Disability grant still collected for some of Esidimeni's missing patients
Disability grants are still being collected for some of the 62 former Life Esidimeni patients who are missing‚ the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.
The party's Jack Bloom has opened a missing person's case at the Johannesburg Central police station in a bid to track the missing group.
"It is known that disability grants are being collected for some of them‚ so why have they not been tracked down or possible fraud detected in this matter? I suspect that many of the missing patients could be dead as they would not be able to survive long without decent care‚" Bloom said in a statement.
"This could push the total Esidimeni death toll to more than 200 patients. There are 43 men missing and 19 women.
"The full names of 55 patients are given but there are only 35 with ID numbers although dates of birth are given in all cases. In three cases‚ only a first name is known and in another case only the surname. There is no name at all for three of the missing patients."
Bloom issued a list with the names of the missing patients (see below). The same list had been given to the health department and various mental health NGOs. According to the birth dates given‚ some of the missing patients are well over 100 years old.
Around 143 patients were reported to have died when patients were moved from Life Esidimeni facilities to poorly equipped‚ unlicensed NGOs. The patients died from various causes‚ including starvation.
Bloom said every effort should be made to return to treatment those who are still missing or to find out how they died and who is responsible for their deaths.
"The Esidimeni nightmare will not be over until every one of the patients is accounted for‚" he added.
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