Gauteng deputy director of mental health services Hannah Jacobus Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA

Johannesburg - An employee of the Gauteng Department of Health says former head of mental health Dr Makgabo Manamela forced her to give licences to NGOs without following proper procedure.

Deputy director of mental health services Hannah Jacobus on Thursday morning told the Life Esidimeni alternative dispute resolution hearings that Manamela instructed her to give out the licences to NGOs because of time constraints.

She said when she raised her concerns, she was sidelined from the Gauteng mental health marathon project that ended with the death of patients from neglect, dehydration and hunger.'

Read: Suspended Gauteng Health Dept head Dr Selebano resigns

#LifeEsidimeni: Official confesses to negligence

Head of the arbitration retired deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke asked Jacobus: who instructed you?”

She responded: “Dr Manamela. I told Dr Manamela I was uncomfortable about issuing the license but she told me to go ahead because of the time constraints with Life Esidimeni closing.”

She further went to accuse Manamela from changing her duties when she stood up to her. Jacobus said: “I was removed from my core duties of NGOs. Dr Manamela assigned other duties to me.” But she couldn’t say who was delegated to take over her duties.

Moseneke accused her of trying to run away from responsibility of the failed project.

He said: “Why would you accept an order that requires you to act unlawfully.” Jacobus responded “I was instructed from the top to do it.”

On Wednesday, Manamela resigned from her position in the department. This, a day after former head of department Dr Tiego Selebano also tended his resignation with immediate effect. The two appeared before Moseneke last year.

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The Star