JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg High Court on Monday dismissed an application by suspended Gauteng Health head of department Barney Selebano to set aside a subpoena for him to testify at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearing.
Selebano tried to appeal the court ruling immediately afterwards but that was denied. He will now have to testify at the hearing on Tuesday.
The hearing, led by former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, is probing the deaths of 143 mentally ill patients.
The patients died after the Gauteng Health Department transferred them from the private Life Esidimeni facilities to unregistered NGOs.
In February, Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba’s found Selebano was guilty of ”gross misconduct and incompetence” as one of the officials in charge of the transferring the patients.
Makgoba further recommended his conduct be reported to the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA).
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.
- Additional reporting by ANA