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'Hearing will not end until we have heard from Mahlangu'

Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu is currently studying in London, after resigning on the eve of the Health Ombudsman’s report being released.

FILE: Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke says that the arbitration hearing into the Esidimeni tragedy will not end until former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, her former head of department and mental health director have appeared before him.

There have been calls for Mahlangu to be forced to testify and take account for her part in the tragedy.

One hundred and forty-one mentally ill patients died after the Gauteng Health Department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group, transferring patients to unlawful NGOs.

Section 27 lawyer Adila Hassin, who represents the families of 55 mentally ill people who died, started by pointing out that the third week of hearings have started with no word on Mahlangu.

Moseneke then explained that all legal representatives, and not just the State, have the responsibility to subpoena Mahlangu.

“That obligation rests on all parties.”

Moseneke then made it clear that these hearings will not conclude until he has heard from Mahlangu and other senior officials who made the decision to move patients.

“And let me make it clear, these proceedings will not end until those three witnesses come before this hearing.”

Mahlangu is currently studying in London, after resigning on the eve of the Health Ombudsman’s report being released.

WATCH: Families of Esidimeni victims tell their stories

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