The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has won its court case against two Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that were service providers for the Gauteng Health Department in caring for former Life Esidimeni patients.

The High Court in Pretoria has ordered Anchor Center and Dorothy Evangeline Franks facility to pay back over R600 000 for continuing to claim payment after the psychiatric patients were removed from their care.

The SIU says the cash will be returned to the department.

About 144 mentally-ill patients died after they were moved from Life Esidemeni facilities to unlicensed and ill-equipped NGOs.

SIU spokesperson Nazreen Pandor says they approached the court after their findings revealed that these NGOs were paid for work they didn’t do.

“We then approached the Gauteng High Court Division seeking an order for default judgment. We subsequently got judgment to the amount of R663 275 and we will continue to pursue judgment against any of the perpetrators we find irregularities,” says Pandor.