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Creecy: I’m filled with deep sense of shame over Esidimeni tragedy

Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy says the Health Department was never pressurised to terminate its contract with Life Esidimeni.

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 says she is embarrassed to have been part of a government that contributed to a tragedy as enormous as the Esidimeni project.

Creecy testified at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings on Tuesday.

At least 144 lives were lost as a result of the chaotic patient transfer project.

She has apologised to the grieving families of the Life Esidimeni victims.

Creecy says she has been working for the Gauteng government since 1994 and has never been as ashamed as she was to be a part of it when the Esidimeni tragedy unfolded.

“The testimonies of suffering and cruelty that I listened to in the course of these hearings has never left me and it filled me with a very deep sense of shame that I was part of this government when this terrible tragedy happened.”

She has asked the families for forgiveness.

“If it’s a result of my testimony you feel that there are things which I should have done, I apologise to you.”

The Finance MEC says the Health Department was never pressurised to terminate its contract with Life Esidimeni and in fact had more than enough funds to continue its relationship with the psychiatry group.

WATCH: Creecy: There was enough money to keep Esidimeni agreement going