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Qedani Mahlangu to avoid facing Esidimeni arbitration process?

Eyewitness News understands that Mahlangu is currently overseas to further her studies making it difficult for her to give evidence.

FILE: Qedani Mahlangu. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Questions have been raised about whether or not former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu will avoid being subpoenaed to testify before the arbitration process into the Esidimeni tragedy.

Eyewitness News understands that officials have not been able to obtain a physical address for Mahlangu.

One hundred and forty-one psychiatric patients died after the provincial health department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group.

Week two of the alternative dispute resolution process begins on Monday morning in Parktown.

Eyewitness News understands that Mahlangu is currently overseas to further her studies making it difficult for her to give evidence.

Arbitration Act 42 of 1965 gives the arbitrator the power to summons a witness compelling them to testify before proceedings and forces them to provide books and documents.

However, if the arbitrator cannot find an address for Mahlangu it will mean that she can't be served, making it difficult for her to be subpoenaed.

The former MEC is seen as a central figure in the Esidimeni tragedy and resigned on the eve of the release of the Health Ombudsman’s damning report.

Government officials who testified last week, all told retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke that they believe that Mahlangu should be called to account for her part in the tragedy.

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