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[WATCH LIVE] Esidimeni hearing delayed as Manamela calls in ill

Former director of mental health services in Gauteng Dr Makgabo Manamela was to continue giving evidence at the Esidimeni hearing in Parktown, Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Dr Makgabo Manamela, former Gauteng director of mental health, testifies during Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings on 20 November 2017. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former director of mental health services in Gauteng Dr Makgabo Manamela has delayed proceedings at the Esidimeni arbitration hearing after calling in ill.

Manamela was to continue giving evidence at the Esidimeni hearing in Parktown, Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The patients were moved from Life Esidimeni facilities to ill-equipped NGOs by the Gauteng Health Department.

Manamela’s lawyer Lerato Mashilane has told those gathered on Tuesday that his client is ill and has gone to see a doctor.

“We’ve got instructions that my client is actually not feeling well today. In fact what I’ve got is that yesterday she thought that maybe she might have been tired and it will be better by this morning but things got worse.”

Family members, who are dressed in black in remembrance of their loved ones, started to heckle, calling her a liar.

Solidarity’s Dirk Groenewald, who represents the families of three people who died, says Manamela simply has no respect for the hearings.

“Justice, we take issue with the manner in which Dr Manamela treats these arbitration proceedings. It's 10am, she’s now only at the doctor’s.”

Families are chanting outside the venue, waiting to hear exactly when Manamela can come back to continue testifying.

Manamela began testifying at the arbitration hearings on Monday after a three-hour attempt to have her testimony postponed, but retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who is leading the arbitration hearings, dismissed the application.

She’s been implicated by several witnesses who said that she pushed illegal activity during the execution of the disastrous marathon project that left at least 143 patients dead.

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

WATCH: Esidimeni hearing continues as Manamela calls in ill

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