Life Esidimeni legal counsel wants arbitration report expunged from proceedings

The inquiry is determining whether anyone should be held criminally liable for the deaths of at least 144 mentally ill patients.

JOHANNESBURG - Legal counsel at the Life Esidimeni hearings said on Monday that they intended to launch an application to have the arbitration report expunged from proceedings.

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The court spent the day hearing submissions on whether the inquiry should proceed after being postponed for a week to allow parties to obtain legal representation.

The inquiry was tasked with determining whether anyone should be held criminally liable for the deaths of at least 144 mentally ill patients after they were moved to ill equipped NGOs in 2016.

Advocate Russel Sibara, representing former head of mental health at the Gauteng Health Department Dr Makgabo Manamela, said his client had been prejudiced and was not properly represented.

Manamela was one of the three ex-provincial heads who were implicated in the Life Esidmeni tragedy.

Sibara said he planned on making an application to have former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke's arbitration report removed from the proceedings as his client had objections to the report.

“We deem it proper that the court should also have assessed it when the proceedings adjourned and that the entire report be expunged from the proceedings because it has not been properly handed in.”

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