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Life Esidimeni death toll at 100 and rising

15 February 2017 - 13:26 By TMG Digital
Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.
Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla

More than 100 deaths have now been linked to the Life Esidimeni tragedy in Gauteng.

Health ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba told Parliament on Tuesday that the number of mentally ill patients who died after being transferred from the facility to 27 NGOs was continuing to rise. He was addressing the portfolio committee on health.

  • Bodies of 19 psych patients remain unclaimed as police struggle to find familiesPolice are encountering unexpected obstacles to their efforts to identify 19 bodies believed to be of psychiatric patients who died after being transferred from Life Esidimeni centres to various NGOs in Gauteng. 

The Times reported on Wednesday that about 700 of the patients moved out of Life Esidimeni healthcare centres - to be placed in unlicensed facilities run by NGOs - would be slowly moved back.

  • Councillor criticised over link to psych patients NGO is an unpaid volunteer‚ says ANCThe African National Congress Tshwane Caucus says it is "vexed by the unfortunate‚ misplaced and political grandstanding" that sought to question a councillor's involvement with a non-governmental organisation. 

Makgoba’s report into the scandal initially revealed that 94 patients had died. But the number will rise as more families come forward and bodies‚ not claimed by relatives‚ are identified.