Two psychiatric patients also contracted typhoid at the facility due to a lack of hygiene.
The administration which had run Takalani at the time of the Esidimeni crisis had since left‚ Gumede explained. Two of the senior people who managed the facility at this time face 99 charges for allegedly stealing money and defrauding the organisation.
In November 2017‚ the interdict which had stopped the previous board from executing duties at Takalani was rescinded. That opened a way for the new board to take over. The court also ordered Masego‚ which was administering the institution‚ to vacate the Takalani premises.
Gumede was part of the old leadership which was stopped from doing its work. Then health MEC Qedani Mahlangu had earlier commissioned investigations into Takalani’s finances.
Gumede said the sister who was the clinical manager had resigned. One other person who was in management had been ordered to vacate the position‚ while others had resigned and another had simply absconded not having accounted for what happened during the Esidimeni crisis.
Takalani now houses 110 patients in total. Of these‚ 58 severely intellectually disabled people – 30 men and 28 women‚ all aged between 6 and 24 – are linked to the Gauteng department of health.
There are currently no Life Esidimeni patients at Takalani.
Gumede detailed the state of affairs.
“When we came in we had no records. Records had just gone out of the institution. In terms of administration‚ there were no proper records. Critical information for the running of the institution was deleted on the computers by the previous management.
“At ward level‚ we had to go and dig on our own to find patients’ records. We found them locked in one of the wards. We had to unlock the door‚ take out patient information and see how many patients are here and then start counting afresh.
“Tax clearance certificates had been withheld since 2006. There has been non-compliance in terms of compliance as an NPO…In finances‚ we found nothing. All the money that was there had been taken by individuals. All those donations that were coming into the organisation were all taken‚ stolen out of the institution. No one is able to account [for what happened].
“Last time when we got a report [update] from the Hawks they talked about R40-million‚” Gumede said.
When Bloom asked him if Takalani has some money in the bank‚ Gumede answered: “No. We are trying other means. We had an agreement in March for the last quarter [of the financial year] to be paid to Masego so that they could buy things for the institutions.”