Former managing director of the Life Esidimeni Group Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa is testifying before the inquest into the tragedy. The Inquest into the tragic death of at least 144 Life Esidemeni mental patients is taking place in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

144 mentally ill patients died after they were moved to non-compliant NGOs.

This followed the termination of a contract between the Gauteng Department of Health and the Life Esidimeni group in 2015 due to financial constraints.

People died allegedly from neglect, dehydration, torture and hunger between March and December 2016.

Some went missing when they were moved and remain unaccounted for.

The families of the victims want former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, former Head of Health Dr Barney Selebano and former Director of Mental Health Dr Makgabo Manamela to be held liable for the deaths.

An arbitration by retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke ordered that the three be held accountable for the tragedy.

Life Esidimeni Inquest: