Selebano to testify at Life Esidimeni hearing

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Suspended head of the Gauteng Health Department, Dr Barney Selebano, is on Tuesday expected to appear before the Life Esidimeni hearings in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Selebano launched an urgent application in the High Court on Johannesburg to set aside the subpoena ordering him to appear at the arbitration hearings.

The court dismissed his application on Monday and later also denied his bid to appeal its ruling.

He has to explain his role in the relocation and subsequent deaths of 143 mentally ill patients.

Selebano is among the three top senior officials implicated in the transfer of patients that resulted in a number of deaths.

He was subpoenaed to appear at the hearings on Monday but instead he was in court fighting his subpoena.

He wanted it set aside arguing it was an abuse of process.

He later challenged the ruling insisting it was not an arbitration process.

Selebano’s lawyer Kirsty Mclean says:”What’s being referred to the arbitrator is not a future dispute there’s the possibility of a future dispute and we will say this is inconsistent with the arbitration Act.”

State Advocate Tebogo Hutamo says: “All that we can see from these proceedings is a mere tactic on part of the applicant to avoid presenting himself before arbitration proceedings where his appearance is very important. There is no basis for this application.”