Life Esidimeni hearings to be concluded on Friday

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As the Life Esidimeni Arbitraion hearings conclude in Parktown, Johannesburg on Friday, government is facing multi-million-rand claims from the families of the mentally-ill patients who died, as well as those who survived the tragedy.

One-hundred-and-44 mentally-ill patients died after the Gauteng Health Department moved one-thousand-700 them from Esidimeni facilities to various NGOs in 2016. Section27 which represents the families of the deceased has lodged a R1.5 million claim in constitutional damages for each family.

This is separate from the R200 000 the state has agreed upon with civil rights organisation and trade union Solidarity.

Legal Aid South Africa is yet to strike a deal, but Advocate Lilla Crouse says they want each family to be paid just over two-million rand.

We’ve put a R2 million to constitutional damages, we say if the court is not amenable to that the court should then develop common law to include a R1 million. and R750 000 that would be general damages for survivors and then the R300-thousand for the families.”

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