Esidimeni ruling just the beginning‚ says EFF
The EFF has welcomed the outcome of the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearings‚ delivered by retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke on Monday.
Moseneke on Monday ruled that families of Esidimeni patients must each receive payments of R20‚000 for their funeral expenses‚ R180‚000 for shock and psychological trauma and R1-million in constitutional damages.
The EFF said the judgment was a victory but that there were more issues that needed to be resolved.
"The events of Life Esidimeni‚ particularly taking into account the arbitration judgment by Justice Moseneke‚ is a clear demonstration that our public health system has collapsed due to the failure of the ANC government post-1994 to envisage a more inclusive‚ caring and capable system for all South Africans‚" the party said in a statement.
"Even after such a tragedy‚ we still have more than 40 patients who are missing and no one can account for their whereabouts."
The EFF praised Moseneke for his scathing findings‚ which included blaming health department officials for violating the rights of patients. At least 144 psychiatric patients died after 1‚711 mentally ill people were moved from Life Esidimeni homes into ill-equipped and underfunded NGOs in 2016 in Gauteng.
"The arbitration outcome vindicates all the families who lost their loved ones‚ civil society and opposition parties who stood up when it was not fashionable to call out the ANC government implementing the ill-conceived‚ corrupt and greed-driven plan that resulted in the death of 144 patients‚" the EFF said.
The party said the monetary award was necessary but that further legal recourse should also follow.
"The EFF also welcomes the decisive position taken by Justice Moseneke that those involved must be held accountable‚ and we call on all authorities such as the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the HPCSA (Health Professions Council of South Africa) to carry out their investigation with due diligence to ensure that those who violated the law are charged and prosecuted accordingly‚" the organisation said.