Five missing Esidimeni patients found

In January it emerged that 62 Life Esidimeni patients were still not accounted for. Photo: Gallo / Deon Raath

JOHANNESBURG – Five out of 62 Esidimeni patients who were listed as missing have been found by police, the DA said on Tuesday. 

DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom said three of the patients were traced to the Mosego Home in Krugersdorp, one of the NGOs the Health Ombudsman ordered closed after seven patients died there.

Police said another patient who was discharged from the home in October 2017 has died but provided no details on the circumstances of the death. 

WATCH: Suffering has a name as Esidimeni hearings draw to a close

"I am horrified that three Esidimeni patients are still at one of the NGOs that Health Ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba said should be closed 'immediately as their continuity poses high risk.'"

Makgoba revealed some of the patients who died at the home had unexplained wounds and were emaciated. 

"The Gauteng Health Department pledged to remove all Esidimeni patients from NGOs last year but seems to have overlooked three patients at Mashego.

WATCH: Government didn't save money, they lost money: Moseneke

"I have written today to Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa to remove these patients immediately and place them at a reputable institution.

"I commend the police for finding some of the patients after I opened 62 missing person cases last week, and I hope further progress is made in finding the others," said Bloom. 

The arbitration hearings into the Life Esidimeni tragedy wrapped up on Friday.

Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke investigated the deaths of over 140 psychiatric patients who were moved to unregistered NGOs by the Gauteng Health Department. 

He is now considering whether to endorse an agreement between the government and families of those who died, for a settlement of R200,000 each, for emotional shock and to cover funeral costs. 

Civil society group, Section27 also wants a further R1.5-million in constitutional damages.

 

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