AS IT HAPPENED: Deputy director unfamiliar with list of NGOs requested, #LifeEsidimeni hearing learns

2018-01-18 09:52

Arbitration proceedings surrounding the circumstances relating to the deaths of more than 100 psychiatric patients in Gauteng has continued where deputy director of Gauteng's Health Department Hannah Jacobus has taken the stand.

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Last Updated at 23:20
18 Jan 15:17

18 Jan 15:16

18 Jan 15:15

18 Jan 14:53

18 Jan 14:52

18 Jan 13:45

18 Jan 13:45
Jacobus says she was assigned to four out of 27 NGOs. Hassim says she will talk her through documents that will prove that she knew that some NGOs did not meet requirements and should not have been licensed.

18 Jan 13:22

18 Jan 13:21
Jacobus says she could have refused to obey lawful instructions, but she didn't. She says she bought up her concerns on more than one occasion. She wasn't in the capacity to lead the project, she says.

18 Jan 13:08

18 Jan 13:06

Jacobus says that she was told by Manamela to call someone to arrange for linen for the NGOs.

Some NGOs ended up paying for the linen themselves, with one NGO owner losing their home after financing themselves.


18 Jan 13:05

18 Jan 13:04

She says she did not report that licenses were being issued in conflict of the law to the MEC or HOD.

Moseneke asks what steps she took to protect mental healthcare users. She says she met with hospital CEOs and moved some users to clinics.


18 Jan 13:01

18 Jan 13:00
Jacobus says she did not follow the national policy that gives the framework for the deinstitutionalisation of mentally ill patients.

18 Jan 11:51

18 Jan 11:29
She says the police have visited her, but the investigation is not yet finalised. She says she wasn't aware of the deaths, and only found out about them at a later stage.

18 Jan 11:29

18 Jan 11:25
"Justice, I regret my actions, and I discussed with Dr Manamela, our concerns were raised but Dr Manamela still continued," says Jacobus.

18 Jan 11:25

18 Jan 11:24
Jacobus says she visited Precious Angels shortly after placements. A brief audit was done, but this was a completely different facility to the one she had seen. She says she even asked Manamela who placed the patients.

18 Jan 11:23

18 Jan 11:23
"People died because of your conduct and Manamela's conduct" - Moseneke.

18 Jan 11:21

18 Jan 11:20

Moseneke says Manamela came to the hearings and told the panel that Jacobus signed off the licenses and knew about audits, something Jacobus denies.

Moseneke questions why Jacobus comes here and says Manamela signed off on the licenses.


18 Jan 11:19

18 Jan 11:01
 Moseneke says a reoccuring theme is the quick scurry to avoid accountability, saying Jacobus is doing the same by removing herself from duties that were essentially her core function.

18 Jan 11:00

18 Jan 11:00
Jacobus goes through a number of forms that she alleges she did not sign, did not consent to or was not aware of. She says she became aware of the documents when Manamela called her and told her to use them specifically. 

18 Jan 10:59

18 Jan 10:58
Jacobus says Manamela's submission that they audited some of the NGOs is not true. She says NGOs were not audited at all.

18 Jan 10:57

18 Jan 10:57
 Moseneke asks Jacobus how many people have died. Jacobus says when she first heard, there were over 80 patients. She says she regrets her actions.

18 Jan 10:56

18 Jan 10:56
"I didn't have much of an option," she says when asked why she unlawfully signed off on NGOs she knew she hadn't seen reports for.

18 Jan 10:55

18 Jan 10:54
Jacobus says she was instructed to continue without adhering to proper NGO licensing procedure because there was a time constraint because of the closing down of Life Esidimeni, she says she knew this was contrary to the law.

18 Jan 10:54

18 Jan 10:53

She says it wasn't clear to her what was going on, as it was chaotic.

She said she informed Manamela at a meeting in the provincial office that she was not comfortable with the issuing of the licenses.


18 Jan 10:52

18 Jan 10:21
She says based on recommendations of the district, she will recommend a particular NGO. Acc to legislation, provincial office signs off on licenses - she says when she got to the DoH, Dr Makgabo Manamela signed off on them.

18 Jan 10:17

18 Jan 10:13
Jacobus talks the panel through the process of licensing an NGO, saying that officials audit the NGOs and do community surveys of the area before meeting with potential NGO owners.

18 Jan 10:08

18 Jan 10:08

18 Jan 10:00

18 Jan 09:58

18 Jan 09:58

18 Jan 09:54

Suspended Gauteng director of mental health resigns

Suspended Gauteng director of mental health Dr Makgabo Manamela has resigned.

Deputy Director General for provincial communication services Thabo Masebe confirmed that Manamela’s resignation was received on Wednesday afternoon. 

She resigned with immediate effect.

"The resignation simply means she is no longer an employee of [the] provincial government, therefore we will not proceed with a disciplinary hearing against her," he said.


18 Jan 09:54

Call to criminally charge Selebano, despite his resignation

The DA has said the resignation of Dr Barney Selebano, the suspended head of the Gauteng health department, following the Life Esidimeni tragedy was not sufficient.

The party has called for Selebano to be criminally charged as well.

Selebano was one of a number of health officials identified as being responsible for the transfer of mentally ill patients from Life Esidimeni facilities to a number of unlicensed NGOs.

The move resulted in at least 143 deaths.

Selebano, who testified at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings in December last year and said he took "accountability", first launched an unsuccessful court bid to challenge a subpoena issued for him to appear before the hearings.

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