Johannesburg – The African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng has clarified the leave of absence of former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, after media reports alleged that she is not registered as a postgraduate student at an overseas university. About 141 psychiatric patients died after being moved to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) last year when the health department – under Mahlangu - terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group due to cost-cutting measures. Mahlangu resigned in February before the health ombudsman released a damning report on the Life Esidimeni tragedy.Rapport reported a week ago that Mahlangu was on board a flight to London’s Heathrow Airport on July 29.In a series of tweets, the party said Mahlangu had asked for a leave of absence at the end of August this year to pursue her postgraduate degree overseas. This was granted.Mahlangu was expected to be subpoenaed to testify at the on-going Life Esidimeni hearings. The media has been speculating about the appearance of former GP Health MEC, Ms Qedani Mahlangu, citing anonymous sources. 1/6— Gauteng ANC (@GautengANC) October 29, 2017She has indicated willingness to appear before Alternative Dispute Resolution process led by former Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke. 2/6— Gauteng ANC (@GautengANC) October 29, 2017She has informed us that she is willing to appear before the arbitration process, but was not on the list of witnesses. 3/6— Gauteng ANC (@GautengANC) October 29, 2017She has communicated that she has made contact with the office of the arbitrator to discuss the logistics of appearing. 4/6— Gauteng ANC (@GautengANC) October 29, 2017At the end of August 2017 she requested leave of absence from her Provincial Executive Committee responsibilities, which was granted. 5/6— Gauteng ANC (@GautengANC) October 29, 2017She indicated to us that she was traveling overseas for purposes of pursuing her post graduate studies. 6/6— Gauteng ANC (@GautengANC) October 29, 2017She had initially communicated through a lawyer that she would avail herself after completing exams which she is apparently due to write over the next few weeks. News24 previously reported that the London School of Economics indicates the university only has examinations in January.It has now surfaced in an article by the Mail and Guardian’s Bhekisisa, that the former MEC is not registered as a student at the London School of Economics. Gauteng ANC has still maintained that Mahlangu will testify, refusing to be drawn into questions of her whereabouts or where she is registered as a postgraduate student. You are correct, we are not going to be drawn into that. What matters to us, the families and general public is that all sides are heard. https://t.co/ghydugieTQ— Gauteng ANC (@GautengANC) October 29, 2017Hearings into the patient deaths continue this week despite initial expectations that the hearings would end at the end of October.