‘At last‚ we have an answer,’ says judge in Life Esidimeni case
On her fourth day of examination in the hearings into the Life Esidimeni disaster‚ the official who led the project‚ Dr Makgabo Manamela‚ continued to say she was not responsible for the deaths. Manamela‚ who is also a qualified psychiatric nurse‚ signed licences giving inexperienced‚ underfunded‚ poorly-equipped NGOs permission to look after profoundly mentally ill patients and as a result‚ 143 people died. NGOs were used to care for patients after the Gauteng health department terminated the contract with Life Esidimeni‚ and about 1‚712 patients were moved out of Life Esidimeni homes. Despite being told she was a "defensive" witness‚ Manamela admitted to Solidarity advocate Dirk Groenewald that the NGOs to which she gave authority did not comply with the legal requirements. But Judge Dikgang Moseneke had to interpret her answer for her. The judge said: "At last‚ we have an answer: the NGOs that you issued licences to did not comply with... most of the [legal] requirements." Many q...
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