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Esidimeni hearing: Moseneke slams self-contradictory mortuary manager

Alfred Rasidzoge manages the mortuary at the Cullinan Care and Rehab Centre, where families say they had to fetch the bodies of their loved ones at advanced stages of decomposition.

Alfred Rasidzoge testifying at the Esidimeni hearings on 22 November 2017. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke says a mortuary manager who is testifying at the Esidimeni hearings has been giving protective answers and he’s been warned against lying under oath and contradicting himself.

Alfred Rasidzoge manages the mortuary at the Cullinan Care and Rehab Centre in Pretoria, where families say they had to fetch the bodies of their loved ones at advanced stages of decomposition.

More than 140 psychiatric patients died after the Gauteng Health Department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group, allegedly to save costs.

After several family members testified that the bodies of their loved ones were badly decomposed after being kept for a short period at some mortuaries, Moseneke demanded that mortuary workers be subpoenaed to testify, to explain why.

Rasidzoge says there was a time that the facility was not working properly, but that this was fixed.

Rasidzoge also says there was never a time that a corpse decomposed badly on his watch.

But a visibly annoyed Moseneke began to question the truthfulness of his testimony.

“You’re contradicting your own documents… it’s not allowed here. You can’t write things and then deny them.”

The hearings continue.