Former Gauteng MEC for health Qedani Mahlangu has criticised reports claiming she was running away from testifying at the ongoing Life Esidimeni hearings. She said the reports were “false and without basis in fact”.
Mahlangu is a key witness in the hearings, as she signed off on the project that moved patients to poorly equipped NGOs and more than 100 patients died as a result.
Mahlangu said she had always been willing to appear before the arbitration to testify, despite contrary media reports.
“Firstly, it is completely false that I refuse or ran away or disappeared from the Esidimeni Arbitration. From the beginning, in line with my conscience, I have made it clear to all authorities involved that I’m available to appear before the Arbitration. As such, I need no subpoena.
“Secondly, anyone who knows how universities work, knows that planning and applying for study happens long before one can travel to the institution concerned, and therefore the suggestion that I used my studies to escape accountability is also false.
“Thirdly, it is clear that these inaccurate reports seek to suggest that I’m not committed to principles of accountability, transparency and openness. As such, the reports are written in sch a way that as a supposed ‘fugitive’ of sorts, I must be subjected to an arbitration of public opinion, ahead of the formal arbitration. Nobody else has been subjected to this kind of treatment,” she said.
He legal representatives on Friday said she would be available to testify in January next year.