Mahlangu shifting of blame in Esidimeni tragedy questioned again

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The lawyer for Life Esidimeni, advocate Harry van Bergen says former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu appears not to be taking responsibility for the relocation of mentally ill patients to ill-equipped NGOs and is instead laying the blame at the feet of the health department’s senior managers.

During her evidence-in-chief, on Wednesday, Mahlangu said she largely gave support and guidance to the work of the Esidimeni project team as she believed the officials were competent and knowledgeable.

These included the Head of Department Barney Selebano and Head of Mental Health, Dr Makgabo Manamela.

Advocate van Bergen has been cross examining Mahlangu before the Life Esidimeni Inquest in the High Court in Pretoria.

“I got the impression Mrs Mahlangu that because you are qualified as an economist and a financial expert and not as a medical or nursing expert, and one because of time constraints under which you worked. You were at all times reliant on staff members under you to carry out the actual functions within the department. You were also reliant on them to keep you informed of all relevant aspects pertaining to the work that they were doing.”

VIDEO | Former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu appears before the Life Esidimeni Inquest | 04 May 2023: