http://www.polity.org.za
Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / News / All News RSS ← Back
Johannesburg|Parktown|Health|PROJECT|Dikgang Moseneke|Dirk Groenewald|Lilla Crouse
|Health|PROJECT|
johannesburg|parktown|health|project|dikgang-moseneke|dirk-groenewald|lilla-crouse
Close

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Verification Image. Please refresh the page if you cannot see this image.

Sponsored by

Close

Article Enquiry

Life Esidimeni: Mahlangu has not brought closure to affected families, says lawyer

Verification Image. Please refresh the page if you cannot see this image.
Close

Embed Video

1

Life Esidimeni: Mahlangu has not brought closure to affected families, says lawyer

Former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu

26th January 2018

By: News24Wire

SAVE THIS ARTICLE      EMAIL THIS ARTICLE

Font size: -+

In the three days that former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has testified, she has not brought closure to the families of 143 mentally ill patients who died after they were moved from Life Esidimeni facilities to various NGOs, a lawyer said on Thursday.

Advocate Dirk Groenewald, for Solidarity, told Mahlangu that her evidence in the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearing was important but she had failed to bring closure to those affected.

Advertisement

"You live in total denial," Groenewald said while cross-examining Mahlangu at the hearing in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Thursday.

Groenewald added that for the past three days, Mahlangu claimed not to recall most of the events that happened during the Life Esidimeni project.

Advertisement

During her final day of testimony Mahlangu said she believed that what happened to the families was "regrettable".

"I came here honestly and truthfully. I have been taking an oath every day since [I've been] sitting here, so help me God, and I think I have done my best in telling things to the extent that I remember, and to the best of my ability."

'I am not directly to blame'

She said she had "decided to fall on my sword".

"I think that I have taken political accountability and I am here (at the hearing) to support the arbitration process to answer and give information to the extent that I can contribute towards finalisation of the report."

Meanwhile, Legal Aid lawyer Advocate Lilla Crouse put it to her that she was directly to blame for the deaths and suffering of the patients who were moved.

"I am not directly to blame," Mahlangu replied.

Crouse also told her that it appeared she was more concerned about her political career than the Life Esidimeni patients, but Mahlangu denied this.

"Justice, I believe the truth will set me free," Mahlangu said.

Mahlangu also told the hearing that her family had taken strain because of her government work.

'I am not a prophet'

"I understand and accept that things have gone wrong under my rule. My family should not have to suffer because of me. I feel like we have let down the most vulnerable in society and for that I apologise."

Earlier, Mahlangu said she was not a prophet, and therefore could not have anticipated the death of 143 psychiatric patients.

"It was not intentional. If I had foresight like a prophet, maybe I would have seen, but I am not a prophet. I do not even know what will happen tomorrow.

But retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke quizzed her on why she did not listen to the families of the psychiatric patients when they opposed the move from Life Esidimeni.

"Why didn't you listen to them?" Moseneke asked, referring to the families.

Mahlangu replied that she had given the families the assurance that they could contact her, "even if they sent a 'please call me'" message.

She also insisted that she gave the families her contact numbers.

Mahlangu acknowledged that she should have behaved differently.

The hearing continues on Friday.

EMAIL THIS ARTICLE      SAVE THIS ARTICLE

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here

Comment Guidelines

About

Polity.org.za is a product of Creamer Media.
www.creamermedia.co.za

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more

Subscriptions

We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store

Advertise

Advertising on Polity.org.za is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email advertising@creamermedia.co.za

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now