Senior health officials should account for Life Esidimeni patients’ deaths: NGO

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The inquest into the deaths of former Life Esidimeni mental patients has heard there is no reason to depart from the findings of the arbitration by former Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke, into their deaths. The arbitration found among others, that the deaths were unnatural.

NGO, Section 27 which is representing the families of the deceased at an inquest in the High Court in Pretoria says former Gauteng health senior officials which include former Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu, and some of the NGOs should account for the tragic deaths.

The inquest, which kicked off on Monday morning, will determine whether anyone can be held criminally liable for the deaths of at least 144 psychiatric patients.

They died tragically after being transferred to various NGOs when the Health Department cancelled its contract with the Life Esidemeni group in 2015.

The victims died from malnutrition and neglect.

Section 27’s advocate, Adila Hassim’s opening remarks, “Together with the evidence collected during the arbitration and the findings of justice Moseneke will establish a prima facie case against officials on the department and owners of at least two NGOs, Precious Angels, and Anchor. Ultimately, we will submit that this inquest must make findings in relation to the person who was responsible for the deaths. The officials of the Gauteng department unlawfully and negligently, their conduct led to the deaths. They were all aware of the consequences that would follow.”

Life Esidimeni Inquest: