The former Mental Health Director in the Department of Health, Dr Makgabo Manamela, is expected to testify at the Life Esidimeni Inquest Monday.
She is a key witness, expected to shed more light on the transfer of patients to ill-equipped NGO’s, which resulted in the deaths of 144 mental health patients.
Manamela was meant to testify in August, but her legal team asked for a postponement, saying she was not ready.
In 2021, during an arbitration hearing, Manamela told the North Gauuteng High Court in Pretoria that the decision to move mentally-ill patients from Life Esidimeni facilities was not hers, but that of then health MEC Qedani Mahlangu.
About 100 people died at four NGOs including Takalani Home in Soweto‚ Mosego House in Krugersdorp‚ Precious Angels in Atteridgeville‚ and the Cullinan Care and the Rehabilitation Centre which housed two other NGOs‚ Anchor House and Siyabadinga.
Families unhappy with loved ones being moved
Meanwhile, in September last year, the man tasked with leading the relocation of patients, Levy Mosenogi, told the inquest how families were unhappy about the move of their loved ones.
Mosenogi says engagements between Mahlangu and families of Life Esidimeni healthcare users were at times characterised by anger and dissolution.
SABC News reporter Chriselda Lewis provides more details in the report below: