JOHANNESBURG – The owner of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) involved in the Life Esidimeni tragedy earned over R1-million, despite the health ombudsman ordering its closure.
Anchor Centre owner Dorothy Franks testified before the arbitration hearings in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Monday.
She admitted that she continued receiving grants from patients, even after they had died.
The health ombudsman's office inspected the facility and ordered its closure in October 2016, but Franks continued to receive payments until February 2017.
Five people died under her care.
Franks accepted 72 former Life Esidimeni patients without having the necessary expertise or even a facility.
She was paid nearly R3,500 per patient, with a licence to care for 150 patients in total.
Franks confirmed she would’ve received R6-million had she gotten the full quota.
Anchor Centre was first registered in April 2016, just three months before receiving the first patient.
After an initial payment of over R1.5-million, she then received R150,000 per month.
Franks denied being driven by profit returns, stating that she was merely following orders from the Department of Health.
She said she continued taking the funds and instructions from the department because she was told there had an agreement for a year.
She also received an additional R35,000 per month from the Sassa grants of 29 patients under her care.
The Special Investigations Unit is probing the NGO's financial transactions and the arbitration process has been adjourned to 8 November.