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Esidimeni: ‘Human rights were violated, but not intentionally’

Qedani Mahlangu has avoided questions about whether she could have anticipated that the project would result in scores of patients dying.

Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has admitted that human rights were violated through the implementation of the Esidimeni project but says she did not foresee this during the planning and roll out.

Mahlangu is being cross-examined on her third day at the arbitration hearings.

One hundred and forty-three patients died, most of them from hunger and dehydration at various NGOs after they were moved from Life Esidimeni facilities.

Some of Mahlangu’s answers under cross-examination have drawn the ire of Advocate Lilla Crouse.

Dressed in black and often looking stoic, Mahlangu has avoided questions about whether she could have anticipated that the project would result in scores of patients dying.

Her response prompted Judge Dikgang Moseneke to intervene.

Mahlangu said: “You want me to answer the way you want me to answer and when I give you the answer which I think is appropriate, you continue to want me to answer the way you want. I’m not going to change my answer”

Moseneke responded: “Okay, let’s try this because we need to make progress, when you planned and when you implemented, did you have regard for human rights?”

Mahlangu said: “Now I know human rights were violated, but it was not intentional and that is important.”

She has maintained that she’s being unfairly treated, accusing Crouse of not giving her the chance to answer accordingly.

WATCH: Human rights were not violated intentionally