A formal joint inquest into all deaths related to the Life Esidimeni tragedy will be held before a judge in the High Court in Pretoria.

That’s according to the National Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at the National Prosecuting Authority Advocate Shamila Batohi.

In 2016, some 144 mentally-ill patients died after the Gauteng Health Department moved 1700 of them from Esidimeni facilities to various NGOs.

Section 27 which represents the families of the deceased has lodged a R1.5 million claim in constitutional damages for each family.

An enquiry into the Life Esidimeni tragedy was established following recommendations by the Health Ombudsman after compiling a report called “The Ombud’s report” detailing findings into a probe to establish the circumstances surrounding the deaths of mentally ill patients.

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