JOHANNESBURG - South Africans came out in their numbers to support grieving families in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.
Nearly 1,000 people marched to the arbitration hearings in Parktown, Johannesburg, where former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu was testifying on Monday.
Protesters want her to take responsibility by admitting to murder, and for her to subsequently be arrested and charged for mass murder.
Demonstrators, led by the Treatment Action Campaign, demanded justice for over 140 mentally ill patients who died in the care of the department.
The family of victims broke out in song with demonstrators upon their arrival, welcoming the support.
Protesters handed over a memorandum of demands to the provincial government, saying Gauteng Premier David Makhura must improve the healthcare system.
Mahlangu on Monday denied she was solely responsible for the transfer of mentally-ill patients from Life Esidimeni to unlicensed non-governmental organisations.
She said a lack of funding was a big factor.
According to the ex-health MEC, who resigned shortly after the debacle made headlines, the head of the health was ultimately responsible for the transfer.
Mahlangu returns to the stand when the hearing resumes on Wednesday.