Union demands justice for Esidimeni victims

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The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) says it will stage a picket outside the Life Esidimeni Arbitraton hearings in Parktown, Johannesburg from ten o’clock on Thursday morning to demand justice for the 143 victims.

This as suspended Head of the Gauteng Health Department Dr Barney Selebano will be back on the witness stand for his third consecutive day to face more questions.

Selebano is testifying about his role in the bungled relocations of mentally-ill patients from Life Esidimeni facilities to ill-equipped NGOs.

This is where 143 of the patients died.

Saftu’s Patrick Craven says what is being revealed in the hearings should be a wake up call for all.

He says it is absolutely shocking.

“First of all the fact that so many people could have died in the first place, but also the difficulty in actually determining exactly what happened and who was responsible. Clearly there are enormous lessons to be learnt from this. It’s symptomatic of an attitude towards services, particularly to under-privileged and disadvantaged people,” adds Craven.