Inquest into deaths of Life Esidimeni patients resumes

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The inquest into the deaths of 144 Life Esidimeni mental healthcare users will resume in the Pretoria High court on Monday morning.

Proceedings were postponed over a week ago to allow parties who’d obtained legal representation to familiarize themselves with the proceedings.

Former mental health director in the health department in Gauteng, Dr Makgabo Mamamela, was forced to find new legal representation after lawyers for the Gauteng government raised concerns over having to represent her and some officials who have contradicting statements.

Several NGOs had also just obtained legal representation.

The inquest will decide whether officials and political players are criminally liable for the deaths.

The victims died from neglect, malnutrition, and hunger after being transferred from Life Esidimeni to various NGO, some of which were unlicenced.

The Gauteng health department had embarked on the move in a bid to “deinstitutionalise” mental healthcare and  save costs.

Unpacking the Life Esidimeni Inquest: