Life Esidimeni hearings continue on Wednesday

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The Life Esidimeni Arbitration hearings into the deaths of 141 mentally ill patients will resume in Parktown, Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Lawyers involved in the arbitration have not yet succeeded in bringing three key witnesses, including former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, to testify.

It emerged on Tuesday that Mahlangu had been suspended without prejudice by a British banking school where she’d been studying for an MBA to allow her to deal with her South African issues.

After resorting to subpoenas, it’s now hoped that Mahlangu, suspended Mental Health Director Makgabo Manamela and suspended Head of Department Barney Selebano will appear this month or early next month.

Evidence leader Patrick Ngutshana has been working on getting Manamela to appear on Wednesday.

State Advocate Tebogo Hutamo said the former MEC would be subpoenaed.

Justice Dikgang Moseneke’s statement that the hearings would not end until the appearance of Mahlangu, Manamela and Selebano appears to have shifted, owing to time constraints.

“The question now is will the trio be brought in to account before the hearings conclude,” says Moseneke.