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Manamela refutes claims she manipulated the system: Life Esidimeni hearings

Gauteng’s suspended head of mental healthcare services, Doctor Makgabo Manamela, was again grilled during the Life Esidimeni Arbitration Hearings. 

Makgabo Manamela
Slindelo Masikane

Manamela was testifying for the fourth day in Parktown on Monday.


Solidarity's Dirk Groenewald accused Manamela of "manipulating the licences" to suit her needs and that of the Gauteng Health Department.


However, Manamela insisted that was far from the truth.


"I am a professional who accepts the rules and I cannot manipulate anybody while I am dealing with people's lives. I don't agree with that manipulation," she told the hearing.


At least 143 psychiatric patients died after the Gauteng Health Department terminated its contract with the Life Esidimeni group and moved patients to ill-equipped NGOs.


Manamela has been accused of being evasive and defensive during her cross-examination last week.


She had signed the licenses that were issued to 27 NGOs, ultimately authorising the organisations to take in mentally-ill patients from the Life Esidimeni facility.


However, Groenewald spoke of two NGOs which did not have signed service legal agreements at the time when they took in patients.

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