The Bhekisisa Centre For Health Journalism has reported that former Gauteng health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, who terminated the contract with the private hospital group Life Esidimeni, is not registered as a student at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), as she previously claimed.
This after Mahlangu said she couldn't attend the arbitration hearings into the deaths of more than 100 mental health patients during her tenure because she was writing exams at LSE.
The Bhekisisa Centre made the revelation after it was granted a freedom of information request to check with the school whether Mahlangu was in fact registered there.
"After a careful search we have not been able to find that the person in question is registered at the school," LSE head of external communications, Aine Duffy, told Bhekisisa.
Deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke said he would not conclude the process without testimony from Mahlangu. The hearings were expected to adjourn at the end of October, but Mahlangu has said she would not be available until at least November, and so dates have not been concluded.
Between March and December last year, 94 people died as a result of a Gauteng health department project intended to "deinstitutionalise" certain mentally ill patients, by moving them from a licensed healthcare provider (Life Esidimeni) to several unlicensed community organisations. That number has since risen.