Life Esidimeni inquest: Ex-Gauteng Health official to continue giving evidence

This week, the Pretoria High Court's inquiry heard testimony from Hannah Jacobus, one of those who oversaw the deadly move more than a hundred psychiatric patients into illegal facilities back in 2016.

FILE: Patients at the Takalani Home for the mentally disabled in Soweto. It was one of the institutions affected during the Life Esidimeni tragedy. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The lawyer representing the families of the Life Esidimeni victims will continue cross-examining a former senior Gauteng Health Department official on Wednesday.

This week, the Pretoria High Court's inquiry heard testimony from Hannah Jacobus, one of those who oversaw the deadly move of more than 100 psychiatric patients into illegal facilities back in 2016.

It was Section27's Advocate Adila Hassim's turn to begin questioning on Tuesday.

Jacobus had earlier testified that due process was not followed in moving the patients to NGOs, some of which had to be newly established just to house those from Life Esidimeni.

She told Advocate Hassim that despite the shortcuts, she believed the selected NGOs could safely care for patients.

"But you did know that these requirements had to be in place in order to licence NGOs correct?" asked Hassim

To which Jacobus responded : "Yes, yes councillor".

Advocate Hassim went on to ask whether Jacobus knew that if the requirements weren't in place, then it was a contravention of the law. To which Jacobus responded by saying that the NGOs would then not have been licensed.

When questioned about whether she knew that the patients would be sent to NGOs, that they were mental health patients, Jacobus said that she was fully aware of that.

To the question of proper care at the said NGOs, Jacobus said that she thought most could handle the patients.

"I would say yes, council, most of them," Jacobus said.