New Number Of Esidimeni Dead – 143


The number of people who died as a result of the Life Esidimeni move of 1 711 mental health patients into nongovernmental organisations is 143‚ not 141.

Health ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba was testifying at the Life Esidimeni hearings on Friday‚ after Judge Dikgang Moseneke asked for the numbers of people who had died to be re-examined.

There was confusion about the number of dead because the closure of the Esidimeni homes was so rushed and paperwork went missing. Some patients’ deaths had been recorded twice.

Up until February‚ Makgoba said 118 people died. But by September‚ the number of dead had risen to 143 people‚ and not the previously reported 141.

About 100 people died at four NGOs. The most deadly are Takalani Home in Soweto‚ Mosego House in Krugersdorp‚ Precious Angels in Atteridgeville‚ the Cullinan Care and the Rehabilitation Centre which housed two other NGOs‚ Anchor and Siyabadinga.

Twenty-nine people died at the Rehabilitation Centre and the two NGOs on its premises. Precious Angels had 20 deaths‚ not the previously reported number of 23.

Together Takalani Home‚ which is for intellectually disabled children‚ and Mosego Home for the aged had 38 deaths. Mosego Home and Takalani Home have the same owner and‚ at one point‚ shared a licence. They remain open.

The two NGOs appealed Makgoba’s findings blaming them for the deaths and it was found that they were not directly to blame. The appeal process was led by Judge Bernard Ngoepe.

Ngoepe said that there was not sufficient proof to directly blame the NGOs for the deaths. But he found that they did not give adequate care to their patients. He stated that the two NGOs were not given medical records. Insiders have explained that patients sent to these places had severe psychiatric illness‚ some were mute and others unable to communicate clearly or had intellectual disabilities.

Ngoepe‚ examining Takalani and Mosego homes’ culpability‚ said: “The transfer of patients was rushed and‚ indeed‚ described as chaotic. There are no post-mortem reports. It is true that the environments were not ideal. But on the basis of the ombudsman’s report‚ it is not possible to conclusively say what the cause of the deaths was.”

The owner of the two NGOs has refused requests to testify at the arbitration hearing after being given legal advice not to do so‚ state advocate Tebogo Hutamo told hearing about two weeks ago.

The NGOs are regularly examined by staff from the Gauteng department of health and from the Gauteng department of social development‚ insiders close to the process have told TimesLIVE.


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