It appears Gauteng’s suspended Health HOD only signed off on the Life Esidmeni project a year into the patient moves.
Dr Barney Selebano apparently signed off on the plans to move patients in October 2016.
By this time 81 patients had already died, reports EWN's Masego Rahlaga.
This means that hundreds of patients were moved to NGOs illegally, if the project plan was approved before October 2016.
However, Selebano says the documents were dated in error.
Selebano has been questioned about his role in the Life Esidmeni project which resulted in the deaths of 143 psychiatric patients.
He's been testifying at the arbitration hearings and the judge has warned that he will be charged with perjury, should he lie under oath.
Dr Selebano signed off on the plans to move patients in October 2016. By this time 81 patients had already died. He's saying it's an error.— Masego Rahlaga, EWN reporter
He says there is a culture that makes it very tense and hostile for [government] employees to speak up.— Masego Rahlaga, EWN reporter
He says he was afraid to stand up to former MEC Qedani Mahlangu.— Masego Rahlaga, EWN reporter
Meanwhile, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has been protesting outside the hearings.
Saftu spokesperson Patrick Craven says the evasiveness of public servants during the hearings is a sign of government's callousness.
Take a listen:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Claims Selebano signed off Esidimeni project plan one year into moves, 81 deaths