Barbara Creecy to appear before Esidimeni hearings

Barbara Creecy
Barbara Creecy
Image: Arnold Pronto

Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy has been called to testify before the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings into the deaths of 143 mental patients.

Creecy was not on the initial witness list however State attorney Tebogo Hutamo said they decided to include her because of financial questions which need to be clarified.
Creecy has been scheduled to testify next week Tuesday along with Gauteng premier David Makhura. 

This will be followed by the testimonies of current health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa and health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Wednesday.

Hutamo said Creecy would assist in explaining what had happened to the funds which were allocated to NGOs.

This is after former health MEC Qedani Mahlangu testified that the department had been experiencing financial constraints when the Life Esidimeni tragedy unfolded. 

Mahlangu also said they decided to terminate the contract with Life Esidimeni to cut costs.
Advocate Lisa Crouse raised an objection, stating that the addition of another witness would prolong the process.

Crouse said she was also concerned that they would not have time to consult with an expert and prepare for Creecy's testimony.

However former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke who is leading the hearings said Creecy's evidence would be necessary.

Moseneke said they needed someone to break down the numbers and explain how the health department used funds allocated for mental health.

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