Former Gauteng mental health director Dr Mmakgaba Manamela is due to testify before the Life Esidimeni inquiry when it resumes on the 17th of next month.
On Wednesday, the Pretoria High Court revoked an arrest warrant issued against her for failure to appear. Manamela claimed to be ill and later cited difficulties in uploading supporting documents.
The investigation is looking into whether anyone can be held criminally responsible for the deaths of 144 mental health patients. Most of them died of starvation and dehydration during the June 2016 move from Life Esidimeni facilities to ill-equipped and unregistered NGOs.
The cross-examination of former Gauteng provincial health chief Dr Thieg Seleban has been completed. Selebano told the investigation that he regretted signing and authorizing the licenses for the NGO.
“I made this decision. No one did, I made that decision. And I understand that I would like not to do that. But remember that licenses are intermittent from April 14th to the following April 14th. That’s when I told Dr. Manamela that if I sign these things, I would like to cut them off with what we signed. Here’s what we did. And then I wrote a note to say that I signed to settle after a discussion with the ombudsman, who insisted that these NGOs, if I didn’t sign, they would be illegal, illegal somewhere out there.”
VIDEO | Life Esidimeni Inquest I. Former director of mental health Makgaba Manamela adjourned to testify: