EWN reporter Masego Rahlaga reporting from the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearing, says an official who headed the Esidimeni project at the time when the tragedy occurred, shed a tear while being cross-examined.
Levy Mosenogi is the Gauteng Health Department’s chief director for planning, policy, and research. Rahlaga says he was comforted by the family members of the patients who died while in the hands of the institution.
According to Rahlaga, the health department made a decision to terminate its contract with Life Esidimeni in 2015 and Mosenogi was only appointed in December 2015.
He inherited a project to move the patients within three months.
He had to start moving patients from March to June 2016 when he was just appointed as head of the department in December.— Masego Rahlaga, EWN reporter
He kept on saying it was a complex project. He admitted that as a leader he was negligent and couldn't do all the things he needed to do.— Masego Rahlaga, EWN reporter
118 mentally ill people died as a result of the moves.
The Premier of Gauteng and the current health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopha apologised publicly to the families of the deceased patients while celebrating World Mental Health Day in Atteridgeville on Tuesday.
Rahlaga reports that the family members stated that this was the first time anyone had actually apologised, but they say it is not enough.
For South Africans who are angry about the Life Esidimeni incident, they are saying they want an apology to come from one person and that is the former health MEC Qedani Mahlangu.— Masego Rahlaga, EWN reporter
To hear the rest of the interview, listen below: