Former Gauteng Health HOD Dr Barney Tiego Selebano. Picture: Gauteng Department of Health

Johannesburg - The State on Thursday said it intended to oppose suspended Gauteng head of Health Dr Barney Selebano's application to challenge a subpoena ordering him to appear before the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearing. 

Reports emerged last week that Selebano had filed papers in the Johannesburg High Court after he was subpoenaed to appear  to appear before the hearing next month. 

Selebano was suspended in the wake of recommendations by Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba following the death of 94 psychiatric patients at non-government organisations.

Dr Ernest Kenoshi, the former head of the Steve Biko Academic Hospital, was then appointed as acting head of department.

READ MORE: #LifeEsidimeni: Suspended Gauteng head of health challenges subpoena

Selebano's application will be heard at the end of November. 

State attorney Tebogo Hutamo told the hearing on Thursday that they would challenge Selebano's court bid. 

"We will oppose his application because we consider the witness as important," Selebano said.

Evidence leaders also revealed they had the disgraced official a notice to abide by the subpoena. 

This announcement comes days after an independent ad hoc tribunal, headed by the retired Judge President of the Gauteng High Court Bernard Ngoepe, dismissed his appeal against the recommendations contained in Health Ombudsman Dr Malegapuru Makgoba's Life Esidimeni report.