The Pretoria High Court has denied Mavis Mokgosinyana’s request to be excused from testifying in the Life Esidimeni inquest.
Mokgosinyana’s lawyers argued that she was not required to testify about the causes of death of mental health care patients who died while staying at her NGO, Mosega Home on the West Rand, in 2016.
Judge Mmonoa Teffo has ordered that all the witnesses should avail themselves before the court to give evidence as scheduled when the proceeding continues on Tuesday.
“These witnesses are not the evidence leader’s witnesses but the court’s witnesses. They have been called to testify on the basis that they’ve made so that their veracity could be heard and tested under cross-examination.
“Therefore they do not have the right to refuse to testify. But they can refuse to answer questions that will incriminate them. On that basis, the inquest has to proceed and arrangements had to be made for the evidence of Ms Mavis Mokgosinyana as soon as possible,” Judge Teffo explains.
144 patients died of hunger, dehydration and neglect after being moved to ill-equipped NGOs. This followed the closure of Life Esidimeni facilities by the Gauteng Health Department in June 2016.
VIDEO: LIFE ESIDIMENI INQUEST, Pretoria High Court: 17 January 2022