Suspended Mental Health Director Makgabo Manamela has finally agreed to testify at the Life Esidimeni hearings in Parktown, Johannesburg on Monday next week.

She however wants the state to pay for her legal costs.

Manamela, former MEC Qedani Mahlangu and suspended Head of Department Barney Selebano have been identified as key decision-makers in the transfer of mentally-ill patients from Life Esidimeni facilities to unlicensed NGOS.

That project resulted in the deaths of 143 patients.

Section 27’s Advocate Adil Hassin says, “Dr Manamela has reconsidered she’ll be here on the 20th of November. Her condition was that her costs of attendance and her legal costs should be paid by the state. That perhaps is an issue on which my friend from the state would be best placed to address you on and what the meaning of that is. We have a view on it, but it’s really up to the state whether they wish to pay her legal costs or not.”

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