‘No evidence Dr Manamela was involved in Life Esidimeni tragedy’

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Lawyers representing Dr Makgabo Manamela, the former head of Gauteng’s Mental Health Services, say there is no evidence that she was involved in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

The inquest is taking place in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria where they said the responsibility of identifying and licencing NGOs rested with the district, not the province.

But lobby group Section 27 believes that Manamela, along with the former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and the owner of the non-governmental organisation Precious Angels, Ethel Ncube, should be charged with culpable homicide for the deaths of 144 mentally ill patients.

This after the patients were transferred from Life Esidimeni to ill-equipped and unlicensed NGOs in 2016.

Manamela’s lawyer Advocate Russell Sibara, however, admitted that his client should have personally inspected all the NGOs.

“It would be quite unfortunate to expect Dr. Manamela as a director to crisscross the whole province auditing NGOs by herself. Even if we were to expect districts to send all documents to Dr Manamela for her to go through each and every document, that would be too much to ask,” adds Sibara.

The video below reports more on the story: