Manamela being prejudiced in Life Esidimeni inquest hearings, lawyer argues

The formal inquest into the deaths of 144 mentally ill patients continued on Monday after it was postponed for a week.

FILE: A screengrab of Dr Makgabo Manamela testifying at the Esidimeni arbitration hearing on 27 November 2017.

JOHANNESBURG - The advocate representing former Gauteng head of mental health, Dr Makgabo Manamela, has told the High Court in Pretoria that his client had been prejudiced in the hearings for the inquest into the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

The formal inquest into the deaths of 144 mentally ill patients continued on Monday after it was postponed for a week.

Advocate Russel Sibara said that Manamela had not been properly represented since the proceedings began last month as she had not yet appointed a legal counsel.

He's requested yet another postponement in order to consult with his client and familiarise himself with the case.

“On 19 July, my learned colleague put on record that he has not consulted with Dr Manamela. Notwithstanding that serious concern, the court proceeded.”

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