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‘Makhura did not see Esidimeni warning letter’

Gauteng Premier David Makhura's office has denied that he personally saw a letter sent by Wits Occupational Therapy students.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura's office has denied that he personally saw a letter sent by Occupational Therapy students, more than a year ago, warning against patients being moved from Life Esidimeni's Waverly Care Centre.

The students from Wits University wrote to officials in January last year urging them not to transfer the patients.

Eyewitness News has seen a copy of that letter and confirmation of its receipt by the Gauteng Health Department.

The premier's office insists that Makhura only became aware of the crisis in September when he was alerted to the transfer of patients to unregistered facilities.

The Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba's report on the tragedy found that a total of 94 patients died after being moved away from Live Esidimeni care centres, mostly because of neglect, leading to the resignation of former health MEC Qedani Mahlangu.

The premier’s spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane says the ombudsman did not find Makhura himself guilty of any wrongdoing.

“Professor Makgoba also confirmed that he did look into whether the premier knew about this matter and concluded in his report that Makhura was never made aware of the situation. The only time the premier became aware was when an announcement was made in the legislature.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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