The Gauteng Provincial Government says while it has admitted liability for the deaths of 143 mentally-ill patients, state officials are still required to provide further details on why and how this happened.

State lawyer Willam Mokharhi says this is one of the agreements reached with parties and forms part of the terms of reference for the arbitration proceedings.

However, despite this, suspended Head of Gauteng Health Department Barney Selebano has approached the High Court in Johannesburg asking it to set aside a subpoena ordering him to appear before the Life Esidimeni hearings to testify.

The state has disputed Barney Selebano’s submission that the Esidimeni Hearings are more of a commission of inquiry, than an arbitration process.

William Mokharhi for the state says the terms of reference were clearly defined by all parties and they agreed on how the proceedings will be conducted.

Mokharhi says Selebano must simply go and tell the hearings that he played a minimal role in the transfers as stated in court papers.

He further described as unthinkable Selebano’s fears that he will be prejudiced, saying the arbitration is led by an experienced judge who conducts the hearings in a fair manner.

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