Makgabo Manamela disgraced on the stand over deaths of mentally ill patients
Manamela tells a furious Judge Dikgang Moseneke that she sent some patients to an NGO licensed to look after children because ‘mentally ill adult patients have the mind of a child’
Makgabo Manamela‚ one of the three officials behind the deaths of narly 150 mentally ill patients after being moved from the care of Life Esidimeni‚ returned to the stand on Thursday‚ thus avoiding an arrest warrant being issued for her. She spent the morning giving reasons for her actions. Manamela‚ then-director of the Gauteng mental health directorate‚ signed licences for ill-equipped non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to take in profoundly mentally ill patients because the Esidimeni homes were being shut down. This led to 143 mentally ill people dying‚ most of them at five badly run‚ inexperienced‚ over-crowded NGOs. After refusing to take responsibility for her role in approving these NGOs‚ hearing Judge Dikgang Moseneke said to her: "Maybe you didn’t care‚ you signed whatever you signed‚ you forget it was about people who [are] flesh and blood." Manamela replied: "I cannot accept when you say [that] I just don’t care."Manamela was forced to admit, after detailed evidence w...
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