NEWS
16/01/2018 14:20 SAST | Updated 16/01/2018 14:20 SAST

Suspended Gauteng Health Dept Head Barney Selebano Resigns

In December, Selebano testified at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings in Johannesburg.

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The suspended head of the Gauteng department of health, Dr Barney Selebano, has resigned.

Gauteng health spokesperson Lesemang Matuka confirmed to News24 on Tuesday that Selebano had submitted his resignation letter.

"Dr T.E. (Barney) Selebano resigned with immediate effect yesterday, January 15, 2018," Matuka said.

A senior Gauteng government official told News24 that since all head of department appointments are done by the premier, Gauteng premier David Makhura was still considering Selebano's letter of resignation.

When contacted by News24 on Tuesday, Selebano said he could not immediately confirm his resignation, as he was in a meeting.

Selebano was suspended in February last year.

In December, Selebano testified at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings in Johannesburg.

Selebano said he took responsibility for the "regrettable" deaths of more than 140 mentally ill patients, who died after they were moved to different ill-equipped non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across the province.

He said he "didn't fathom that such a tragedy could take place", conceding that his department did not follow advice.

"We did things wrong by not heeding advice, by not listening to other people," he said.

"I take accountability. It happened under my watch. There is no way that, if you are a leader and something happens... you suddenly want to walk away from it."

News24