Gauteng head of mental health Manamela resigns

17 January 2018 - 18:02 By Penwell Dlamini
HOD of the Gauteng department of health Dr Makgabo Manamela has resigned.
HOD of the Gauteng department of health Dr Makgabo Manamela has resigned.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Times

Just a day after the suspended HOD of the Gauteng department of health resigned‚ the suspended director of mental health‚ Dr Makgabo Manamela‚ has also resigned.

This was confirmed by a senior official in the department on Wednesday.

“Yes‚ she has resigned. That is all I can say‚” said the senior official.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura's spokesman Thabo Masebe confirmed Manamela's resignation.

He told TimesLIVE that the resignation would not affect the ongoing police investigations, but would put an end to Manamela's internal disciplinary hearing.

Manamela testified in the hearings into the Life Esidimeni disaster, which shocked the country.

Manamela‚ who is also a qualified psychiatric nurse‚ signed licences giving inexperienced‚ underfunded‚ poorly-equipped NGOs permission to look after profoundly mentally ill patients and as a result‚ 143 people died‚ most of them in NGOs.

NGOs were used to care for patients after the Gauteng Department of Health terminated the contract with Life Esidimeni‚ and about 1‚712 patients were moved out of Life Esidimeni homes.

Despite being told she was a “defensive” witness‚ Manamela admitted to Solidarity advocate Dirk Groenewald that the NGOs to which she gave authority did not comply with the legal requirements.

But Judge Dikgang Moseneke had to interpret her answer for her.

The judge said: “At last‚ we have an answer: the NGOs that you issued licences to did not comply with ... most of the [legal] requirements.”

Many questions to Manamela went unanswered‚ and Moseneke frequently expressed confusion regarding her testimony.

“What are you saying now?” he asked at one point. On another occasion‚ he said: “You are being defensive. A normal answer to such a crisp question is yes or no‚ so we can make progress – this is the fourth day of evidence.”

Manamela’s resignation comes on the heels of that of Dr Barney Selebano‚ the suspended HOD who resigned earlier this week.

- TimesLIVE