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Dikgang Moseneke: Tell the truth or face charges of perjury

The warning was issued after the revelation that Dr Barney Selebano signed off on the plan to move patients to NGOs, a year after the fact and when 81 people had already died.

A screengrab of suspended Gauteng Health HOD Dr Barney Selebano at the Esidimeni hearing on 6 December 2017. Picture: Screengrab/Youtube

JOHANNESBURG - Retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke has warned Gauteng Health’s suspended head of department that he will be charged with perjury if he doesn’t tell the truth at the Esidimeni arbitration hearings.

The warning was issued after the revelation that Dr Barney Selebano signed off on the plan to move patients to NGOs a year after the fact and when 81 people had already died.

Selebano is testifying at the hearings in Parktown for a third day.

He is answering questions about his role in the Esidimeni project which led to the deaths of 143 mentally ill people.

Selebano has tried to explain that the 2016 dates reflected in the plan he signed were an error and that he actually signed off on the transfers in 2015.

However, even in his own affidavit, which was stamped by a commissioner of oath for purposes of the health ombudsman’s investigation, he confirms sign off in October 2016.

By this time, 81 patients were already dead.

Moseneke then warned Selebano about lying under oath.

“You can’t depart from that at will. You went down a path and denied for a long time and your affidavit has put to you which contradicts your evidence under oath head on. Any of that conduct in law may constitute perjury, and it is punishable.”

At the same time, Selebano says he is ashamed the Esidimeni tragedy happened under his watch.

He has apologised for allowing the deadly project to go ahead but says it was unintentional.

“I would never, I would rather give myself. I’d never go out and bring harm to our own, we have had more harm. I would never do that, never justice. How you judge me on that one, I would never.”

Selebano’s testimony continues.

WATCH: Esidimeni: Selebano continues testimony

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