Mental health director requests for preparation time

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Suspended Gauteng Mental Health Director, Dr Makgabo Manamela has requested more time to prepare before she can testify at the Life Esidimeni hearings underway in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Speaking through her lawyer Lerato Mashilane, Manamela says she would like to go through certain documents and get more information from the Gauteng Health Department. She also wants access to the laptop she was using before being suspended by the department.

Manamela was subpoenaed to appear at the hearings on Monday to answer for her role in the deaths of 143 mentally ill patients after they were moved from Esidimeni to unlicensed NGOs.

Her lawyer was grilled by inquiry chair, former Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, on why a postponement should be granted.

“She can’t subject herself to questioning wherein she did not have any background information with regards to information before this arbitration. I submit with due respect that it will be just unfair,” says Mashilane.

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