Life Esidimeni inquest to resume on Monday

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Initially, 36 witnesses were earmarked to testify, but the number was increased after NGO, Section 27, requested that expert witnesses be called to testify.
The inquest is probing whether anyone can be criminally charged for the deaths of 144 mentally ill patients who were transferred from Life Esidimeni to NGOs that could not properly care for them.
About one thousand 500 patients were moved to facilities that were not equipped to care for mentally challenged patients. As a result, many died from neglect and starvation.

Last month, the inquest heard that there were challenges with the issuing of licences for NGOs, starting a snowball effect which led to patients being placed at wrong NGOs during the transfer process from the Life Esidimeni facilities.

Rochelle Gordon, the nurse tasked with overseeing patient transfer said there was not enough space for all patients.

Gordon says, “The patients would be reshuffled again and be placed correctly. But there was not enough space for all these patients. Like for instance, Ubuhle Benkosi had a lot of psycho genetics patients and Tshwane did not have enough space for this type of patients, unfortunately.

The Life Esidimeni Inquest heard by the Pretoria High Court: