The inquest into the deaths of 144 mentally ill people that the Gauteng Health department moved to unregistered NGOs continues in the High Court in Pretoria on Friday with testimony from other witnesses.

On Thursday, former managing director of the Life Esidimeni Group, Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa said the centre was at some stage compelled to borrow funds from an external source after the Gauteng Health Department appeared reluctant to approve more funding for the running of the facility.

Life Esidimeni patients arrived at NGO’s without proper medical history | Inquest told

The inquest was established to determine if anyone should be held criminally liable for the deaths of the patients.

In concluding his evidence, Mkhatshwa said at the time the facility had a deficit of over R6 million.

“And that it is a satisfaction to note that the money that the Gauteng Department of Health paid to Life Esidimeni was actively utilized and there was no misuse of funds at Life Esidimeni. Nothing that I have seen so far shows that we failed the mental health care users that we were tasked to look after in terms of their care. Our primary goal was to ensure the mental care users get the care that we were tasked to look after,” said Mkhatshwa.

Re-examination of former Life Esidimeni Managing Director, Dr Morgan Mkhatshwa continues