in the executive committee.

As former MEC for health in the province, Mahlangu was blamed for her role in the Life Esidimeni tragedy that left 144 patients dead.

She was fingered as the person who had the final decision on how to proceed with the relocation of the patients. To deploy Mahlangu to the executive committee so soon after the tragedy suggests the ANC delegates do not think she must shoulder the blame.

Now the leadership will have to deal with the Mahlangu issue instead of focusing their efforts on building the party ahead of elections next year.

It will be interesting to see how the governing party deals with this curve ball.

Maybe it would have been wiser had they asked her not to avail herself for election due to the sensitivity around her role leading up to the deaths in the Esidimeni saga.

The opposition parties will use this in their favour to attack the governing party in a bid to sway voters away from the ANC.

As a way of controlling the damage, the ANC's integrity committee will have to step in, failing which the party will have to explain why Mahlangu is considered a senior and capable leader of the ANC in Gauteng, especially with her bad reputation.

Kiekie Mboweni


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