RETIRED DEPUTY chief justice Dikgang Moseneke handed down an order that government must pay each family regardless of whether a patient died or survived R1.2 million by 19 June.
It must be paid in a lump sum, he pointed out strongly.
The order was made on Monday, during the closing of the hearings following the deaths of at least 114 patients after being moved from Life Esidimeni Centers’ to under utilised and poorly managed NGOs by the Gauteng Health department, whose MEC by then was Qedani Mahlangu.
Affected family members said although the money issue was welcomed, they also demanded justice to be effected against the likes of Dr Barney Kagiso Selebano, Dr Makgabo Senamela and Mahlangu.
Lucas Mogoerane’s brother Christopher is one of those who lost their lives. Mogoerane says he wants to see more done.
“Today we’re justified, we’re delighted and we’re not going to leave any stone unturned.”
Section 27’s Mark Heywood, says the Esidimeni tragedy is a lesson for the entire universe.
“This judgment is of global and universal importance and significance. It has lifted again the dignity of people with mental illnesses.”
Premier David Makhura, who also testified at the hearings, said money can’t compensate for deep pain in Life Esidimeni tragedy.
On whether criminal charges should be laid against those responsible, Moseneke said it was up to relevant authorities to take that action, suffice to say Mahlangu was “economical with the truth and showed disregard to the families”.
Meanwhile, deputy chief justice Moseneke and entire Senior Counsel team that represented families, will all channel their arbitrators’ fees to law schools to help boys and girls who want to persue legal studies.