Tuesday, 25 June, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalLife Esidimeni inquest: MEC dodges blame for ending contracts

Life Esidimeni inquest: MEC dodges blame for ending contracts

Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu told the Life Esidimeni inquest she was not solely responsible for the decision to move mental health patients to NGOs, and that the department employed “highly skilled and experienced experts”, which meant she could not be directly involved in the day-to-day decisions as the MEC.

Mahlangu testified virtually before the inquest in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria), the object of which is to determine if anyone can be held criminally liable for the deaths of 141 mental health patients who died after being moved to NGOs from Life Esidimeni facilities.

“The decisions, including terminating Life Esidimeni and all the other contracts affecting patient health care, were done with a competent team and led by people who were the authority. I was probably the only person in the department with no qualification or medical degree.”

Mahlangu said she was re-elected to the provincial legislature in 2014 and served under former Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

She said the Premier was aware of the termination of the Life Esidimeni contract, reports News24, and that Makhura’s budget committee, of which she was a member, agreed to terminate it.

In October last year, Dr Makgabo Manamela, former Gauteng mental health head, said there were 1 442 patients at Life Esidimeni hospitals when the department terminated the contract, while the province had only 116 free NGO beds.

 

News24 article – Life Esidimeni inquest: Qedani Mahlangu says 'competent team' terminated contracts of patients (Restricted access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

State still paying ex-MEC’s legal fees in Life Esidimeni case

 

Life Esidimeni inquest postponed as MEC’s lawyers unpaid

 

Life Esidimeni: former Gauteng mental health boss denies concealing information

 

Health managers point fingers at politicians in Life Esidimeni inquest

 

 

 

 

 

 

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