Avatar photo

By Getrude Makhafola

Premium Journalist

Esidimeni: Ex-HOD of Gauteng health Selebano’s case postponed

Suspended Gauteng health head of department's application to the North Gauteng High Court to grant him reprieve from testifying has been postponed to Wednesday.

Selebano, a general practitioner, sat quietly in court on Tuesday as he listened to proceedings.

When the matter was adjourned, he then left the court building with his attorney. “This is not nice at all,” he said as he stepped out.

Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba’s report on the Life Esidimeni released in February found that Selebano committed “gross misconduct and incompetence” as one of the officials in charge of the transfer of mental patients from Life Esidimeni to various unlicensed NGOs across the province.

Makgoba further recommended his conduct be reported to the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA).

At least 143 of the patients died due to causes that included neglect and starvation.

The arbitration, led by retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, subpoenaed Selebano to testify after he refused to testify because he was appealing both his suspension and Makgoba’s findings against him.

His attempt to set aside Makgoba’s findings at an independent ad-hoc tribunal headed by retired Judge President of the Gauteng High Court‚ Bernard Ngoepe, failed last week.

Selebano’s boss, Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, resigned in the wake of Makgoba’s damning report.

Mahlangu is due to give her side of the story at the arbitration in January next year.

On Sunday, Gauteng health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa, who replaced Mahlangu, told reporters that more officials had resigned, including the chief financial officer.

Ramokgopa, alongside Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced an intervention team of professionals to help the ailing provincial health system.

Ramokgopa said the Life Esidimeni tragedy further exposed inefficiencies in the department.

The provincial department has since hired former deputy head of budget at National Treasury, Michael Sachs, to lead the team. Sachs tendered his resignation from Treasury three weeks ago.

– African News Agency (ANA)


For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.

Read more on these topics