Life Esidimeni: Selebano accepts responsibility
Written by Keshia Jansen on December 7, 2017
Gauteng’s suspended head of health, Dr Barney Selebano, has accepted responsibility for the deaths that occurred during the relocation of 1 700 Life Esidimeni patients.
143 patients died after being moved to NGOs that Selebano admitted were “not fit for purpose.”
Selebano was forced to testify at the Life Esidimeni arbitration, after his bid to challenge the subpoena had been denied on Monday.
According to Sowetan Live, Selebano told the court: “I take responsibility, it happened under my watch. When you are a leader you take responsibility even for the bad things … I wasn’t doing day-to-day activities but it happened under my watch.”
After being probed by retired deputy chief of justice Dikgang Moseneke, Selebano admitted that the patients died under unlawful circumstances.
Eyewitness News reports that Selebano also admitted to backdating a license for an NGO that had already shut down between August and September in 2016.
According Selebano, he signed the licence in November, but dated it back to April.
It is understood that 20 Life Esidimeni patients died at this NGO.
It also emerged that a patient had allegedly been raped at Takalani Home after the relocation.
Times Live reports that according to Section 27 advocate Adila Hassim, one of the Esidimeni Life patients was allegedly raped by another Esidimeni Life patient as men and women were placed in the same rooms at the NGOs.
Selebano responded saying that the move was “highly regrettable… It’s embarrassing, it’s painful… It is shameful.”