Retired Deputy Chief Justice has dismissed as fabricated the reasons that senior Gauteng health government officials gave for terminating the long-standing contract with Life Esidimeni.
The former Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu and the HOD had said the termination was due to budgetary constraints.
They also said it was in line with the policy of deinstitutionalisation, and followed the Auditor-General’s concerns that the contract never went out to tender for an extended period of time.
Delivering his final report into the deaths of 144 former Life Esidimeni patients in Parktown, Johannesburg, Justice Moseneke said the reasons could not be substantiated.
“As for Ms Mahlangu, she claimed rather surprisingly and unconvincingly that the Department had kept Health Advances report away from her. She couldn’t explain why the Department she headed would conceal a diagnostic report of this importance, given its relevance and the looming cancellation of the Life Esidimeni service level agreement.”
“Her stance backs the question, Why did she not demand the diagnostic report before pulling such a big trigger? Did she not care to make a decision which is evidence based?”