NGOs were granted licenses based on districts’ motivation: Dr Manamela

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The former head of Gauteng’s Mental Health Services Dr Mmakgabo Manamela says she signed and approved licenses for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) based on the motivation of districts and NGO managers.

She’s back on the witness stand on Monday, following a lengthy festive holiday break.

Dr Mmakgabo Manamela, who’s the 35th witness to testify, was being cross-examined about her role in the relocation saga which saw about 3 000 mental health patients moved to ill-equipped and unlicensed NGOs.

Earlier, the inquest was told this was done against the wishes of their relatives. Manamela testified with the assistance of an interpreter. She was responding to cross-examination by one of the victim’s lawyers, Advocate Adila Hassim.

However, the inquest wanted clarity on why some NGOs were granted licenses without having to present any service-level agreement documents.

According to the inquest, some patients didn’t have enough clothes and medication.

The inquest is probing the deaths of the 144 mentally challenged patients during the mass relocation from the Life Esidimeni facilities in June 2016