The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it hopes that the inquest into the Life Esidimeni tragedy will help it to establish whether anyone can be held accountable for the deaths.
It’s been four years since 144 psychiatric patients died after being moved from Life Esidimeni facilities to ill-equipped and underfunded NGOs in Gauteng.
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola on Wednesday granted the NPA’s request for a joint hearing to be conducted into the deaths.
He has requested the Judge President of Gauteng Division of the High Court to designate a judge to preside over the inquest.
NPA Spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane says they are awaiting further guidance on when the inquest will begin and how long it will take.
“The inquest finding will assist us in relation to four things – the dates of the deaths, the likely cause of death and whether any death was caused intentionally or as a result of negligence on the part of anyone which amounts to an offence. So it will help us in terms of determining whether or not there is anyone that can be held accountable for the deaths and this is what we hope to achieve as the NPA from the inquest,” says Mjonondwane.
Watch Mjonondwane as she elaborates further: