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Esidimeni tragedy: Moseneke shocked by reports of state of NGOs

Dr Makgabo Manamela is the former director of mental health in Gauteng and was one of the key players in the execution of the disastrous marathon project in which 143 mentally ill people died.

Retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke said the reports about the state of the NGOs where Esidimeni patients were taken continue to shock him.

Moseneke made the comment during day one of Dr Makgabo Manamela’s testimony at the Esidimeni arbitration hearings.

Manamela is the former director of mental health in Gauteng and was one of the key players in the execution of the disastrous marathon project in which 143 mentally ill people died.

Manamela has admitted that she allowed NGOs to take psychiatric patients from Life Esidimeni facilities without having made the owners sign service level agreements.

Without a service level agreement, NGOs could not be paid and could not buy food as well as other essential needs for the mentally ill patients they took from Esidimeni facilities.

Justice Dikgang Moseneke grew frustrated as Manamela confirmed wrongdoing by herself and other government officials involved in the project.

“You made the plan and signed the plan. I am saying to you why did you implement the plan when it would harm patients? If you have a psychiatric degree in nursing, why did you agree to take mental health patients and put them in places where there’s no food because they received no money from you?”

Manamela attempted to explain her part.

Her testimony continues on Tuesday.

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

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)