'Makhura was not aware of Life Esidimeni patient transfer' - Gauteng govt

2017-10-30 15:02
Gauteng Premier David Makhura. (GCIS)

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. (GCIS)

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Johannesburg – The Gauteng provincial government on Monday said it was "concerned" by media reports that Premier David Makhura was aware of the transfer of Life Esidimeni patients to a number of unlicensed NGOs.

During the arbitration hearings last week, Dumi Masondo, the suspended chairperson of the Gauteng Mental Health Review Board, testified that both Makhura and former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu were aware of the transfer of patients.

Masondo testified that meetings were held at Makhura’s office and he was present during the meetings.

READ: I violated my duties 'by ignorance' - suspended official at Life Esidimeni hearing

However, on Monday, the Gauteng Provincial Government denied any statements that the Premier was aware of or approved the transfer of patients.

"Any suggestion that the Premier gave instructions or was involved in the transfer of mental health patients from Life Esidimeni to NGOs, is devoid of any truth," said Thabo Masebe, the spokesperson for the Gauteng provincial government in a statement.

"The tragic loss of life of so many people in the care of our provincial government remains deeply regrettable," he said.

Masebe said the provincial government remained committed to the arbitration process and would work with affected families and law enforcement to bring those responsible to book.

"It is a matter of record that Premier David Makhura will testify in the Alternative Dispute Resolution process led by retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke and he is prepared to answer any question from affected parties," Masebe said.

The hearing previously heard that Mahlangu is willingly to testify only after her examinations abroad.

The Mail and Guardian’s Bhekisisa revealed that Mahlangu was not registered as a student at the London School of Economics where she was believed to have been a student.

Dikgang Moseneke said he intended for the hearings to be completed before the end of the year.

"These proceedings will certainly end this year and they would end no later than December," he said.

Evidence leaders indicated that once they managed to track down Mahlangu’s address, she would be subpoenaed to testify at the hearings in early December.

Read more on:    life esidimeni  |  qedani mahlangu  |  david makhura  |  johannesburg  |  mental health

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