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Families anxiously await Esidimeni findings

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Family members are anxious to know if Justice Dikgang Moseneke has recommended the prosecution for former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and others when he unveils his report on the Life Esidimeni tragedy in Parktown, Johannesburg on Monday morning.

Mahlangu and others testified during the lengthy arbitration hearings on the provincial Health Department’s decision to terminate the long-standing contract with Life Esidimeni, which resulted in the deaths of 144 mentally-ill patients.

Family members had hoped that the testimonies of Mahlangu and others would help them find closure.

But many believe that those who were involved in the transfers were untruthful.

Every government official who testified was listened to when they apologised, but all family members walked out when Mahlangu apologised.

“We felt that she’s going to insult us if we listened to her with her fake apology. We were supposed to get closure but she just provoked us. The problem here is that Qedani didn’t show any remorse,” add family members of the deceased.

Justice Moseneke says the findings will be binding.

“This was an arbitration… there is much confusion out there as people call it an inquiry, call it commission… And I think it’s mainly because of the total circumstances. It was a subset of an alternative dispute resolution, chosen by the parties, in which they submit ultimately to an award by an arbitrator, which if not reviewed and set aside would be binding on all the parties, and therefore they’d be obliged to implement the award which ranks same status in our law as court order.”

[Source: SABC]
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