7 Life Esidimeni dead unidentified and 59 missing
There are 59 untraced people who were discharged from Life Esidimeni‚ who have not been found but are accessing pension or disability grants.
This is according to the Director General of the National Department of Health Precious Matsoso. She is testifying at the arbitration hearings held to unpack the Life Esidimeni disaster.
She said: "They are still 59 patients that have to traced. They are drawing their Sassa grants."
The implication of her statement is so they could be alive and looked after or they could be dead and NGOs and families could be using their money‚ without having reported them deceased.
Additionally‚ there are "seven corpses that are not yet identified and families still to be traced"‚ she said.
This means that more than 118 people died after being moved from Life Esidimeni. After the ombudsman's report into the disaster‚ health teams assessed patients in NGOs. They found some patients in NGOS that had never been in Life Esidimeni‚ but were not getting good care. About 70 extra patients were moved from unsuitable NGOs into better care.
Matsoso said: "There are NGOs that render reasonable services. There are NGOs that are not suitable."
There are about 5 000 psychiatric patients in NGOs across Gauteng province‚ hearing judge Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke said.
The National Health Department has asked the Gauteng departments of health and social development to assess all NGOs in the province that are looking after mentally ill people.
Matsoso said 1 712 were moved from Life Esidimeni and just over 350 people went to their families.