Life Esidimeni patient deaths not as a result of them being moved - Lebethe

The Life Esidimeni inquest has resumed in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday after a six-week postponement.

Dr Richard Lebethe (R) testifying at the Life Esidimeni Inquest on 9 September 2021. Picture: Judiciary RSA/YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Gauteng deputy director-general for clinical services, Dr Richard Lebethe, said that he disagreed that the deaths of Life Esidimeni patients were as a result of being moved to illegal and ill-equipped NGOs.

Lebethe was being cross-examined about his role in the disastrous project that culminated in the deaths of over 140 mentally ill patients in 2016.

The Life Esidimeni inquest has resumed in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday after a six-week postponement.

Lebethe, who has now concluded his evidence, told the court that he disagreed that the marathon project resulted in the deaths of patients.

"We don't as yet have the post-mortems thereof, so we can't make a blanket statement that it's the movement that resulted in the deaths," Lebethe said.

"So you disagree?" he was asked.

"Yes, I do," Lebethe responded.

WATCH: Life Esidimeni inquest