by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
More effort is needed to find the remaining 20 missing Life Esidimeni patients, including publication of their names and photographs.I am revealing today the list that has been disclosed by the Gauteng Health Department in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
The table has the full names of 17 of the patients, their dates of birth, and their date of discharge from the Esidimeni facilities – either Randwest, Randfontein, Waverley or Witpoort.
Click here to see the table with the names of 17 of the patients.
But in one case all that is disclosed is that “Male Child David, born on 1/1/1978” was at an unknown facitlty, and no further detail on when and where he was discharged.
In another case, a female patient is identified with the strange first name of “5 Nozi” but no surname, born on 1/1/1914, and discharged from the Randfontein facility on 3 June 2016 to the Mosego NGO.
An “Unknown Male”, born on 1/1/1940, was discharged from Randfontein on 29 June 2016 to the Cullinan Centre.
In six cases, there is no information to which NGO the patient was sent to.
In other cases, the patients were sent to NGOs where patient deaths occurred, including Mosego, Rebafenyi and Tshepong.
I am concerned that the three patients sent to Tshepong could have died and been secretly buried as it is known that this NGO did six illegal burials of Esidimeni patients without death certificates and may have done more.
There is one case where Mr Aaron Motha was discharged from the Waverley Care Centre on 21 May 2016 to his home but they don’t have contact details of the family.
According to Faith Mazibuko, the Acting Health MEC, delays in finding the missing patients are because “available contacts are old and numbers are not answered” and “some facilities are slow in responding.”
She also says that some leads are still being followed, SAPS is assisting and they are trying to locate those who are receiving SASSA grants.
I am distressed that the Department has not made more effort to find the patients by publicising the names and the photographs that are available in some cases.
Mazibuko says that that some patients “did have photographs on their files which can be obtained to assist in locating patients.”
I am releasing the names today and I call on the Department to make the photographs publicly available as soon as possible.
The Esidimeni nightmare, which was caused by arrogance, cruelty and corruption, will not be over until every patient is accounted for and the perpetrators are punished in court