Mahlangu slams speculation she ran away from Esidimeni trial


File image of former Gauteng MEC for Health, Qedani Mahlangu at a summit on 16 May 2013.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Gauteng Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu, has confirmed that she will testify at the Esidimeni arbitration hearings

Mahlangu, who&39;s been studying in London until the university suspended her, will appear at the hearings in the new year.

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Justice Dikgang Moseneke has been hearing testimony related to the deaths of a hundred and 43 psychiatric patients transferred from Life Esidimeni facilities to mostly unlicensed NGO&39;s.

Mahlangu released a statement addressing some of the rumours surrounding her absence up to now from the trial. 

"I note with concern that several media reports which are regularly surfacing in the country about me, are false and without basis in fact."

"First, it is completely false that I refuse or ran away or disappeared from the Esidimeni Arbitration. From the beginning, in line with my conscience, I have made it clear to all authorities involved that I&39;m available to appear before the Arbitration. As such, I need no subpoena," she explained.

"Secondly, anyone who knows how universities work, know that planning and applying for study, happens long before one can travel to the institution concerned, and therefore the suggestion that I used my studies to escape accountability is also false."

"Thirdly, it is clear that these inaccurate reports seek to suggest that I&39;m not committed to principles of accountability, transparency and openness. As such, the reports are written in such a way that as a supposed "fugitive" of sorts, I must be subjected to an arbitration of public opinion, ahead of the formal Arbitration Process. Nobody else has been subjected to this kind of treatment," Mahlangu stated.

She reserved her right to comment on any falsehoods and expressed her confidence in the process.