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Makgabo Manamela faces tough questions over Esidimeni tragedy

Manamela is expected to take the stand at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings in Parktown.

FILE: Retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke seen during the second day of the arbitration process into the Esidimeni tragedy. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former director of mental health in Gauteng, Dr Makgabo Manamela, is expected to testify on Monday morning at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings in Parktown.

WATCH: Esidimeni: Deputy nursing manager admits things were done unlawfully

Manamela is one of the key figures in the Esidimeni project in which 141 mentally ill people died.

More than 1,700 psychiatric patients were moved to unlawful NGOs after the Health Department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group.

Manamela has been mentioned numerous times by government officials, NGOs, social workers and families as the person present during the times patients were moved from Esidimeni facilities.

She’s also been identified by a Gauteng health executive who forced NGOs to take more patients than they could, thus overcrowding their facilities.

Section 27 represents 55 families who were affected by the tragedy.

Section 27 lawyer Adila Hassin says they subpoenaed Manamela.

“Her condition was the costs, her cost of attendance and legal costs, be paid by the State.”

Manamela recently lost the bid to challenge the findings against her by the Health Ombudsman.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)