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‘We cried when govt forced us to take in 27 Esidimeni patients’

A nursing manager at one of the facilities involved in the Esidimeni tragedy says the agreement was to take 10 patients but were forced to take 27.

Nursing manager Dikeledi Manaka. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A nursing manager at one of the facilities involved in the Esidimeni tragedy has told the arbitration hearings that she and her colleagues cried as they were being forced by the Gauteng Health Department to take large numbers of patients that they knew they could not care for.

Dikeledi Manaka has been testifying at the hearings in Parktown.

She works at the Cullinan Care and Rehab Centre in Pretoria.

Manaka says the agreement was to take 10 patients from Esidimeni but when they arrived they were forced to take 27.

“We cried… one life lost is one too many. A life is a life that can never be replaced.”

Some 143 patients lost their lives after the provincial Health Department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group.

The hearings have adjourned and will continue on Wednesday.

LISTEN: Moseneke: Esidimeni tragedy comparable to Steve Biko treatment, death