- Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke has made his ruling in the Life Esidimeni matter
- Moseneke said the decision by the Gauteng Health Department to end the contract with Life Esidimeni was irrational and unconstitutional
- At least 144 mentally ill patients died after being moved from Life Esidimeni to ill-equipped NGO’s
Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke has made his ruling on the Life Esidimeni matter. Moseneke said the Gauteng department of health had acted irrationally and unconstitutionally when it ended the contract.
At least 144 mentally ill patients died when they were moved from Life Esidimeni to ill-equipped NGO’s in 2016. The patients were moved on the instructions of the Gauteng department of health.
Moseneke said he would not guide police in terms of a possible criminal investigation. “My office has furnished police with all evidence.”
Briefly.co.za discovered that Moseneke ordered the South African government to pay R20 000 in funeral costs and an additional R180 000 for shock, trauma and psychological damage. He also ordered the government to make an additional payment of R1 million to families of patients, irrespective of whether they died or not.
Arguments in the matter concluded last month, lawyers representing the family members of patients asked Moseneke to award R1 million to each family.
Moseneke further found that the three reasons given by Gauteng health department officials for ending the contract were fabricated and regardless of that fact would have been seen as irrational.
Moseneke said: “The damning point is that Doctor Manamela, Doctor Selebano and Miss Mahlangu went ahead with the project, without the consent of the families. Loaded the patients on trucks, and took them to places that they didn’t know.”
He said the families of the deceased patients had to scramble to find their loved ones and then had to endure the horror of burying them with little to no financial support.
Moseneke’s ruling is broadly similar to those by the Health ombudsman which also found the decision to terminate the contract with Life Esidimeni irrational.
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