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Manamela: ‘I witnessed a lot of bias during these proceedings’

Dr Makgabo Manamela was grilled for four days about her role in the deaths of 143 mentally ill people who were moved from Esidimeni facilities to unlicensed NGOs.

A screengrab of Dr Makgabo Manamela giving testimony at the Life Esidimeni hearings in Johannesburg on 24 November 2017.

JOHANNESBURG - Suspended Gauteng head of mental health services Doctor Makgabo Manamela says she was treated unfairly at the Esidimeni hearings and believed the arbitration process is biased against her.

Manamela concluded her testimony at the hearings in Parktown on Monday.

She was grilled for four days about her role in the deaths of 143 mentally ill people who were moved from Esidimeni facilities to unlicensed NGOs.

Manamela was given the chance to make closing remarks on Monday after her testimony.

She told retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke that she felt her privacy was invaded because her medical condition was discussed after she called in sick last week.

“I believe that somehow, somewhere during these proceedings I as termed or seen as an accused, my rights to dignity and privacy were violated, my medical condition was published without my consent and I witnessed a lot of bias in these proceedings. However, for the sake of the patients that we really love, I had to endure that.”

Manamela’s internal disciplinary hearing as an employee at the Gauteng Health Department begins next Thursday.