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Creecy: Health Dept had no reason to terminate Esidimeni contract

The Health Department said it cut ties with Life Esidimeni because of fiscal pressure and that it could no longer afford its services.

A screengrab of Gauteng Finance MEC Creecy giving testimony at the Esidimeni arbitration hearing in Johannesburg on 30 January 2018.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy has told the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings that the Health Department had no reason to terminate its contract with the Life Esidimeni Group because there was more than enough money to keep the agreement going.

Creecy is testifying in Parktown on Tuesday afternoon.

The Health Department said it cut ties with Life Esidimeni because of fiscal pressure and that it could no longer afford its services.

However, former MEC Qedani Mahlangu confirmed last week that the department ended up incurring costs instead.

The main reason the Gauteng Health Department had given for launching the disastrous Life Esidimeni project has been blown out the water, as Creecy testifies that millions of rands were underspent by the department; meaning there was more than enough funds to either keep the contract or buy the psychiatric facilities.

“In relation to Life Esidimeni, there was an under-expenditure.”

Creecy told retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke that she cannot understand why the project was started.

At least 144 mentally ill people died as a result of this project which has been proven to have been unlawful and negligent.

WATCH: Gauteng Finance MEC Creecy testifies at Esidimeni hearing

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)