Ask Madonsela to probe psychiatric patients’ deaths: DA

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Ask Madonsela to probe psychiatric patients’ deaths: DA

TMG Digital | 2017-02-06 08:57:18.0

Thuli Madonsela. File photo.

Image by: SIMPHIWE NKWALI

The Democratic Alliance wants former public protector Thuli Madonsela to probe deaths of almost 100 psychiatric patients.

“The Gauteng Provincial Government has suffered a crisis of credibility over the deaths of 94 mental health patients and needs to appoint someone of high stature to get redress and compensation for the relatives‚” said the party’s Jack Bloom on Monday. He said he supported that recommendation of Health Ombudsman Professor Malegapuru Makgoba‚ to “contact all affected individuals and families and enter into an alternative dispute resolution process”.

“The DA supports this approach which avoids long‚ drawn-out legal proceedings as has occurred with the Marikana deaths‚” said Bloom.

“It could also be a more satisfactory and speedy alternative to a class action law suit.”

Makgoba’s report‚ issued last week‚ was scathing of the Gauteng Department of Health’s role in the deaths of 94 mental health patients after they were transferred to unlicensed NGOs after the cancellation of a contract with Life Healthcare Esidimeni last year.

“We believe that former public protector advocate Thuli Madonsela has the necessary moral authority and support to ensure that there is a fair settlement for the relatives that includes financial compensation‚ while bearing in mind that no amount of money can recompense for the loss of a loved one‚” said Bloom.

“Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Premier David Makhura should approach Madonsela as their top choice for this purpose. “We hope that she can spare some time from her current sabbatical at Harvard University‚ otherwise someone else with a similar reputation for integrity and independence should be appointed.”



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