“You were making a decision about other people’s lives... people whose lives may be enhanced or lost. I am not asking questions about the date and the error. I want you to appreciate that you were given power by a law… to make... certain decisions that would affect the lives of mental healthcare patients.”
“You exercised that power‚ and the result is that the patients died. Can you see that connection?”
He continued: “It is not how clever[ly] you explain something – just understand. You made a decision. You granted licences to people who were incompetent to do their job‚ and some people lost their lives.”
Manamela responded: “My response is that even though there is a procedural error‚ the NGO was assessed.”
She said she gave NGOs licences based on her team’s favourable assessment of them after an inspection.
“The procedural error I am not disputing‚” she said‚ admitting the dates recorded on the licences were fraudulent.
Then Justice Moseneke‚ who had often made his point about human lives in her four days on the stand‚ responded: “You do not get it.” Manamela nevertheless disputed this‚ saying: “I get it.”
Moseneke was incredulous: “It still goes over your head what a big omission it is – [one] that led to... deaths.”
She countered that there may have been other reasons for some of the deaths: “Justice‚ if I [may] say something on that. It might be that the NGOs were not as qualified‚ as [the report given to me by my team] was saying. There are other variables that might have led to the deaths of other users [patients] – the illnesses they may be having... medication‚ blood levels‚ and maybe stuff they lacked because NGOs weren’t paid.”