“Proper procedures not followed in issuing licences to Life Esidimeni NGOs”

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A senior official from the Mental Health Services in the Gauteng Health Department has conceded that proper procedures were not followed in issuing licences to NGOs that received mentally-ill patients from Life Esidimeni.

The Deputy Director-General responsible for NGOs Hannah Jacobus says former Mental Health Director Dr Makgabo Manamela instructed her to proceed with the compilation of licences without vetting or auditing them because of the imminent closure of Life Esidimeni.

She says this was an unusual circumstance.

One hundred-and-43 mentally-ill patients died after being transferred to ill-equipped NGOs after the department terminated its long-standing contract with Life Esidimeni.

Jacobus is responding to questions from evidence leader Patrick Ngutshana at the Arbitration hearings which have resumed in Park Town, Johannesburg.