AS IT HAPPENED: Mahlangu admits to ‘violating’ patients’ rights at #LifeEsidimeni hearing

2018-01-24 17:00

Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu once again returns after facing a grilling, to answer for her part in the Life Esidimeni tragedy which led to the deaths of at least 143 vulnerable patients.

 - For the latest updates follow News24 reporter Jeanette Chabalala: @J_chabalala


(Courtesy of SABC) 


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Last Updated at 06:44
24 Jan 17:55

24 Jan 17:49

24 Jan 17:42

Moseneke: If you were to charge anybody here, disciplinary , who would it be?

Mahlangu says she would charge Mosenogi, Manamela and Selebano.

24 Jan 17:41
Mahlangu: "If you work with people and you don't trust them, how are you going to do government work with people you don't trust?"

24 Jan 17:41

24 Jan 17:40

24 Jan 17:40

Moseneke: What was so pressing that [the move] must happen by May 2016?

Mahlangu: My assumption was the planning done will enable the appropriate execution.

Moseneke: Why didn’t you agree to an extension of a year?

Mahlangu: The quality of care is deteriorating, the officials would have said. At the time we were not aware of the consequences.

Moseneke presses on why Mahlangu rushed the project. What was the urgency that she had to ‘slam the door behind patients’?

Mahlangu: Information I had at my disposal did not suggest that things would go horribly wrong.

Moseneke:What did you know about the NGOs where many people died?

I didn’t know much about them, Mahlangu says.

24 Jan 17:28

Hassim: Why did you admit patients without files?

Mahlangu: Properly qualified people and officials were on the ground.

Hassim: So it was the officials?

Mahlangu: Yes of course.

24 Jan 17:20

24 Jan 17:17

24 Jan 17:17
The report done on the ‘lowlights’ of Precious Angels include; no food menu, expired food in storage, lack of cleanliness, lack of toiletries and overcrowding.

24 Jan 17:14

Moseneke: “Did you read and go through these lowlights?”

Mahlangu: Yes

Moseneke: Why did you believe that things would be alright? You read all these things and satisfied that everything was going to be alright?

24 Jan 17:12
Hassim goes over ‘lowlights’, Mahlangu suggests going through actions and recommendations for the ‘lowlights’.

24 Jan 17:10

Moseneke ask how things went from ‘everything is fine’ to shutting down NGOs.

Mahlangu says a report states that issues were being taken care of.

24 Jan 17:07

24 Jan 17:07

Mahlangu says it is factually incorrect by the health ombudsman to say that the national department of health shut down NGOs after intervening.  

She says this was done by the provincial department.

24 Jan 16:57

24 Jan 16:55

24 Jan 16:51

24 Jan 16:51

Moseneke: Why did you not ask without the money if any of the patients had died?

Mahlangu: I was not aware patients were dying.

24 Jan 16:48

24 Jan 16:47

24 Jan 16:47
Hassim tells Mahlangu more, not less, money was used. Moseneke adds that more was used to transfer patients.

24 Jan 16:37
Moseneke says many died and there was no money to move them but Mahlangu says she has no idea how the money was used.

24 Jan 16:34

24 Jan 16:28

24 Jan 16:26

Moseneke asks why didn’t Mahlangu take precautions and make sure NGOs were properly capacitated before sending patients to NGOs.

Mahlangu says she tried her best.

24 Jan 16:23

24 Jan 16:22

Mahlangu was not aware of any deaths at NGOs when visiting Precious Angels.

Hassim asks “not one?”

Mahlangu says no.  

24 Jan 16:19

Mahlangu says she doesn’t remember asking to see a license when visiting Precious Angels.

“I don’t know how a licence works,” Mahlangu says.

24 Jan 16:17

24 Jan 16:17

24 Jan 16:14

24 Jan 16:13
Mahlangu says she was annoyed with the noise made by media reporting about the conditions at Cullinan. She then went to visit the facility.

24 Jan 16:11

24 Jan 16:11

24 Jan 16:10

24 Jan 16:09

Mahlangu says she saw the poor conditions when she visited Cullinan and other facilities.

Moseneke tells Mahlangu: “You and the collective decided to close down, the hospital is full, you visit and find unsatisfactory conditions at Cullinan and NGOS. Why didn’t you order closure or that they move to better places?"

Mahlangu says she did request that patients be moved to be better places and expected officials to do so after instructing them.

24 Jan 16:00
Moseneke tells the crowd that those heckling would be compelled to leave - he says even if they don't like the answers they should respect the witness.

24 Jan 16:00

Mahlangu says she is still reading transcripts. "I am doing the best I can to go through the documents...really I am trying."

24 Jan 15:59

24 Jan 15:58

24 Jan 15:55

Mahlangu is specifically asked about the situation and poor conditions at the Takalani facility, but once again asks if she can go home and refresh her memory, and come back tomorrow and answer all questions relating to Takalani. 

Moseneke asks about reports of typhoid at the facility, saying it's quite a big thing and it's "unacceptable" to not remember. Mahlangu defends herself once again.

24 Jan 15:46

24 Jan 15:46

"Can I answer the question tomorrow, please?" Mahlangu asks multiple times. 

24 Jan 15:45

24 Jan 15:38

Moseneke asks Mahlangu what happened to the workers from Life Esidimeni when it was closed down. Mahlangu says she has a document that suggests 365 of the people were employed by the Department of Health. Moseneke asks for copies of the document. 

24 Jan 15:30

A bit of back and forth now about dates and times of meetings where the loss of jobs - hundreds of workers would stand to lose their jobs - was discussed. Hassim and Mahlangu can't agree on dates of meetings, and Mahlangu says issues of employment in government can drag on from one year to the next.

"I'm not an HR specialist," says Mahlangu. 

24 Jan 15:26

24 Jan 15:22

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