As the patients were not earning money‚ damages were agreed to be paid by the state at R200 000 for each. This covers R20 000 funeral costs and R180 000 for pain and suffering.
Before the hearings‚ Moseneke said he would seek to decide what a life was worth "in a country were half of people were not earning [a salary]". He would not rely on existing law‚ where damages are linked to loss of earnings and future medical expenses.
"South Africans have to work hard to find out what equitable redress would mean. What is the nature of constitutional damages in a country with half of the people not earning? If someone invades their dignity‚ how do they get compensated?" said Moseneke.
Speaking on how damages are linked to loss of future earnings he said: "There is a quite a big debate to be had here. If you have no money whatsoever - do we just say sorry if you’re dead?"
The hearings are not a criminal trial‚ but a process in which the state agreed to liability for the deaths. The hearings are funded from the Gauteng provincial budget.