Dr Makgabo Manamela testifies at the Life Esidimeni hearing in Parktown while retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke looks on. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo/IOL
Johannesburg - Suspended Gauteng director of mental health services Dr Makgabo Manamela on Thursday received a grilling from the Life Esidimeni alternative dispute resolution committee over her role in the mental health marathon project.

Manamela was implicated after the Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba released a report on over 140 patients who died as a result of the botched transfer.

She began testifying on Monday but failed to appear during Tuesday's hearing, claiming she was unwell.

Head of the arbitration, retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, said if she didn't appear on Thursday, an arrest warrant would be issued.

Returning on Thursday, Manamela was taken through the presentation she made on the transfer.


This was seemingly the same presentation former Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu made in the Gauteng provincial legislature and to the public.

The presentation outlined where the patients would be transferred and the number of beds would be made available at numerous state institutions.

It then emerged that not enough beds at institutions to house transferred patients.

Moseneke asked Manamela if there were enough beds when the project commenced.

"No, there were not enough beds when the process began. but more would have been made available," she said.

Manamela was also grilled on how licenses were issued to NGOs such as Takalani and Precious Angels, which were supposed to operate as child residential care facilities but instead housed adults.

She responded that this was because mentally challenged people were classified as children, because they had the mental capacity of children.

The hearing continues.

IOL