Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has marked Human Rights Day by unveiling a plaque in remembrance of the 144 Life Esidimeni victims.

The plaque was unveiled at the Talisman Foundation in Johannesburg.

The foundation is not linked to the Esidimeni tragedy, but cares for mentally-ill patients.

Maimane was accompanied by the party’s Gauteng leader John Moodey and Gauteng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom.

Maimane says the Esidimeni tragedy will forever remain a stain on the conscience of the nation, and that today is about remembering the historic injustice that took place in Sharpeville in the Vaal.

“Today, we commemorate Human Rights Day around that tragedy. But we remind ourselves that you can’t discriminate against people because of mental illness.”

“And what took place at Life Esidimeni is what Dr Aaron Motsoaledi correctly describes as crime. And today is about saying all human beings deserve human rights. So today, we came here to unveil a plaque to say ‘let us stand,’ so that institutions such as this one may stand up for the rights of mentally-ill patients, and a tragedy that took place at Life Esidimeni will never be repeated again.”

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