Esidimeni hearing: 'My life & that of my family in danger'
While family members gathered grow increasingly frustrated with her testimony, Gauteng’s suspended head of mental healthcare services Dr Makgabo Manamela says she worries about her and her family’s safety.
JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng’s suspended head of mental healthcare services has pleaded for her testimony at the Esidimeni hearings to be considered truthful, telling retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke that she feels her life and that of her family are in danger.
Doctor Makgabo Manamela is testifying for the fourth day in Parktown.
Over 140 psychiatric patients died after the Gauteng Health Department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group and moved patients to ill-equipped NGOs.
While family members gathered grow increasingly frustrated with her testimony, Manamela says she worries about her and her family’s safety.
Manamela was close to tears after Solidarity’s Dirk Groenewald, who represents the families of three people who died, told her she is manipulative.
She's been labelled evasive, defensive and not forthcoming with the truth by other lawyers who have cross-examined her since last week.
Manamela signed the licenses that were issued to 27 NGOs identified by the Gauteng Health Department, authorising the facilities to take in mentally ill patients from Life Esidimeni facilities.
The suspended head of mental health services in Gauteng maintains she was authorised to issue these documents and has used parts of the law to defend her actions.
However, Groenewald quoted the act Manamela has been referring to, proving that her actions were in fact unlawful.
“At least Precious Angeles and Anchor did not have signed service legal agreements at the time when they took in patients and, therefore, I put it to you that those licenses issued to them were unlawful.”
This means Manamela did not have the authority to sign these licenses in the first place and, therefore, she handed out fake documents to the NGOs.
WATCH LIVE: Esidimeni: Manamela continues testimony
#LifeEsidimeni Moseneke: have the police paid you a visit? To get a statement? Manamela: not yet. Moseneke: are you expecting them to visit you? Manamela: anybody who wants to know the procedure I followed, I am willing to talk to them. MR— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) November 27, 2017
#LifeEsidimeni Manamela says she thinks she might have been under pressure while signing the licenses. MR— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) November 27, 2017
#LifeEsidimeni Manamela tells Groenewald says they never planned for anyone to die. “We were doing our best to ensure that no patient dies”. MR— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) November 27, 2017
#LifeEsidimeni Crouser tells Manamela that she should’ve known that people were going to die. Manamela: I can’t say I knew, if I knew I would’ve never carried on with the project. Crouser: but people started dying and you still didn’t stop? MR— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) November 27, 2017
#LifeEsidimeni Manamela says she has never signed on any death certificate. MR— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) November 27, 2017
(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)