Esidimeni families: We are angry

07 June 2017 - 09:54
Life Esidimeni. File photo
Image: Google Photo Life Esidimeni. File photo

Christine Nxumalo's sister, Virginia Machpelah, died last year while in the care of NGO Precious Angels, probably of pneumonia and dehydration.

She had been removed from a Life Esidimeni care facility on the orders of the Gauteng health department.

But, 10 months later, Nxumalo has still not received a postmortem report on her sister.

Families of members who had been cared for by Life Esidimeni, and NGO Section 27 , held a media conference in Johannesburg yesterday to detail the progress the health department has made in implementing ombudsman Malegapuru Makgoba's recommendations.

The department was invited to attend but did not. Spokesman Prince Hamca said they would work closely with the families.

Makgoba found more than 100 psychiatric patients died while in the care of unlicensed NGOs following their forced removal from Life Esidimeni homes.

He recommended that all NGOs that looked after the patients be shut down and that the police investigate .

Family members complained that there had been no arrests of owners of NGOs at which patients had died.

The conference called for inquests into the deaths to be speeded up.

"We are really angry," said Lucas Mogwerane, whose brother died at an NGO in June last year.

The death certificate cites natural causes, but he disputes this.

"The police are dangerously slow to respond to the inquest," said Nomvula Nonjabe, a Section 27 spokesman.

- TMG Digital/TimesLIVE