21 Esidimeni patients still missing

November 6, 2018

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

Twenty one mental health patients who were discharged after the Gauteng Health Department cancelled its contract with Life Esidimeni have still not been found.

This was disclosed today by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in an oral reply today to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

She said that these patients had left Esidimeni between 10 November 2015 and 31 October 2016, and 3 had been sent to NGOs, 1 to a hospital and 1 to a family, but no information was available on the others.

Ramokgopa added that every effort has been made to locate the patients, including checking with NGOs, hospitals, other provinces and Home Affairs. The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has also been requested to assist in finding out what happened to them.

I am astonished that Ramokgopa claims that there have been “no delays” in finding the patients as it is now more than two years since they disappeared.

It seems that the Department has met a dead end in finding the remaining patients as the number has not come down since July this year when I was told that there were 20 patients still missing.

Sadly, many of these patients have likely lost their lives, joining the 144 other patients who died as a result of the arrogance, cruelty and corruption of the failing ANC government that caused the Esidimeni horror.

The terrible fate of the missing patients should be added to the charges faced by the perpetrators who should be tried and punished in court as soon as possible.

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