By Dr Imran Keeka, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Health:
THE presence of KZN Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo at court proceedings yesterday involving the so-called “saboteur” in a province-wide Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) go-slow is unnecessary and inappropriate.
Equally alarming are the MEC’s inflammatory remarks outside the court, that hundreds of EMRS staff attending the proceedings who were absent from work have “essentially dismissed themselves”.
The MEC has clearly over-stepped his authority, while also displaying a remarkable disrespect for due process within his own department.
It is not MEC Dhlomo’s role to attend proceedings and call impromptu press conferences outside the courtroom.
In being there, he has confirmed what the DA has long maintained – the notion of connected politics, where the majority of South Africans are excluded from prosperity and fairness while a connected few enjoy the presence of high-ranking politicians even when they are in the hot seat.
As the political head of the KZN Health department he should instead be seeking proactive solutions aimed at dealing with the protracted issue of Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD) and other issues.
The DA expects MEC Dhlomo to apologise for his comments which have the potential to fuel further discontent between the department and medics.
He must allow the courts to proceed without interference and stop trying to be centre stage.