Life Esidimeni NGOs to be hauled in front of SIU tribunal

Retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, who headed the arbitration hearings between the state and the families of victims in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.
Retired deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, who headed the arbitration hearings between the state and the families of victims in the Life Esidimeni tragedy.
Image: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES

Thirteen non-profit organisations linked to the Life Esidimeni scandal are to appear before a Special Investigating Unit tribunal.

The organisations are alleged to have unjustifiably enriched themselves to the amount of R5.4m through the submission of over-inflated and fake invoices, according to the tribunal.

Twenty-seven NPOs were implicated in the death of 94 mentally ill patients in Gauteng. The deaths occurred between March 2016 and December 2016.

Tribunal spokesman Advocate Selby Mokgotho confirmed to SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE that a sheriff had served the summonses on the organisations which had been implicated in the SIU investigations into the Life Esidimeni matter.

He said that Judge Dikgang Moseneke had referred his report into the matter to the Gauteng provincial government, which had requested the SIU investigate.

"The SIU investigation has been completed and handed over to the tribunal for arbitration. The summonses were served this week by the sheriff.

"There are six cases against the 13 organisations which pertain to allegations of fraud, which stem from accusations that invoices submitted for payments were either over inflated or fake.

"We are awaiting confirmation that the summonses have been received before the matter proceeds. If there are no objections lodged then within the next 10 working days it will proceed for arbitration," said Mokgotho.

He said the organisations allegedly irregularly received R5.4m.

Documents seen by TimesLIVE relating to the summonses reveal how - on top of money being recovered from the submission of allegedly bogus invoices - the SIU is seeking to recover interest the organisations earned from the irregular payments.

The tribunal, which will sit for three years, has been tasked to recover more than R14bn allegedly stolen from the state through irregularly awarded contracts, fraud and theft.


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