Esidimeni families seek R1.5-million in damages


Family members at the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings where former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu is testifying.

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers representing the families of those who died in the Life Esidimeni tragedy will continue presenting their closing arguments before the arbitration hearings on Friday.

The State and organisations representing the families, Solidarity and Section27, agreed on Thursday that families should be compensated.

An amount of R200,000 they are to receive - for funeral costs and emotional shock - must still be reviewed by committee chairperson and retired Deputy Chief justice Dikgang Moseneke.

WATCH: State agrees to pay Life Esidimeni claimants R200,000 each

More than 140 patients died in Gauteng after they were moved from the Life Esidiemni facility to ill-equipped NGOs.

Section27 also wants R1.5-million for the families for constitutional damages.

"In the end, we still don’t know why this devastating decision was taken," the advocate for Section27, Adila Hassim, said. "As if the irrationality of the decision is not bad enough - what we find instead is disregard and sometimes contempt for those who warned of the risks, cruelty and serious violation of the law, and constitutional rights and obligations."