WATCH: Life Esidimeni arbitration continues

JOHANNESBURG, 10 October 2017 - The Life Esidimeni arbitration hearing is to continue in Johannesburg this morning. Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba will continue his testimony. Video: eNCA


Editor's note: This live event has ended. You may watch a recording above.

JOHANNESBURG - Arbitration between the state and the families of Gauteng psychiatric patients, initiated following recommendations by the health ombudsman, continued on Tuesday.

The process, which began on Monday, brings the families of the victims a step closer to finding out what led to the death of their loved ones.

READ: Life Esidimeni death toll rises again

More than a hundred patients died last year after being moved from Life Esidimeni centres to NGO's.

Health ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba painted a gloomy picture of the treatment of mental health patients who were moved from Life Esidimeni.

"It was like horror stories you heard, stories that patients were transported in inappropriate transport where some of them had to be tied to the vehicle because the transportation was not appropriate," he said.

"Some patients would be transported to different places against the team that assessed them where they fit.

"I think it is a requirement that if you are going to (place) a mental health patient, first of all you must assess the capability of the patient and then identify a suitable place that will fit their requirement.

"Some of them were transferred several times. And every time you transfer a mentally ill patient it takes something out of them and it often takes longer to recover."

Makgoba said that former Gauteng MEC Qedani Mahlangu did not provide reasons for transferring mental health patients from Life Esidimeni. 

He said, "I think she never understood. Again i would refer to the bible. I don’t think she understood the magnitude of the problem. I tried to find out what happened. All i could gather was that this whole thing... she had given instructions of what had to happen and... when you speak to the subordinates they said once that was decided they had to implement."

The process is expected to run for three weeks.



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