Mahlangu, Manamela found liable for Life Esidimeni deaths

Mahlangu, Manamela found liable for Life Esidimeni deaths

The High Court in Pretoria has found former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and former provincial Health Department mental health head Dr Makgabo Manamela liable for the deaths of some of the 140 mental health patients.

Qedani Mahlangu

In 2015, the Gauteng government terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni Care Centre and moved them to ill-equipped facilities where some of the patients later died.


After eight years of waiting, the court found that the two created the circumstances for the deaths that could have been avoided.


Judge Mmonoa Teffo delivered her judgment on Wednesday.


"Mahlangu proceeded to terminate the contract between Life Esidimeni Care Centre and the Gauteng Department of Health, despite numerous expert advice and warnings from the professionals in mental health and stakeholders.


"The deceased were further moved out of the Life Esidimeni facilities to NGOs which were not equipped and inexperienced to give proper and adequate care in providing the requisite mental health care.


"Her conduct led to the regrettable and unfortunate deaths, some of which have been avoided.”


She also found that Manamela rushed to terminate the contract despite warnings not to do so.


"Manamela proceeded to hastily facilitate the implementation of the termination plan against expert advice from professionals and stakeholders.


"She could have saved many lives as she visited the NGOs and could see that they were not adequately equipped

and some of the personnel were not adequately qualified to care for the mental health care users,"


"Some of the NGOs were licensed to care for the mental health care users without following the prescribed protocols.”


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