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Esidimeni arbitration: 'Mahlangu must account'

Precious Matsoso was asked if she thought it was fair that MEC Qedani Mahlangu simply resigned on the eve of the Health Ombudsman’s report being released.

FILE: Qedani Mahlangu. Picture: Gauteng Provincial Health Dept Facebook page.

JOHANNESBURG – The national Health Department’s Director General says she believes former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu must account for her part in the Esidimeni tragedy voluntarily or through a court order.

Precious Matsoso's testimony wrapped up at the arbitration hearing in Parktown on Thursday.

She gave shocking details about the locations where psychiatric patients were housed after the Gauteng Health Department terminated its contract with the Esidimeni group.

As a result of being moved to the unlawful non-governmental organisations, 118 patients died.

Solidarity’s Dirk Groenewald represents the families of three people who died in the Esidimeni tragedy.

He's asked Matsoso whether she thought it was fair that Mahlangu simply resigned on the eve of the Health Ombudsman’s report being released.

“Do you feel or think that the voluntary resignation of an individual implicated in the deaths of 118 people is sufficient?”

She tried to give a political answer, but after interventions by retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, Matsoso revealed her true thoughts.

“To be more direct I would’ve thought a particular individual would’ve been here or would have been called to give answers.”

Next to testify is Phindile Baleni, the director-general in Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s office, who is expected to shed some light on how far the National Prosecuting Authority and police are with their criminal investigations into this case.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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